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Benefits of Being Caffeine Free And How to Beat The Hellish Withdrawals

Here’s a fun fact. Caffeine is the most commonly used addictive drug in existence.

Many of you have probably never considered it to be a drug, but it certainly is. (Just Google caffeine and check out the classification box to the right) I’m not saying its a bad drug, caffeine has been found to have positive health effects in moderation and whether you use it is totally up to you. But the fact is is that it is a drug, it is addictive, and I believe  your life can significantly improve without it.

In my own personal experience, quitting caffeine changed my life.

So while I’m not here to tell you what choices to make, I am here to portray the facts so you can make an educated decision. If you’re struggling with fatigue, anxiety or just not feeling awesome and your slugging down the caffeine all day, take a step back, have a read and decide whether going caffeine free is something you need to do. It was for me. So what are the benefits of being caffeine free?

Why Would I Ever Give Up Caffeine?

Kicking caffeine is certainly not for everyone, and I am in now way against caffeine, or trying to say it is bad for you.

I know people that live on Starbucks and wouldn’t be able to function without it. But to me this is the problem. “They wouldn’t be able to function without it.” 

Ask yourself right now, if caffeine wasn’t available for you tomorrow, how productive and useful would you be? Most of you would probably be completely brain dead zombies. I was.

Personally, I do not want to be reliant on any substances. I used to be heavily reliant on caffeine for years and now I am 100% free of it. Since this life change, I can assure you my energy levels may be twice as good as they were before.

I must warn you though. This is not for the faint of heart and this change does not happen overnight. This is a decision for long term self improvement and will make anything else you are trying to do in the next few months much more difficult. But if you can stick with it I know you won’t regret it.

Benefits of being caffeine free are definitely worth it.

Caffeine is an Addictive Drug

Caffeine is one of the most widely accepted addictive drugs on the plant, along with porn. Check out the info-graphic below for more detail on just how addictive caffeine truly is.

benefits of going caffeine free

Benefits of Being Caffeine Free

You can see from the infographic that the problem is not just in mine or anyone else’s head. Caffeine is a drug and not being dependent on it carries many benefits. For example, after giving up caffeine and getting through withdrawals:

1) You will have consistent energy levels thought the day

2) You will have a decrease in stress and anxiety

3) You will wake up easier and more refreshed

4) You will save money

5) You will get harder erections!

When I was on caffeine, I started to have problem with anxiety and my energy levels. I was on  a constant track of up’s and downs, and each cup made me increasingly more jittery and nervous. Some people will never feel this way. Good for you. But most people do, and they have no idea what the cause is.

Since I quit caffeine, and have recovered from withdrawals, my life has gotten a lot better. I have consistent energy throughout the day. I wake up refreshed and my overall well being has increased. I also don’t have to spend my hard earned money just to feel good and have the energy to get out of the house.

It is a great change, but I will not butter it up. It did not come easy.

Caffeine Withdrawal – The Ugly Truth

Before you can experience the benefits of becoming caffeine free, you have to go through hellish withdrawals. Caffeine withdrawal is real, and it sucks. A lot. If you decide to go caffeine free and you have been dependent on caffeine for years like I was you will go through withdrawals, and they will likely last for months. Although everyone is different, I will share with you the withdrawal symptoms that I experienced. 

First some commonly reported caffeine withdrawal symptoms:

1) Headache

2) Insomnia

3) Fatigue

4) Depression

5) Anxiety

6) Irritability

7) Muscle pain and stiffness

8) Lack of concentration

9) Flu-like symptoms

**Update: Since writing this article, we have had an amazing 700+ comments from people going through similar caffeine withdrawals. You can see them below, and it just goes to show that it is not a two week thing as many people will have you believe. So when you are done reading you can check out the comment section which is filled with amazing information and stories from great people. You can also head to the Forum and personally track your progress and receive support from hundreds of people in the same spot. Just head here and start a new thread.

My Personal Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Here are my personal symptoms that I experienced after being a slave to the drug for years of my life. Again, everyone is different! And some of you lucky bastards will feel better in weeks to a month. But for some, it can take as long as a year for the brain to fully return to its pre caffeinated state. (This doesn’t mean you will be in withdrawal that whole time) So do not feel afraid or alone if you experience any of the following or worse. 

Here is my caffeine detox timeline:

Week 1

Extreme fatigue for the first week. Feels almost like bad jet lag. You have no energy to do anything and you don’t really want to do anything. Concentration was near impossible this week. Also developed what seemed to be a slight cold.

Week 2 – 4

Along with the extreme fatigue depression sets in. I felt so low. I didn’t want to do a damn thing and I felt like a complete piece of shit. This honestly lasted over 2 weeks. This was accompanied by some raised anxiety levels. I was just constantly stressed out and felt horrible. Honestly its rough, and your body is so dependent on it that when you take the caffeine away your brain misses those chemicals and needs to re balance itself. This state feels like it is never going to end but you will get through this state, just stay strong.

Month 2 

Depression and anxiety went away but my brain was just plain dull. Life wasn’t too exciting at this time and I just felt bland. I didn’t have strong energy but I wasn’t in extreme fatigue. Its just a lull. As the month went on I began to experience glimpses of feeling good. But they were short lived. sleep got a lot better this month. I began to sleep very deep and I feel like this is important in the road to recovery.

Month 3

The glimpses of feeling good started to get a little longer in duration. I would start to feel good for a few days but then have another wave of fatigue and dull foggy mind set in. It was discouraging but I knew that recovery was not linear. There was good weeks and there were shitty dull brain weeks. The depression and anxiety was gone though. You are almost completely stress free because you are kind of just there lol. Lack of emotion is a good way to describe it.

Month 4

This is when things really started to turn around. The dull foggy mind was about 80% clear and things started to seem bright again. I was excited to go do stuff and happy that I was free of caffeine. This was the first feeling that all my sacrifice in the past few months was worth it and it was about damn time.

Month 5 ( Where I am writing this article)

Awesome. Literally the brain fog and dullness is completely gone.

I feel awesome and I wake up refreshed at like 7 AM. My co workers are slaves to caffeine and when they ask me if I want a cup I can say no thanks. I am energized and lively all the time. My wit has come back and my mind is sharp. I find myself joking around and I am very quick to the punch.

Approaching girls a lot more now and I truly believe this has helped. Feeling that I am grounded while energized and can hold a good conversation. Essentially I just have a great mental balance. No anxiety from caffeine but with a good energy about me. Its the best of both worlds..

– Another great article on this woman’s caffeine free journey

***It’s important to note that if you are going strong and you do give in to a cup of coffee or a caffeine fix during your withdrawal, this will not set you back to the start. It may set you back a day or two but trust me you are not starting over.

I went back to the caffeine a few times during my whole journey. Each time I felt I noticed a little bit more how shitty caffeine really was. The energy it gave me was an unclean stressful buzz. It was accompanied by some anxiety and didn’t really help much. So each time I went right off it again.

It definitely may have amplified symptoms for a few days but then I was right back to where I was.

As You See This is Not Easy

This is not for everyone. But I assure you, if you are reaching for coffee or soda several times a day just to get you by, and you still feel fatigued, you can really benefit in the long run going caffeine free.

Many people start to become so strung out from caffeine and stress that the caffeine actually starts to make them more tired. It doesn’t work and they need more and its just an ugly downward spiral. This eventually can lead to adrenal fatigue, which I believe I definitely had, and really takes a toll on your quality of life.

To significantly reduce stress and the strain on your adrenals, try this outstanding and powerful organic ashwagandha supplement. This particular ashwagandha has been clinically shown to reduce cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) by 28%. It works great and is well-known for helping with caffeine withdrawal.

And don’t listen to anyone who says caffeine withdrawal only lasts a few days to a week and cannot last more than a month. I’ve experienced it and I assure you it is real. Some sources say that your brain can take up to a year to fully revert back to its pre caffeine state. See some of the links below for others who have taken long to heal.

Bad caffeine withdrawal after 3 months

Anxiety during caffeine withdrawal

Things that may help with caffeine withdrawal:

1) Drink a lot of water

2) Taper off the Caffeine, meaning quitting caffeine cold turkey might not be the best way to deal with the addiction. Cut back a little less each week over the course of 3 – 6 months. give your brain time to catch up.

3) Light exercise at first. If you feel fatigued don’t force it

4) L-Theanine – A herb that helps tremendously with anxiety. (Non addictive) Read more here. Buy it here.

5) Quit Caff – Special blend of vitamins and herbs to help your body adapt to stress and to quit caffeine. The ingredients are legit, but they do affect neurotransmitters (they contain Rhodiola Rosea & 5 HTP) so it is up to you. I didn’t take this, but it will help with depression and all ingredients are natural.

6) Astragalus Root! – This stuff is amazing. It is a Chinese adaptogenic that helps the body with fatigue, deal with stress and to raise the chi. I take 400mg everyday.

7) Eat a healthy diet! Stay away from sugar.

Your Body is Like a Sports Car

I like to think of my body like a highly tuned BMW M6. I’m not going to fill it with shitty dirty fuel ( Coffee, Soda, Energy Drinks ), but instead I am going to put clean premium oil and fuel in ( Water, Vegetables, Essential Fatty Acids ) This is going to keep my engine running smooth and clean, give me a better supply of power, and increase my mpg’s.

In Conclusion

It is really up to you if you want to take the dive and go caffeine free.

I am in no way against coffee, I am aware that caffeine has been proven to be good for your health, and can veen extend your life. This is just my personal experience and wanted to share it with you.

Also, if you do decide to give this a try, understand that this is not a quick fix like a lot of the things on this site. Life caffeine free is much better in my opinion, but it took a while to get there.

Now when I get a little tired from natural day to day stuff I take a 20 minute nap and I feel amazing and refreshed afterwards. My energy is clean, my mind is clean, and if you can be the same.

 

Additional Resources

Quitting caffeine is hard, these books may help you. Check out their descriptions, read some reviews and see if they are right for you.

1) How To Quit Without Feeling S**T: The Fast, Highly Effective Way To End Addiction To Caffeine, Sugar, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Illicit Or Prescription Drugs

2) Looking for the most advanced drug addiction recovery? Check out Lanna Rehab Centre!


If you think this article helped you, subscribe to MenProvement to hear about more life improving articles.

Cheers.

Disclaimer: Nothing said in this article or in response to any comments in this article is meant to be confused with medical advice. This and any response to any questions is my opinion and please see your doctor for any medical questions.

Sean Russellhttp://www.seanrussell.me
Sean is a true entrepreneur. After turning his life around after struggling with anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome he now dedicates his life to being his best self and helping others do the same. Learn more about him and his projects at SeanRussell.me

806 COMMENTS

  1. I did it. Off the stuff. And I loved it. Especially green tea and oolong. It is not only caffeine that gets you awake but a variety of substances in these herbs. I was off the effects in one or two weeks. The main thing I experienced was that I got really tired earlier in the evening which is great since I wanted to sleep earlier. One definitive benefit is my balance and my stable rythm. Its natural to have this more tired phases in the day. I realized big part for me was habit. So breaking the habit at work and replacing with different habits was helpful.

  2. I am on week 16 of no caffeine and feel great! It has not been easy. The lack of motivation is quite something! However, I feel that my brain has been re-calibrating and here now I am almost feeling back to how I was before I gave up caffeine.

    Previously I had reduced down to half a cup of tea for about 3 months and when I finally stopped having caffeine I didn’t feel too wiped out from it. I would recommend everyone to give it up, you will feel so much better. The way Sean described the ups and down from withdrawal is spot on but as he says you will come out the other end feeling so much better. I would say don’t think too much about what is happening to your body or how you’re feeling, keep busy and focus on positive things and before you know it three months will have flown by.

    Good luck to everyone who is on this journey

  3. i’m in my second week…its my 3rd 4th or even 5h withdrawal in my life i cant even remember. this time i want to beat it. i feel like shit. i look in the mirrow and my face looks so dull. my brain is simply not working. it feels like its never going to work again. this is horrible. please anyone tell me this will be over one day and i will become a normal person again. and to hell with everyone who pushes this coffee and caffeine agenda and makes money on my sickness.
    i already ruined my heart and kidneys with heavy caffeine consumption all my life and i’m only 30.

  4. I’ve had bipolar, anxiety, panic attacks, etc all my life and now I realize it is most likely because i’ve drank diet soda and coffee all my life. 2 weeks caffeine free and it is a BITCH. My already bad mental issues are worse but at least now I know where they come from so I can get off this awful drug forever.

  5. i am feeling crappy still at 4 and a half YEARS off caffeine, i would never have believed it until it happened to me, but I drank the stuff for 70 years plus…

    plus is there any option on how to look at this blog, it takes so long to scroll down to the most recent posts

    • Really ? After 4 and a half years you’re still blaming caffeine ? I think you need to look for other reasons – there’s no drug that will still have that effect after so long. For goodness sake, every cell in your body has re-generated in a few years !

      Sounds like neurosis looking for an outlet.

      • He said he drank the stuff for 70 years plus….so he might be in his 80’s. Could possibly be feeling crappy as a result of age (no offense viv) but I don’t expect you to feel like you’re in your 30’s again…

  6. I was doing well, i went a whole month without caffeine, then i gave in, a whole week of caffeine. feel like ive ruined my hard work :/

  7. Hi Everyone!
    Thanks Sean for your wonderful article about getting through caffeine withdrawal and how it can take months to feel good again. Most articles I found said it takes only 1 to 2 weeks to withdraw from caffeine. Your article gave me realistic hope! You have laid out an honest timeline for what to expect. I stopped drinking coffee and all caffeine 21 day ago and have experience many symptoms you described. Your article helps me to stay strong knowing what to expect. When I was in college I remember a professor saying that caffeine was more addictive than cocaine. That was something I never forgot. Pretty scary!
    S P

  8. 8 months of withdrawal? damn, that must of been hellish? as for the caffeine, are you recovered now? so it took 60 days. im worried it will take me months and months, ive been addicted to caff for 5 years daily preworkout. last time i quit i had a dull headache feeling for over 6 weeks :/ you feel better now?

  9. I keep thinking withdrawal is over and then something happens. It’s so confusing because it’s not *that* bad. (I went through benzo withdrawal earlier this year and it was so easy to tell what was w/d.) I just passed my 60th day off all caffeine. I had physical withdrawal symptoms ~45 days, and now my body is ok (no more sciatic pain, headaches, etc), but my energy (thyroid?) has been almost bipolar, like I’ll have really low energy for a few days and then it will climb back up quickly and I’ll be really anxious and wired for a couple days and then I’ll crash. I was super low energy all last week and now I’m anxious and crazy again. I guess I’m still healing, but it’s so confusing. Like, today I simply feel the way that I did on caffeine, so I’m questioning whether or not I’m still healing or if this is just how I am now. The first day off caff, I slept really deeply for like 12 hours at least and woke up feeing amazing (very clean energy) with NO anxiety. The withdrawals started the next day. Still hoping I’ll eventually get back to how I felt that day! Sigh – this is so frustrating!!

    • hey sorry to bother you was just wondering how long you were on benzo’s? and now you’re clean have you noticed alcohol no longer gives any euphoria? its strange. also benzo withdrawal is worse than caffeine. stay strong it will be almost over at the 3 month mark, you dont need caffeine 🙂

      • hey! it was really weird – i only took the benzo for 2 months and then i went through 8 months of withdrawal. i think the w/d lasted so long because my adrenals were already in such bad shape from caffeine. i’ve been off caff for 80 days now and the withdrawals are over – they lasted ~60 days, and now i think things are still changing (hormone levels still evening out, feeling less and less stressed and tired), but yeah, no more withdrawals.

        re: alcohol not giving euphoria – huh – that’s depressing. well, i didn’t drink at all during benzo withdrawal of course, but now that i’m not drinking caffeine i haven’t really felt the need to drink alcohol, so i haven’t been. so, not sure. :/

        • 8 months of withdrawal? damn, that must of been hellish? as for the caffeine, are you recovered now? so it took 60 days. im worried it will take me months and months, ive been addicted to caff for 5 years daily preworkout. last time i quit i had a dull headache feeling for over 6 weeks :/ you feel better now?

          • 90 days thats actually pretty good, the guy who wrote this article took 5 months. i was doing well, i went 4 weeks caffeine free and then went back to it for a week, so mad at myself that i ruined it all!

          • yeah, 8 months of withdrawal from benzos. weird stuff. i’m fully recovered from caffeine now – I would say it took ~90 days (after day 60 i had mental symptoms on and off for another 3 or 4 weeks).

    • Ahhh. It took 5 months?? That’s great it’s finally gone, though! Can you tell me what your recovery process was like? I’m at week 8 – I had been making pretty steady progress (around day 45 I stopped having headaches, back pain, leg pain, and the swings between anxiety and deep depression), but then I had a crash on Saturday (day 51) and possibly feel even worse today than I did the past couple days. So run down, no energy to do anything or get any work done, very dry hair, etc. sigh 🙁

      • I feel pretty similar. I am on day 40 now. Until day 30 it was a complete horror trip. I had no energy for anything and was walking around like a complete zombie. I had to pee every half an hour and felt utterly unrested. After one month things improved a lot for one week and then I experienced a complete crash again. I feel emotionally absent. Even occasional small talk has become uncomfortable to me. It is good to see that I am not alone there:) It drives me nuts^^. But I really believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. I will also blog about this. I think a lot of people suffer from caffeine addiction. Unfortunately, 99.99% of the articles tell you caffeine withdrawal lasts for maximum 2 weeks.

        How are you now MK?

        • hey dude, are you finally clear of the withdrawals? its been 2 weeks for me and honestly it hasnt been terrible, just aches and pains with fatigue. constant head pressure. i can get things done but i am tired. i was addicted for 6 years. it seems most people are better within around 3 months, hope you’re good man

  10. Update 33 days in – my body is now waking me up at a normal time every day (a little before 7) and I can’t get back to sleep after that. I’m almost surprised that my body’s able to work on its own – how sad is that?? On caffeine, I could sleep forever until I had a mug of coffee. I wonder if just fixing my circadian rhythm will eventually lead to deeper sleep? I’m not really having withdrawal symptoms anymore other than this weird sciatic pain in lower back/legs and cramping after I eat a heavy meal, so I guess my digestion is fucked somehow from not having caffeine in my system? Anyway, wish I knew when (if?) the deep sleep is going to start…I can’t wait lol.

  11. Hey – I’m 26 days off caffeine after drinking coffee every day for 9 years (I quit cold turkey). On the first day off caffeine I slept VERY deeply (making me realize I NEVER get deep sleep), and when I woke up I felt better than I had in ages – I had more energy and ZERO anxiety. The next day the withdrawals started. For the first 2 weeks I was exhausted and braindead all day and then started getting racing thoughts in the evening that went on through the night – I would wake up every hour or two panicking. Eventually the panicking stopped and I started getting “better” sleep (sleeping pretty much through the night but still lightly). Then had a few days where I felt super depressed. Brainfog is lifting a little, really depends on how much I’m able to sleep each night. Hopefully soon I’ll start sleeping more deeply…sounds like this could start sometime in month 2??

    Anyway – thanks so much for this article – I look at it every few days to remind myself that I’m still in withdrawal and I’m not crazy!!

  12. I’m only on day 9 but I feel great! Here’s what I did: started weaning about one month prior. First cut down to one cup per day (from 2-4) for two weeks. Then i mixed 75% coffee and 25% Teechino for a week. Next week was 50/50 and then the last week was 25% coffee and 75% Teechino. I started to re-read Caffeine Blues with a highlighter every morning while I drank my coffee mix to keep me on the right path and set the tone for the day. In this time I also took Gaia brand Jumpstart adrenal supplements, drank lots of water (with a bit of pink Himalayan salt, tried not to have too much junk food, got religious about my supplements (including NAC for detox) and walked more.

    And honestly? I don’t even miss it now! I never thought I could get to this point but here I am and I don’t want to go back. Other times I quit I haven’t felt like this. I feel the adrenal support is key. SO now I’m also drinking Rasa Koffee, which is a blend of adaptogenic herbs to support your adrenals by a small company here in Boulder, Colorado. I know at least one of the founders struggled with caffeine dependance and adrenal fatigue and that’s what inspired her to start the company. Making Rasa Koffee has also helped me with the ritual part of the morning, but it’s much slower so I feel like I’m starting a good habit. Next health goal: stretch or do easy yoga while the Rasa Koffee is simmering (20 minutes!) I’ll let you all know if I get there 🙂

  13. I’ve also been drinking more water and healthier foods. I drink cold pressed juices in the morning instead of my normal caffiene and eat more fruits and vegetables, I feel like that helps. If I eat an unhealthy meal I feel that it makes me weak. Quitting caffiene has forced my body to need healthier foods which is good, I feel better about myself and watching what I eat.

    • That’s good to know! I began eating chocolates today and I felt dizzy afterwards. It didn’t last long though.

      Yes eating fruits and vegetables helped me during my first two weeks. I like to think that what we eat are fuel to our machine – our body.

      I am drinking juices a lot recently and my water intake lessen, so when I feel dizzy, I drink lots of water! Haha. I am afraid i’ll suffer anxities or headaches. Good luck to you! I have a countdown app to track my days and I’m happy to see the number of the days increase 🙂

      • I also got dizzy when I ate chocolate ice cream! Then I realized it’s caffiene in chocolate and my body was probably reacting to having caffiene again after being off it for like a week! I’m laying off the chocolate for now

  14. I’m on Day 36 now quiting cold turkey. I used to drink instant coffee 2-3 times everyday.

    One day, I had 4 coffee and that night I experienced anxiety which I thought was my allergy acting up (rhinitis). The next day my eyes feel heavy but I’m not sleepy. Which is weird because I only decided to quit after my panic attack from last night. I suffer from headache, anxiety on the first three days. My eyes are half closed and I keep checking the mirror but it isn’t! I thought there is something wrong with my teeth as I feel pain in my jaw. My whole body is tired and I just want to lie down all day. I did not take any meds for headache.

    When I learned that this is caffeine withdrawal, I began drinking lots of water and slept early which helped lessen my headache. I only ate healthy food and I remember searching for food with magnesium. So I ate avocados for breakfast and my headache was gone but brain fog was still there. I also do cardio/walking 20-30 mins daily.

    After two weeks, I felt different. I sleep well and woke up early than usual. I can remember my dreams as well. But on Day 18, i experienced anxiety again. I was gasping for air and couldn’t breathe. It happened at 8pm when I usually had my dinner coffee. So I thought, my body might be looking for the coffee intake. The next day, i prepared for 8pm but I was okay. I did not experienced any difficulty. So this means, I am on my way to recovery.

    Week 3 was okay. There is one time I experienced chest pain but maybe it was my pms and breast cramps which only lasted a day.

    1 month after: brain fog is still there. No more headaches, I feel energized! I don’t think about my headaches now. I eat yogurt and milk so I still have fiber in my system. I am drinking warm milk now as an alternative to my nightly coffee. No more anxieties, no more painful headaches. My life is better and I still miss coffee! I hope after two months, brain fog is gone. Looking forward to it.

    • I am coming back here to say that I’m on my month two now. I am experiencing days of anxiety recently and it was hard as I thought it will be gone fast. The next day, I felt like there i have this dry mouth and lump on my throat, which turns out to be anxiety. I tried to battle my anxieties by thinking and focusing away from it. So far, I am okay but I know this will come again after a few days/weeks. I am not taking any meds (I avoid it) and somehow I am surviving.

      For the whole 2 months, I don’t experience headache that much but I still think the brain fog is still there and is not completely gone. I think eating chocolate triggered my panic attacks so I’m now suffering what I experienced before. It sucks, but I learned my lesson now and I am reading a lot of comments so I could feel better. Two months is still early so I can’t wait on my month 3!

  15. I’m so glad I found this site. It made me realize that everything I was going through is normal. I was going crazy. I’m at my two week mark after quitting cold turkey. It’s been a struggle. Anxiety light headed headaches everything! I’m finally starting to feel a bit normal. Quitting was the best thing ever! I can’t wait to feel 100%.

  16. So happy I found this article and these comments. I have been caffeine free for about 21 days and I was really getting scared with what was happening with the seemingly constant anxiety.

