We’re well into the morning (at least here on the East coast) and if you’re a coffee drinker, you’re probably sipping away on your cup of joe. According to the latest American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5, as it’s commonly known) drinking too much coffee or depriving yourself of it entirely can have physical and psychological effects. The die-hard drinkers out there already knew this, but now we have science to back it up.
Caffeine intoxication was recognized in the DSM-IV, The Wall Street Journal reports, but only now is caffeine withdrawal being upgraded in significance. There’s also caffeine use disorder, in which someone can’t stop drinking coffee because of the side effects.
This isn’t meant to be tossed around like an everyday condition, but instead indicates an elevated clinical condition. “We’ve heard many times people went to the doctor for chronic headaches or because they thought that they had the flu and it turns out it was caffeine withdrawal and they didn’t even know it,” said Laura Juliano, an American University professor who worked on these findings.
“To be diagnosed with caffeine withdrawal, a patient must experience at least three of five symptoms within 24 hours of stopping or reducing caffeine intake: headache, fatigue or drowsiness, depressed mood or irritability, difficulty concentrating, and flulike symptoms such as nausea or muscle pain,” the article continues. But the symptoms must be severe enough to impact your work or private life. Symptoms of caffeine intoxication include muscle twitching, nervousness and irregular heartbeat.
So if you start noticing that your co-workers are going home sick because of caffeine intoxication or not enough coffee, there may be something to it.