Caffeine withdrawal and depression: How many months does it last?

In this blog we will discuss how many months does caffeine withdrawal and depression last. 

We will also briefly discuss what caffeine withdrawal is, its symptoms, and how one can cope with caffeine withdrawal. 

Caffeine withdrawal and depression: How many months does it last?

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Caffeine withdrawal does not last months, rather it may last for a maximum of two weeks- usually dissipating by the 10th day. 

Caffeine withdrawal usually is marked by symptoms that are mild and manageable with self-care and pain relievers; and it tends to pass by quickly without severe consequences. 

Caffeine withdrawal refers to withdrawal symptoms when someone who is addicted to caffeine tries to cut down on their caffeine consumption after an extended period of addiction to caffeine. 

The extent to how severe it is or how long it lasts tends to depend on how long the person has been addicted or how severe the addiction was. 

Usually caffeine withdrawal will start within 12 to 24 hours after the person has stopped all caffeine intake according to the Cleveland Clinic and it will not last more than two weeks, 

What is caffeine withdrawal?

Caffeine withdrawal refers to withdrawal symptoms when someone who is addicted to caffeine tries to cut down on their caffeine consumption after an extended period of addiction to caffeine. 

The period of caffeine withdrawal depends on the extent of the addiction. The more serious the addiction, the more intense the caffeine withdrawal.

Some of the symptoms of a person going through caffeine withdrawal are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • More tired and sleepy
  • Low mental alertness and slower reaction rate
  • Difficulty concentrating and their memory power is reduced
  • Mood swings and typically low or depressive modes
  • Highly irritable and always on edge
  • Tremors shakiness and dizziness 
  • Low energy and lack of motivation
  • Nauseous and sick
  • Cloudy or foggy mind
  • Constipation for a short period of time

The symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are extremely distressing for the person who is going through it and they will consider lapsing back to caffeine addiction in order to avoid these disruptive symptoms. 

How to cope with caffeine withdrawal?

Some of the ways by which people can cope with caffeine withdrawal are as follows: 

Tapering cut off

Instead of suddenly cutting off your caffeine intake, tickets low end tapper your intake over a period of time. For example, if you take 5 cups of coffee a day try to reduce it by subtracting half a cup every couple of days.

Remaining Hydrated

Staying hydrated and drinking a lot of water also helps in reducing your intake of caffeine. Make sure that you take in fluids in the form of juices and clear water to prevent headaches and dehydration. 

Keeping a caffeine intake record

Keep track of your caffeine intake and see how you could improve it. Keeping a record also helps you understand your intake and in the case you need physician care, it will also inform them of your condition. 

Keeping a record also shows you habits as well as help you identify triggers that lead to craving and drinking habits. 

Natural boosters

Find more natural ways of boosting your energy and concentration. Try and include more foods in your diet, apart from caffeine, that improve these factors naturally. 

Change of lifestyle

If your addiction started because of your need for energy it is important that you start asking what is causing your energy depletion. 

If it is the stress of your work, it is perhaps time for you to consider less stressful work or start developing a balanced work life. 

Having a healthy diet goes a long way. When you feel fuller and more nourished the chances of craving caffeine reduces. 

You can start eating healthier, drinking more water etc as well as set a routine for yourself and a good sleep schedule in place so as to eliminate fatigue due to lack of sleep. 

What is caffeine addiction?

Caffeine addiction is the overconsumption of caffeine which leads to negative effects on the person’s physical and mental health. 

Caffeine addiction occurs when the person drinks more than 4 cups of coffee on a regular basis and will always try and find a way to get their ‘caffeine fix’. 

A study conducted in 2020 studied the prevalence of caffeine use disorder within a United States sample of 1006 adults who regularly consume caffeine. 

The results showed that coffee was the most common source of caffeine, followed by soft drinks, tea, energy drinks, caffeine-containing medicines or supplements, and energy shots. 

The researchers found that 8% of the sample met all three main diagnostic criteria for caffeine addiction and individuals who were addicted exhibited greater distress related to their caffeine consumption in comparison to individuals who did not meet the key criteria. 

The study showed a relationship between the total number of criteria met and caffeine-related distress and functional impairment. The study also showed that younger people were more likely to develop caffeine use disorder in comparison to adults. 

According to the DSM V, caffeine addiction characterised by at least 3 of the following criteria occurring within a 12-month period:

  • A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control Caffeine use
  • Continued Caffeine use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Caffeine
  • Withdrawal, as manifested by caffeine used to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms


Recurrent Caffeine use resulting in a failure to fulfil major role obligations at work, school, or home.