    I luckily only started drinking coffee heavily 2 years ago, about 3-5 cups a day during weekdays. I started getting small anxiety attacks around 1.5 years ago (never had an anxiety problem before), and it had recently become more common. I decided to quit cold turkey. The first few days were amazing, no headaches and much better sleep. around day 5 I had the worst panic attack i’ve ever had, which discouraged me because I thought that getting rid of caffeine would lessen the anxiety, not make it worse.

    Its been a hard week and a half since then of sporadic bouts of anxiety and feelings of doom. I was beginning to think something else might be wrong until I found this thread. I too was confused that all of the normal blog articles stated that a “5-9 day withdrawal” was the normal time scale, as I was well past that.

    Thanks everyone for all of your stories. I am now more committed than ever to get through this and make it out on the other side. Never going back!

    • hang in there buddy!
      i am 4 weeks into it almost and feel the same withdrawal symptoms!!!
      doom, anxiety, depressed, no motivation.
      one day at a time. some days are good and some days are bad.
      overall though i am feeling better and better with time.

  17. Getting ready to quit for the second time this year and the fourth or fifth try in the last three years. It’s so encouraging to hear that it can take longer to withdraw for some people. I quit for a month earlier this year and was stumped at how I could still feel like complete shit after thirty days. I’m taking the long view now and trying to picture myself one year out, especially since I have adrenal issues as well.

    Not sure how to go about it though since tapering off failed completely the three or four times I tried it (could not get past a few days of no coffee even when tapering down for weeks to a month). When I quit for a month in the winter it started by going cold turkey. I’m guessing that’s the best way again?

    And how to stop the chocolate habit? All that coffee-free month I was gobbling dark chocolate almost unconsciously. Like I would seriously go to the supermarket, buy it and start eating it without noticing until I was halfway through a bar. Absolutely no control 🙁

  18. I think it is a mistake to blame caffeine for many of these failure to recover people. Sugar, gluten, stimulents are all around us and caffeine is just one of many harmful substances that can be abused. If you merely get rid of only one of these, it would make sense that that people are seeing subpar results. Sean testifies that he eats clean, so he didn’t need to do more than give up coffee. My own personal experience says that what we put into our body affects us greatly.

    To the person who reported erection problems, my best guess is you, like many men (and women), probably are a regular porn user. Cut out that hyper stimulas for a few months and that will recover. You can read about porn induced Ed, and yourbrainonporn.com to find out more.

  19. hi guys, i have a question for the men on this page, im sorry to be graphic but its about caffeine addiction/abuse and erections

    ive been using caffeine for 5 years and in this time ive noticed a big change with one thing, my erection strength and its almost impossible to maintain an erection. has anyone had this? or seen improvements when quitting caffeine?
    it is the only change ive noticed, masturbation is still pleasurable, i can ejaculate etc. just maintaining an erection is impossible!

    • Like any stimulant, caffeine can cause erectile issues. Reducing my caffeine has helped to moderately increase the strength of my erections.

  20. Another month has passed since I’ve stopped with the caffeine. And I’m doing great actually. I sleep at more normal times and wake up way earlier than before I’ve stopped. I did had a cheat-day 2 weeks ago where I had one green tea. Really needed to get some work done at work. However, last few days I was almost just as productive as without the caffeine!

    Do I still miss it? Of course. Do I still notice withdrawal effects? Now and then but mostly mentally (Getting rid of the addiction). Physically my body seems to be recovered (mostly), just the odd days where I’m more sleepy, or bad emotions are more difficult to handle.

    A great side effect is: I feel productive in the evening as well. I want to do things in my evenings and weekends I enjoy. Working on my own little projects. No longer my productivity is just limited to work hours.
    I slowly start to wonder if Coffee will be seen as ‘That insane popular drug that made everyone work harder for their boss’ over 50 years or so. As it really only had any benefits for my boss and not really for me (apart from liking the taste).

    • Yes, you are so right … only a boss benefits from their workforce drinking drinks containing caffeine! Loved your comments btw 🙂

    • hey man, did you have any issues with erections during caffeine use and withdrawal? ive abused caffeine for 5 years and noticed i cant maintain erections, its literally impossible to get rock. sorry to be graphic, just worried

  21. To everyone reading this article – if you’re prone to depression then cutting back on caffeine or quitting caffeine it can push you into a deep depression for an extended period. If caffeine is causing you issues then cutting back might be a good idea. However, doing this can cause depression for a period of time while you adjust. Quitting it completely is insane though. Doing that could really push you over the edge. It landed me in the hospital as I was suicidal.

    Moderation is probably the key. I don’t think caffeine is all bad. In fact it has some antidepressant and anti-suicidal properties.

    So read this article with a big grain of salt.

    • Hi Zack, I also suffered from suicidal depression when I cold turkeyed from caffeine 4 years ago, so I had to go back on it and taper off, which was very difficult because going back on it (after I had lost my tolerance to caffeine) made me very ill, but I did it and tapered off over 3 or 4 months, and since then I have not experienced any depression (which I suffered from all the time that I was on caffeine, over 60 years), although I have had every other withdrawal symptom and am still suffering …

      Caffeine causes depression which can get worse when you come off – read the paper by Ruth Whalen, or her book “welcome to the dance”. I am hoping that when I finally recover it will make the last 4 years of hell worth it, but in any case, I cannot go back on it now.

      Caffeine has no antidepressant and anti suicidal properties, all it can do is maintain your “normal” level of caffeine induced depression.

      • It’s good to know that your were able to get off it by tapering off. Gives me hope that I can also quit by tapering. Perhaps the anti-suicidal effect, that I was referring to, is caused simply by the fact that you can become suicidal from quitting it – at least if you do it abruptly.

  22. I woke up this morning and felt like myself again, it was wonderful, and thinking I was better I started making plans, but a few hours later I’m feeling crap again, was this a”window’, can a window only last a few hours? has anybody else experienced anything like this?? it’s so horrible being back in the doom and gloom, and the bad mood and the aches and pains…. It MUST have been a window!!

  23. by the way, there’s a new TV programme shown on Irish TV a few months ago, saying that some of the benzo symptoms can be permanent, so please can you direct anybody even thinking of taking them, to google “the benzodiazepine medical disaster”, and they can see it on vimeo! doctors are still prescribing them…(valium, Ativan, etc.)

  24. ididn’t have 60 years of been ok, I was prescribe benzodiazepines when i was 21, and trying to cope with domestic violence, every time i stopped taking them i went into horrific withdrawal symptoms, nobody knew about withdrawal then (apart from the drug companies), so i was told that i was mad and believed it, this went on for 30 years until i found out by accdent about withdrawal symptoms, still knowing nothing about the dangers of cold turkey (this was pre computer days)so i instantly came off and was in wd for 22years, and just as i had almost recovered i became allergic to caffeine, and came off that … thank god for the web!!

  25. Paul, yes, that’s what happened to me too, so my reply to “Rob’s” post ,asking me what was wrong, (posted months and months ago) never got published and “Rob” has not posted to me since, and I don’t blame him.

    it’s a pity, because it used to be a really good site.

    I hope that my tale of woe hasn’t discouraged you, because i have been really unlucky, and it will NOT be the same for you!!

    • I’m curious — you had a 60 year habit, right? What made you top drinking if you had made it through 60 years relatively unscathed. I’m 38, so I figure I have several decades ahead of me that I’d like to not live anxiously, tired, etc… hence the cessation of caffeine.

  26. Paul, I have just read the idiotic answers to your post on coffeefaq, and I won’t be posting there again, because any slight criticism of the site or the moderator prevents your post from being published. I pointed out that there are hundreds and hundreds of posts about caffeine wd taking anything up to 5 years to recover on that site, and I’m sure it won’t be published, but it’s true, if you have time to read the older posts.

    this website is far more reliable!

    (occasionally the moderator on coffeefaq publishes part of a post, but that is not freedom of speech)

    • There aren’t hundreds of hundreds of posts talking about taking 5 years to recover. I’ve read every site and have seen about 4 that were all from the same users – one of them being you. Everyone is basically back to normal at 6-9 months. It’s people like you that scare people because you have much more going on then caffeine withdrawal. You should be ashamed of yourself. Theres a reason why most stop posting at the 6/7 month mark.

      • 6-9 months being the maximum, i have read of plenty of people who feel almost back to normal in 3 months. it seems like it will last forever though. i hope you are good now dude

    • Thank you, Viv!!! Yes, I was shocked at the response on that site… the old “2-9 days” response is so ludicrous. Thanks for your encouragement.

      I replied to that thread, but the CoffeeFaq moderator kept deleting my replies.

  27. Looking for some help/encouragement here. I’m at day 120 of a 7 year habit.

    I’ve experienced much of what others said here but for the past 4-5 weeks, I’ve had this bizarre muscular reaction… all of my back/neck muscles are incredibly tight/stiff/painful. It seems very migratory as it moves around from muscle to muscle… example: yesterday, my neck was so tight I could hardly turn my head and today, my shoulder blades are killing me.

    It is very painful and very frustrating and I’m hoping this is just a stage in withdrawal as I don’t know what else it could be.

    Help?

    • of course it is just a stage in wd, don’t listen to ppl who tell you otherwise, it doesn’t help!!

  28. I haven’t been here for awhile, was curious how everyone is doing. I haven’t had coffee for months but I occasionally have a green tea which it seems I can no longer tolerate, at first it gives me a supreme high then it makes me anxious and ruins my sleep, even just one measly cup. That never used to happen before. It’s like I’ve become extra sensitive to all caffeine, so I guess I have to go completely herbal which seems very sad and lonely. I don’t know what fun drink to replace it with for hot drinks. For cold drinks replacement it’s not a problem because I luv smoothies. Over all though life without coffee has been way better, way less stomach problems, the acidic nature of coffee was killing me. I also don’t miss the crazy mood swings, things are more level now. But I don’t feel my adrenals can totaly heal until I kick my green tea habit too

  29. My caffeine withdrawal passed two month.I am not taking Tea,Coffee, cold drink (Pepsi or Coca Cola) chocolate, energy drink and ice cream.

    My question is.Did you feel stuttering or Stummering before or after Caffeine withdrawal.?

  30. Marek, I have been following your progress on caffeine informer site, and I envy you your progress, i don’t feel like posting there because i don’t think that i would be believed, but I only wish I could lose the incredible stiffness and pain that still stops me walking any distance at all – and I am 4 years off caffeine (which i was on for 70 years plus), and used to walk so incredibly fast (caffeine mania) that nobody could keep up with me, it was a dreadful shock when I came off caffeine to become like a hundred year old in a day!! I can almost walk with a straight back again, but only for a few yards, and I despair of ever getting better at the moment. I wish there was somebody else of a similar age who has had similar problems after quitting caffeine, but i seem to be the only one. which really sucks!

    • Hi, thanks. I have been writing on caffeine informer a lot. So you know my story.
      About your problem, have you considered more extensive tests? Maybe there is something else that needs to be addressed? Some other issue – Neurological? Orthopedic?
      I cannot relate to this, I would say my symptoms are very similar to those described by Sean in this article, with exceptions that I am like a week or two behind Sean’s timeline.

      • i would not expect you to be able to relate to my story, lucky old you…

        I have came across quite a few posts by ppl who have take 5 years to recover, and actually corresponded with a young man in his early 20’s who took 3 years to recover, so I do know what is going on, I just wish that it wasn’t so uncommon. But it is linked to the time that I have been taking the stuff – in excess of 70 years, so I have to give my body time to recover, there’s no point in going back on – I tried that and felt even worse!

        i hope that you will recover in a few months time and I am sure that you will, you lucky thing.

        • I hope people ignore disgusting commentators like this. It can take months to recover but not years, not to mention 3 or 5 years. I have read hundreds of stories and NEVER seen a 5 year story not to mention multiple ones, or a 3 year one.

          People like you make me sick Viv. You have done nothing but scare people on this website and all of the others. You should be ashamed of yourself. Whats funny is you even promoted eating dark chocolate in another thread. Careless, selfish woman trying to drag others down with her. I have no idea why your comments weren’t deleted.

  31. Great article and even better comments. This still is one of the first pages you see on Google. So I guess time to share my story?

    I’ve abused my body with caffeine too long. Initially 10 years ago with Energy drinks (up to 12 a day!). After that I’ve drank coffee a lot. I noticed my body suddenly got more and more sensitive to it so I kept reducing the amount of Coffee I drank. This helped me feel better for a while (Bit sleepy but no more anxiety, panic and dizzy feelings) but every time after a while it kept returning when my body got used to the lower amount. Last few months I’ve only had 1 or 2 green tea a day and since this month, I’ve switched fully to rooibos tea (no caffeine).

    The withdrawal effect is definitely a lot less than last time I’ve tried it 2 years ago. No headache, still manageable energy levels (really needed for my work!). So I guess the tampering way does make it a lot easier. Socially its hard (co-workers inviting me for coffee breaks), but I feel like my body will not restore unless I’m 100% caffeine free. For me it is mostly the caffeine crash I want to get rid of, which causes my heart rate to drop low for a short while (Normally I’ve got a healthy, but low resting heart rate). This causes some awful scary feelings you don’t often read about, but I’ve pretty much tracked down to my caffeine usage.

    I’ve also started picking up some running again. Something I’ll do every 3 days starting this month for at least half an hour (and building it up to 1 hour). I’m doing some home exercises during the other days and try to walk a lot during the weekends. I’ve noticed last year that exercise does help a lot making me feel more comfortable with the feelings inside my body. I’m also trying to reduce my sugar intake.

    I’ll come back in a few months to share my updates :). I’m battling it already for years, but I feel like I’m in my finishing months now I’ve completely stopped.

    • Please let us know how you are doing. I just finished month 2 since going cold turkey. The beginning was brutal but I have felt a steady improvement. Weeks 7-8 were some sort of a crash or a setback. It was very discouraging.
      Now at the beginning of month 3 I really hope things will start to pickup for me so I get the full benefits of this. I must say I had symptoms of adrenal fatigue. I was waking up tired and in pain all over my body. I surely abused coffee for many years – still hope I can recover in 3, 4, 5, 6 months? I really do. But it has been a difficult experience for me so far, as for many I guess.

      • It has now been a month since I’ve stopped with caffeine. I definitely believe that drinking less and less caffeine over a long time helped me a lot. In the first 3 weeks I was losing my motivation and focus at work a lot but I’ve never felt really disconnected (I did when I tried stopping cold turkey 2 years ago). Since this week I’m actually getting productive again at work. Also my heart rate seems to be in the average person-range again instead of being low during some parts of the day.

        I don’t feel like I’m all recovered yet (Still sometimes sleepy and unmotivated), but I’m happy to see such progress already. I’m way more relaxed than before and handled a stress-inducing situation at work this week calm and without any worries. My anxiety definitely decreased a lot. I miss the coffee but I’m actually enjoying how I’m currently feeling.

        I definitely recommend quitting caffeine to everyone here. It is worth it. If quitting cold turkey is too hard: Reduce your caffeine every week by a small bit as (at least for me) it seems to make it a lot easier.

        Marek, Definitely keep continuing. It sounds like you’ve got past the hardest part. A few months sounds like a lot, but they will fly past eventually and you’ll be thanking yourself 🙂

        • Thanks, you definitely sound like a success story. I am in the middle of month 5 and still tired and unmotivated, sometimes straight depressed. There is no way I am going back but I hoped I would be feeling 100% good by now.

          • Marek – I’m entering week 8 and it seems like I’m having some kind of crash right now too. I had been improving and then yesterday I became extremely fatigued, hypo symptoms like dry hair, etc. But the waves of anxiety and depression seem to be over, and for the past few days I’ve just felt blank. How are you doing now?

  32. I cant believe the people transitioning to prescription medication to come off caffeine. That is jumping from the frying pan to the fire.
    If you think caffeine withdrawal is hard (and it most certainly can be) then wait until you have tocome off those sleep meds and SSRI’s.
    Be strong and dont substitute one addiction for an even worse one.

  33. This coming Monday will be 3 weeks since I stopped coffee cold turkey after 20 years of 2+ cups every morning. My reason for stopping was due to gastritis, stomach stress that seemed (or so I thought!) to be related to the caffeine. The withdrawal symptoms progressed as expected, headache and fatigue on day 2, then dizzy and nervous day 3 to 6, ongoing trouble staying sleep. What has surprised me the most is the crazy anxiety followed by depression. It set in around the middle of week two and was frightening to be honest. I have a tendency toward blue moods and worry spells but for the most part consider myself easy going and relaxed. This was a deep, dark place that made me have a new respect for all my depressed and anxious brothers and sisters. Wow. Only now, nearly 3 weeks out, and only if I sleep well do I feel a little better. If I have a rough night, the depression is back, although I think it is improving (fingers crossed!) The anxiety is most definitely improved. I’ve been to my physician twice, he prescribed an SSRI if things don’t improve in the next few weeks. I’m fighting the fear that I’ve done some horrible thing to my brain and will never feel like me again. I know that isn’t rational and the brain will rewire itself soon enough. I’m off caffeine for good. It’s interesting that folks might turn their nose up at an anti-depressant yet think drinking a chemical such as caffeine every day is okay. Here’s the dirty secret – they are doing similar things by increasing serotonin and dopamine. The health benefits of caffeine are minimal compared to the addiction risk. Granted I have always been sensitive to caffeine – one cup after 3pm and I’ll be awake all night. My headache didn’t appear until 36 hours after my last cup, which means it took the caffeine that long to leave my body. It makes sense that my withdrawal is prolonged. This blog has really helped keep me sane and I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences.

  34. I have been off all caffeine now for 10 weeks. I came back to remember that this is a long process. I still have some lingering symptoms. I get adrenaline symptoms occasionally which I am calling a ‘nervous illness’ and will be starting a brain retraining system like Sean mentioned for his anxiety disorder. Other than that I have a more even mood and energy. For a while I was waking up at dawn not able to go back to sleep, but I am taking an antihistamine to help my sleep and that makes me more groggy in the morning. I imagine that if I’m not taking it I’d go back to waking up easily, but maybe have more broken sleep. I am afraid to not take it all as I go through major adrenaline when I go off it for a few days.

    I wanted to mention that for people who don’t seem to ever go back to ‘themselves’ maybe they should look into thyroid disease. Caffeine is a metabolism booster.

  35. I tried to quit caffeine a few months ago. I tapered down and gave it a real try. I ended up becoming extremely depressed and had to admit myself to the hospital. So be careful doing this if you have existing depression as it might push you over the edge.

    • Sorry to hear this, Zack, and I am also experiencing worse depression, so your point is very valid. Going off caffeine is not for wimps! How are you doing now? I hope you are ok and you’ve found some balance again.

      • I’m doing better. Still drinking coffee and will continue to do so. I wouldn’t say quitting isn’t for wimps. I would say it’s not for everyone, especially if you’re prone to depression. Nothing wrong with cutting back on caffeine a bit. Just know if you do cut back then it’s likely to affect your mood.

        My psychiatrist says that coffee is good for depression and reduces suicidality.

  36. My 2nd week without caffeine just started. I feel like sh*t at the moment. I feel like I don’t have any strength in my muscles and I have some kind of a flu-like feeling. Not going to give up at this point though.

  37. I had 3 months caffeine free, my sleep was better, my stomach was less acidic, had so much energy come back but my anxiety didn’t go away. I didn’t have mood swings anymore but I had consistent low grade anxiety and I got tired of it and relapsed first on matcha then coffee. Now I’m all screwed up again. But what I did discover is running which I just started was helping my anxiety, I just gave up too soon.

  38. Sorry i did have ultra realistic nightmares 2-3 years after stopping taking E and amphetamine, but only the nightmares and then some craving for drugs when hearing music and going to party’s after, but nothing serious at all and I don’t miss the drugs anymore now.

    Quitting caffeine affected my sleep too, but mostly the first 1-2 months after, but my mood was very bad the first couple of months like a way I have never experienced before.

  39. Another thing, I tested both times when quitting caffeine how it affected my cholesterol numbers which mine are very high, the total cholesterol number reduced both times with 20% falling to an acceptable number from 8,7 to under 7 in total. I didn’t change my died or exercise, I was only quitting caffeine, and my doctor says a number under 7 is acceptable.

    (Statins lower cholesterol with 30%) so almost as good as starting taking medicine against high cholesterol when I quitted caffeine, insane really..

    It clearly shows how caffeine stress the body and do affect some people, I advice reading the book ‘caffeine blues’ it tells a lot about how bad caffeine is for you and especially womens, just don’t count on the 2 months it says in the book to feel good, it takes more time, othervise a really good book.

  40. Update almost 9 months later:

    I became aware that I could not tolerate caffeine around 5 years ago, I have had around 200 milligram each day for 10 years, yes I know it was stupid I did not stop, but I first became aware of another site whole9life I think it was, a blog about caffeine that says It takes several months to feel good again after quitting caffeine and not the 9 days described many places, and then I finally stopped.

    I did stay 5 months clean from coffeine, but fall back in again for 2 months, It was like hell when I returned in the 2 months on caffeine taking around 300 milligram each day, changing mood, headache, and all the bad things that follows with caffeine.

    I decided to stop again completely caffeine free, not even light choclate allowed and of course no soda. I had only drinked rooibus and chamomile tea for the last 3,5 month.

    After only a few days the second time I stopped, it really hits me how good I did feel without caffeine, instead of that unnatural high caffeine gives, it was very obvious how caffeine affected me when thinking back on these 2 months, and after a week, I feel as good as I did in between month 3-4 after my first attempt, and that’s a lot better. It actually gives me more strengh and couarge after I went back to it in these 2 months and then stopping again I think, it was now a lot easier qutting caffeine than the first time.

    So far I’m 8,5 month clean from caffeine in all.

    Caffeine is harder to quit than nicotine, drugs, and alcohol all together in my opinion.

    I admit that I wasen’t that addicted to nicotine after only smoking for 2 years and I almost only smooked to be cool, so maybe that dosen’t count so much. But I liked alcohol (not alcoholic) and even more drugs, especially ecstasy and amphetamine..

    Caffine was WAY harder to quit when you think of the physical withdrawel symptoms. Drugs was a 1000 times more funny yes, but I never got withdrawel from stopping taking drugs after using them once every 2-3 week in a 2 year period. When quitting caffine I feel like a complete shit the first 1-2 months and only getting slowly better up till around month 5, when things started to feel good, I actually think it will get even a little better after a year caffeine free..

    But if not it’s okay, because now I can say with 99% certainty that I will not go back to caffeine again.

  41. Hey, thank you for this great article, I quit caffeine again 2 weeks ago after being on it for 3 days with 1 month off and it wasn’t so bad until this week, I have no motivation and my hands are all shakey and I have increased anxiety. At first my anxiety went down but now I feel like I have the flu, even my nose is kinda a little runny but not to bad. I thought I got sick but could this still be caffeine withdrawal? Having mood swings and feel sudden moments of great peace and clarity and then anxiety?

  42. Thanks Viv, that all sounds very encouraging … would love to think that the latter part of my life will be better than the first – lol!

    I just wanted to say that I am vegan and don’t drink much at all and I think this is why I feel so good not ingesting caffeine.

  43. Hello everyone. I went cold turkey from caffeine and chocolate 20months ago and went thru all the symptoms listed here. Very very rough. Slept only 40-50% of the first four monts, panic attacks, nausea, nervousness, low mood, palpiations til just recently, no motivation, etc. Of course the doctors and many tests at first. I am still having leg muscle weakness. Sometimes the window of feeling normal lasts longer. I still miss coffee but I am still recovering. Coming to this and other support sites has saved me beyond family friends etc. as they have trouble not understanding.
    I had drunk 1st 10 years caffeine,, followed by 33 years decaf, then the last 5 yrs. of strong caffeine. Whet hell it has been since quitting. But i walk everyday and come here to get support and do self rehab. Had to not do vits. as I was very sensitive to everything.
    Viv, I would love to connect with you somehow a I am also older. Strength to everyone. You can do it.

    • KAY I haven’t been here for a few weeks, so missed your post, yes it would be good to connect, but how?

      I have been feeling very discouraged by my slow progress because i seem to be alone, but after reading your post, feel a bit better.

      • viv
        Please go ahead and get my email from sean. I told him your name is viv. He said for you to contact him. Tell him to give me yours also. (I think he needs to email us directly )

      • Viv,

        I emailed the editor to see if there’s a way to contact each other.

