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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Bitter
airbrushed, thoughtful
kistaro
It’s been over a year, and I still have’t lost my tolerance for the phenomenally bitter taste. A bit of heat resistance has been lost, but I suppose, if I keep the habit, that it too will return.

I’m almost disturbed. I’d hope that over a year of being caffeine-free, then several months of nothing stronger than tea (and generally half-green tea, at that), I’d have a harder time readjusting to coffee. It’s not even hard on my stomach- if anything, it’s upsetting my digestion less than tea.

It’s upsetting, because I remember myself months ago, giving up my attempts to stay off caffeine; besides the chronic headaches and lack of control over my asthma, I had a craving I couldn’t stop, a dangerous obsession with wanting to go back to a stimulant dependence.

Caffeine isn’t much of a drug. By DSM-IV standards, it’s not particularly addictive- not compared to real addiction. It terrifies me how vulnerable I must be to something stronger.

cross-posted from my Tumblr thought debris bucket

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Caffeine is a drug. It is, in fact, a maintenance drug for me. Yes, there are stronger stimulants, but that doesn't make this one trivial (for good or ill).

> It’s upsetting, because I remember myself months ago, giving up my attempts to stay off caffeine; besides the chronic headaches and lack of control over my asthma, I had a craving I couldn’t stop

... Are you saying here that the headaches and lack-of-asthma-control were symptoms of caffeine, or of having stopped giving it to your body?

Symptoms of giving up caffeine, which persisted for the entire year until I resumed it again.

Ick. :( Not really sure what to say, then, other than to point you at http://www.caffeinedependence.org/caffeine_dependence.html#withdrawal . You're definitely not alone on the withdrawal symptoms -- while it's not the worst drug in the world, it certainly is a drug and can harm you on the downtake -- although I'm not quite sure what to make of the length of time the symptoms persisted.

I guess that, in the long run, caffeine is a relatively benign thing to fix on -- with delivery systems that don't destroy your lungs or liver, and are relatively mild on the pocketbook. The silver lining is that you'll know that much more about your body's tolerances if it comes time to face up against any substances more sinister.

Well, the asthma isn't too much of a surprise; I have chronic asthma, and caffeine was helping to control it. That my headaches and inability to focus didn't stop for the entire year is worrying, though.

Given the severe caffeine dependence that runs down my father's side of the family, I suppose I inherited it.

I gave up caffeine about ten years ago. I had horrible withdrawal headaches for about 2-3 days but then I was great. Pop altogether is almost out of my diet; I can't stand the shitty flavor of HFCS.

That's exactly the reason I won't drink, either- I'm afraid I'd get hooked too easily. That, and I'm a cheapass.

My withdrawal headaches never really stopped. They got less severe after two weeks, but they never went away.

Same here for my refusal to even try alcohol. I have a family history of severe addiction problems; on my mother's side, the only people who are not alcoholics or recovering alcoholics (and having trouble with it) literally never tried alcohol, ever. I think I know which category I'd rather be in.

Incidentally, wanted to come back and add this observation on addiction, from an article on neuroenhancers:

Dopamine is something you want just enough of: too little, and you may not be as alert and motivated as you need to be; too much, and you may feel overstimulated. Neuroscientists have discovered that some people have a gene that leads the brain to break down dopamine faster, leaving less of it available; such people are generally a little worse at certain cognitive tasks. People with more available dopamine are generally somewhat better at the same tasks. It makes sense, then, that people with naturally low dopamine would benefit more from an artificial boost.


So basically, if that holds, the smarter and more motivated you are, the more vulnerable you are to addictions. That certainly might apply here.

ETA: Link fixed

Edited at 2009-04-24 08:27 pm (UTC)

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