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My husband most definitely is living with ADD and drinks so much caffeine, which, I believe, make him more hyper, disporganized and unable to finish a sentence. He says he needs it to wake up and he's always tired. Because he doesn't sleep well. See a cycle here. he says he sleeps better in a bed by himself.

Others have noticed his hyper activity and have said the caffeine explains a lot about behavior.

Is this kind of self-medication usual?

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Yes.  For some people.  (Wanna meet my friend?  He's a walking coffee bean.)  I don't know if it's "usual," but it's normal. 

We all deal in different ways.  Self-treatment through chemical or other means is definitely normal. 

Now, what to do about it... that's tricky.

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I was a two pot a day coffee drinker until I started Ritalin. If I didn't have a bunch of caffiene coursing through my veins, I couldn't think straight to save my life.  Now if I drink more than two cups I'm jittery. Ritalin has done wonders for my brain fog.

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This is interesting... Most people with ADD/ADHD seems to be able to drink a LOT of coffee. Myself, I feel like I'm having a nervous breakdown after two cups. It can send me straight to mania-city.

Caffeine definately helps my focusing issues, but makes the hyperactivity worse.

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I need much chai to get certain papers written, but I also get physical side effects from that much black tea which make it a resource of last resort.  It helps all the wandering trains of throught in my head to gather at the crossroads and have a conversation, which allows me to get my assignments "of rare insight and creativity" on the monitor.  I hate caffeine, though.  Coffee is nasty.  Too much tea makes me feel nasty.  And through I've tried decaf chai, it doesn't do the same thing.  The decaf switch was accidental, not intentional, so it must have been the chemical caffeine.

I can draw the molecular diagram, too.  My brother the geek wishes for intravenous caffeine, so I hit up ThinkGeek.com last Christmas.

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My consumption has dropped since I started Adderall - go figure. Until today, that is - got a damn custom calendar layout order - needed in hands Monday. 28 pages of calendars, photos, drawings...blah blah blah...so down from 6/day to 2/day w/Adderall - back up to 4 today. I should just snort it - the coffee, that is.

I'm tired. I've been working on it since 5 AM. But it's too late for coffee.

pigs

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've had chronic insomnia, in a way.  More of a lack of desire to get to bed.  So, chronic sleep deprivation has been my life for a pretty long time.  (When it's pretty severe, there are, of course, the interesting loopy effects that can be kind of fun, if you like loopiness; being aware of conversations happening right next to you, but hearing nothing but "word salad," weeeeird trains of thought that often incorporate a dream you're having at the moment, while awake.  Way dangerous if you're driving, and should you include some of this word salad into a document you're writing for your boss, you just might find yourself fired in addition to tired...end tangent).  I don't ever remember caffeine having a very profound effect on me, and when I discovered all those taurine-laden energy drinks - Red Bull, No Fear, Rip It, etc., they quickly became a virtually daily part of my life.  Once or twice I've put six grams of taurine in my system in just over three hours.

It can quickly get out of hand (I don't know if I'd call my taurine use to be addiction or just something that, on a day-to-day basis, I happen to need because I'm chronically sleep-deprived), but I'd say that it DOES help A/AD(H)D symptoms, at least in my experience.  But taurine is different from caffeine, I believe.  As I've had it explained to me by someone who used to be a rep for Red Bull, taurine is a hormone that naturally exists in the body, and is very similar to adrenaline, with the additional benefit of actually giving you mental focus. 

Aside: if you happen to already be a smoker, nicotine can also offer short-lived relief in a pretty similar way.

Another good sign you're self-medicating, as I'm finding out now, is that should you start an ADD medication, you find you don't really need that stuff anymore.  I've been on Adderall XR for two weeks now, and I've only really needed a good ol' Rip It twice.

- Phrank

p.s.  I'm pretty sure this post was really rambly and uncoherent, for which I apologize, and it definitely took longer to write than you'd think.  That Adderall is really effective...until evening, anyway.

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Caffiene doesn't affect me at all! It used to. I drink a TON of it, too. It IS a drug, so after awhile it'll start taking more and more caffiene to give you a jolt, and I'm just to the point where I need ten gallons of a caffienated drink to get me awake.

I do know that it tends to make me focus. Which is sort of an odd thing...

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