        When I go back and read others experiences, I realize I’m still having new symptoms I didn’t have before. Sheesh.

          • HI kay, I am not feeling brilliant but just plodding on and hoping for the. best, how about you?

            ps I will ask Sean to let you have my email address, I have emailed him in the past and he has always answered me so far…

    • My keyboard was not taking my strokes correctly when I was doing my post. Wished there was autocorrect. lol.

  44. Hi Sean

    I gave up smoking and coffee together about 8 weeks ago. Which in hindsight probably wasn’t the best idea I have ever had!

    First I had two weeks of really bad headaches but ever since then I have not been myself whatsoever 🙁 I feel barely any emotion about anything.. I don’t feel sad watching sad films.. I don’t feel happy doing things which usually make me happy. I don’t feel any romantic feelings or have a “drive” if you know what I mean. I just feel numb.. I have zero motivation to do my work or see my friends. All I want to do is sit around on my own. I can’t be bothered to exercise and am extremely fatigued. My memory is also terrible.

    At first I was really concerned but then I learnt about how dopamine is affected from addictions and it may be that my chemicals are fluctuating and trying to balance themselves. Your article gave me some hope also.

    I have had some glimmers of normalcy but they don’t last long. Maybe a day at most.

    I am just worried my chemicals won’t ever balance themselves and I will be like his forever having been permanently damaged.

    Did you experience the emotional flatlining too? I know it was a long time ago now but can you remember if you felt very little emotionally.

    Thanks

    • Getting the same thing, Sam. This is my next attempt at giving up caffeine, even though I was only having tea, and though I haven’t had the major headaches I had on my first attempt, I am feeling much as you have described. Actually, I’d say I’m feeling depressed too, but that emotional flatlining describes it well. I have no motivation, I walk around with a deadness, I am not going out and about or wanting to be around others, I feel flat, down, and nothing. I’ve been probably a week now off the caffeine. The last time I tried (seriously tried) was a long time ago and it was after my very prolific tea drinking (20+ cups a day of strong tea), so everything was more obvious when I gave up. This time, it’s come on more subtly, which in a way is worse, because it’s crept up on me and made me feel like something bad has happened inside and I can’t feel how I used to feel. So I guess it’s the good ole caffeine withdrawal going on! Just hope things improve soon. It is not fun. This is why it’s so easy to return to it. But I am trying to hang in there and I hope you can too!

  45. I am on day seven or so of quitting. Physically I’m feeling much better after four or five hellish days of withdrawal, I mean hell, from nausea, diarrhea, headaches, irritability, lethargy, numbness, at one point I just slept and cried for two days from the agony. I could not work, eat, walk, sleep, I had flu at the same time and it made it worse. I am feeling more relaxed, less anxious. However, I’m at a critical juncture as I am now in the midst of PMS which gives me brain fog and depression, plus I still have terrible brain fog from withdrawal and am really struggling to function. My job is very demanding, requiring accuracy and focus and I am really struggling with this, taking three times longer than usual to get my work done, and having difficulty staying motivated to work (I work independently so am slacking off big time but work to dead lines). There is never a good time for me to quit as I seem to always be under some kind of pressure. I am struggling right now to remember why I chose to quit in the first place. The desire for one nice strong cup which I know will perk me right up mentally and make me back to my old, agile, dextrous, fast functioning, speedy self so that I can just get through this frigging pile of work is almost overwhelming. But the problem is my work is not going to stop piling up so if I have one cup tomorrow, sure it will help for that day, but what about the next day, and the next? I just remembered why I wanted to quit – because coffee makes me overeat and I need/want to lose weight, it makes my blood sugar unstable or makes me feel shaky and I feel I have to compensate by eating to stabilize. I also wanted to quit because I remember I used to be a nice calm person, not a ratty frenetic hyper maniac. I want that calm, that poise. I want to feel sexually aroused again . Caffeine makes me want to slap anyone of they touch me. I want to feel unchained, and I already do, I feel freer. If I could JUST get through this work. Please help! Tell me to stick with it and why I should! xox

  46. I WIsh i felt as good as you do Suzie, but I still feel crap at 3 years off, but I am 20 years older than you and have been drinking caffeine for 70 years. my worst symptoms are an aching neck and upper back, plus fatigue, and muscle weakness which persists in spite of regular exercise.

    • Sorry to hear about your aches and pains Viv. Although I am feeling so much better not drinking caffeine, not everything is perfect, lol! I too suffer from an aching neck and sometimes my knees ache but I do put this down to getting older (after all we are no spring chickens). I do yoga which does help a lot … stretching out the body makes everything feel so much better. I was wondering do you lift weights?

      • well i’ve got good news for you, you can expect to feel even better, I have been in touch with ppl who took 5 years to completely recover and they were far younger than you or I. and here is a post from the coffeeefaq website;

        Hello all! I’ve been visiting here about a year and a half. This site and the good people who have shared their stories here have helped me keep my sanity over the last almost two years since I’ve stopped caffeine . Since stopping I’ve had the most severe and bizzare symptoms. It is still hard to believe that just stopping something as “harmless” as caffeine has led to all of this suffering. But, I quit cold turkey twice. The first time after about three months I couldn’t take it anymore so I started back, but because the gastro issues got so bad again ( which is the main reason I stopped to begin with) I stopped cold turkey again. The withdrawal symptoms were even more severe the second time! Now it has been almost two years and though better I still am far from a 100%. I have had problems after quitting caffeine that I NEVER had before I stopped! Some but not all would include: panic attacks, dizziness, tinnitus, eye problems, feeling as if a tight band is wrapped around my head, agoraphobia/social anxiety, feel unsteady when walking like I’m floating, flashes out the corner of my eyes where I think I see a spider, hip and back tightness and pain, arms and legs going numb, catastrophic thinking, etc… One of the most infuriating and frustrating things is that the doctors do not listen! They may say that I was self-medicating with caffeine but they don’t answer what I was medicating. Basically they all say there is no way quitting caffeine would cause all the symptoms that I have had and especially for as long as I’ve had them, even though NONE of them started until I stopped. One doctor said that she didn’t know what was wrong but maybe I should just start drinking coffee again or take an SSRI. Now, if one doesn’t know what’s wrong why prescribe a med?! Sounds like throwing darts in the dark to me. Anyway, thanks for listening to my ramblings. 🙂

        So if you manage to stay off the caffeine, u can expect to feel even better!!!

  47. ps since giving up caffeine my breasts are fuller, my wrinkles are lessening and my cellulite is diminishing … yay!!!

  48. Just a quick update – am now into week seven of giving up caffeine. I feel calmer, chilled, joyful and full of energy, still. I have started back at the gym three times a week, on top of lots of walking and some yoga. I work long hours and I would never have contemplated doing anything too strenuous during my ‘caffeine’ days and consequently feel young again (I’m 53 years old)!

    The biggest change I can see is with my emotions – I seem to be able to manage them so much better and I don’t feel they get the better of me, if you know what I mean.

    I fully intend to continue with my caffeine free ways!

  49. I am experiencing an intense, horrific utterly acute withdrawal and yet the bizarre aspect of this, is that I only consumed ONE cup of coffee every morning during breakfast, although, always very strong dark roast from fresh beans. I was a quasi coffee connoisseur using high end exotic beans and using a French press which eventually created an ulcer and PVCs.
    Trying to reduce the effect, I de-evolved my coffee consumption to the pathetic troglodytic level Keurig single cups (which is like drinking black water) although I was using the Starbucks dark French roast as opposed to brewing from fresh whole beans. The ulcer and GERD were still persistent so with my doctors recommendation, I reluctantly, finally decided to kick down to green tea but even that didn’t work so finally, I said f.ck it, and quit COLD TURKEY. The immediate effect was negligible but the 3 days into it, all hell broke loose and I felt like every muscle in my body was being stretched & crushed in the Spanish Inquisition plus the agonizing feeling of bone and muscle cramps, then head aches, plus a horrible “tingling” in my legs similar to RLS. Add to that more PVCs and palpitations occurring intermittently.
    Now, nearly 2 weeks into it, a few symptoms have subsided but I still experience intermittent agonizing, sporadic cramping in the legs, arms, wrists and lower back, inconsistent bowl movements, GI cramps on occasion etc.. A constant low level headache still seems to persists throughout most of the day not to mention, extreme lethargy, and the usual mental effects.
    I don’t know HOW LONG this will persist but its tough to endure when its this intense. I can’t imagine what a heroin or alcohol withdraw must feel like if this is any indication. As with all medical conditions, each individual physiology reacts differently so apparently, I am unusually sensitive to not only coffee and caffein but the entire withdraw syndrome.
    Any suggestions from anyone out there in the land of hominids?
    Thanks.

  50. Thanx Michael, I will try and incorporate more omega 3 through my diet. I’m just scared of trying more supplements since my body didn’t react well to vitamin b supplements. But I noticed a huge difference when I ate some fresh wild salmon yesterday, I had instant energy that lasted for several hours. I know I need more protein since the only meat I eat is fish and I usualy have white fish which doesn’t have the same fat that I need. I’m on day 48 with no coffee and day 38 with no caffeine at all except for the occasional piece of chocolate which hasn’t helped at all. My days alternate between anxiety and depression/ lethargy, not sure which is worse. At first I slept a lot , now I’m crashing at 9 and waking up at 4 all wired which is an unusual pattern for me since I’ve always been a night person. And my dreams are whacked. I’m so grateful to have found this site a few weeks ago, have read everyone’s comments and it has kept me going. I have PTSD and knew I should quit caffeine years ago but for some insane reason the more anxious I felt the more coffee I had and felt it took the edge off. But the danger was if I got triggered coffee would make my panic attacks ten times worse. Even matcha tea which I got addicted to gave me the worst panic attacks. I’m also a recovering alcoholic, I have 6 years sober and as someone else mentioned on here AA meetings always have a coffee pot on and people drink it like there is no tomorrow. So in a way we use it as harm reduction, exchanging one drug for a lesser drug, but to be honest it doesn’t seem that less of a drug to me when I’m in full blown terror. I really hope people keep commenting and sharing their stories because I’m so relying on the support here. I’ve also experienced so many weird symptoms since my detox began that scared me and it was nice to see other people here mention them. when I went off seroquel a few years ago I used an online support forum also and it saved my life. That was the craziest withdrawl.

  51. If anyone is suffering from fatigue or loss of energy during caffeine withdrawal, I highly suggest picking up Omega 3 supplements. They are literally the most important thing you can have, I’ve been suffering from fatigue for weeks and for months on end. Struggling to keep my energy in check with sleep, and this, and that and nothing worked. Even if you’re still having coffee habitually. Omega 3 is very very very useful for your adrenal fatigue and recovering from it, the vitamins and minerals inside of Omega 3 are very important. I started taking 2 to 3 pills a day of Omega 3 and I already started to feel better in just a week as my energy slowly went back to normal.
    This is after going through weeks and months of ups and downs and not being in control. Though taking Omega 3 supplements you feel an instant change, I start to think that they even work like coffee to keep your energy in check. Though having more vitamins and keeping a proper diet is a good idea too. Anything you can to get the proper nutrients in your body so you don’t reach for that cup of coffee.

    • Hi Michael, how are you doing there? Your story is pretty similar to mine.

      I passed 8 months and still in mental withdrawal anxiety and sleep only 3 to 5 hours max feeling very tired. I have insomnia no matter how hard I try to sleep, I just can’t.

      Please help!!!

      • I don’t know what to tell you, giving up caffeine is easy for someone healthy. Although for me it’s been pretty tough personally leading me to think that I have some form of fibromyalgia. The symptoms seem to get worse when I have caffeine or MSG, along with attributed muscle pain. though at the same time coffee is the only thing that can lift the fatigue, if not the brain fog. It always lifts one or another. If you want true improvement and the easy way out, I suggest one cup of tea or one cup of coffee a day. I recommend tea since it hydrates your body is much weaker than caffeine, though it’s still enough to keep you from going through withdrawal, not to mention healthier than coffee. One cup of caffeine a day, and ALWAYS limited and measuring your dose everyday can keep you from withdrawal. Although it works for some people, it may not work for all. At least it may not for me…..

  52. What fantastic information this is Sean, I use this site all the time and am now one week in of stopping caffeine and … I’m feeling great! I feel happier, sunnier, more sociable and even my thoughts are happier thoughts and most importantly I feel like nothing is insurmountable. Sure there are times when I feel sad or down but those feelings don’t last long (when drinking caffeine I would dwell on these feelings and it made things worse). I truly put this down to having much more energy and better sleep due to no caffeine.

    Thank you Sean you have changed my life for the better!!

  53. I am not sure what you mean, you say that you”can’t even have coffee any more” but then go on to say that “the most I have from coffee is a cup to half a cup”

    If you are still drinking caffeine, you will have symptoms, so I don’t know what you are saying. Of course you will still suffer from adrenal fatigue if you are still drinking caffeine!!!

  54. I am a 46 year old male that has been drinking coffee for almost 40 years. Coffee has always been a part of my life and taking up to 10 cups a day was no problem. Even getting back home after a callout to work in the early hours of the morning I would first have a cup of coffee and then go to bed. Through the years I have never experienced anxiety or any of the side effects of caffeine. The last two years I went through a hard time at work as well as had to deal with the loss of my dad and started to develop severe anxiety and had trouble sleeping. Started to struggle with fatigue and decided to stop coffee on the recommendation of a naturopath as adrenal fatigue was suspected. Started cutting back on coffee at the middle of May and this was followed you a period of increasing fatigue, insomnia and depression that started to increase over time. I came down from 8 cups of coffee to no coffee and started drinking tea. As I struggled with anxiety and sleep before cutting back I did not see the connection. My anxiety increased and my sleep deteriorated even further and then the extreme fatigue and brain fog started. With the brain fog I had trouble with my sight and could not focus. It was the end of June and at this point I was only drinking tea. I felt extremely depressed and even considered staring antidepressant drugs. I never made the caffeine connection until a couple of days ago when I took a cup of coffee while having this severe brain fog. Within 10 minutes the fog cleared, my sight improved and the fatigue was less. The next day while driving to the city the same happened and I had a can of coke that reduced the fog, improved my sight and reduced my fatigue. Started reading about the effect of coffee on the brain and suddenly everything started to make sense. My mental state started to deteriorate when I reduced and eventually stopped drinking coffee. After 2 days back on 5 cups a day I feel much better, my mood has lifted, the fatigue is not so bad and the brain fog is gone. Can caffeine be responsible for this??? I will keep on drinking coffee and will slowly taper off over months once I feel myself again!! So many years of abuse must have resulted in significant changes in my brain.

  55. I’m currently at week 9 from being caffeine free and it has been a roller coaster. I was drinking 6-10 cups of coffee everyday, working and going to school, getting everything I needed done. I generally had a good stress tolerance, worked out, smoked weed, and would have a couple beers throughout the week. Then out of nowhere my mom got diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and I went to go visit her in the hospital and on the way there I had the first panic attack of my life. I literally thought I was dying. At the hospital they gave me attivan and a prescription for a couple to take home. I decided to give up smoking, drinking and coffee after my panic attack as i saw the situation as a time to start making better decisions. The day after the attack I had another slight panic attack and couldn’t find the strength to study or get anything done. Then it wasn’t till the next day after I was feeling shitty that I looked up some of the symptoms and found out that I was going through caffeine withdrawals. The first two weeks were absolute hell! I could not do anything but sleep because being awake was making me sick and anxious. I saw a doctor going through the first week of my withdrawals and he told me that I should try drinking a little bit of caffeine to help me cope. I tried that but I was already too far into the withdrawals and it make me super jittery and even more sick. But the weird part after the jitteryness went away I felt better. I decided to get a soda and start taking a couple sips throughout the day. This seemed to keep the shakingness at bay. I started looking for things that could help me because I knew soda and caffeine were not the answer and thats where I found this article and I’ll say this page has helped me tremendously! I went and got myself magnesium citrate and from there I was able to stop consuming all caffeine and for the most part the feeling of me being on a boat went away. I also started taking ashwagandha and astragalus root and I do believe that they have helped with the withdrawals. If you look up ashwagandha it actually helps the adrenal glands heal if you do have adrenal fatigue. I started to feel better at around 4 weeks but I do believe that I had a harder time mentally then most people because my mom was in and out of the hospital and every time I would hear news about what was going on my anxiety and stress would go through the roof. Not gonna lie it was the worst month of my life. There was not one good thing that happened. I was about 6 weeks into my recovery when my mom did pass away (she was only 56) and I had to go through one of the toughest moments of my life. My life turned upside down on me and everything was tough but I knew that I need to keep pushing forward with my progress. I’ve actually had several family members insist that I take anti-depressants even after telling them what I’m going through is part of caffeine withdrawals but no one really understood. My father 3 days into me being sick was getting mad that all I could do was sleep and was insisting that I needed to go for a hard workout and sweat it all out. Even where I’m at now I talk openly that at moments I have anxiety from caffeine withdrawals but family members do not want to think thats the cause and think something else is going on. But after reading everyones posts I know what I’m going through is normal and recovery is not linear and every week things are getting better! This page has done more help for me then my doctor, my family, and any other website out there. For people just starting the withdrawal process do everything you can to take life easy, keep stress down, and keep your head up. The first couple weeks are tough but you’ll get through it. I didn’t think i was going to but I’m here at week 9 and it sure feels a lot better then the beginning. Stay Positive!

  56. […] the 95% of men out there that watch porn on a regular basis are truly addicted to it. It’s like caffeine, it is an acceptable […]

  57. Here is my story.. Longtime weightlifter and preworkout drink and caffeine user.

    I’ve been using preworkout drinks/energy drinks almost daily for 13+years.
    This is combined with multiple diet cokes with lunch and dinner. Probably anywhere from 500-1000mg daily.

    I’ve never really had troubling depression or anxiety.. Until I tried to quit caffeine.. Just the usual ups and down in life. But very happy-go-lucky and appreciative of life in general no matter the circumstancel.

    I had some unfortunate family issues and was have some weird mid-life worries and anxiety and wanted to make some changes. So I tried to quit caffeine.

    At first I was just having a single cup in the morning and nothing after that… Then I thought I was cheating myself and went down to just two cups of green tea. I’ve been on this routine for 2 weeks.

    I’ve never felt so apathetic, sense of doom, depressed in my life. Nothing close (even with tragic events). I feel no joy in anything anymore.. Uncontrollable rumination of negative thoughts and emotions. BRUTAL

    • The most important thing about caffeine is adrenal fatigue. Over the years, over months drinking enough caffeine and skipping sleep on a daily basis will wear your adrenal glands out. Your adrenal glands are responsible for balancing all of the energy and focus inside of your body. Enough stress and over exhaustion and they will tap out, the point where you won’t feel awake anymore. It takes weeks to months to heal from this condition. I still suffer from it, which is why I can’t even have coffee anymore. Also your body builds up a natural defense system against caffeine. The most I have from coffee is a cup to half a cup, if I do any more than that then I stress creating adrenal fatigue all over again. Adrenal fatigue isn’t serious and doesn’t require treatment. Though it can make you feel like you have cancer.

      • you say you can’t have coffee any more then you say the most u have s a cup to a half cup, what does this crap mean?

  58. Week 16

    Day 6:
    – Woke up quite natural. Felt rested. Hints of natural energy returning keep coming back. Noticed on the other hand that I was totally dehydrated and my lips were very dry. A lot of slime that’s stuck must come out – > lots of deep coughing. Overall fogginess. Social skills somewhat better.
    Energy day 6: ~20%

  59. Day 5:
    – flulike symptoms have reached max despite having a normal temperature of 37 degrees. Coughing up slime all the way and it feels like my voice got lower. Also had a moment of almost throwing up yesterday, acid reached my throat and it was so sour that it felt like it burnt a hole in my throat. Overall still great lack of energy but I feel hints of progress.
    Energy day 1: ~5%
    Energy day 5: ~12,5%
    Got me unexpected a fulltime job starting Monday where I’m already known.so hopefully I will be able to work then haha.

    I will update at the end of every week what the progresses are.
    Good luck everybody.

  60. Hello folks, for me it is day 3 of no caffeine. I have also quitted other bad habits like smoking cigarettes and smoking pot for a longer period, but the emphasis in this case is on caffeine ofcourse.

    Info:
    -22yo male
    – characteristics: extremely stressful, angry, shy, desire to experience life with my senses turned to the max, very addictive personality
    -Over 9 years I’ve had ~4 coffeecups a day (also combined with tea, cola and energy drinks etc. etc.

    Day 1:
    – after 5 hours of no caffeine intake energy went to zero. Hell is getting over me. Felt like total shit. Severe headaches, irritability lvl: I want to kill everybody and I couldn’t be used for anything.
    Day 2:
    – same as day 1 + sleeping as good as whole day. Desorientated.
    Day 3:
    – same as day 1+2 + flulike symptoms and swollen throat. Small hints of natural energy coming back and i decided to be a few minutes outside because it was a very shiny day. It all felt extremely pleasant because it was so HD.

    I’m not planning to use any medication in this hellride.
    I eat very healthy & drink lots of water.

    Folks I don’t want to discourage caffeine usage because it is probably ok if you drink it every now and then but if you’re addicted to coffee and want to jump off that horrible deathtrain, just jump off!

  61. I am so relieved to have found this site and being able to read everyone’s experiences. The mainstream claims withdrawal from caffeine should be over in 9-10 days. This scared me into thinking I had something else seriously wrong with me.

    My story involves pre-workout powders that I have used for ten years with hardly any time off from them. A trainer at my gym started me on these in early 2006. I started out only taking one scoop per day (approx. 200mg caffeine). This past January I realized my addiction and that I was craving my preworkout drink. I was having it in the evening too. I was having at least two drinks (one scoop per drink) per day sometimes three.

    On March 12th I cut back to only one scoop per day. I had no idea this reduction would send me into withdrawal. This coincided with my son leaving for a 3 month trip abroad which left me crying uncontrollably. He has been on a half dozen or so trips before which never affected me like this.

    I found myself in deep depression and high anxiety. I could not shake negative thoughts; it seemed like everything reminded me of something that would make me sad. I wake up with an anxious nervous feeling in my stomach and dread getting up.

    I’m now in my fifth week and still have these same symptoms. I have not had many physical affects. Minor headaches and runny nose. My depression and anxiety have reduced a bit but are still 75% of where it was when it started.

    I have taken Effexor XR for many years for my GAD, I wonder what effect this has on my withdrawals.

    My question is this…

    I am still taking one scoop per day. I plan to continue this until my withdrawl symptoms subside. Once I do recover I will begin a slow taper to having absolutely zero caffeine.
    Is my logic correct? I read several posts that say cold turkey is the best way to go. I’m afraid to do that thinking it will only worsen my already hellish symptoms.

    I will say this, it made me realize how depression feels. I have not been able to enjoy things I used to love and everything causes me to have memories of my children when they were young which makes me want to cry. Depression and anxiety have been so bad. I keep hoping this will end soon.

    Thanks to all that have posted here.

  62. Hi Sean,

    I do have a question.. Did u also Feel Some pain in your body or aching after during your withdrawl process..

    Thanks
    Rahul Gupta

  63. Hello Sean

    Thanks for Such An information.. And Yes. I am expereincing the same currently.I got High BP during withdrawl of higher Dosage of Caffeine and other gym prework out stimulants that i was consuming since past 2 years… I feel Laziness, Headaches ,Lack of focus and concentration….

    I do have a question for You.. Did you also feel some kind of pain or litle pain in throat area During your This withdrawl Process…

    Thanks
    Rahul gupta

  64. Just wondering about back pain. Im on day 28 of C/T after 25 years of 1-3 coffees a day. I had a little increase in back pain on day 3 or 4 which has persisted however, in the last 4 days it has increased to near unbareable. Thr thing is i have a very bad back (2 surgeries) but it hasnt been this painful in a LONG time. And i dont think i fid anything to aggravate it. So i’m not sure if this is caffeine withdrawal or my normal poor back. Anyone else have back pain this long after quitting?

