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Is Quitting Coffee More Serious Than You Think?

I'm a first generation daughter to European parents, so needless to say, I've been drinking coffee for far longer than I should have been. To be honest, I don't even remember when I started, but I do know that I've been dependent on the beverage since before my high school days.

I haven't ever tried to stop drinking coffee because, why? But I know that many people either have wanted to or have been forced to due to other health complications. I've heard that coffee withdrawal is severe. I can only imagine how much so, considering I get a headache if I haven't had my coffee prior to 9 in the morning.

But is quitting coffee more severe than just having a few withdrawal symptoms? The American Psychiatric Association seems to think so, as it has just included it in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The organization has not only claimed that caffeine withdrawal can cause a mental disorder, but it has also named another coffee-related affliction as a “mental health disorder”: coffee intoxication.

Experts say that you'll officially be diagnosed with this ailment if you suffer from three of the five symptoms within 24 hours of quitting: headache, fatigue or drowsiness, depressed mood or irritability, concentration difficulty, and flu-like symptoms such as nausea. To avoid dealing with any of these side effects, doctors suggest drinking no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day, or about one coffee drink.

Coffee intoxication usually comes about when you drink more than 250mg of caffeine. Symptoms include restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, peeing too much, and muscle twitching. Um, yeah, I've experienced that before.

Are we women going to have to limit our Starbucks runs? Our intake of pumpkin-spiced lattes come fall? We may have to…

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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