Caffeine Addiction Effects: Am I Addicted to Caffeine?
Sample E-mail Answer by Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, DCC
Caffeine is certainly a drug and it is an addictive drug as well. It is a moderate stimulant that taken in small amounts tends to make us more alert and often raises mood. In large amounts a person can have insomnia, nervousness and irritability. The drug affects your central nervous system which raises your heart rate and blood pressure.
It is an addictive drug and therefore if a dependent person quits they will experience several symptoms of withdrawal. The withdrawal syndrome for caffeine is head aches, cloudy thinking, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, and increased emotionality. These symptoms usually last for a few days to a week and are accompanied by feelings of craving.
Caffeine is included in coffee, tea, some soda drinks, and some medication to speed up and increase its effectiveness. In small amounts the drug can be beneficial, but in large amounts adverse effects are noted.
In general, when someone does something in a moderate fashion it indicates an absence of a problem, and when someone is obsessed with something or over does it then there is usually a good reason for it. It is possible that if you use way too much soda then you have a primary addiction for one of the substances in that soda. A primary addiction means that you have taken too much of a drug over too short a period and therefore your body craves it simply for that reason.
Often however another process is going on either alone or in combination to the primary addiction. We often self-medicate for a chemical disorder that we have by using a drug that helps that condition. People who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD often begin to abuse or get addicted to a stimulant such as caffeine or nicotine because its effect will mimic the benefits of Ritalin, which is one of the medications used for the disorder. Because of this it would make sense to be thorough and get screened for this disorder. It is always best to be as safe as you can.
It is also possible that you are addicted to the sugar in the soda. Sugar is as much a drug as it is a food. Many people are allergic to this substance and although it is not readily known people tend to crave what they are allergic to. What is important is to figure out why you are addicted to the soda and then solutions can be found. A doctor who is adept in Applied Kinesiology would be able to help with this. Try looking for a chiropractor or a Naturopath with this skill.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, DCC