    • Yes. I have felt irritation over every inch of my body and I don’t even suffer from any medical disorders, it was all from caffeine withdrawal. I’ve also had eye pain, and sinus pain and migraines so bad that it hurt to walk out in the sun. It is honestly all caffeine withdrawal. It comes and goes honestly so you don’t have to worry about it, after a couple weeks or likely months you’ll notice that the symptoms just get weaker and weaker until they disappear. I was a caffeine addict for three years, when I have too much nowadays instead of just the right amount my body tends to punish me. So that is completely normal to not be able to get back on it as well. Neck pain was a serious symptom with me as well, my neck hurt for simply no reason and had to rest it the right way so it didn’t. All the pain will go away completely before a five month period.

  65. Hello all. I’ve gone through caffeine withdrawal for a good nine months, before just giving up entirely and going back to it. Although I don’t recommend that for some people, my adrenal fatigue may be over and my body can process it again. Caffeine has a point where it stops working, you could have eight to nine cups and still feel like it hasn’t kicked in. Right now I’m still going through withdrawal even if I have that coffee, never being able to truly feel as though I’m personally “awake”. Though never being able to kick the stuff entirely. I’m trying an only one cup a day basis, avoiding withdrawal while still keeping the addiction in my realm of control. Though the problem is that coffee makes my brain and body feel irritated, never truly feeling that calm and blissful feeling of maximum focus and energy. Though I’ve noticed that with only one cup a day, your body has just enough to function on a daily basis while not being so full of it that it can’t tolerate it.
    I expect after weeks and months of only having one cup of coffee a day, by technicality you are no longer addicted because you’ve established a healthy basis to have it. Though once a person gets past two cups of coffee a day, they are done for. The addiction has already settled in. Then they are only doomed to having four to even six cups a day. Coffee creates irritation, it makes you unfocused from either too much energy or not enough. I’ve realized that instead of going cold turkey, perhaps it’s best to simply manage it with only one cup a day. Perhaps only having tea. Now that my adrenal fatigue is over, I no longer have coffee for the energetic benefits but my body misses the focus and the concentration it used to feel. The more you realize that you don’t need coffee to function on a daily basis, the better you can kick the habit out the door.

  66. I had headche many times because of drinking caffeine and sometimes so bad that I almost coulden’t work. I’m from denmark so mind my language. I just read the book ”caffeine blues” and I’m 2 months in now without taking any caffeine. The first 2-3 weeks where quite bad and around christmas I had 2 weeks with very little sleep. I only experienced this felling ”really good” for 3-4 times a few hours at a time. I’m really excited to see if I will chance like many of you have described when my caffeine intake was only around 200 milligram a day on average for 10 years. My sleep has improved but not that much, I also stopped drinking alcohol a month ago. I read it helps too with sleep and overall health. Was not a heavy drinking only low to moderate drinker.

  67. Is it possible to feel better like you Sean if I only had 200-300 milligram caffeine 4-5 days a week for 10 years?

  68. Hello all,
    I started lifting weights when I was 17 and soon after started taking pre workout supplements(massive caffein). I used this religiously for at least 13 years along with drinking way too much coffee/expresso/lifiting sups. Last month I had a health scare and went to the doctor and was off of caffein for a few days when I started developing all kinds of awful symptoms. My anxiety went through the roof, I had severe sleep problems, depression, my whole body was tense and I thought I was actually dying. I had MRI’s/CT scans/EKG’s and tons of bloodwork done without finding anything. I came across this thread and man I have to say that this sounds exactly like what I have been going through…it has been a month since I stopped and I still feel crappy, not as anxious but still not myself, still sleeping poorly with meds, and have a 24/7 dull headache….I believe that the caffein withdrawal and adrenal burnout are my problem….I have since stopped all caffein and tried to clean up my diet…I am currently around week 6 of all this torture and hope this is coming to an end soon. Anyways, please reply if this sounds like anything that you are going through…thanks

  69. I’m on week 5 of no-caffeine cold turkey. My history with caffeine:

    As a little kid drank a lot of Surges and Mountain Dews. From 18 onward I took a ton of pre-workouts. Also did a few cycles of Ephedrine + Caffeine. For the last 3 years I’ve had consistent 2-400mg caffeine/day with a few periods of attempting to quit and never making it past a week.

    I decided to quit 5 weeks ago because no matter how much coffee I drank I felt tired. I couldn’t focus on ANYTHING. I got maybe 1-2 hours of productive work done per day.

    Since quitting I feel like I’m recovering from a long illness. Some days I feel great. Other days I am super lethargic and unmotivated. During week 3-4 there were a span of days that I thought I’d recovered fully… nope. Here I am at week 5 and I just spent the whole day sleeping.

    Going to keep sticking it out. Each week it gets a little better. It’s incredible that such a powerful drug is so ubiquitous in our society.

  70. Just found your article now that I’m trying to give up caffeine. It’s day 3 and I’m not a happy camper. Yesterday I ate like an absolute maniac, taking in over 3000 calories like it was nothing! I think it’s just my body screaming for energy. Avoiding sugar is going to be the hardest part. Trying to focus at work and drinking tons of water and herbal tea, but it’s a foggy week ahead! Thanks for the great article and moral support 🙂

  71. Congratulations to all the people who have taken this step in their lives. I haven’t had a drop of caffeine or stimulant in any form since the mid 2000’s, (except the odd accident or two, who knew red velvet cake is chocolate!). One thing that I would urge those of you trying to quit to do is give up TV at the same time that you quit caffeine.

    One of the reasons that caffeine withdrawal hits harder for many people is because you are turning to TV/media for comfort as a new friend but it is only introducing new problems which you may be interpreting as part of the caffeine withdrawal. If you notice that you are now watching more TV shows/movies etc. than you normally did understand that doing so (particularly in the evening) is affecting your sleep. TV is stimulating to your brain and though it may mask some of the initial withdrawal symptoms it may be more disruptive to your overall health and well being.

    Try to limit your tv viewing to 2 hours a day if you can’t unplug the box completely. You’ll find the space, quiet, calm and energy you need to get through this time.

    Peace and Love

  72. It’s been 64 days since I quit caffeine. I’ve had no cravings to go back to it. I used to take caffeine pills from morning to night. I even started combining it with preworkout when I’d go to the gym. Maybe 600 – 1000 mg daily. I did this for 12 years or so. I had anxiety issues the entire time I did this. I was still able to function well enough to advance in my job, but it was a crazy amount of anxiety when there was any new stress. If I didn’t take it I felt like I couldn’t function.

    On June 18th I quit cold turkey and it was a nightmare. I was really just fatigued for the first week, the next three weeks were the worst. I had a depression/anxiety, I couldn’t focus on anything. I felt like I was going crazy. Two months later my focus is just starting to come back. I don’t feel like I’m back yet, I still wake up early every night, but this site gives me hope that a full recovery is possible.

    • Hey Jeremy how are you progressing? Your story is pretty similar to mine, I did coffee pre workout for almost 15 years nonstop and had anxiety depression as well….I had bloodworm done, MRI’s CT scans and Cardio tests all with no findings……

  73. I am on day 18 of no caffeine. I have been researching the subject nonstop and your article is the only one that has been truly helpful. I keep coming back to read it to remind myself that it will get better. Most people think caffeine withdrawals last a few days, which I guess is possible if you’re not that in tune with your body to notice the multitude of subtle effects the drug has on your mental and physical state.

    Caffeine is one of the last harmful things that I have stopped putting into my body, and the withdrawals have not been pretty, even for a relatively healthy person like me. I’m a plant-based vegan who does not drink alcohol or smoke and exercises regularly, and my caffeine intake was on the lower end of the spectrum. Yet I’m still suffering from certain unpleasant symptoms that seem like they will never end. My stress level has been high without any specific cause; my hair has been shedding; my neck and shoulder muscles have been stiff; I have been irritable, foggy, disinterested in nurturing relationships, and lose energy quickly when exercising. Luckily, though, I have already noticed an improvement in my sleep, which has become deeper. I’ve even been getting out of bed more easily and arriving at work earlier. One thing that might help others suffering from withdrawal symptoms for an extended period of time is researching adrenal fatigue and ways to overcome it more easily. There is a very good book by James L. Wilson on this topic.

    In any case, thank you for this very helpful article!

  74. Anyone still suffering from fatigue and brain fog in month 10? It’s month 10 for me, when I started in November. I’ve read that the brain has trouble recovering dopamine during caffeine withdrawal, so the brain can’t produce as much as it normally should. Leading to a spike in depression, energy loss, loss of motivation, and complete lack of motivation. I’m not sure how to solve this, or if it will even go away.

    • i replied to this but hit the wrong reply button so its in the wrong place, i hope this post is in the right place, the reply buttons are confusing…
      here goes again and I give up if this is also in the wrong place!!

    • well here are some ideas, and I wouldn’t take the supplements they recommend, but the other info could help:
      “What’s dopamine? Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that our brain produces to nudge us into doing stuff. It’s the main reason why we can focus and achieve great things even if the payout isn’t immediate or obvious.
      And don’t worry, you can’t even take dopamine since it’s something your brain produces for itself. But what you can do is increase dopamine in your system to help you stay focused, productive and motivated. If you want to be productive and get things done, here’s a few ways to boost your dopamine levels.
      1. Discover New Things
      Dopamine production is actually triggered when we find something new and exciting in front of us. Our ancestors would experience it when discovering new herds to hunt or new plants to harvest. Unless you’re a naturalist, it’s probably going to be hard to do those things. But we do have the internet.
      The internet is a treasure trove for discovering new music to new videos. A simple dopamine booster is browsing Pinterest or even Amazon for new products and items. A word of caution: it will get addictive so make sure to limit your time on sites like these.
      2. List Down Your Small Tasks
      Dopamine is also released after you finish something, whether it’s a big job or a small task. So it follows that To get more hits, break down those big jobs into smaller ones.
      And as I said above, you need to list down those tasks. It’s not that I don’t trust you to remember your todos, it’s just that it’s much more satisfying, dopamine-wise, to check stuff off a list physically. Nothing is more satisfying than ticking off something as done.
      3. Listen To Music
      Studies have shown that if you listen to music you really enjoy, the brain releases dopamine as a response. Even the anticipation of hearing that music also increases dopamine levels, which is probably why you see all these crazy lines in front of music stores.
      4. Increase Your Tyrosine
      Tyrosine is the building block of dopamine, so make sure that you have enough of this protein in you. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to find this. Here are some common foods that have loads of tyrosine:
      Almonds
      Avocados
      Bananas
      Beef
      Chicken
      Chocolate
      Coffee
      Eggs
      Green Tea
      Milk
      Watermelon
      Yogurt
      I’m pretty sure you have enough of these in your diet, and some of these are foods you actually enjoy.
      5. Reduce Your Lipopolysaccharides
      Lipolypo, lipopopoly, lipoly-what again? It’s a hard word to pronounce (and write for that matter) but that’s a good thing because you want to avoid it. These are also called endotoxins and yes, it is indeed a toxin. Basically, if you have too much of these, your immune system will go haywire. More importantly, it inhibits the production of dopamine.
      The best way to combat this is by having more good bacteria than bad in your gut. How do you do that?
      Eat lots of probiotic foods, mostly fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and kimchi.
      Get enough sleep so your gut can keep up with you.
      Don’t overindulge in fatty and sugary foods. The name says that it’s built from lipids and polysaccharides, so less of those means less endotoxins.
      6. Exercise Often
      I’ve already written a lot about how exercise helps you destress and makes you super-productive. It’s because physical activity is something your body craves (even if your conscious brain hates it sometimes). To make it fun for you, your brain actually releases fun chemicals like serotonin, endorphins and yes, dopamine.
      The great thing is even non-strenuous exercise can help increase dopamine levels. Try taking the dog out for a walk, climbing some stairs, or busting out the Wii Fit.
      7. Establish A Streak
      A streak is just a visual reminder of how many consecutive times you achieved something. In games, it’s often used to track wins but you can also use it in everyday activities for the added dopamine boost.
      The easiest way to do this is to take a calendar and put an X in the box everyday you do something, like cleaning your desk or eating a healthy lunch. Soon enough, you’ll have a neat row of X’s there to show off as your streak.
      Having a streak increases dopamine production in the same way completing a task does. While you haven’t completed the entire goal, just knowing that you’re going in the right direction makes your brain give you enough of a dopamine burst to keep on going.
      8. Take Dopamine Enhancing Supplements
      While you can’t pump your brain with dopamine, at least not until we have home brain injection kits, you can take supplements that encourage your brain to produce more dopamine. Here’s some of them:
      Curcumin, the active ingredient in our favorite curry spice turmeric, helps increase levels of dopamine.
      Ginkgo Biloba is a popular wonder drug and though it’s not proven, it might help increase dopamine levels by making it stay in your brain longer.
      L-theanine increases neurotransmitter production in your brain, one of which is dopamine. Green tea has lots of this, though it can also be taken as a theanine supplement.
      Acetyl-l-tyrosine is a production-ready version of tyrosine which will make it easier for your brain to create dopamine.
      9. Make Stuff
      Have you noticed that when you’re deep into a creative work, you enter a state of hyper-focus where you feel you can do anything? That state is called flow and it’s something that dopamine helps you achieve.
      Increasing dopamine can be as simple as taking up a creative hobby like photography, crafting, auto repair or drawing.
      10. Meditate
      Sometimes the best way to do something is by doing nothing. Specifically, you do nothing physically but in your mind you’re trying to sort out your thoughts. Whether you meditate, pray or do simple self-reflection, all these activities are linked to increased dopamine levels.
      Dopamine is an addictive chemical but in a good way. It’s helps motivate you in doing things you need to do, even if you don’t want to do them. And have you noticed something? Most of the things I mentioned above are actually activities that also make you more productive, since that’s essentially what dopamine does.”

    • Hey Michael,

      I passed more than a year and still in mental withdrawal anxiety that doesn’t want to go away along with brain fog…..Its a destructive drug that i never thought it will be like this….I thought it was safe to consume and i never thought that there is withdrawal and to take that darn long….There is not much info out there about this crap called caffeine…my brain doesn’t want to recover and i don’t know what to do…It seems i will look in to prescription drug for anxiety because anxiety from caffeine doesn’t want to go away and my life is hell and i have done everything to eating healthy and gym and yet i am still in withdrawal….Seems all sites that claim its 9 days have an agenda to hide the fact that its an addictive drug like other drugs so they keep selling there caffeine….Hope you get better bro because it seems it will take us more than a year.

    • yes, i am in month 28 and still get those symptoms, but I have been drinking caffeine for about 70 years…

  75. I am on day 74 of being caffeine free. I’m suffering from aching muscles, low mood, unmotivated. Is this normal after so much time?

    • It’s totally normal, five months of physical symptoms, and over five months of mental withdrawal. Good days where you feel near perfect, bad days where you feel awful. Take it in stride, rest a lot, eat healthy, and practice meditation.
      Experiment with different healthy things you can do to take away the withdrawal process, though most things won’t take it entirely away. I tried a lot of things and I can’t recommend anything. Time is the only thing that really takes it away, and no caffeine. At all. The smallest doses can just build up in your system, mostly because your body could have an intolerance now. Along with you could likely have adrenal fatigue, I know I had all the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

      • i replied to this but hit the wrong reply button so its in the wrong place, i hope this post is in the right place, the reply buttons are confusing…

        here goes

  76. Update; I started taking 200mcg of Selenium each morning, which is one tablet. Along with Vitamin B complex, for two days now and drinking at least a cup of iced tea every morning. Making sure I don’t drink too much even stop because the caffeine might not metabolize properly, also the mind still needs to get used to not being on caffeine. Although so far it was eliminated the withdrawal symptoms, and I’m on month 8. I don’t know what this could possibly mean medically, somehow the Selenium and vitamin B keep me awake, while the tea helps keep me mentally balanced. Although Selenium can build up in the body as well, so I have to remember to take breaks from it. Hopefully one day I can get all my energy back and be able to go a month from caffeine and not feel a thing. My mind still feels like it’s somewhat healing though I can say it’s about 60% better.
    I hope this solution lasts, if not then I have to give up caffeine or I have a medical problem.

      • The iced tea plan didn’t work. I just meant it took away the symptoms temporarily. Though it wasn’t long before everything was slowed down once again. Now I’m taking Selenium on a daily basis which clears up brain fog, it’s non-habit forming because it’s a natural chemical that occurs in the body. It also works on the thyroid to produce energy. I’m still going through withdrawal, just always looking for solutions around it.

        • Oh I understand, I tapered off too. By the way,3 brazil nuts per day provides you with your daily requirement of selenium in a far more absorbable form than a chemical supplement which can be dangerous in overdose.

          Selenium Side effects – Selenium overdose – Too much selenium

          Jan 2014 Home › Nutritional deficiency › Too much Selenium – side effects – overdose
          Exceeding the upper tolerable levels of selenium is fraught with many overdose side effects.
          While it is being advised to take adequate levels of the essential trace mineral selenium either through food or through supplements, there is a lurking danger of overdose and side effects by taking too much of it.

          In fact the adult requirement is only 50-60 mcg. However the tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is also low and there is a possibility of excess intake

          Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of selenium and its overdose
          When blood levels of this essential trace mineral exceed 100 μg (mcg or micrograms per one deciliter (dL) of blood, selenosis, an excess of the mineral condition with many side effects is caused. Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) has been set by The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, for preventing the risks of selenosis, at 400 micro-grams per day for adults.

          Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for Infants, Children, and Adults.
          Age Males and Females (μg/day)
          0 – 6 months 45
          7 – 12 months 60
          1-3 years 90
          4-8 years 150
          9-13 years 280
          14-18 years 400
          19 years + 400
          Selenium intake at levels above the UL carry very high risk of overdose and the resultant side effects.

          Causes of selenium overdose
          Normally we get sufficient of this mineral from our diet. The situation of excess can occur in the following circumstances.

          Excess presence in soil and food.
          Soils in different regions of the world contain varying levels of selenium.
          Foods grown in very high selenium bearing soils have too much of it and cause selenosis.
          A typical example is the case in China where people suffered selenosis when they consumed corn grown on carbonaceous shale which was extremely rich in selenium (as much much as 9%).

          Self medication and excess and unregulated use of supplements
          Use of selenium supplements without proper analysis of the requirement can lead to excess consumption and overdose. Frequent use of Brazil nuts and other foods very rich in the mineral can lead too much accumulation of it in the body causing the health problems.

          Selenium side effects on consuming too much of it
          Side effects of consumption of too much of this mineral include garlic odor in breath, lung problems, breathlessness gastrointestinal irritation, stomach upsets, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue, muscle cramps, restlessness, listlessness, dementia, behavioral problems, metallic taste in the mouth, hair loss, skin inflammation, tooth decay, and fingernail discoloration.

          Other problems on too much of this mineral are damage to nervous system, impairment of liver, impairment of kidney, thyroid malfunction, jaundice, dermatitis, birth defects, and stunting of growth. In extreme cases fever and damage to lung and heart occur and may result in mortality.

          Relief, treatment and cure from selenium side effects
          Treating selenosis starts with removing the causative factor. The patient is made to drink sufficient water to flush out the excess reducing the problems. There is no antidote for this mineral. In severe overdose cases hospitalization is necessary for the convalescence of the patient and for the treatment.

          • You are right, I cold be suffering from selenium overdose as of now, with intestinal problems to feeling lightheaded. I was never sure what was causing it because feeling lightheaded and the intestinal problems went away with taking another dosage, though it’s really possible that I should just stop taking it.
            I was always unsure whether caffeine withdrawal was causing the lightheaded feeling and the stomach upset, even though it is month 10. The feeling of fatigue is only now just going away again.

          • oh dear, i just checked and we should only eat 1 brazil nut per day!!!

            New Zealand researchers compared Brazil nuts’ efficacy to that of selenomethionine supplements in increasing selenium status in 59 New Zealand residents with low selenium (plasma selenium concentrations < 1.27 micro mol/L).

            Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group ate two Brazil nuts each day (estimated to provide approx. 100 micrograms Se). A second group took a supplement providing 100 micrograms of selenium as selenomethionine per day, and the third group, who served as controls, were given a placebo pill. Blood levels of selenium and glutathione peroxidase (GPx – a selenium containing enzyme that is one of the body's most important antioxidants) activities were measured at the beginning of the study and at 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks.

            By week 12, blood levels of selenium had increased by 64.2%, 61.0% and 7.6%, respectively, in the Brazil nut, selenomethionine, and placebo groups. Plasma levels of GPx increased by 8.3%, 3.4% and -1.2%, and whole blood GPx by 13.2%, 5.3% and 1.9% in the Brazil nut, selenomethionine and placebo groups, respectively.

            Not only was consumption of two Brazil nuts each day as effective for increasing selenium status and enhancing GPx activity as 100 micrograms of selenomethionine per day, but just one Brazil nut per day would have been sufficient to raise dietary selenium intake to within recommended intake levels for the mineral.

            The researchers pointed out that food sources are always preferable to supplementation for improving the nutritional status of a population because they are sustainable, less expensive and have a lower risk of toxicity.

            The authors did, however, warn that Brazil nuts are not uniform in their selenium content and may contain much more or much less than the estimated 50 micrograms per nut. No more than one or two Brail nuts should be consumed daily to avoid excessive accumulation of selenium in tissues.

            Practical Tip: Enjoy just one Brazil nut each day and help ensure that you get your daily requirement for selenium.

            Thomson CD, Chisholm A, McLachlan SK, Campbell JM. Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;87(2):379-84. PMID: 18258628

  77. Sean you were so right about meditation being key, I am feeling a lot better since I learned to meditate properly(at last) by listening to Ashok’s meditation cd’s. I went to his last weekend workshop in London, it was great, thank you so much for recommending his programme to me.

  78. 2 Months in Update

    I posted here about a month ago. Two months ago I gave up caffeine. Overall, I feel much better without it, but my mind is still very, very dull. Depression and anxiety are for the most part gone. I think people sometimes start speaking to me, and then they stop… because all I can do is stare blankly at them.

    For you science nerds, I tried 23andMe’s DNA test and one interesting thing it told me about myself is that I am a very slow metabolizer of caffeine. The means my body doesn’t process caffeine quickly. So, all of the caffeine I’ve been throwing into my body by the gallon has been wreaking havoc on my system.

    So for now, the dull brain and fatigue are consuming me. Hopefully nobody notices too much. I am a bit more motivated than in the first two months. I’ll give you a 4 month update end of July.

  79. Hi everyone – thought I’d drop a line as now I’m starting to feel like a normal person (sometimes). I have been weaning myself off of caffeine for the past 5 months. It started as a result of SBUX switching there tea provider and the new brand of green tea didn’t pack the same punch as the old one. It took about a month to adjust to the change in brand (while consuming the same amount – about 60-80 ounces of double strength brew).

    I felt awful that entire month – extremely depresed, sleeping 12+ hours a day, no energy, crazy anxiety – then I came across this article. After reading what people were going through I decided to say “f*ck this” to caffeine and start weaning myself off. Although I was/am systematically and slowly changing my caffeine intake I still experienced sever withdrawal symptoms. All stated before but this time I started becoming extremely paranoid abut my personal life as well. The worst part is the strain it put on my relationship with my girlfriend. We live together and I was convinced it was over – basically I felt like total shit.

    After about three months I started having a day or two a week where I felt fine – just like my regular old self. But then it’d be followed by another 2-3 days of feeling generally bummed out/anxious/extremely negative thought cycles. The crazy part was that any time I changed my regular consumption of caffeine, however small, it led to a new wave of withdrawal. And I thought this would be the EASY way!

    I’m still not “clean and sober” and still consume between 16 and 30 ounces of tea a day (regular strength). I have been drinking green tea daily, as many as 10-20 cups a day for the last 12 years or so. In the past, I would occasionally go through coffee phases where I was drinking about 2 pots a day. Every time I decided to switch back to tea – depression.

    I tried the astragalus root and l-theanine and that seemed to help a little. I now plan to start up a jogging habit 3x a week so hopefully that helps as well. I have eaten pretty clean and healthy for many years so that wasn’t too much of an issue although I do find myself picking up a dark chocolate bar at the grocery store a few times a week and eating it immediately 😛

    Anyways, just wanted to drop in – thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I return back to this page often when I have those rare moments of, “hey, maybe I’m not totally fucked in the head and maybe this is still the whole drug withdrawal thing.” Thanks for a VERY helpful article and forum.

