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Phil

Caffeine in coffee or tea: Tolerance issues

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Phil

Do you guys still drink caffeine during withdrawal?

 

It's something I've avoided, due to it causing anxiety, however when I am locked in rumination I find it somehow helps me break that cycle and focus better.

I'm just having a cup of lady grey actually, and already feel much better than when I got up this morning.

The first thing on my mind were worries that I could not get unstuck from.

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compsports

Do you guys still drink caffeine during withdrawal?

 

It's something I've avoided, due to it causing anxiety, however when I am locked in rumination I find it somehow helps me break that cycle and focus better.

I'm just having a cup of lady grey actually, and already feel much better than when I got up this morning.

The first thing on my mind were worries that I could not get unstuck from.

 

Hi Phil,

 

I have consumed coffee during all stages of my life, including withdrawal and post withdrawal. In other words, I am a hard core caffeine addict.

 

In my opinion, you gotta do whatever works at the time.

 

CS

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Nadia

I've always been sensitive to caffeine, and perhaps some other stimulants, so I avoid it like the plague now! I used to drink mate, which has some caffeine and other stimulants, because that did not make me shaky and nervous and was great for my energy and focus. In hopes of making my anxiety and insomnia better I have avoided that as well.

 

So far, I don't really miss them, even when I feel groggy and tired (since I really welcome feeling groggy and tired at this point). I DO hope to be able to eat chocolate again, however!

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Altostrata

I avoid caffeine because I don't need any more alerting -- I've also always been sensitive to it but I did enjoy a nice cup of strong black tea, before.

 

I agree, whatever works! As one's condition changes, reaction to caffeine could change as well.

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angie007

I do not drink coffee at all, Tea is my poison and ive drunk it all through tapering

and wd, but i do go on squash in the evenings.

 

maybe i should try going a day without my Tea to see if it makes a difference- we brits are big tea drinkers,

but no added sugar of course.

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brighteningup

Phil,

 

It's really interesting what you say about caffeine helping you focus as I've had that experience to.

 

I've pretty much given up caffeine, I still eat chocolate though, but this because it seems to make my skin worse. So I've been on low caffeine for about 5 years now. I occasionally drink some caffeinated coffee cos it tastes SO much better but usually regret it later as I get caffeine withdrawal the next day (headaches, fuzziness).

 

So now when I drink caffeinated coffee I really notice it, the world gets brighter and more focused. Interestingly when I was on 20mg of citalopram this effect was really pronounced, I felt positively high.

 

So I've been avoiding caffeine as I taper down. The few times I've had admittedly strong coffee (I am an espresso fan and decaf is NOT the same) now I'm on a lower dose of AD I have felt more focused but not high but the withdrawal symptons both caffeine related and possibly AD related too have been a bit worse than normal the next day.

 

As Alto says though, whatever works for you, if you enjoy tea and coffee now keep enjoying them :)

 

I also wouldn't recomend stopping caffeine CT - I think it is quite a strong drug and I now get mild cafeine withdrawal symptons the following day even if I've only had a single cup of strong coffee. If I drink tea it's not so bad but I don't crave tea - just espresso!

 

Bright

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Phil

I'm the same as you Bright, I feel so much perkier especially after coffee/tea, but the "withdrawal" is not too pleasant.

 

I've always been sensitive to strong ground coffee - a friend of mine would make it fresh and it would feel like it was ripping a hole in your stomach, it was so strong!

 

But I always enjoyed tea before w/d..earl grey, lady grey, chai, keemun, english breakfast...mmmm!

 

I think from now on I will have a cup here and there sparingly.

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Becca

I got very dependent on caffeine while on Zoloft (since figured out the Z was making me sleepy). I'm down to one cup but need to eliminate totally. It's very hard to wake up in the morning. Any suggestions?

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GiaK

I switched to tea for a while...and then off completely...

 

I found coming off caffeine very difficult but now it's so highly toxic and makes me radically ill...even a wee tiny bit...so I know it was important to get off of...

 

if you're still in the hard parts of withdrawal it's very hard to accept the fatigue...for me the "fatigue" (talk about inadequate language) landed me in bed...for 2 years...and the coffee put off that day...

 

but it's a double edge sword and was clearly hurting me even as I used it to function...

 

in any case...just like a taper...switch to tea...then make the tea weaker and weaker if need be...until no more. that did work for me...but for another year or so I played with fire and had cups of tea to boost my energy every now and then for special occasions...until I realized it was really hurting me.

