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Caffeinism

From Academic Kids

Caffeinism has been defined as the addiction to caffeine and also as the poisoning resulting from intake of caffeine, whether via coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, over-the-counter medications, or other caffeine-containing products. Its symptoms are both physiological and psychological. The amount of caffeine needed to generate caffeinism depends on individual sensitivity.

Caffeinism mimics a number of mental illnesses, from anxiety and bipolar disorder to schizophrenia and psychosis. This, along with the fact that it may destroy its victims' self-awareness, including their awareness of the harm caffeine is causing them, can make it difficult to diagnose. Doctors unfamiliar with caffeinism may mistake it for one of the disorders above.

In acute cases, subjects descend into a psychosis more commonly associated with illicit drugs, which medication is powerless to cure as long as they remain intoxicated:

The Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose states: "Caffeine-induced psychosis, whether it be delirium, manic depression, schizophrenia, or merely an anxiety syndrome, in most cases will be hard to differentiate from other organic or non-organic psychoses....The treatment for caffeine-induced psychosis is to withhold further caffeine."

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) states: "The 4 caffeine-induced psychiatric disorders include caffeine intoxication, caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, caffeine-induced sleep disorder, and caffeine-related disorder not otherwise specified (NOS)."


References

  • Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 3rd ed., 1998, Michael W. Shannon, MD, MPH, Director, Lead and Toxicology Clinic, The Children's Hospital Boston; Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Lester M. Haddad, MD, Clinical Professor in Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina; Bon Secours St. Francis Xavier Hospital; James F. Winchester, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Georgetown University Medical Center. ISBN 0721664091
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ISBN 0890420610

External links

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