    James

  80. update at 2 years and 3 months, GI issues seem to be resolved, fatigue 50% better, ditto back ache, ditto anxiety and irritability. Worst symptoms are the back ache, muscle spasms and the fatigue. The rash around my nose and mouth has completely cleared up, thank goodness. Eyes still sore and still get blocked sinuses. Still get the dry cough on occasions, Sleep is good.

  81. I kicked caffeine after having an accidental “overdose”. Worst mistake of my life. It led to a traumatic experience in the ER and sever panic attacks. I didn’t know the risks of going caffeine-free cold turkey, and now have been experiencing so many side effects.
    I’m on week 3 and I tried to re introduce small bits of caffeine just to help the side effects. I never had an issue with being “addicted” so to say – but I was consuming coffee every day for years-and well more recently, (within the past 6 months) pre-workout and other caffeinated substances to try to get me going at the gym.
    I feel like I’m so far into the withdrawal now that nothing will help me. I’m experiencing Insomnia, extreme Anxiety, extreme sense of doom and worry, and sinus issues (ear blockage and ringing in the ears for days-making it even more difficult to fall asleep!) people are starting to think I’m crazy and that it’s all in my head. Doctors are telling me they’re not sure whats wrong with me! It’s like none of them know anything about caffeine withdrawal. I’m not even sure if this is “normal” but I just feel awful. Some days are okay, I feel like I can get by, but others are just awful.
    All I can say is I hope this passes soon because it has literally been hell.

    • Month 8 of caffeine withdrawal. The fatigue has lifted gradually, unfortunately I spent all last month trying to reintroduce caffeine into my system from the struggles of withdrawal. Which has kicked me back about 30 days, the stress has eroded away mostly. Perhaps the stress will return when I get my full energy back, though I fully expect to be better around month 12.
      The less caffeine you have the better, even if you think it will lessen the symptoms. It will more likely exaggerate them, it’s fully possible to just wake up allergic to caffeine. There comes a time when the body just gets tired of having it, and every intake of it can cause problems. Keeping stress down and sleeping all the time is important, it will always keep you at a balance along with just doing anything to not think about caffeine that is possible.
      B vitamin complex is what I recommend for energy. I also overdosed because one day it felt like no matter how much caffeine I drank I didn’t feel awake, I think I just woke up allergic to caffeine so any and all intake of it was no longer effective at all. Five months of physical symptoms the only one being fatigue, and five months of mental symptoms is what I seem to experience. I’ve read it can take someone who is allergic at least 12 months to recover fully, though it gets easier the more weeks and months go by.

    • vanessa,

      People are crazy they are programed that caffeine is safe and not like other drugs…I also used caffeine for energy and to help in the gym thinking its safe to use..I did not use coffee but only pre-workouts before hitting the gym for years…Like many others who are in to bodybuilding using that stuff all of them suffered withdrawals and severe panic attacks and hell on earth like junkies going throu heroin withdrawals…..For sleep you can use melatonin sleep aid its natural and helps with deep sleep…I recommend 1 mg before bed and used for short term 1 month until the body can sleep on its own naturally and then stop using it for a while…I am myself in 10 month withdrawal anxiety mentally and I am seriously going to get treated in drug rehab center as i am fed up and cant take it anymore…Try ginseng for energy and melatonin for sleep.

      • I wonder if caffeine use creates a severe thyroid problem, which explains the severe loss of energy. Over consumption and the thyroid takes months upon months to heal, which also disturbs sleep process. I take Selenium sometimes and it’s the vitamin that thyroid functions on, although it can exaggerate my stress level and anxiety. I’m thinking about having a daily dose of tea, selenium, vitamin B every morning. I’m going to check in with a doctor to see if anything is wrong though.

        • No, I seem to become more allergic to caffeine each and every single time I have it no matter how small the ammount.

  82. Blaine,

    In my humble opinion i think you should stay away from caffeine…i know many bodybuilders who are in rehab because of this drug and personally i know a friend who suffered withdrawals that lasted 2 years…..i am near a year of caffeine withdrawals and still not recovered yet…..Putting a drug in healthy sport like bodybuilding that has withdrawals like heroin is shameful and also it raises blood pressure and also causes your adrenal gland to be exhausted….its no diff its the same as heroin or cocaine and has no place in bodybuilding…Hope you get well bro 🙂

    • I’m sorry, but comparing caffeine withdrawal to heroin withdrawal is insane. I’ve gone through both and I would rather take a hammer to the hand than feel like that again. Caffeine withdrawal is tough, but heroin withdrawal is like nothing you can fathom. Trust me.

      • Seth,

        http://lessthan500words.com/2014/06/03/withdrawal-symptoms-for-caffeine-and-heroin-a-simple-comparison/

        my friend caffeine withdrawal lasted two years and i am entering 1 year of caffeine withdrawal see the link above and you will get shocked how similar both caffeine and heroin withdrawal are lol…..my caffeine withdrawal was brutal with severe panic attacks everyday and insane fatigue and runny nose….i took concentrated caffeine potent stuff used for bodybuilding which can be severe than drinking coffee…..it effects everyone differently but it can effect others very bad and can be brutal and can effect some others with less effects depending your body and how your body can handle it….you could go scroll up at Harold comment and see how brutal it was for him as it can be less brutal for others….note:Drinking coffee is not like taking ultra concentrated caffeine from powders which is taking me over year of withdrawals and my other friend who used the same stuff and took him 2 years of withdrawals.

        • It’s not. I abused opiates heavily for 7 years, heroin the last one, but when I saw heavily you wouldn’t believe me if I told you how heavy of a user I was. I wouldn’t worry at all if you only used opiates for 7 months. You’ll feel bad for a while, but no way any permanent changes will occur.

          • 7 years, wow. must of been rough

            Seth thank you for your time and help. all the best to you

        • The only permanent changes/damage I have seen from heroin/opiate use is emotional. I run through phases of emotional numbness to phases of emotional over reaction. Still to this day I have to watch myself. Opiates use will cause long term serotonin level problems. I’ve got a handle on it all now, but I have to say that I know without a doubt my brain was altered from long term opiate use. You kind of have to feel it for yourself after a very long period of abstinence to understand it.

          Caffeine exacerbates these emotional problems 10 fold. Once I gave it up I really got a handle on everything else.

          • thanks for that info seth. how long were you doing heroin for?

            i was only on pain pills for 7 months, i hope the damage isnt permanent for me

        • I’m going to say that yes, I have seen permanent changes from heroin use. With that said I was referring to the withdrawal and the withdrawal alone. Not comparable.

          • if you dont mind me asking, what permanent changes have you seen from heroin use?

            i only ask as i was using opiates and im worried about permanent damage!

    • hey jack, thanks for your thoughts

      i know i need to avoid caffeine, but i end up having that cup every now and then.

      you are right it is as bad as other drugs. i used opiates for 7 months and its screwed my brain receptors, alcohol doesnt even work anymore, its like drinking water! crazy scary stuff

  83. Blaine,

    I think both are addictive and dangerous….i think you should stick with coffee instead of the concentrated caffeine stuff that can be more harmful and addictive…you can buy a pre-workout with no caffeine and stack it with your coffee much safer and better….Caffeine does effect adenosine receptors.

  84. hi guys, i have a strange question

    does coffee or caffeine supplements effect opioid receptors in the brain?

    the reason i ask is i was taking opiates for back pain for 7 months, it really screwed with my receptors, caused desensitization so i need to make sure nothing touches those receptors. i know caffeine effects adenosine receptors

    any thoughts would be great, thanks

  85. It takes about 5 months until I feel better, no more anxiety, depression (still present 10-15 percents). Yes, it takes months like Sean said until the body recover from caffeine.

  86. Excellent article and (perhaps even better) comments, went through most of them.

    Due to acute gastritis a week ago I was forced to go cold turkey on my 10 year approx. 100 mg caffeine habit, as well as my way too many beers daily habit. What struck me as most surprising, is that my cravings for caffeine are actually much stronger than my cravings for alcohol. I’ve been through alcohol withdrawal before, so I was expecting that to kick my ass the most, but caffeine actually is (or was) tougher for me.

    Anyway, I’m on day 7 approximately, some headaches a little bit confused and cloudy, but nothing too terrible.

    All in all, this process is going much easier than I was expecting, considering my previous withdrawal experiences. I think, with any withdrawal, it needs to be considered as an illness. Which means calling in sick, not working for a week, and just lying in bed and sleeping it out. I’ve been sleeping for 18-20 hours a day these past 5 days and I feel excellent now. This is how I got through nicotine and a previous withdrawal. Hopefully it will work for caffeine too.

    Best of luck to anyone quitting this surprisingly strong, socially acceptable addiction! I really think sleeping as much as possible is key.

  87. Great thread. I am on day 3 of no caffeine. (Typing a coherent message seems to be a challenge!) I have experienced much of what has already been said. I will add that I have been fortunate enough to deal with this in a natural setting. I have access to the sea and forest, and I´ve found this has been incredibly helpful as it´s inspiring to take a walk and in such an environment “performance” is less a priority. If you have the opportunity to be in nature, especially taking part of activities in nature (hiking, for example), take it! You will appreciate the opportunity to have a meditative, peaceful mind. I have relocated to a seaside town temporarily, and upon arriving, I still felt so frazzled. All the elements were there for peace of mind, but I could never settle down since I had a near-constant flow of caffeine in my system. Since giving it up, I have been able to embrace the natural beauty around me and am feeling more in the moment. Good luck to everyone on the journey.

  88. 23 days in now

    Things are looking up a little. Had a good 3 days of minimal to no depression. Unfortunately this could go south at any point. I find I’ll have a good few days then plummet 100 mph back to stage one the next day. If I had to guess – this is part of the healing process. I reckon the good days will be few and far between, then get closer……and closer until they are so close ALL the days are good days.

    I think the caffeine was also triggering my cardiophobia (Yes ridiculously this is a real thing look it up). A condition where you focus too much on your heartbeat. I believe the caffeine was causing my heartbeat to be ever present. Which it absolutely should be!! Although It was causing it to beat hard and It would often govern my state of mind. Coming off the caffeine my cardiophobia has lessened severely and I don’t focus on my heart beating as much.

    I also tried camomile tea to help ease my anxiety. I have mixed feelings about this. Sometimes it worked to calm me down. Other times is actually had the reverse effect and ALMOST caused a panic attack when I was out and about. My advice to anyone considering non caffinated tea as an alternative – don’t. You might get away with it like I did a couple times – but is it worth the risk? I think certain ingredients in herbal tea can mimic caffeine’s effects and actually raise anxiety levels.

    I’ll finish by saying this thread to me is the Holy Bible of caffeine withdrawal/anxiety and has helped beyond words. Thanks Sean Russell and thanks all my fellow sufferers.

    • Caffeine has definitely causes mental problems for me over the years that I’ve been on it, worsening depression and anxiety to severe levels with the illusion that it lifted those things. I thought that I could turn to it as an answer for everything, though eventually it wore me down to the core. Leaving me sick and helpless all the time, it was only when I went through six months of withdrawal that I finally began to feel as though I could do anything again. My body now reacts to caffeine like it’s a foreign invader, immediately getting sick and trying to flush it out like an allergic reaction. Tea didn’t help though now I take half of a 200 mg Selenium tablet, and Vitamin B complex for focus and energy. Also practicing meditation or taking a nap when stress occurs.

        • My body can still become sick for no reason, bad stomach ache, and sinus pain. Along with random fatigue. Most importantly the brain fog which is what the Selenium is for, if i don’t take it then it’s easy for me to become irritated over anything because focusing or feeling calm is hard. Though some days I almost do feel 100 percent. It may take a few more until I don’t need vitamins anymore.

          • Michael,

            Just stay caffeine free bro and eat healthy diet and you will be great

          • BY THE way,you can get your RDA of selenium from 3 or 4 brazil nuts per day.

            It sounds as if you are well on in your recovery.

    • You are right man, the healing process is not linear at all. And yeah the good days will continue to get close and closer man. Thanks for your insights! GL

  89. I posted a while back. I have been off caffeine twice in the past year. First time for 11 days. Second time for 30 days. The first 11 were the worst 11 days of my life. Horrendous fatigue. Bottom of the pit depression.

    The second 30 were better, but still horrible. I was very depressed and tired. I eventually succumbed to caffeine again.

    Now, I have tried a third time. I’m almost 20 days in. I feel better than the first two times around. My brain is foggy; I might be slightly depressed but mostly just fatigued.

    I have noticed each time I give up caffeine, it gets a little easier to break free of. I also use Tyrosine on occasion, but not everyday. I believe I can make it to the finish line now. I’ll keep you updated on whether or not I feel better quickly.

  90. Glad to see so many folks helping one another! I quit caffiene when I was in my early 20’s (10 years go) when I realized that was why I couldn’t sleep. The shift work in the military didn’t help either. I ended up taking vitamin b supplements and that drastically helped my energy levels with no crash or jittery feelings. To be honest, though, once I powered through a 3-day migraine I started sleeping better and had better energy. I cut the caffiene but stayed on the 3-4 sodas a day routine so that I didn’t battle sugar at the same time. A couple years later I dropped the sugar and experienced incredible withdrawal. If you’re going from sweet, caffienated beverages to a healthy diet and dropping a lot of sugar out of your diet too, the withdrawal symptoms will be much worse than if you do caffiene and later sugar. All total caffiene took a couple weeks for me to even out while sugar took about 4 months before my cravings were pretty much gone. Life has been amazing since. I allow myself a sprite if I go out on special occasions without any issues beyond a little sugar crash that is to be expected. I also am now able to use caffiene as a tool in times of desperation (long drives, night shift when family issues kept me from sleeping, when I get a migraine from other factors) without having to worry about major side effects. As long as I stick to only one mildly caffienated beverage a week (and only if I need it badly, I go months between these necessary times) I have had no issues with caffiene symptoms either. I applaud all of you for your efforts and wish you a speedy recovery and healthy life!

  91. Hey people

    Been checking this thread every day in an attempt to stay sane.

    Mine is a weird tale so bare with me. I have recently quit caffeine cold turkey. Been without caffeine now for two weeks today. I say cold turkey but I actually began reducing my caffeine intake closer to going cold turkey. Ie, I reduced my cup to half a teaspoonful instead of a teaspoonful. My habit was 1 cup of black a day and 1 Monster energy drink every Friday. Hardly hardcore I know but I found It was giving me anxiety issues so stopped. Upon reducing my intake I had little half minute moments each day of feeling down which would pose the question “im not depressed am I?!”. I would shake off the feeling and get on with my day.

    One day it hit me in the strangest way possible. I was watching a documentary about depressed/mentally ill people and as I was watching that “down” feeling came flooding back…..and stuck with me. For the next few days It’s all I could think about. That “feeling of doom” others here have talked about. It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up. I just felt sad, FOR NO REASON. Only time It left me is when I was heavily distracted (I work in retail).

    Anyway, a few days after the feeling filtered away and became not as strong. I decided to kick the caffeine as a result of feeling down after that documentary. Here I am two weeks in from no caffeine and generally I feel OK when Im busy (Eg playing video games). It’s when I’m alone with my thoughts the anxious feeling comes. Started drinking camomile tea in hopes it takes the edge off.

    Im thinking/hoping the down feeling I got from the documentary was triggered by caffeine which was fueling my anxiety

    Thoughts?

    • I think you are prone to anxiety and the caffeine for starters won’t help at all, but on top of that worry about being depressed and anxious will make you more depressed and anxious. It’s a wicked cycle. I think you should stay off caffeine. It sounds liek you have it pretty mild so I think you will see upsides week to week. Liek you said you are okay when distracted, but when you let the negative thoughts in they sabotage you. When you’re on your own you have to break those negative thoughts by literally saying “stop! stop! stop!” when they come and take a deep breath, focus elsewhere and move forward/distract yourself into something. This is an NLP pattern breaking technique.

      But take it week to week. The feeling will pass!

  92. My perspective on caffeine may be a little different than most, but I believe it is a dangerous drug that wreaks havoc on people’s emotional wellbeing and they don’t even know it.

    I drank caffeine occasionally growing up, but as a teenager I got into other drugs, hard drugs. All through my 20’s I drank heavily and did any drug available. By the time I was 30 I was a heroin addict and around 32 I had gotten up to about 2 grams a day of IV heroin use. At this point in my life I made a serious change and went cold turkey off of everything, except caffeine. In fact, I went from a cup of coffee here and there to around 2 pots a day mixed with energy drinks just to move along. Most of this was because after long term opiate abuse you feel like you’re going to die and have zero energy and get zero sleep when you stop. I used caffeine to plug along through the first few months of agony.

    I’ve been off all drugs, except caffeine, for a little over 3 years now. I don’t go to meetings or anything like that. I just changed everything about my life. Lost weight, got back into golf, made different friends, spent time with my family, and the like. I have been to meetings though and anyone that has ever been to an AA or NA meeting knows that coffee and cigarettes are an intricate part of that life. Those people drink LOTS of coffee. A meeting can’t even start unless multiple pots have been made.

    What I started to realize after being clean for about a year is that I was still a nervous wreck and should have felt better than I did. This is when I started reading about caffeine addiction and made the decision to give it up cold turkey. It’s all been said here already. Saying caffeine withdrawal last for a week or two is ridiculous. It was around 3 months off of it when I started to turn the corner and feel REALLY good all the time. I sleep so deeply and feel so much less anxiety on a daily basis. Plus my energy levels are just incredible! No more peaks and valleys, just a constant feeling of alertness.

    What I’m getting at is that many people that have suffered from other addictions continue to struggle with feelings of anxiety, mood swings, and depression because of serious caffeine abuse. I felt like hell even a year clean off of opiates because I was a slave to caffeine. I’ve tried to tell other people about this and generally get blown off as completely crazy because caffeine is so socially accepted. That’s fine and obviously abusing hard drugs is worse than caffeine, but I don’t think it can be denied that caffeine can cause serious emotional instability, especially in individuals that may already have some minor mental health disorders.

    It was a life changing experience for me giving up caffeine and honestly an intricate part of me getting past my previous struggles. I’m not saying that if you quit caffeine you can quit other drugs. What I’m saying is that for many people turning to caffeine because it’s a legal buzz when you do get off drugs and alcohol will hinder your ability to become emotionally stable.

    On a side note, I also noticed that my golf game improved significantly when I got off of caffeine. I don’t have that nervous jittery feeling standing over puts or visualizing shots like I used to before. So if you play golf and drink a lot of coffee I just gave you another reason to give teetotaling a shot. lol

  93. 10+ year addict of nicotine and caffeine. I quit both cold turkey within the past 9 months. I’ve gotta say I was shocked at just how much more severe the caffeine withdrawal was than the nicotine withdrawal. The ‘mind fog’ was so severe I honestly thought I was going crazy. About a month off caffeine now and I can already tell the difference.

    I did have the thought… anything with withdrawal symptoms that severe just cant be good for you, despite what the articles say.

  94. I keep going back to caffeine every month at least once because my stress levels are through the roof, also my energy is probably worse than anyone else’s. I just really don’t feel like doing anything at all.
    The whole reason why I gave up caffeine is the obvious signs of adrenal fatigue that I absolutely did not realize until it became very severe, to the point where I was bedridden. Also because for some strange reason caffeine in high doses made my nose hurt, with a very intense aching or burning sensation. Also caffeine may have made my mind feel totally numb and dumbed down at times when I had too much.
    I couldn’t drink coffee without getting the buzz, also feeling the pain.
    I honestly don’t want to give up caffeine completely, I hope I can have soda every now and again. It’s my mind really that’s affected, it’s ten times slower than it’s ever been in my entire life to the point where it’s hard to enjoy anything. It’s incredibly difficult to go through caffeine withdrawal feeling like that, though I may just have to put up with it.

      • Thanks I’ll try that. I keep B vitamin complex and Selenium on hand, the B vitamin complex also contains Vitamin C which I’ve read is important for adrenal support. Selenium I’ve noticed clears up brain fog and energy some days, although it can make you just a tad more irritated than you intended to be. I bought Selenium because I read that it helped with someone’s chronic fatigue syndrome, the vitamin he said takes awhile to get into your system about 10 days. Also the maximum dose is 400mg though for some reason he said 800mg. I take 200 and sometimes 400 in the morning, before eating and it works fine. I just have to practice stress relaxation on the bad days.
        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nature-Made-Super-B-Complex-460-Tablets-with-Vitamin-C-Folic-Acid-NEW-/321061305107?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ac0bebb13
        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Puritans-Pride-High-Potency-Selenium-200-mcg-250-Tablets-Immune-Support-/171586783548?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27f35e893c

        • Hey Michael ,

          If you are improving just say good bye to caffeine forever and enjoy the natural energy or stick with little green tea and thats it.

          • You are right. Even at low doses I have an allergic reaction I notice now, and I thought it was from adrenal fatigue. I can’t have anything with caffeine at all, my body treats it like a disease to fight against and gets sick.
            I am taking half a 200mg tablet of Selenium since a full tablet gets me irritated, also the B complex still. Practicing meditation and relaxation a lot as eliminated the stress. It seems to have gotten much better at this six month point, I just have to keep myself in check because I’m not out of the woods yet. It’s easy for me to get fatigued or mentally tired. Though it’s better.

          • I can have caffeine, just not too much and as soon as it builds up in my system I would get sick all over again. If I can just take 10-30mg every other day I would probably be fine, I just keep enough around to avoid the mental withdrawal. I’ve read it can fully take 12 months for someone allergic to caffeine. I have the symptoms of an allergy. Irritation, my sinuses ache, stomach problems, too much energy. I’m trying to keep it between the line of good and bad, though eventually maybe I will have to get back on track and do the entire clean and sober thing.

          • Hey Michael,

            Yea agreed the cold turkey way was a bad idea….tapering would have been the human way to solve this

          • I’m beginning to think that no one should ever go through caffeine withdrawal cold turkey, considering that the body just can’t cope. I think that people should lower their intake over the months, or just simply have a cup of decaf or half a cup each day. There’s just no way the body can cope with all the stress, and returning to a normal functioning state. I got back on caffeine now, though I plan on drinking much less than I ever was before. And I was intentionally overdosing before, thinking it wasn’t hurting me.

        • Hey Michael,

          Its sad that in every site i looked at they say 9 days while in the real world its months or even more than 1 year for someone i met that healed after one year….We get shocked after we leave this mess called caffeine we get in to brutal withdrawal as a shocker…..i am still struggling mentally at month 8 and don’t know if i will ever make it….Sean article helps alot…if things don’t turn around i have no choice but to go back to it because this withdrawal is scary and the stress is brutal and anxiety is crap….i would say stay strong and because everyone is diff when it comes to healing…hope you get well fast bro…thanks for the link by the way :)……i had physical fatigue for like 5 months straight…..i used multi at this time to help with energy…after physically i got free from it it turned in to head sensations with horrible jittery and insomnia and sore throat made it impossible for me to sleep.

          • Someone brought up a point to me that I could be suffering from sugar withdrawal, oddly enough whenever I have sugar at times I feel slightly better. Like today I just magically feel better for no reason. I was downing a lot of sugar with all of my coffee, so if sugar withdrawal lasts for months just like caffeine then it’s fully possible.
            I don’t know though, I’m still trying to logically figure it out. I didn’t take any vitamins or supplements today and I feel fine. Maybe because my body doesn’t need them anymore, or I’m experiencing a good moment.
            Adrenal fatigue + Sugar withdrawal + plus caffeine withdrawal could be the diagnosis. I keep trying to take caffeine, though my body woke up allergic and it just comes into contact with a brick wall I guess. My only last remaining symptom is stress coming from nowhere, and difficulty thinking. That in itself is bad. Either there’s a solution somewhere, or it’s just time.

          • Yeah sugar withdrawal is real as well man. Kick the sugar, kick the caffeine and in time your body will regulate itself. Time is the key.

  95. 2 days in no caffeine. I’m starting to get some pain behind my eyes. I’m also trying to get off of refined sugar. I’ve had some ongoing headaches and tension in my upper back, shoulders, and neck. I know that caffeine raises tension levels. Anyone know of a good supplement to support weak adrenals?

    • Time, rest, meditation, lots of veggies and greens. Supplements are gravy, but I would suggest 400mg of magnesium citrate, V-C, and a multi. Nothing crazy.