  • Continued Caffeine use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of Caffeine

Individuals who are addicted to caffeine are also observed to have developed tolerance, as defined by either of the following:

  • A need for markedly increased amounts of Caffeine to achieve desired effect
  • Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of Caffeine
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain Caffeine, use Caffeine, or Craving or a strong desire or urge to use Caffeine

The main cause for the consumption of caffeine is due to the effect that it has on people’s concentration and energy throughout the day. People tend to drink an excess amount of caffeine because they begin to crave that energy boost that caffeine gives them. 

The amount of intake increases after their tolerance for the caffeine increases and it takes more consumption for it to have an effect on their concentration. The use of caffeine to improve concentration is seen more in younger people than among adults. 

Adults tend to consume large amounts of caffeine depending on their work environment and workload. There is nothing wrong in consuming healthy amounts of caffeine as it is beneficial but it becomes problematic when it becomes a crutch for the people’s concentration and energy.

What are the effects of caffeine addiction to health?

The impact caffeine addiction has on one’s body according to Franziska Spritzler, a writer for Healthline, includes:

  • Consumption of caffeine leads to an increase in anxiety, alertness, of course this occurs only when taken in healthy recommended amounts. When excessive caffeine is consumed it leads to an increase in nervousness and anxiety.
  • Insomnia is another impact of caffeine when people consume caffeine as it helps them stay awake for whatever work- study, exams, work etc. However, if this habit continues for a long period of time it begins to affect their sleep pattern and routine and it takes them much longer to fall asleep and the amount of time that they’re actually asleep is insufficient to get good rest
  • Headaches are a frequent occurrence when one is addicted to caffeine. The person may also feel dizzy or shaky, as though the body is not stable, a feeling that they are wobbly and unstable.
  • Consumption of caffeine leads to an irregular heartbeat or a racing heart which leads to high blood pressure
  • Coffee helps in the digestive system of the body particularly the bowel movements however and overconsumption can lead to diarrhoea

Conclusion

In this blog we will discuss how many months does caffeine withdrawal and depression last. 

We will also briefly discuss what caffeine withdrawal is, its symptoms, and how one can cope with caffeine withdrawal. 

FAQ related to caffeine withdrawal depression months

Can caffeine withdrawal last months?

No. Caffeine withdrawal does not last months, rather it may last for a maximum of two weeks- usually dissipating by the 10th day. 

Caffeine withdrawal usually is marked by symptoms that are mild and manageable with self-care and pain relievers; and it tends to pass by quickly without severe consequences.

How long does depression last after quitting caffeine?

Usually caffeine withdrawal related depression will start within 12 to 24 hours after the person has stopped all caffeine intake according to the Cleveland Clinic and it will not last more than two weeks, 

How long does it take to feel normal after quitting caffeine?

You will feel “normal” after two weeks since the last time you quit coffee, Caffeine withdrawal usually is marked by symptoms that are mild and manageable with self-care and pain relievers; and it tends to pass by quickly without severe consequences and usually dissipate by the 10th day. 

Can quitting coffee cause depression?

Quitting coffee can cause Mood swings and typically low or depressive modes since like any other addiction, quitting coffee can cause a dramatic change in the chemicals present in the brain.

Does depression make you more susceptible to addiction?

Depression serves as a gateway into substance abuse and alcohol abuse as people who suffer from depression often turn to alcohol or drugs to escape the negative effects of severe depression.

What comes first addiction or depression?

Oftentimes, people suffer with undiagnosed mild depression which serves as a gateway into depression.Substance abuse may initially make them feel better, but it will ultimately make them even more depressed than they were before. 

References

Elizabeth Hartney. ‘Caffeine Addiction Symptoms and Withdrawal’ Verywell Mind. Retrieved on 24th April 2022. 

https://www.verywellmind.com/caffeine-addiction-4157287

Jena Hilliar. ‘Caffeine Addiction and Abuse’. The addiction Centre. Retrieved on 24th April 2022. 

https://www.addictioncenter.com/stimulants/caffeine/

Elizabeth Hartney. ‘How Long Does Withdrawal from Caffeine Last?’ Verywellmind. retrieved on 24th April 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-to-expect-from-caffeine-withdrawal-21844

Mary M. Sweeney, Darian C. Weaver, Kathryn B. Vincent, Amelia M. Arria, and Roland R. Griffiths.Journal of Caffeine and Adenosine Research.Mar 2020.4-11.http://doi.org/10.1089/caff.2019.0020

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