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alexjuice

I struggled with the opposite, Becca, waking up in panics so I don't have any personal experience to base recommendations.

 

I'd think the old cold shower might be helpful. Or possibly juicing some veggies + carrot or some mix if you have a juicer. Maybe toss in some ginger, mint and/or cayenne for zest? Just guesswork from me.

 

Good luck.

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GiaK

oh, I'm sorry if I misunderstood the question...I thought you meant how to get off the last cup...perhaps you wanted a way out of bed...I shouldn't have responded if that is what you wanted...

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dalsaan

Up until a couple of months ago I was a very dedicated coffee drinker.

 

I tapered off and now drink decaffinated coffee (which has a little caffeine in it but no where near as much as the real stuff)

 

I was drinking caffeine to make up for a lack of sleep, now I'm sleeping better and dont have to compensate with caffeine. The balance

between those two things takes a couple of weeks to sort out but it should happen and the decaf does help psychologically. I also explored herbal

teas and tried heaps of different ones. This kind of felt like a positive in that I was taking the opportunity to explore something new.

 

I also used to be a smoker and I think giving up caffeine is like giving up smoking. Its difficult, you have withdrawal effects, it gets easier

over time, you have to find an alternative, its good to try and ease the psychology of it and when you are done, you're done.

 

hope that helps

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Shanti

Chicory is a very good sub for Coffee. I love it. It's also good for you. It helps to regulate the metabolism without stimulating. I found some growing wild in my yard and I take these things seriously. Alchemical theory, and Native American tradition, is that whatever you need for health problems will grow in nature near you, if you let nature Be. (That means no fertilizer and "weed" killer and manicured lawns, etc).. So I also took the message of Evening Primrose growing near me as well, and it's healthy for nervous system disorders. So I added that to my diet. Anyway, Roasted Chicory is delicious and tastes something like coffee. A name brand at the store is Roma. I think another brand is Cafea. You can sweeten as you like and add creamer.

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Shanti

Also, about teas. Some people (myself included) find they aren't robust enough to replace coffee. An easy solution to that is to roast the leaves or twigs

 

I like "twig" tea. Or Kukicha. It's roasted stems from green tea. That is probably the healthiest but does have a tiny bit a caffeine (though less than black tea).

 

The most robust and tasty tea that I like is roasted red tea (Rooibus), and it has no caffeine. It is also one of the lowest tannin amounts in teas, so if you have a weak stomach it won't upset it. Regular black tea causes me to get nauseous from the tannin.

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bubbles

I read somewhere that eating an apple was supposed to wake you up more than caffeine! Not sure about its accuracy, but unless you're allergic to apples, I guess it couldn't hurt!

 

As far as giving up that coffee, I was able to switch easily to decaf (which has a little caffeine) and which maintains the "hot drink" part of the habit and theoretically I could now reduce that intake. I find that I can more or less have as much decaf as I wish, but full-strength is not a great idea for me any more. Full strength keeps me awake if I have it after lunch, and it seems to make me anxious, even in moderate amounts, these days. I do not need any additional anxiety in my life. :)

 

Hmmm, you've inspired me to drop my decaf intake as well... Maybe it is enough to be giving me symptoms... I was out, yesterday, and *really* felt like I needed a cuppa - had a decaf cuppa and felt a bit better (though the cuppa came with a sit down and some food, so who knows). Will start by noting how many I'm actually having over the next few days and start reducing after that.

 

B

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areyouthere

I got very dependent on caffeine while on Zoloft (since figured out the Z was making me sleepy). I'm down to one cup but need to eliminate totally. It's very hard to wake up in the morning. Any suggestions?

 

Is it hard for you to wake up in the morning because the coffee interrupts your sleep at night?

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Nadia

Stretching and patting your head and extremities lightly is a Qi Gong method for getting active in the morning.

 

I used to drink a cup of miso in the AM before, too. Some people find it gross, but it gave me energy to start my day!

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Becca

When I lived in Japan they had miso soup for breakfast every day --it's a great idea. Also, The head "accupressure" points have worked for me in the past. thanks for reminder. It's strange how when I most need to do something (like head tapping) I forget to do it.

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alexjuice

I could drink a lot of coffee in my 20s without getting jittery or overly wired. I can't say I recall developing a tolerance to it generally. It seemed like I could always drink as much as I wanted whenever I wanted and never become too caffeinated.

 

Sleep presented problems for me at all times but coffee didn't make these worse.

 

Since I have stopped nearly all medications, I can not tolerate coffee at all. I've had different phases in which I've reacted poorly to coffee in distinct ways.