  96. Well I have been off the stuff for 24 months and I am still feeling crappy, still have insomnia, back ache etc, but I was on the stuff for over 60 years. the fatigue is still around too.

    read “welcome to the Dance” by Ruth Whalen

      • PS the author of welcome to the dance states that because caffeine is fat soluble it takes at least 6 years to detoxify from all organs, and I have seen that
        in other caffeine relate articles.

          • thanks so much Sean, I think you are right and it’s great to have your encouragement!!!

          • copied and pasted from original post: “rom caffeine withdrawal. I will continue to do the Gupta programme because I have other problems that it may help with, It does worry me though, that he does say that you have to rule out all other causes before doing the programme, because I don’t want to wast all my time and effort doing something that may nor be suitable or helpful. If all my problems ARE caused by caffeine withdrawal symptoms, how can the gupta programme help?”
            many thanks for your advice I know you are very busy!

          • Well I think your problems may have originated with caffeine withdrawals and they are prolonging because of an anxiety loop created by that. I think the Gupta program will help regardless! And I definitely don;t think it will hurt or you will be wasting your time!

          • what about my query to you about the gupta programme? whwn yo have time, I’d be grateful for your answer

      • I have had to give the gupta programme a short break, because of too many stressful life events, I am intending to start it again asap.
        but if you read “welcome to the dance” the author says that she still had fatigue
        over 2 years and 6 moths after coming off caffeine, and she had only drunk it for 40 years, nor 70 as in my case. I have also seen entries on other blogs from younger people than me saying that it took them 5 years to recover from caffeine withdrawal. I will continue to do the Gupta programme because I have other problems that it may help with, It does worry me though, that he does say that you have to rule out all other causes before doing the programme, because I don’t want to wast all my time and effort doing something that may nor be suitable or helpful. If all my problems ARE caused by caffeine withdrawal symptoms, how can the gupta programme help?

        many thanks for your advice

    • Adrenal glands can take three at most years to heal, they have a vital part in energy levels from what I’ve read. Also they help make stress hormones to combat mood. Which is why even after all the caffeine is out of your system, you still feel terrible. I tried drinking one cup of decaff per day and my energy came back, the only problem is it created irritation for some reason.

  97. Hey Michael,

    Try ginseng it will give you a boost and good focus….keep up the high protein diet and rest so your body heals.

        • Thanks I’ll try that. I’m on month 5, I only need six hours of sleep a night now. If I get tired I only need to nap for an hour or two though I could use an extra natural boost. Everything is still very, very dull.

          • just be aware of possible side effects of ginseng (as with any supplement), here are a few:

            Are there any possible problems or complications?
            This product is sold as a dietary supplement in the United States. Unlike companies that produce drugs (which must be tested before being sold), the companies that make supplements are not required to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that their supplements are safe or effective, as long as they don’t claim the supplements can prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease.

            Some such products may not contain the amount of the herb or substance that is on the label, and some may include other substances (contaminants). In a 2013 study, a test of 44 samples found that fewer than half the herbal supplements tested contained any of the herb that was listed on the label. More than half the samples contained compounds that were not on the label. This suggests that the 2007 FDA rules to assure the proper listing of supplement ingredients are not always followed. Even when they are, the rules do not address the safety of the ingredients or their effects on health.

            Most such supplements have not been tested to find out if they interact with medicines, foods, or other herbs and supplements. Even though some reports of interactions and harmful effects may be published, full studies of interactions and effects are not often available. Because of these limitations, any information on ill effects and interactions below should be considered incomplete.

            Ginseng is generally considered safe, although there are some possible side effects, especially at higher doses. Side effects may include increased heart rate, nausea, headaches, trouble sleeping, and restlessness. Possible effects in women may include swollen breasts and vaginal bleeding. Ginseng may lower blood sugar levels, a side effect that could be of particular importance to people taking medicine for diabetes.

            Because both American and Asian ginseng may have steroid hormone–like effects, some doctors caution against their use in women who have had breast, ovarian, or endometrial (uterine) cancer. Not enough study has been done to show whether ginseng is safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Women who fall into these groups should speak with their doctors before taking ginseng.

            Ginseng can have an effect on how long it takes for bleeding to stop. This could be an issue if ginseng is taken before surgery or if the patient is taking drugs that affect blood clotting, such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), apixaban (Eliquis), clopidogrel (Plavix), heparin injections, or other blood thinners.

            Ginseng may cause headaches, tremors, agitation, and has been reported to rarely cause manic episodes, especially if used with antidepressants known as MAOIs such as phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), isocarboxazid (Marplan), or selegiline (Emsam).

            Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

            To learn more
            More information from your American Cancer Society

          • Hey Michael,

            physically at month 5 for me i healed but mentally not yet…..Give your body time to heal….Physically when your healed you may enter mental recovery later but everyone is diff when it comes to healing time….Keep us updated 🙂

            Ginseng may help the dullness you have give it a try

    • Thanks, none of the things I’ve tried worked for me though they did seem to quicken the healing process and sometimes work. Some things may have worked better for someone else. Mostly the adrenal supplements just made me more groggy though it’s used as a calming effect for someone with adrenal fatigue and give energy, the Selenium is used for a natural source of energy and mental clarity by people with chronic fatigue, protein helped make everything feel like it was healing over.

  98. Month 4 of caffeine withdrawal. I’ve been waiting for the moment when everything just clicks together though unfortunately it hasn’t appeared. Leading me to believe that I had the most severe case of adrenal fatigue, so far I’ve changed my diet drastically into a high protein diet. I have a steady intake of as much protein as possible, plenty of water, also B vitamins, and minerals. I take two Selenium every morning as well as two adrenal support supplement instead of four. Four adrenal support supplements make me tired instead of awake. It’s the only way I can stay active. At least I’m sure it’s my adrenals, I have all the symptoms of severe adrenal fatigue. Constantly researching new material about it, I have to rest a LOT still. The supplements just keep me awake, instead of groggy.

  99. Well its been about 5 weeks and today i slipped up and had a dose of caffeine

    I’m dreading the next couple of days and im hoping i havent messed up the progress ive made!

    • Hey Blaine,

      It only will set you back 2 or 3 days but you will continue to detox fine….don’t worry about it

      • hey jack thanks!

        do you know how much/how regularly caffeine consumption is enough to cause someone a big set back?

        i know im still recovering as im having some amazing dreams, really great sleep

        • Hey Blaine,

          I overdosed on daily 600 mg that led me to severe withdrawal for 5 months physical then mental now still not stress free and my head feels full and stressed out all the time and it feels like it never want to go away….i am in mental recovery and it seems sleep and rest heals the brain…i am in month 7 not healed yet…..yes i do feel full head with lots of stress inside my head…it goes away with time and sleep.

          • Hey Blaine,

            Yea everyone is effected differently…..Mine was severe….You healed faster and it seems you will heal faster than me…Do not worry about it

          • wow 7 months?! thats scary, i felt physically better at 1 month just this weird feeling in my head. i guess it might take me 5/7 months too?

        • Hey Blaine,

          huge amount would be bad idea….you can go 100% caffeine free or add some little green tea a day…..Dreams equals healing 🙂

          • thanks for that jack,

            i slipped up a couple times this past week but im cold turkey again now

            did you ever have a dull ache/tight feeling in your head that felt like it would never go away? ive had that for 5 weeks now

  100. Hello everyone,

    I found this post and also the comments to be extremely helpful so I think it is a good idea also to contribute (my english is not fluent, sorry for that).

    My personal story in short:

    – drinking (strong) black tea for more than 10 years, during the past 4 years I started drinking coffe.
    – it started with the occasional cup or two but I noticed that it was more than 6-8 cups of coffe in the past two years or so (I would say around 500-700 mg caffeine, tea and coffe)
    – over the last two years work has been extremely demanding and instead of working out/eating healthy/sleeping enough I increased my caffeine intake
    – I developed a mild to severe depression during this time leading to a point were I was basically unable to work or felt extremely stressed by even tiny problems
    – To cope with the situation I tried many times to do lots of sports and live healthy but it didn’t help (at least I felt that way, maybe I was already too long in this state so that it would have taken longer to get out of it without using any medication)
    – Finally I accepted to take some antidepressants which simply made me dull for a few months. At that time it really felt like a relieve, though after reducing them again I noticed that I didn’t make any fundamental changes to my life and things started to get worse again.

    At the beginning of this year I decided to not only change my work habits (less work) but also to stop drinking caffeine as I always suspected that there simply must be a catch. To me drinking coffee always felt like borrowing energy so I thought I give it a try. I also read the book “Caffeine Blues” during this time which explains a lot of problems associated with caffeine.

    And now my personal caffeine withdrawal timeline (so far):

    First of all, I can confirm Sean’s statement (and that of many others in this post) that caffeine withdrawal may take longer than a few days (most internet sources say maximum 9 days).

    Day 1-3: Horrible headache, felt down, sleepy (I fell asleep in the afternoon a few times, felt like being anesthetized)

    Week 1-2: Anxiety, extremely depressed, I was afraid of work and future, palpitations, heavy night sweats, waking up a few times at night. At this stage going to bed was rather easy because I was extremely tired in the evening. Sleep was not refreshing though and I usually woke up in the morning feeling extremely anxious and stressed (worrying about the day), strong craving for coffee during the first week

    Week 3-4: Still feelings of anxiety, I would say 4-5 out of 7 days, no more night sweats, but sleeping patterns still not good, waking up sometimes at night. Waking up in the morning still with feelings of anxiety some days. Feeling better during the day, no more crashes though quite dull feeling overall.

    Month 2: same as in week 3-4 but I have the impression things are slowly getting better. Feelings of anxiety in the morning maybe 3-4 times a week. Overall mood is getting better. Friends noticed that I started laughing and socializing more often. No coffee craving anymore even when I haven’t slept good or feel tired.

    Beginning of Month 3 (where I am writing this): I hope things will get even better. I don’t yet feel like 6 or 7 years ago but I feel that I make (slow) progress. The most difficult part is to accept that occasional feelings of anxiety may appear but happen less often. I feel more stable and energetic most of the time now.

    I tried to quit caffeine a few times before but never fully succeeded. After drinking one or two cups a day I usually went back to about 8 cups within a few weeks. This time I decided that moderate consumption simply doesn’t work for me and hope that I can quit forever.

    • Hey Jaay,

      Thanks for sharing your story man. Sounds like you are getting better for sure.

      At this point I would recommend to you that you start exercising slowly, like walks every day etc. Then progress to jogging after a few weeks. This will help everything I believe. I also highly recommend meditating for 20 minutes every morning. Can;t beat it.

      That, along with a good diet and more time should bring you back to equilibrium. It’s impossible to say how long but you can be a whole new guy in 6 months man. Never go back to the caffeine.

  101. Do you always have to suffer caffeine withdrawal? Can one prevent it somehow or not feel its effects?

  102. hi michael,

    no i didnt, caffeine for me was only needed before the gym, i never needed any in the morning or for any other activities.

    my tiredness isnt really that bad, go for 30 minute walks daily, i just feel a little low as if im in darkness and wondering if i’ll ever feel like the normal me again.

    how much caffeine were you drinking? ive heard adrenal fatigue can be debilitating. keep pushing though, stay strong, 3 months is something to be proud of

    • Caffeine withdrawal is a roller coaster is the best way to describe it, you’ll have good days and then you’ll have really bad days. As time goes on the good days become longer and longer. It’s partly your brain just getting used to being without those chemicals, because caffeine is a source of artificial endorphins.
      Maybe you should try decaf, before you get off completely. I was on decaf, and it helped the process a lot before I quit it all together. I had adrenal fatigue though, so it didn’t help a whole lot I had to give it up entirely. Thanks, I hope you make it through too.

  103. hi

    i have been consuming caffeine for the last 3 years, and ive decided to quit. i was taking around 500mg’s as a preworkout daily. during those 3 years i have taken 4-5 breaks lasting around a month each time.

    im 3 days no caffeine now, i have got mild dull headache feeling and some tiredness, im sleeping fine and eating well and getting plenty of exercise as usual (im a bodybuilder)

    i wonder how many months it will take to feel fully normal again?

    thanks for letting me share this

    • Hey Blaine, you may very well feel fine in a few weeks. Everyone is different and it sounds like you are doing well so far. Would love to hear back from you in a few weeks!

      • hi again,

        tomorrow it will be 1 whole week and im feeling a little low, although i dont have ‘hellish withdrawals’ i have a feeling of ‘i’ll never recover!’

        my caffeine use wasnt that bad, i only drank it once a day before i hit the gym, but i just have this horrible feeling of never being ‘normal’ again, if that makes sense?

        im hoping i feel somewhat normal within the next 1-2 months

        • Hey Blaine, you’ll get better soon! 1 week is nothing and that feeling of impending doom will pass, you may be better by next week just stay positive!

          • Thanks sean, its now been 2 weeks and im starting to wake up less ‘cloudy’, the impending doom is still lingering abit but im sure when i hit the 1 month mark ill be better mentally.

            still have that weird tight dull head feeling but ive been getting plenty of fresh air/walking and drinking lots of water.

            looks like im doing ok though

        • Did you drink a lot before you had to go through withdrawal, then when you tried to drink even more you still felt awful? You could have adrenal fatigue, which makes caffeine withdrawal a bit worse. I know I have it, it’s been over three months now the changes have been as little as possible. I’m still tired all the time, it’s difficult to do anything. Although I started taking ‘Gaia Adrenal Support’ supplements, taking in plenty of protein even in shakes, vegetables as well. Those take the edge off, along with something as simple as walking a few minutes. Really it’s about what gives you more energy than you already have, trying everything you can find gets you through it.

  104. I too have quit caffeine more than once, before I really realized what it was doing to me. It does take a full 6 months to reap the benefits of being caffeine fre. Dont believe that it will be over in a few days-this just is not true. My anxiety is completely gone. It’s a very rough process, but if you stick with it, you will reap the rewards. Exercise is the key.
    The author of this article is very accurate in his descrotpion of caffeine withdrawal. Much needed information for anyone interested in quitting caffeine!
    Thanks for clearing the air about caffeine withdrawal.

  105. I am sorry to hear about the insomnia. I wouldn’t take any supplement at all because I know from experience that they won’t help me.

    Have you taken or are you taking any meds for depression etc at the moment, because if you are, I would suspect them as well as caffeine for causing your problems.

    my fatigue is getting better as is my muscle weakness, and all the other symptoms are also improving, and I never have spent a day in bed with fatigue, although I have felt like it sometimes, I think that it would not help me to do that, `I do hope you don’t do it too often. I think it is positively dangerous to take supplements when one is already hypersensitive.

  106. I can’t remember what the ingredients are, but I remember that rhodiola is one, and because of my hypersensitivity I would risk the following:
    While rhodiola is considered to be both safe and non-addictive, side effects including anxiety, agitation, nausea, hypersalivation, restlessness, and insomnia have been reported. These side effects are essentially those that result when ingesting any mild stimulant. Indeed, the side effects typically occur when taking too high a dose (such as doubling or tripling a dose before an athletic event or exam) or when combining rhodiola with other stimulants, such as caffeinated beverages. Rapid heartbeat leading to heart palpitations could occur in the event of an extremely high dose or higher sensitivity to rhodiola. Feelings of jitteriness can result if taken during a spike in one’s blood sugar, so it is important to take rhodiola on an empty stomach or followed by a non-sugary meal (no candy or sweets!) Finally, it is not advisable to take rhodiola right before bed, as it may interfere with sleep. Generally, the morning or early afternoon before either breakfast or lunch is considered the ideal time to take rhodiola rosea extract.

    • I do recommend this stuff, just in smaller doses than the described amount if it keeps you too awake. It’s incredibly strong. I went through two or three days on just a few hours of sleep. It does lift your mood a bit, and it really helps you stay awake.

    • You were right, insomnia is a big side effect. I’m sleeping at later and later hours I’m experiencing. I’ll still continue because of the energy boost though.

    • I have a hyper sensitivity to caffeine. I just never noticed because I never thought caffeine was the problem, I always thought something was causing my symptoms and even considered caffeine a lot. It was two years before the symptoms started to become worse until I finally thought caffeine was the problem. Heart palpitations turned into heart pain, insomnia turned into going days without sleep, stomach ache turned into pain, anxiety turned into paranoia, and etc. I’m trying everything through, because I’ve fully blown out my adrenal glands. Even prior to being on caffeine, I had symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome or major depressive disorder. Which I am on disability for. Caffeine was the only thing that alleviated it. Although caffeine could be the culprit all along. I’m bed ridden as it is, fatigue is unbearable. Looking everywhere for a solution. By some miracle caffeine could be at the root of all the problems.

  107. I forgot to say, that I have read that there are adenosine receptors all over our bodies (not just the brain), and this explains the multiplicity of symptoms, chronic pain, Gi problems etc etc

    • I have gotten my adrenal support supplements, for my caffeine withdrawal and adrenal fatigue.
      Contains Holy basil originally from India and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an “adaptogen” to counter life’s stresses.
      Rhodiola used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them. Used for increasing energy, stamina, strength and mental capacity; and as a so-called “adaptogen” to help the body adapt to and resist physical, chemical, and environmental stress. It is also used for improving athletic performance, shortening recovery time after long workouts, improving sexual function; for depression; and for heart disorders such as irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol.
      As soon as I took it, it felt like a calm that rushed over me. Suddenly nothing seems that bad. Hard to explain. http://www.gaiaherbs.com/products/detail/5/Adrenal-Health this is what I bought.

        • There isn’t a significant improvement when it comes to energy, although I’ve read it can take days to weeks for the supplements to fully work.
          What I notice right now is that my mental clarity is better, the fogginess has lifted somewhat. There have been moments after taking two pills, that I had far more energy that I anticipated along with being able to feel mentally clear. It does take the edge off, although it’s not a complete and total change.
          Still on days like today, the fatigue still has it’s high points. I’ll continue taking them as the days go by and track my improvement. So far it’s just mentally better, and slightly physical. It really improves the good days and only slightly removes the bad days.

          • unfortunately, nobody could prove that that would not have happened anyway, that’s what makes it difficult to prove, but whilst I won’t be risking it I hope it really does work for you.

      • Hope it helps. I personally always tried to stay supplement free unless I absolutely needed something to curb the edge. And thinking about it I did at the beginning, so whatever helps until you can go natural.

    • I wonder if there are any support supplements for adenosine receptors, I always thought that caffeine withdrawal lasts so long because of adrenal fatigue. Your adrenal glands are over used, and depleted causing your body to be at it’s lowest point.
      I actually contracted shingles while I was going through caffeine withdrawal, I’ve heard that the only reason that happens is because someone’s immune system is compromised which adrenal fatigue causes. I ordered adrenal support supplements, I’m going to try them out and see if my symptoms improve. According to reviews they do heal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can last for over six months, depending on just how severe it is I’ve read.

      • Caffeine relies on using your adrenal glands, producing adrenaline. Which causes all of the positive benefits of caffeine. Although once adrenal glands are depleted, there’s nothing for caffeine to run on and therefore it makes you sick. Perhaps some people just have weaker adrenal glands, or a different system entirely.

  108. I find meditation helps a little, but I cannot tolerate any vitamins or minerals, so I make sure my diet is good and I eat organic wherever possible. I make sure to get at least a 40 minute walk every day.

    I don’t seem to have the highs and lows that i had during the first 12 months, but I am on a dreadful sort of mediocre plateau, with occasional periods of feeling a whole lot better.

    • You cannot tolerate the vitamins and stuff b/c of hypersensitivity right now. So common. But those periods of feeling better are a great sign. Meditation is key.

  109. wow thanks for the quick reply, and for the support. I am glad you tell people about the dangers of xanax, because I was on Ativan (plus other prescribed crap for 30 years, and it has taken me nearly as long to recover. It was during that recovery that I became “allergic” to caffeine. (and MSG etc etc). It is a bit of a nightmare to encounter this just as I was starting to feel so much better. I wonder now if caffeine was the cause of the original anxiety that got me on benzos.

    I wish there was something I could do to speed things up, especially the fatigue, but I know from experience that time is the only cure. I wonder how Bex (a previoius poster here) is doing, I hope she got off caffeine!!….

    By the way I forgot to mention some of my other symptoms (from caffeine wd), I have developed ocd , clumsiness, hip pain, back pain, muscle spasms and cramps, and I am a complete pain in the proverbial because of the terrible irritability, I hope i have a few friends left by the time i recover.

    None of these symptoms is as bad as they were when I first came off caffeine, but they still make normal life impossible.
    Thanks again for your prompt reply.

    • I drank caffeine for most of my life, for about three or four years almost every day. Over time I became more and more allergic to it, until the allergic reactions became worse every time I had it. High anxiety, fatigue, unexplained pain, all caffeine allergy symptoms for me.
      I have a lot of aches and pains all over my body still, even though it’s been over 80 days of withdrawal. Sometimes it’s nothing but agony, all over my body for an hour or two and I just have to wait for it to pass. A healthy diet is an important part of withdrawal, vegetables, water, eating plenty, fruit, exercise, lots of protein, all significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms for me. What bothers me the most is if I’ll ever feel as completely clear headed as I did before, it’s difficult to concentrate or think about anything.

      • And multivitamins took a lot of the symptoms away, nuts. Just absorbing every nutrient I could find. It all curves the edge a lot.

  110. I am in my early 70’s and have been drinking caffeine all my life, (mostly about 2 cups of tea per day), I tapered off all caffeine 22 months ago, and am still fatigued, foggy, aching, extremely irritable, and I also still have GI problems. I never expected this process to be so hard or that it would take so long. the good news is that I am sleeping better and my long term depression has vanished. It is hard not to be believed by my friends, and this site has made me feel less isolated. I wish somebody else could validate my experience!

    • You’ve been on a brain affecting drug for over 50 years! It will take time Viv and yes it’s hard because no one understands. Hope you continue to improve!

    • I have corrected my email address and am not sure whether my “real” name is required as i do not want to post it.

  111. Hey Sean

    I’ve been caffeine free for almost 11 months. I was taking a lot of pre-workout supplements which contained caffeine and other stimulants in it. It was bad for about 6 months and better now. But I still don’t have the energy and still have the foggy head most of the time throughout the day but sometimes I feel fine. My free 24 hour urine cortisol is high and I have more energy in the evening it seems like. Even when I sleep, I wake up still tired. I’m thinking this is adrenal fatigue. I did a 10 min phone call with a naturopathic doctor and told her my story and she thought the same thing. She would do a saliva test to see my cortisol levels and DHEA levels. This all started when I stopped caffeine. I did a zyto skin test which said I had 54 stressors out of the circle. The supplements the ND put me on was distress remedy drops, dhea k-18 drops, iodine synergy caps, super liquid folate drops and schisandra adrenal complex and after this my stressor levels will be back in the circle. Do you have knowledge of adrenal fatigue or had it after giving up caffeine

    • Hey Rob,

      I am pretty sure I had undiagnosed adrenal fatigue. I would put money on it. I had a lot of issues in the past along with caffeine, including trauma and an anxiety disorder and chronic fatigue, which messed me up for years. At one point I couldn’t get out of bed. That’s why I do this stuff now, and I will be sharing my story more in the future.

      But I healed, while working and playing soccer. So keep positive.

      Things that helped me were guys like Dr. Wilson and Dr. Lam. You can google them to find them. I didn’t do anything fancy. Big focus on healthy diet, mainly veggie and plant based. And time. But what cured me of chronic fatigue syndrome was this: http://goo.gl/5Tu8xd, because for me it was all stress/trauma related.

      Hope this helps man.

    • Hey rob 🙂

      i had adrenal fatigue for the first 4 months i was tired and exhausted all the time as i was sleeping a lot my mind was healing until month 5 when my body healed and got back to normal and also my adrenal gland got back to normal and i had insane energy but mentally i did not heal and i had insomnia from too much energy but mentally i was tired as hell still do.

      I used a multi for my adrenal fatigue which healed it faster http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Nutrition-Animal-Supplement-44-Count/dp/B000GOT54C

      Try it with a big breakfast and you will feel much better.

