Health & WellnessNews

Caffeine Withdrawal Classified As Mental Disorder

By Alexandra Fleischman | June 17, 2013

coffee, caffeine, coffee addiction, caffeine addiction, caffeine withdrawal

Photo: Tim Geers

More than once, I’ve suffered through a bad headache only to realize, midday, that somehow I left my regular cup of coffee out of my morning routine. Annoying as it is, it’s an easy problem to fix…with a cup coffee.

According to the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, caffeine withdrawal is a mental disorder, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM functions as a criteria for the symptoms, causes, classification, and treatment of mental disorders. The fifth and latest edition, referred to as the DSM-5, was published in May.

Because the APA determined that caffeine withdrawal impairs one’s ability to function in everyday life, it deserves to be listed as a mental disorder along with caffeine intoxication. In the previous DSM-IV, caffeine intoxication was included as a mental disorder. Caffeine withdrawal was listed in the DSM-IV as a research diagnosis, a classification that signifies the need for more research on the potential disorder.

Furthermore, caffeine use disorder (essentially, the failure to end caffeine use because of symptoms from caffeine withdrawal) is new to the DSM-5, which is included as a research diagnosis.

All three caffeine-related disorders are considered controversial, especially because rarely do they require medical attention. But, amid widespread concerns about the dangers of what we drink, it doesn’t seem like a bad reminder to pay extra attention to the consumption of coffee and energy drinks.

Have you ever noticed caffeine withdrawal affecting your ability to focus on work?

For more coffee stories to sip on: 

Bizarre Food Facts: 10 Little Known Facts About Coffee

The Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Five Delicious Alternatives to Coffee

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