 

I do wonder if I will ever return to my coffee capability before w.d? I enjoyed coffee, much for the taste and also as an alternative to alcohol at gatherings. I could regularly drink 10 cups of coffee in a day and sleep well. Then I could follow that with three or four consecutive days without coffee and not experience any withdrawal.

 

I miss it, the coffee.

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starlitegirlx

I could have caffeine. Not a huge amount, but a dunkin donuts medium hot never phased me. I just limited it because I did a few years caffeine free and liked it. But during taper/withdrawal I had to stop it and can only do decaf coffee now. So I enjoy decaf when I choose. Chocolate is even something I have to be cautious with these days as it has caffeine too. I'm more sensitive to it during recovery. I imagine I won't be touching these things during my K taper once I start that, so I have these giant canisters of folgers regular and half caf that are going to be sitting there for god knows how long. Good thing I'm not some kind of coffee connoisseur or I imagine by the time I do use them they'd taste terrible to me.

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Sparrow

I was a round-the-clock coffeeholic for years. Haven't been able to tolerate it at all since my disastrous too-fast multi-drug taper in 2010. Even the small amount of caffeine present in decaf sets me off.

 

I really miss it, especially in the mornings when I see my husband with his. I've tried substituting herbal tea, but of course it's not the same.

 

Recently I saw Postum, an old-timey coffee substitute, in the Vermont Country Store catalog and thought about ordering some. Anybody know what it tastes like?

 

Starlite, store your coffee in the freezer, it'll stay fresh for quite a while. If you've got one of those little moisture-absorbing packets that come in vitamins and so forth, add it to the can.

 

Sparrow

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BinxBolling

I third or fourth the tolerance problem. I too used to drink several cups a day. Now it worsens tremor and causes dizziness. I miss it.

 

Binx

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areyouthere

I too have gotten much less tolerant of coffee. I use to drink two cups nearly every morning and one around 2 pm in the afternoon. Getting a cup of coffee from a coffee "house" was a nearly orgasmic experience.

 

I still drink one cup upon waking but last week when I cut my lexapro there were two mornings I couldn't finish the one cup... made me eel sick.

 

I love me some coffee.... and loath the day I may have to go without... but whatever it takes to de tox is what I'm going to go with. B)

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dalsaan

I went decaf a number of months ago to try and help with sleep/arousal. It has.

 

I had a normal coffee about 2 weeks ago. I had it in the morning and had the shakes, hyperarousal and an upset

stomache mid afternoon.

 

not doing that again

 

Dalsaan

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Wingbatty

I think this is something that happens as we age, intolerance to coffee.

 

Coffee makes me extremely anxious. I only saw this after I tapered off my meds two years ago. It was night & day, how I felt.

 

I'm tapering off coffee again in preparation to taper off my meds again. It's very hard for me. I once went without it for months, and after ONE coffee on a vacation, I was hard-core back at it again.

 

If coffee was heroin, I would be a goner! :( Such an addict.

 

Anxiety was one of the big reasons I was put on Lexapro several years ago. No one ever asked me about my 3-5 cups a day. Stupid doctors. Would going off coffee have helped?

 

Who knows...

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angie007

Hi Alex,

 

Well all i have found is, that in wd, coffee----caffeine and chocolate --sugar have been stimulants, they seem to cause the jitteryness !!! certainly doesnt seem to help much with anxiety either, thats been my experience, now i do neither of things, i also limit my sugar intake, not that i have a sweet tooth and was never a huge fan of coffee, but it seems to have helped a lot.

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Romido

Sparrow, Postum is like a fake instant coffee taste. I remember my mom used to drink it in the 70's. We always had it in the house. She would let me have some as a kid, though I can't really recall the flavor. I remember a little it maybe tasted burnt. I will have to order some, that brings back a good memory for me!

 

I still can't drink caffeine so avoid regular coffee but regularly drink decaf now. I had a Starbucks decaf last month and couldn't sleep that night and had heart palps. I think their decaf is not so decaf or maybe it was a mean barrista! If I have caffeine, it ups anxiety and dizzyness so I just avoid. With me also avoiding artificial sweeteners and generally trying to watch my sugar intake that leaves me not very many things to drink but water, seltzer water, water with a little fruit juice and that's about it. Booooring, but it helps!

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Jemima

I was a round-the-clock coffeeholic for years. Haven't been able to tolerate it at all since my disastrous too-fast multi-drug taper in 2010. Even the small amount of caffeine present in decaf sets me off.

