Could that second cup of coffee be the blame for your ills?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

In a somewhat futile attempt to clear a long-neglected desk drawer this weekend, I came across an article I shelved in June that piqued my interest.

It's no coincidence that I have a cup of coffee nearby since the article says that caffeine withdrawal is now officially a mental disorder.

Seems there's a publication known as DSM-5 which is termed "psychiatry's bible" that has now labeled caffeine withdrawal as our latest mental disorder.

And as our latest mental disorder, we now have yet another excuse for abnormal behavior that will surely result in some health care benefits.

As if we need something new to blame for our ills!

The study which led to this new designation says that following two or three cups of coffee, you may experience one of five or more symptoms: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, upset stomach, muscle twitching and excess diuresis (you pee a lot).

But since virtually all of those symptoms result from ample coffee intake, the key to gaining this mental disorder designation results when "caffeine withdrawal becomes a mental illness when it gets to the point that it actually interferes with your daily life."

Can't you just hear it.

"Boss, sorry I have to leave early today but I am suffering from acute caffeine withdrawal."

"Oh and by the way boss man, since this is a 'mental disorder', I remain eligible for full pay and benefits and this afternoon's early departure from work is health related so it can't be held against me."

It's caffeine today and sodas tomorrow.

And truthfully, it's not a giant leap to designate have a "bad day" as yet another mental disorder.

In my many years in the newspaper business, I can assure you that newspapers run on coffee - black and bold and lots of it.

Which may explain why many national journalists suffer from what appears to be a very clear mental disorder.

What other excuse could there be for over-the-top slanted reporting?

I've studied this issue extensively (10 minutes or so) and I think I have discovered a breakthrough on this new mental disorder.

If coffee - as the study suggests - does create massive workplace and personal issues, then drink less coffee.

Granted, more study may be required. But at least this suggestion is a starting point in this hotly-debated medical crisis.

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