  112. It’s been two and a half months, unfortunately the symptoms of the withdrawal haven’t been improving at all. If I have a good day, where I feel 100% it’s one day, or maybe two out of weeks of feeling tired and fatigued. The symptoms are far too severe for me to believe that caffeine is fully responsible, another possibility is that I have chronic fatigue syndrome, or adrenal fatigue. If I drink anything with caffeine in it for a day or two, then stop abruptly I get killer headaches, along with slight aches in every muscle. My mind is far duller than it was off of caffeine as well. I have the same symptoms if I drink caffeine or if I don’t. I keep going back to caffeine because the withdrawal feels so awful, and there’s little to no improvement. Caffeine may not be my problem after all, since giving it up or continuing to have it. Though moderation may be the best course of action. Any idea?

    • Hey Michael,

      Whether the problem is chronic fatigue (which I had a cured) or caffeine withdrawal the answer is the same. Time, meditation, proper nutrition (no sugar, healthy fats, lots of veggies, whole foods), positive mainframe, hydration, and more time. If you really think you have chronic fatigue syndrome this is the programme that fixed me.

      But I do think this is caffeine withdrawal, read many of the comment which have had similar experiences (especially the off and on feeling good). They all come back and say they are better. And yes your adrenals are probably fatigued, but it will take time to heal and going on and off caffeine will not help at all.

  113. Thank you so much for this article and everyone’s comments! Another gal here.

    I personally was addicted to caffeine for about 7 years. 10 cups of coffee a day, caffeine pills, soda, even snorting caffeine powder. I slowly tapered that off to just one cup of coffee in the morning, figuring that couldn’t hurt. Well, after that big drop in caffeine intake, I felt like crap. I had a constant full, hard feeling in my abdomen, and a hard lump in my lower right abdomen which I got scanned for (nothing).

    I drank one cup a day for a year, then a month ago it occurred to me that I should try stopping coffee all together. I’ve been shocked at the changes! The full, hard feeling has spread upwards to my stomach. It feels like my whole system is moving slowly. (This makes sense, as I have also recently recovered from an eating disorder.) If I consume anything that reduces motility further… tiny bit of alcohol, or certain medications… I throw up violently for hours. It seems to be mild gastroparesis. So for anyone who is experiencing weird stomach symptoms (heartburn, burping etc.), it COULD be due to slow motility. Coffee speeds up gastric emptying, so removing it has the opposite effect temporarily.

    There have also been positive changes – way less bloating, no more energy crashes – and that hard lump in my abdomen has totally disappeared! I made a mistake thinking I could go from 10 cups of coffee a day, to 1 cup forever. I was in a limbo of not drinking enough to feel physically okay, but still having it daily and keeping my body dependent on it.

    I was scared to give it up, but I have faith in my body’s ability to heal. I mean, I didn’t need coffee before I started drinking it, why should I need it now?

    • Wow Ash, thanks for sharing your story. Snorting caffeine! Glad to hear you are off it, and it will take your body a while to heal and acclimate but sounds like you are on your way. When in doubt, see a doctor. I wouldn’t mention caffeine withdrawal though b/c they will probably just laugh at you. But it will rule out other stuff.

  114. Tea seems to curve the symptoms, although I don’t know if all together based on past evidence I should be drinking it. I drank caffeine for two years before it began to run me down, though I’m suspecting that it could have been early on that I was allergic or sensitive to it. I tried to get back on caffeine after I was already sick from it, and I had the most sever abdomen pain when I drank too much of it, along with fatigue. Buying a gallon of green tea also didn’t help all that much early on. Though when I switched to decaff, my only symptom was just being tired.
    Leading me to think I can have caffeine, just not too much of it or else it wrecks my system. I had a Snapple tea, it seemed to really turn my symptoms around. Energy is increased, although mind is still just plain dull. Although maybe that’s just the illusion of the sugar which could have been the case with fruit juice as well. Is tea good during withdrawal? Or is all caffeine general to being avoided?

    • It’s hard to say Michael. Everyone is different.

      For someone withdrawing from caffeine, I always say go 100% free of it – just for piece of mind. But tea can be healthy. and yeah snapple is not haha it’s pure sugar. Definitely will give you a quick boost but sugar (added/un-natural) is poison.

  115. Sean,

    Your right, I have not been exercising at all in the last two months because I keep postponing it to get work done instead. My diet has also been pretty bad these last few days too. I took the benefits of quitting and became complacent with my exercising and health. Need to get back into a routine and keep my health in check.

    Thanks for providing such amazing info on quitting coffee. Had I not found your timeline, I would have given up between month 2 to 5 or I would have thought that I have developed a disease or something.

    After the 5th month, it does not even matter and life became really good, I feel much more real and present.

    Nishant

  116. Has anyone ever experienced chronic eye pain from caffeine withdrawal? I’ve strarted to notice this when I drank caffeine along with fatigue, irritability, that began to gradually get worse as time went on. Which drove me to give up caffeine two months ago, however one severe problem I’ve been experiencing is that television or computer screens at times can cause my eyes to strain. I’ve never ever had a problem with this before, and I wear glasses. The symtom is before a wave of dull or blank mind, and fatigue that I have to walk through before it goes away or just pass out. I’m also on month three of recovery; day 60. Is it just me or is the fatigue still really aweful after all that time, or could it be something medical? It has gotten better, I can actually work with it instead of just crashing or laying in bed in pain. I had to give up all caffeine, because began to give me a bad case of chronic fatigue, until it made me sick every hour of every day. Thanks.

    • Michael,

      We have had guys on here complaining of neck pain, leg pain, back pain & I believe that your eye pain is in the same category. Your body is stressed and tension is high right now, which can manifest anywhere in your body. I too get eye strain from computers. This helped me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH66vhcpcFc. But you’re only on day 60, and even you said “It has gotten better.” I just replied to a comment from a guy who was shitty at month 4 and got better in month 5 and now feels great. Stick it out and try not to focus on your eyes. The mind can manifest things like you wouldn’t believe.

  117. Sean,

    I quit coffee in mid july 2014, so about 6 months caffine free now. This webpage was a strong inspiration for me to continue my struggle of quitting coffee.

    The journey is very much as you described. Best benifit for me has been my skin. I’ve had acne since a teen (26 now) and now I’ve finally got a pimple free face. The other ig one is the reduced anxiety and anger,etc.

    However, I’ve noticed my thinking ability has gone down. I can do math as well (I need it for my studies), also I can’t frame my thoughts into words as well as I could before. Is this related to quitting caffeine? What can I do to supplement this? I read that you said using fish oil, anything else?

    • Hey Nishant 🙂

      I got acne from caffeine too and when I quit it got worse until later but still have acne until I become totally caffeine free it does effect the skin too…Try green tea or ginseng they will help you a lot in the mental part…give them a try.

      congrats on being caffeine free 🙂

    • Hmm, I think time and exercise will help. Drink a lot of water and eat well. I don;t think supplements are the answer unless you are deficient so see your doctor to check that.

  118. E-Cigarettes tend to be easy adequate to find in nyc and simply about
    any spot shop carries all of them.

  119. Anyone having stomach issues several months after going off caffeine?

    I’m at the six month mark and I’m having acid stomach/GERD, bloating, and general discomfort almost daily. I’ve been taking omeprazole for about six weeks now, as well drinking kefir and eating yogurt, with limited success on easing thing up.

    Anyone experience anything similar?

    • I’m having the same stomach problem. Today marks the 119th day without caffeine. Until today, I’m still having stomach bloating almost everyday and sometimes accompanied by excess stomach acid. But for most of the time, I’m having indigestion. Visited doctors, done endoscopy for my stomach, tested for H.ployri (result: negative), nothing serious but mild inflammation, according to the doctor. But I keep having this stomach problem and I experienced weight loss because of this. I’m not sure if this problem is part of caffeine withdrawal syndrome. I just hope that my stomach can get better.

      • I’m in the same boat, MA. I’m drinking kefir daily, which helps manage it to some extent. It’s been going on from late October to the present. The bloating has given way to heartburn in the last few days, so maybe I’m moving out of it.

      • Hmm, I am not sure MA as this is not my field of expertise. May definitely be separate from the caffeine withdrawal. Have you tried Braggs ACV before each meal. Maybe you are not producing enough acid.

        • Hey Sean 🙂

          Recovery update:

          Seems my mind is becoming brighter and some of the stress got lower but not stress free still seems to be stubborn from the two right and left side….at least for now my mind is brighter than depressed mood good progress but it may be bright at some days and some not so its not linear.

    • Hey zac 🙂

      Yea I had problems with my stomach when physically I was depended on it for months got better from a month ago later….however I am stuck now with jittery feelings inside my brain like running sensations…physically I am free from it I am not depended on it anymore but mentally with jitters and insomnia and sore throat is what is left.

      You still feel physically depended on it or just mentally or both still??

      • Thanks for the reply Jack.

        I’m in the mental recovery period right now, I think. I still have anxiety and anxiety aggravated symptoms.

        I first had heartburn and acid stomach about 2.5-3 months into this. Prilosec knocked it out in two weeks. Acid stomach/bloating came back in early November, and I haven’t been able to shake it yet. My primary two symptoms now are the stomach stuff and very dull headaches and head feelings.

        • Hey zac 🙂

          Your welcomed bro…trust me I when I quite caffeine from months ago it was insane hell my mind could not function for one hour and I had worse symptoms was dizzy with heart problems and my stomach was in horrible condition along with extreme pain in my back muscles and I passed most of it and you can too…We can do this and unfortunately the mental part takes time but at least we passed the worst of it….Stay strong bro and we will get there for a new fresh life ahead of us 🙂

        • Yea the mental part is the last thing I have to anxiety and jittery feelings and that stress that puts pressure on the head…Had this stomach issue for like 4 month….Got back to normal after month 5….The worst part is the mental part.

          We try to hang in there and it will go away as long we drink water and get sleep two most important things for recovery.

          Hope for the best zac and don’t worry about the stomach issue mine was in bad shape for months.

      • Hey Sean 🙂

        Wanted to ask for some advice because I feel I am stuck between the jittery feelings and insomnia that I always had since when I was a kid which is coming back but the withdrawal making it hard for me to get 4 hours sleep and I don’t think its good for recovery….Then I am stuck with this natural sleep aid that makes me dream and sleep which is good and lessens the stimulant effects of caffeine but makes me depressed and tired if I take it everyday or if i leave it my mind becomes bright but with jittery sensations I begin to feel the caffeine effects again I cant sleep at all….Or should I take it and get sleep everyday and handle the depressed mood until I heal from caffeine withdrawal??

        Also did you have muscular problems during the withdrawal??

        • I think you should stop taking the sleep aid forever and let your body restore your sleep naturally. It may suck for a few weeks but this sleep aid roller coaster you’re on is not helping (in my opinion). Try to get some light exercise during the day and meditate every morning and night. If you’re not meditating then you are doing yourself a big injustice. It was one of my keys to recovery. It is so good for the nervous system and sleep. But give it weeks to take effect.

          Nervous system problems can make you have muscular issues. But stop taking anything that is affecting your brain, like the sleep aids and just let your chemistry get back to normal. It WILL. I have dealt with so many guys so far who have been through this and worse and they are good now.

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            meditate would help and I will try doing that everyday and I might try to get back to the gym even if I feel worse when I lift because of the anxiety but I heard both can speed up the recovery and the body will adapt and I have to push hard to recover as much as I can making sure that battle must be won 🙂

            Will try my best Sean and thank you for the advice….Will start the program after 1 week or 2 until my sleep goes back to normal and try my best 🙂

            I past the worst of it and only the anxiety is what is left so I must push and fight back.

  120. So, I don’ drink coffee, I drank about 10 coffees in my life. But Coke, hectoliters. I started about 20 years ago when Coke break-out Romania (sorry for my english, I’m from Romania). 2 cokes, 1 litre, 2 per day, last year drop from 2 to 1, half a litre, 1 can than I realized that’s some is wrong. Coke really depletes my vitamines, minerals, brain. I realized in every day about 12 pm that my brain doesn’t have energy, anxiety, go to bed at 9 pm and wake-up at 3, 4 AM exhausted. Today I’m 2 weeks free of coke, no anxiety, a little depression, but I go to sleep al 11 PM without loss of energy, At 6-7 AM I’m fresh (a litle insomnia present). Coca cola does not attract me everymore, if it is Chirstmas, not even a little bit attraction for smell, taste. My advice, if you want to keep your brain free, avoid any stimulants, and if you cannot, avoid coke, drink a coffee, Coca Cola ruined my life.

    • Bogdan,

      Thanks for commenting – yes Coke is really horrible for you. Not just the caffeine but the sugar and other nonsense thats in it. You are so much better off without it!. Glad to hear you are feeling better now and fresh every morning! That’s what it’s all about!

  121. I quit drinking Mt dew about 3 weeks ago. I drank about 90 oz a day. I only drank about one glass of water a day. I didn’t have any headaches. It started with severe anxiety and then the depression set in. My head was cloudy. I couldn’t eat or sleep for 10 days. I lost 9 lbs. In this time. I went to the doctor and he gave me meds for depression. After reading your website I think its caffeine withdrawals. The last two days I can eat, and I don’t feel the depression, and I slept better. I still have a very fuzzy head. I haven’t been able to work or do much of anything until the last couple days. Did anyone else have symptoms this bad?

    • Definitely sounds like it Tami – 90OZ a day of Mountain dew with 1 glass of water a day! I’m surprised your alive! Joking – but quitting that will definitely have a bad rebound effect like anxiety and depression. So my opinion would be yes it is definitely from the caffeine withdrawals. It would be a crazy coincidence in timing if it wasn’t. And it sounds like you are getting better.

      And a lot of people feel the same symptoms you have, and just as intense. But it gets better.

  122. Anyone else notice an increased hypersensitivity while going through withdrawal? Several weeks into it, I find myself very hypersensitive to certain foods, supplements, pain killers, air quality, etc… almost like my body is on some sort of high alert where things that wouldn’t previously bother me really seem to cause upset.

    I am normally a bit hypersensitive, but nothing even remotely close to how I’ve been reacting to things.

    Would love some feedback on this…

    • Hey Paul,

      Yes “high alert” is exactly what you are on, and your nervous system is very hypersenitive right now and will be for a while. This leads you to be sensitive to many things. You need to calm it down with meditation and relaxation and time. Trust me it calms down, I had the most hypersensitive nervous system around.

  123. Anyone had any nausea?
    Cut my caffeine habits down from about 3 cups of coffee + 2 cans of coke per day to 1 cup of coffee per day and now 0.
    But I’ve had nausea for a week. 🙁

    • Quite possible superstar – everyone is different.

      Sorry for waiting so long to approve the comment we took some time off – hopefully someone will have feedback for you.

  124. This is starting to get very frustrating. I had a nice improvement about 10 days ago and for the past 5-7 days, I’ve had a severe kickup of anxiety, brainfog, light-headedness, etc… I have not touched caffeine since I stopped nearly six weeks ago. How could I experience a solid week of improvement only to topple back down again? 🙁

    • Hey Paul,

      All normal stuff. The process is very un linear and while it’s annoying it is just the way it is. The way it will go is that the better periods will start to get longer and the bad periods shorter until they are gone all together.

      • Sean – thanks a ton for the reply, man. Yeah, it was a bit of a stressful weekend, which seemed to kick it off a bit. Still feels like it came out of nowhere. I hate the non-linear state of this recovery as I have a bit of an OCD mind and it just seems…wrong…

        You are right in the better periods… my first “window of happiness” lasted about 48 hours. This last one was a good week, I’d say. It is the shitty days/weeks between them that messes with my mind.

        I re-read your own experience (at the top of this page), and it definitely gives me encouragement! Your own withdrawal definitely took some time for recovery to be complete…

        I just gotta be patient and hang on tight… at least I’m not at the beginning of this thing. Thanks again, for the encouraging words.

    • Paul,
      Hang in there. I feel your pain. I’m going through some of the same things. I will feel way better, and then all of a sudden, I will have some major symptoms that really depresses me. Stay strong and stick it out. Remember, it can take months before you fully recover. Caffeine is POWERFUL! Dangerously powerful. Take care and hope you feel better soon.

      • Thanks, Bill. This is very tough because at six weeks, my logical brain tells me that I shouldn’t be feeling this anymore. And then I start worrying about what horrible ailment I have in my brain to give me these symptoms. What sucks is that in early December, I was at a point where I wasn’t even thinking about it anymore, I was feeling so much improved. Now, I feel like I slipped back to the beginning.

  125. Sean — do you understand the non-linear pattern of withdrawal? I had experienced daily improvement for 7-10 days after starting withdrawal a month ago. Starting to feel “somewhat” normal. Then a few days ago, brainfog, light-headedness, anxiety and minor headache came rolling back in like a freight train.

    Kinda messes with your mind and throws you for a loop!

    • Yeah I know,

      It is known that withdrawal of this nature is extremely non-linear. But the point is that your bad times will start to get less intense and shorter overtime.

  126. Hey All,

    3 Days In..

    For the past 2 weeks I’ve been weening myself off of caffeine. The reason I’ve started this is because I’ve had really bad tension headaches for the past 2 years. It starts in my neck and it feels not just tight, but like crampy, and then it crawls up my head, and it is all the time! So, I thought why not try “no caffeine.” It can’t hurt, since caffeine is known to be problematic to muscles and what not.

    Well, for the past 2 weeks of going down in caffeine, I’ve had basically a tight, crampy headache. And the past 3 days I’ve been completely off of caffeine, and I don’t want to go back. But in the past 4 or 5 days or so, I have woken up with a headache (tight in my neck and head, and some pain behind my eyes, but not throbbing though.)

    I guess I just need encouragement, because I really want to live a life free of these tension headaches. Is there anyone out there who has found relief from Chronic Tension headaches after stopping caffeine? And if so, how long did it take to notice your head feeling better after stopping? Thank you…

    • Hey Bill,

      You have to give it time. And for one – I don’t think that ever going back on caffeine will help your tension headaches at all. But being off it definitely can. Not saying it is the cure all, but it will help, and may possible fix it – its hard to say.

      Try eating well, exercise and meditation. These will all help.

  127. Hi all — 5 weeks clean! Although some of the worst symptoms are gone, here is what I still suffer with:

    -very mild headaches — really not a bother anymore
    -random occurrences of brainfog/confusion/light-headedness
    -anxiety is very low, but I have morbid depression… just feel like there is no point to anything. also very irritable! my poor wife and kids
    -constant post nasal drip
    -random aches/pains all over… sometimes I will have a stabbing pain in my right arm, then my left thigh will hurt for 20 mins, etc… so weird.
    -I have some chronic pain issues and I feel like they are very, very escalated right now
    -digestion is still way off… not total diarrhea or constipation, just NOT normal

    I am typically very hypersensitive to supplements, medications, etc… I’m still shocked at how long it is taking to return to normal. I don’t feel like dying anymore but still feel like shit.

  128. @TD – Thanks for the affirmation. I have gotten the burning sensations in my limbs and face during stress situations too, so I can see the connection.

    @Sean – Agreed. Thanks. The anxiety has been the worst part.

    @Joe – My pleasure. I hope you continue to feel better, best to you and yours.

  129. ok hi sean and everyone! small update, yesterday and today Sunday i have no hum but only a horrible kind of dizziness that comes at around 4pm before dinner with clammy palms! it feels like im walking on a boat or an uneven floor and my coordination is not right when i stand up it takes a couple of seconds to get my balance and then when walking i feel more comfortable holding the walls, is this like a temporary hypoglycemia kind of thing or what? its kind of worrying! other than that overall i generally feel slightly better especially now that hum has gone! one again thanks…..joe

    • Joe,

      I had that early on, and still (at 5.5 months off) get that “room is crooked” feeling when I’m stressed out.

      I’m not a doctor, but I hypothesize in the early weeks of being off caffeine that it has to do with one’s declining caffeine level stopping the vasoconstriction effect caffeine has in the blood vessels in one’s head, the increased blood flow (if it is indeed that) makes one feel lightheaded, maybe because of pressure on the inner ear(?).

      Anyway, I don’t know if that is really the cause, but you are not alone in having the symptom.

      • Yes zac it is the anxiety from caffeine and I do have ear pressure because of the stressed out balloons in my head so don’t worry about it….Its part of the caffeine withdrawal hope you get well bro 🙂

      • Zac – I agree with your hypothesis. I’ve even read in books that the caffeine affect in the head is due to the vessels being constricted or “enlarged”. Your body simply has been conditioned to a different environment and you are drastically changing it with the cessation of caffeine.

        That is why I posted what I did (above) about the affects in other areas of the body. Caffeine doesn’t just affect vessels in your brain; those are just the most noticeable areas with withdrawal. I’m having horrible leg pain/burning now after several weeks of withdrawal.

        • in relation to your legs burning and my whole bodied hum i know what it is ive had it before and i am going to get rid of it! i was told what it was when i suffered from anxiety in 2012 for a couple of months! its basically your blood vessels trying to basically settle down after a surge of adrenalin and or after quitting caffeine! which is why i don’t feel anxious i just feel this whole bodied hum/buzzing sensation which makes me worry more creates more adrenalin and here people you now have your vicious circle! so ignore the feeling accept it is from adrenalin and just slowly get over it in your own way but most importantly break the circle and don’t worry about it which is what i have been doing! here is what reminded me of it i shall insert what a guy wrote on a different forum which triggered my memory as i had the leg hum/burning sensation before and it went permanently now its back all over but like a low grade buzz kind of feeling here is what he said………This can absolutely be caused by anxiety and I get it occasionally. (Especially when I used to have panic attacks bad). I am surprised your doctor didn’t tell you what causes this.

          I am sure I do not have to tell many of you, but anxiety/panic is directly related to the fight-or-flight reaction, which is caused by your adrenaline secrections. Everyone has this feeling at some point in time, but it is usually in an approprate situation – like if one felt threatened for instance. It is when your adrenaline gland starts working over time for no real reason that this is considered a disorder.

          Adrenaline serves a great purpose that is pure raw instinct and it protects your body in many ways (again, it is supposed to be for appropriate situtations). It lowers your blood for one (sometimes it raises it as well). It does this in case you get an injury, say you get cut – if your blood pressure is lower, you lose less blood at a slower rate. The tingling senstation comes because your adrenaline causes your blood vessels in your extremites to constrict. This serves a two-fold purpose – 1.) again, you lose blood slower if you were to get injured and 2.) it pushes more blood to your vital organs. Sometimes, if you get the feeling in your hands especially, and you can normally see your veins in the top of your hands, you can look at them and see that they are tiny. It is amazing what our bodies can do on their own.

          This is similar to when your leg goes to sleep or something like that. It is not so much that the blood flow is cut off, but it is just moving slower and in less quantity. It is normal to feel this in your lips and extremities, but it can be felt all over as well (including internally). However, I am not too sure that your heart would get tingly as well. It is more than likely the area (skin, muscles, etc.) around the heart that is experiencing this. You may just be perceiving this to be actually in your heart. I know that with anxiety, we sometimes (many times) mis-diagnose ourselves through self-scanning. I hope this helps. anyway with caffeine withdrawal and the normal anxiety that comes with it and all the adrenalin that’s caffeine causes its normal to have the after adrenalin feeling and also easy to get stuck in it for a while hope this helps someone as i know it well defiantly help me! – joe

  130. About 5 weeks or so. I remember when I first started drinking years ago, I had this horrible leg pain every night that when I had been drinking coffee in that morning. I am extremely hypersensitive and have some chronic pain issues.

    I just looked past the “reaction to caffeine” and pushed through it because I liked the stimulatory effects. Stupid. This reaction started the day I started drinking caffeine so I am wondering if it will take months to have my veins settle down after stopping caffeine. If your brain can take months to get back to normal (as you say above), what is to say that your body can take a long time to regulate as well? I’ve seen lots of people that say it takes them months for their bowels to start functioning normal again, so I don’t think it would be without reason for veins to be the same, assuming they had been negatively impacted by caffeine.

  131. When I started drinking coffee years ago, I distinctly remember my legs burning badly hours after drinking. Kind of a deep aching, burning sensation in my legs. With hindsight, I now attribute it to the distinct vasoconstricting effects of caffeine. For years following, as I consumed coffee on a regular basis, I noticed a regular painful burning of my legs — nearly a constant symptom.