 

I really miss it, especially in the mornings when I see my husband with his. I've tried substituting herbal tea, but of course it's not the same.

 

Recently I saw Postum, an old-timey coffee substitute, in the Vermont Country Store catalog and thought about ordering some. Anybody know what it tastes like?

 

Starlite, store your coffee in the freezer, it'll stay fresh for quite a while. If you've got one of those little moisture-absorbing packets that come in vitamins and so forth, add it to the can.

 

Sparrow

 

 

You might want to try chicory. It tastes like a really good coffee to me and it has no caffeine at all. I got mine from these folks:

 

http://www.nuts.com/cookingbaking/herbsspices/chicory.html

 

Just be careful to make no more than you can drink at one time. It tastes vile reheated.

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Jemima

After twenty months in withdrawal and still experiencing anhedonia, I decided to try drinking regular coffee again which has been recommended in several books about preventing and healing depression.  I started out with two cups a day for about a week, although I didn't drink it every day, and since that seemed to be okay I tried four cups yesterday. (This is the recommended "dosage" range, 2-4 cups of regular coffee a day.) YAGH!!!  I was a nervous wreck yesterday morning and had trouble sleeping last night, something which hasn't been a problem for several months.  I figured four cups was too much, so I tried two this morning and again ended up not only jittery but fearful and pseudo-depressed. It's now 4:11 PM and the effects are wearing off, but not completely.

 

So I guess the anhedonia stage of withdrawal is nothing at all like depression. I bought some St. John's Wort at the same time I decided to try coffee, and I'm glad I read up on it and put it aside.  I hate to think what an SSRI-like herb would have done to me!

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dekiru

I have problems with the smell of coffee, let alone the taste!

If the smell of coffee is too strong, I get migraine-like headaches. I've always been sensitive to things, but the sensitivies have increased drastically since been in withdrawal.

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RebelMaven

I miss Starbucks and Pepsi. :( It had been over a year since I had any caffeine and recently I had a Pepsi and it brought me instantly from major depressive disorder to hypomanic and getting more manic each day since.  I'm afraid to drink caffeine at all now. 

 

Guess I finally found one trigger for my mania.

 

We were kind of laughing as I snapped out of MDD and was "normal" within an hour of drinking the caffeine. We Googled caffeine to see how long the effect of the caffeine would last. That was over two months ago and I've only gotten more manic and more manic since then. I am able to do outrageous things that I could not even remotely do two months ago. It's crazy.

 

I hope I level off soon and don't go in to full blown mania again. :unsure:

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Chemistry

I got this 16 oz tumbler thing for tea and i was just wondering if its okay to drink a fair amount of green tea (2-4 cups a day) during W/D ? I mean, there does seem to be fair amount of caffeine in it. Would other teas be better? I find green tea does relax me but the caffeine seems counter intuitive to me, especially for sleep. I looking for some teas that will relax me and help me sleep and also hopefully carry other health benefits similar to green tea. Anyone have any recommendations? Is it alright if i drink green tea (with some caffeine) during W/D or would that be too stimulating? Keep in mind i do have some agitation/restlessness. 

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Petunia

Everyone is different, some people can have a little caffeine  others not.  Are you still on any medications, its a little hard to tell from your signature.  I'm in protracted withdrawal and can't tolerate any caffeine at all.  If I drink it in the morning, it increases anxiety, if I drink it in the afternoon, I can't go to sleep at night. I sometimes get a slight increase in anxiety from the small amount of caffeine in decaffeinated tea.

 

We usually recommend no caffeine at all if you are having withdrawal symptoms because it tends to make them worse, listen to your own body and see how it effects you.

 

There are some nice relaxing blends, this one is my favorite Sleepytime by Celestial Seasonings with camomile, spearmint and lemongrass.

 

You can also get caffeine free green tea from the same company.

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Chemistry

Thanks Petu. Yes i have been off all drugs for about around 22 months now, I'll make that more clear in my signature. 

 

Yes i find that caffeine will keep me up at night, its stimulating and might be contributing to my agitation-like symptom (i wouldn't call it akathesia, its not that bad). 

 

I always really liked the sleepytime, I have the exact kind you linked, but it didn't relax me as much as the green tea i think. If i could get green tea with absolutely no caffeine in it i'd be really happy but i dont think thats possible since the caffeine is produced naturally in the herb so they would have to extract the caffeine somehow or something. I dont know lol. I have decaffeinated green tea but even that probably still contains a small amount (even though the box doesn't mention that). 

 

I'll take a look at the caffeine free green tea! Thank you!

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