Caffeine and Bipolar Disorder


In seventh grade my sleep patterns changed. Five to seven hours a night, usually sixish. 

Anxiety. I learned to lay down exhausted, otherwise my mind raced through my insecurities, short comings, obligations and anything I found stressful. I found everything stressful. 

Lying down exhausted meant I skipped the inevitable racing of my mind.

Caffeine became a crutch. I’ve never let go.

One and half caffeine pills, 300mg kicked off my day. A half hour later, two excedrin, sometimes three, 65mg each. All swallowed with Diet Coke or coffee.

Diet Coke is an all day thing. Water? Ehh. 

To be fare, Seraquel causes drowsiness and so does Gabapentin. Part of my caffeine intake is to compensate for that. But it is still absurd.

Yesterday I drank eleven — eleven cans of Diet Coke and one 20oz bottle. Yeah. Horrifying.

A can of Diet Coke contains 46mg of caffeine, so 506mg for eleven cans plus 77mg from the 20oz bottle. 

All together, 1078mg of caffeine yesterday. Low energy used to mean crashing, being tired scary. Self medicating with caffeine placates me.

My caffeine consumption has increased post Adderall. I only started using caffeine pills a few months back. Instead of reaching for another chunk of an Adderall tablet I reach for caffeine.

Summer is always slow at work, less to do, I keep telling myself I’ll wait until then to start weaning off of it. It worries me. Caffeine is also a crutch in my battle with apathy. It doesn’t work. My body has adjusted now, 1078mg of caffeine and I don’t even feel energetic. Instead, I’m merely avoiding the inevitable headache if I don’t get the caffeine.

Caffeine is a shitty tool. Yet I am too weak to let it go yet.

Maybe once I have energy instead of apathy I’ll have the strength. Maybe. 

Current Meds: Lamictal 200mg, Effexor XR 37.5mg (tapering), Seroquel XR 600mg, Gabapentin 300 – 600mg, Strattera 54mg, Caffeine Pill 400mg

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Caffeine and Bipolar Disorder

3 thoughts on “Caffeine and Bipolar Disorder

  1. That’s a lot of caffeine! Before I left my alcoholic husband I explored all options. I went to see my GP to find out about the long term outlook of remaining with an alcoholic (as if 17 years wasn’t enough of a deterrent!). He told me to leave him immediately, that even if he did stop drinking, the way addiction works is: one addiction is replaced by another. So as you have rightly said – your Adderall has been replaced by caffeine. I think your decision to wait to tackle the caffeine addiction is a good one. Its going to be challenging and the best thing you can do for yourself is wait until you are absolutely ready. You’re going through enough right now as it is. Why add to it. I think you are managing your care very well

    Like

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