    Now, having been off coffee for a while and having gone through many of the classic withdrawal symptoms, I’m having quite severe pain in my legs. I am now wondering if this is the veins reacting to the lack of the constricting and are perhaps now being more dilated as they adjust to normal.

    Anyone else experience anything remotely similar to this or can you confirm this theory? Caffeine has a very strong effect on veins/blood flow, and since the classic “caffeine withdrawal headache” is simply the veins expanding in your head, why wouldn’t you be susceptible to vein-reaction symptoms elsewhere?

  132. thanks sean that makes much more sense than anything i have been told about my state before! like right now i feel just like a low grade hum of nervousness and im not worried or anxious about anything what you have said makes perfect sense and that is exactly how i feel like my nervous system needs to not be stimulated by all these things i will never drink caffeine again and will quit alcohol immediately! would like to be able to have a couple of drinks here and there in the future like Christmas day ect if its not every weekend would that mess my nervous system up ? thanks so much for your help i think you have hit the nail on the head! i have bookmarked this page and will be keeping you posted/updated cheers mate joe

    • No problem Joe,

      Like I said, I know exactly where you’re at. This is why you feel the fatigue as well, because you are being constantly drained by your nervous system being on overdrive. I think that you may definitely be able to enjoy a few drinks one day again. Although it may take a year of dedicated self discipline and lifestyle changes for everything to calm down. These things take time. You may find that you are a better man without the alcohol, I did.

      Some more things to add, Magnesium Oxide 400mg a day is great for your nervous system. And Fish oil will help your brain a lot. Other than that, I wouldn’t worry about supplements too much if you are getting solid nutrition. Exercise is good after you start to feel better. At first it may be a little much for your body to handle. So start slow and it’s good to exercise 20 minutes each day eventually, nothing too strenuous though until you can handle it.

      • thanks Sean! well its Friday night and im not having any booze id rather feel better than drink! i appreciate it may take a long time to fully recover but what about this horrible hum i feel through my whole body that’s normal ? and i would hope it goes kind of quickly! cheers mate

        • The hum will go away, but you may see a doctor just in case. Remember, I cannot give medical advice. sounds like a frazzled nervous system to me though.

  133. Hey bill 🙂

    I had the same neck aching to but now its gone and I am kinda 85% healed but still more to go and as Sean mentioned above eat well and try to lift weights and drink lots of water at least a gallon a day and try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep..Try not to think about the withdrawal watch a movie hear music and try to get it out of your mind and it will pass…I passed 85% of it this way and be patient….Hope you get better bro 🙂

      • Hey Sean 🙂

        I wanted to email you if you don’t mind because I want to ask for tips about the foods and other stuff.

        • Hey Jack,

          It would be easier for me if you registered a name at the forum and I would be glad to talk with you there. This gonna laugh soon as well but it’s free to post in now, let me know if you have any issues.

          • Hey sean 🙂

            Yes I am staying away from them I only added weak green tea which has lots of antioxidants …Noticed that anxiety lasts longer than the physical part which was over from weeks ago….as you said the mental part takes longer even it was getting better faster but the physical part is not dependent anymore but still mental part taking its time despite I am near recovery but its taking longer so I will try to hang in there and see if those two balloons get lower or removed because honestly its the worst part of the withdrawal with its jittery and mental fatigue but with lots of insane physical energy like I am still taking the caffeine and feeling its effects lol.

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            Well yes my sleep got very light vs past months which was deep because physically I was tired so it was easy to go to deep sleep before…I got melatonin for the deep REM sleep as my natural light sleep is getting back to normal but it worked first time I tried it but left me with side effects then it stopped working…. my natural sleep before caffeine was very light and it seems I am getting back to normal in the sleep but still not recovered yet from caffeine withdrawal and deep REM sleep is important so I can recover so I was kinda worried if it would effect my recovery because I am light sleeper by nature.

            Thanks for the sleep article will check it out…Just wanted to make sure I am on the right track.

            Thanks Sean 🙂

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            I think cold turkey method was a bad idea and it seems I am very sensitive to caffeine and my symptoms lasted long..i should have tapered from 600 mg to nothing and I think my withdrawals would not be intense like this….physically I am not tired but mentally my head Is racing and my sleep is very light not deep rem sleep like before and I am worried it would effect healing as I have my last two stressed out balloons but with jittery and anxious feelings that makes it hard to sleep so I am kinda worried about recovery if I am not getting good REM sleep….melatonin doesn’t work for me anymore even on high dose….Is it normal that sleep gets very light later vs deep earlier before???

            Hope I am on the right track and that is a good sign but kinda worried about my sleep getting very light only 7 hours but still feel my head racing and tired but physically I am great for now

          • Hey Jack, just give it time. Your sleep will return to normal. You are probably having an adverse reaction to now being so accustomed to melatonin. Like I said, don’t take anymore melatonin and let your sleep recover naturally. It takes time. But it sounds like you are on the right track. You are healing even if you think you’re not having REM.

            Some tips for sleeping are here:

          • Yes I will create a thread soon about my journey and progress and some questions so I make sure I am on the right track and others to can see my progress and there progress too 🙂

          • Yes I did get a link for confirmation and I did confirm…..Sent a long private pm too.

          • Okay yeah I saw it, sorry I didn’t specify but if you don;t mind creating a thread in the caffeine section with your question it would be there to help and benefits other people.

            If you’re not okay with that I will answer your PM – let me know.

  134. Hey, it’s me again. Just wanted to give an update. I am 3 days into no caffeine. Today seems a little bit better. But, the past couple weeks as I’ve been weening myself off of the drug, I’ve been waking up with headaches and dull aching pain in my neck (like I have had the past 2 years), but no it seems MUCH worse than before. So, that makes me think my neck achiness and tension headaches has something to do with the caffeine I was ingesting daily. My eyes have been throbbing, and then it will seem to go away, and then come back again. I sleep pretty well though, so that’s good. Thanks to everyone who has posted, since they are all really encouraging to hear that I’m not the only one who is trying to do this. I’ll comment on my progress more next week.

    • It’s just an increase in bodily stress from going off caffeine. With caffeine withdrawal it typically gets worse before it can get better.

      The caffeine did not make your neck ache, it was stress. But now you’re just under more of it.

  135. hi there mate,

    first of all my name is joe i am 29 years old and iam from London England. i don’t know where to start but in October/November of 2012 i became very ill fatigued and anxious i had been abusing caffeine for years including loads of coffees and teas per day in between them lots and lots of monster energy drinks and red bulls also loads of diet cokes, i started to feel anxious and just jittery and nervous with the occasional panic attack this was ruining my life so much that i decided to give up smoking and caffeine and alcohol all at the same time and believe me i done allot just take my word for it lol! anyway long story short the next 5 months where the worst of my whole life i could go into detail but it was horrific very bad panic attacks multiple times per day! and feeling so fatigued i couldn’t move i felt poisoned! any way in around march ish of 2013 i also gave up gluten and started to feel noticeably better but then i started having lots of stomach issues like my stomach was inflamed and everything i eat made me feel sick anyway lol i finally started to feel good again although the traumatic months that led me to this point of feeling good had left me feeling scarred like i couldn’t forget what happened. skipping forward to now December 2014 i have run into some trouble again now i started November feeling GREAT although sometime at the begging of October i felt so good i started drinking tea again namely black tea with milk no sugar up to 4 times per day, people say its only tea and cant cause withdrawals but after reading your internet page and quickly thinking back apart of me thinks that what happened to me in 20122 may have all been triggered by caffeine including now not being able to tolerate gluten! note throughout these times of suffering i had no help i emailed a few people i never got a reply and to be honest at the time it was that bad i didn’t want to live anymore! so i started drinking caffeine again in October and i quit because i started towards late October to feel very ill like just poisoned drained and not myself so i stopped last Wednesday and i had a headache for a few days and my body on and off has been feeling like its humming all over my brain fog is through the roof and i feel very lightheaded and dizzy ive had 1 panic attack where my heart was racing and been in a very bad mood today i feel dizzy weird and like my eyes are cloudy! to keep a not of how i started to feel ill i wrote it down in my note pad with some exact dates but when reading the insert please remember that i didn’t really think caffeine was the primary colprate so i mainly focus on the ingestion of gluten its only now i think it could all be the caffeine (Yorkshire tea) after reading your excellent internet article so here is the insert ……………………………..

    insert from my notepad on my computer ………..tuesday the 11th is the day where it all begun my mum had brought me mustard and also some cornflakes! so for dinner we had bbq chicken with wedges i used half a tub of mustard which is what contained the gluten later that day
    i felt very bloated and ill and also depressed and lathargic, typically what it feels like to be glutenated!wednesday thursday and friday went past and on these days i felt glutenated and i accepted this! on friday night i had
    some beers and as per usual after drinking them i decided to have somthing to eat which happend to be some ham from a tub of ham chunks i later found out that these ham chucnks also contained gluten! saturday the 15th of november
    and i felt extra hungover! on sunday i felt like crap kind of and my roast dinner made me feel bloated and kind of messed up on sunday night! monday the 17th came and i felt ever so sligtly better or so i thought, i had run out of
    sainsburys tomato soup so decided to have a can of heinz tomato soup filled to the brim with msg! later that night was the illest i had felt in a long time! i felt so weird and depressed that i was forced to drink a late night
    beer to bring me out of the feeling although momentaraly boosting my hapiness or masking the depression i started to feel very ill and had to go to bed i started drinking lots of water and managed to fall to sleep but it was hard
    as i felt very ill tues 18th wed 19th thu 20th and friday the 21st saw me feeling very ill everyday and it was friday the 21st i went to TCs house to drop him some bits and a tv, on the way there i didnt feel very well atall but neverless
    when i got home the beer soon masked the ill feelings that i had been having! the next day i felt hungover which also is good at masking how bad you feel so i just felt hungover on saturday the 22nd on sunday i felt ill again and just
    still felt like crap monday 24th tuesday 25th i felt like crap so i decided on wednesday the 26th to give up caffine i skipped brekfast on wednesday and went down to get two keys cut at around 12 i felt i had to run home because i felt
    like i was going to faint i felt pretty ill the rest of that day and the next two days after that i felt like my bosy was huming and attributed it to caffine withdrawal and also getting over the gluten and possibly the msg! by friday
    the 28th my body still felt huming from quitting caffine and gluten ect but ealry evening i actually felt a little bit better! the hangver on saturday wasnt that bad and felt ok pretty much all of saturday the 29th! sunday the 30th
    of november feeling like i still maybe getting over the caffine a little bit but overall feeling close to normal! monday and tuesday 1st and 2nd of december feeling the best i have felt since it all
    begun! 7 days free of caffine and
    within 1 more week i should fully be over the gluten and caffine withdrwal ect!

    So what do you think ? lol im sure this makes for an interesting read but i really do hope you a stranger can help me in someway thanks sean ……joe ps i apolagise for terrible puncuation and spelling ect my mind is not correct at the moment 🙁

    • Joe,

      Glad you found this article – because I have been through what you went through. Slightly different circumstances, but the same issues and trust me, I was in HELL. But I feel amazing now. And you can too. I know exactly what you need to do and I have detailed it below.

      First, I believe that your intolerance to gluten and other foods is not the cause of your problems, but a SYMPTOM or the REAL problem. The REAL problem is that you have an overactive amygdala (the control center of fear and anxiety in your brain) & nervous system. Possibly stuck in high alert mode. Believe it or not, an overactive nervous system will cause you to become sensitive to almost ANYTHING. Including caffeine, Gluten, alcohol and more. This is why sufferers of MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) often find relief from retraining their amygdala and calming their nervous system.

      I believe tat each time you began to feel great again, was because your nervous system began to calm. But then you started drinking caffeine again, which is a HUGE nervous system stimulation, and for anyone who is sensitive – it can be a disaster.

      What you need to do:

      If you really want to feel great, for the long term,

      1) Give up caffeine and never touch it again. It’s not for you my friend.

      2) Stop drinking, at least for the next 3 months – your body and mind hate you right now. You are in such distress and drinking caffeine and drinking alcohol are the worst things you can do for your nervous system. You are just beating it up. You need to allow it to heal. You need to stop drinking.

      3) Eat a healthy diet, but don’t worry too much about it. Get lots of veggies, healthy fats and hardly any sugar. Stay away from gluten, not because it’s the cause of the problem, but because it is an added irritant. Veggies, Eggs, avocado, meats, black beans, sweet potatoes, butter, cheeses are all good ideas.

      4) Meditate – You have to do this man. This will change your life. It is the single most effective way to calm your nervous system. Twice a day, 20 minutes. In two weeks you will feel like a new man.

      5) Optional (But HIGHLY recommended): Use Dr. Gupta’s Amygdala retaining program. This program saved my life. It is designed to cure people of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is the result of an overactive amygdala and nervous system. The body gets stuck in high alert (fight or flight) and the battery (your energy) just continues to drain. This program retrains your amygdala to be back to normal, and it’s amazing.

      Trust me Joe, I had debilitating anxiety. Having to go to the ER over and over because of it. (Stemmed from a bad panic attack on a weed brownie) It resulted in years of hellish symptoms, and then chronic fatigue like no one should ever experience. I beat it, and if you want to do the same you have to commit and make it happen. You can feel great 6 months from now. Or you could be in the same spot, drinking and feeling like crap. It’s up to you.

      Goodluck dude, and please let me know how it goes.

  136. 4 weeks clean… headaches are pretty much gone. Sleeping GREAT. Brainfog and light-headed at a minimal… comes and goes but doesn’t appear to stay for long. The horrific anxiety has lessened as well… again, it comes in spurts but isn’t a constant. Starting to enjoy parts of life again.

    One thing I have noticed is a constant runny nose. It is like my sinuses are draining all the time. I don’t think I am sick, but this has been going on for 2-3 weeks. Anyone else experience this as a withdrawal reaction?

    • Sounds like you are really improving Paul, good to hear. Not sure about the sinuses, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Drainage is better than congestion in my opinion!

  137. Hey Sean,
    I have had tension headaches in the back of my neck and head for the past 2 years or so. I have tried so many things to get rid of it, seen docs, had shots in my spine, but to no avail, chrios, acupuncture, mri, you name it. The only relief I had is when I had a summer off of teaching, and I wasn’t commuting ( still drank coffee and caffeine every day though.). Maybe it was the commute, or maybe it was not the stress of working everyday? When the school year started back up again, I got the headaches and neck soreness, cramps, tightness, and tension headaches all over again. I love my job and I’m not a stressed out person. So, the past week or so I’ve been weening myself off of caffeine, starting with coke, and then the past few days I’ve limited my coffee, until today, I went with no caffeine at all. I’m hoping that staying away from caffeine will possibly help my neck muscles relax/heal or whatever. For the past 6 or 7 days I have been sleepy, and my neck pain has increased, since I’ve been limiting my caffeine. I was drinking up to about 24 oz of coffee per day and sometimes 24oz of pepsi or coke per day. So, a few questions. 1. Is it possible that caffeine could be causing my tension headaches? (the tension headaches came on slowly over time, I didn’t have like an accident or anything). 2. Do you think that over time, muscles heal better without any caffeine in my system? Any thoughts? I really want to not have tension (upper neck/back of head) headaches every single day Thanks again for this article and allowing people to vent about their issues. Thanks a lot.

    • Bill,

      Thanks for commenting – this is an easy answer for me to give here being on an outside perspective.

      I think that your headaches were definitely from the stress/tension, as you already concluded. Caffeine is only going to amplify any stress you are feeling. So in my eyes, the solution to the headaches would be to eliminate the stress as much as possible.

      One was being not consuming caffeine.

      I don’t think the caffeine will have any effect on the muscular healing, with or without it. But not drinking something that revs up the nervous system will help prevent the tension in the first place.

      Going off caffeine at first will most likely increase your stress on the body and make you sleepy like you said. But it’s all about the long term gain, I think if you go off caffeine, let your body adjust to being caffeine free and work on other ways to handle your stress patterns, you could live a life tension headache free 6 months from now.

      I dofirst place.

      I truly believe that, and I think going off caffeine will just be a big factor that will help you achieve that.

      There are a lot of other ways to ease stress that you should look into. Exercise, meditation, magnesium supplementation just to start.

      • Thanks Sean. I feel like my whole life will be better without caffeine. I am also trying to extremely limit my sugar intake as well. Hopefully with no caffeine, some rest, no sugar, and exercise, I will feel much better. Thanks again for the advice. I”m curious to see how life without caffeine really is!

  138. 25 days clean now… man, I am NEVER going back. This has been the worst few weeks of my life!

    Headache still gone… or, it might come back for a minute or two then leaves. Light headedness and brainfog is going away but being a bit stubborn. I am FINALLY sleeping through the night!

    I wanted to reinforce my hatred of caffeine with some scientific facts about how horrible it is for you. Withdrawal enough should do that but I want to make sure I NEVER go back. Picked up a copy of this book on my Kindle and read it in 3 hours. I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone who is thinking of getting off caffeine or is going through withdrawal hell:

    http://www.amazon.com/Caffeine-Blues-Hidden-Dangers-Americas/dp/0446673919/

    • Thanks paul.

      I thinks it’s awesome how the comment section on this post is now 10X more useful than the post.

      There has been so many people who have come on and been in hell. Then they have come back week after week to share their progress, and EACH OF THEM are better or much better than they were and still in recovery.

      Just want to thank you guys

    • Hey Paul 🙂

      I agree my skin is smoother and breath is better and the mood and even my personality is changing after the the hell I was in….Hope people know and educate themselves more about this addictive drug so they get of it…Hope fo the best 🙂

      Will check this book on amazon 🙂

  139. I am swedish so mind the language
    I used to consume 700mg a day, but after a while you become tolerant and it just get you back to normal. But the bad effects you get is the same!
    Weaned down to 200mg a day 2weeks ago and have been on 0mg today.
    First week was horrendous, like it use to be for me when i wean down.

    The thing is most people tells you that caffeine withdrawls are supposed to last for max 9 days.
    Then there is this idea that you are supposed to feel great when the withdrawls are gone, the thing is that i am feeling pretty bad, fatigue and tired. Not at all as good as when i consume caffeine
    YOur posts however gave me some hope, and i will continue to not consume any caffeine at all, hopefully it will get better, i do it because i know that caffeine have some bad side effects even if you tend to deny them while you are hooked but i know that for a fact.
    I also have OCD and being caffeinefree seemse to give me alot less worry.

    thanks

  140. Hey Sean, I wonder if individuals consuming to 1-2 cups of caffeinated coffee everyday have higher serotonin and dopamine levels over caffeine abstainers.

  141. Hi. Going through withdrawal and have many of the common symptoms listed here, but after reading through this page, I also have a couple that I don’t see mentioned as much.

    I’m also experiencing lots of tongue twitches (fasciculations) that started the day after I quit — never had it before. Also, pressure in the thyroid gland area in the throat. That, and I get these really bad thoracic muscle spasms… they light up so bad that I feel like I need to go to the ER or something… then, after a couple hours, it passes and becomes a dull ache. It cycles like this throughout the day and has been happening for about a week.

    I also get weird gas pains, bubbles in my throat, tons of intestinal oddities (one day diarrhea, the next constipation).

    Anyone else experience twitches, thyroid pressure, muscle spasms in the back or gut weirdness while going through withdrawal?

    • Hey TD,

      I was getting the weird throat feelings last month (around four months cold turkey) and occasionally still get them.

      I have had gas bloating/acid stomach on and off since the beginning, and have the intestinal irregularities on and off, though they seem to have been leveling off in the past month.

      I have had spasms in my back and legs on and off the last five months. Twitches in the eyes and muscles were and early on symptom, but I have read about other people having them for longer and in other locations.

      • Hi Zac,

        It has been 3 months since I stopped drinking coffee. I experienced most of the symptoms described. But there is one particular issue that bothers me for quite some time.

        I experience serious stomach bloating since the beginning of quitting caffeine and it is on and off. I have this problem before I started quitting caffeine but it was nothing serious or uncomfortable. It becomes a huge problem for me since I stopped drinking coffee. I went to see doctors and they claimed there were nothing serious. I went to see specialist too and he suspected that I might be infected with H. Pylori though I told him I my blood test for H. Pylori was negative. But he said that he rarely recommend his patients to do the blood test as it is quite inaccurate. So, I am now on medication to get rid of the bacterium.

        But I am curious. What if my stomach bloating is not due to H. Pylori bacterium but because of me quitting caffeine? Is it possible? How long have you being having this stomach issue? Do you still have this issue now?

      • Hey zac and everyone here I think the best way to detox faster is to eat high protein food and keep the sugars low and drink 1 gallon of water a day and try to sleep as it speeds up recovery….Patience will make make us pass this….Stay strong guys…Hope for the best 🙂

      • Thanks, Zac — appreciate the affirmation. Makes me feel less like I am going nuts here. 🙂

        How long/bad was your habit? Awesome that you are 5 months clean. Can’t wait until I can say that!

  142. 17 days clean… My headache is nearly gone, but damn… I have some really severe light-headed sensations/dizziness, etc… still some brainfog too. Honestly, I feel like I am having out-of-body experiences. I feel like I am not even “here”. When I am walking or talking to people, it is a very eery feeling!

    Did anyone else experience this at all? Please tell me I am not alone and that it will pass. It is very unnerving and is really making me feel anxious.

    Appreciate any info — thanks all.

    • Also, this is a big symptom of anxiety in general like Zac said, and as you know your anxiety is heightened by it now. The more you THINK about it and worry about it, the more you tell your Amygdala (the part of your subconcious brain that controls fear and anxiety) that there is real danger and to be on alert. What happens is, by consciously fearing these sensations, your amygdala thinks there is something wrong and creates these sensations as a symptom of anxiety! Then you fear them again and continue the loop! Crazy isn’t it. But it will pass.

      What you have to do is overtime you catch yourself “checking in” on symptoms or having thoughts that a person with zero anxiety would have (even if you do feel weird, which you do – it’s not all in your head) say aloud STOP STOP STOP, Look up at something, breathe in and out and smile! This sounds weird, but it’s an NLP technique called pattern breaking. If you purposely break a pattern 10 times or so in a row, your brain won;t be able to connect to it. So when your feeling anxious put your head down and think about your anxiety again and pop out and say STOP STOP STOP, look up, focus on something else – deep breathe – and smile. Then go back down, connect to the anxiety again and pop up and do it again. Repeat until you cannot connect to the anxiety and then distract your mind into something else. Do it 100 times a day if you have to! Hard to explain via comment, but this works! It single handedly put the icing on me curing my anxiety. I learned it from a $200 program, the amygdala retraining program. Amazing stuff. Link:

    • Worst feel ever.

      And yeah, i’ve been there. You feel like you could just float away and its just horrible and made me so anxious as well. It will pass man. Just try to chill and relax into it, try and enjoy it. It can’t hurt you!

    • Hey Paul,

      You are not alone. I had very similar head sensations/feelings for the first 2-2.5 months. The combined brain fog and tension headache sensations I had around the 1.5 month mark made me certain that I was dying for a few days.

      It will all pass. Drink plenty of water and get all the sleep your circumstances allow, it has a healing effect.

      So many of the symptoms are aggravated by the anxiety. Don’t dwell on the invasive and scary thoughts, dwell on good and peaceful things.

  143. 14 days off caffeine now…what a rollercoaster this has been! This past weekend I had a 24-48 hour window where I experienced some calm/clarity, but then it left for another dip in the valley.

    My headache is minimal now… it was absolutely horrid last week to a point of where I felt like I had unknowingly injured my neck or something. Now, it is a dull ache just all around.

    Anxiety comes and goes… usually at night while I am at home, I feel the most peace.

    I am sleeping ok. Some night I start falling asleep 2-3 hours before I normally go to bed! I have never felt fatigue like this before. I still wake up at 5:00am every morning, hours before my alarm clock.

    I still have some light-headedness where I start to feel dizzy with sudden movements, etc… I also still have some brain fog where I lose my train of thought mid-way through a discussion with someone, or I just can’t seem to find the words to say.

    It is really weird how your body cycles through shit here… the day that the headache finally started to let up a bit, I have experienced very strong stomach/intestinal upset, like my body is working at normalizing.

    Still have traveling aches/pains as well as some twitching going on.

    Just trying to wait it out and be patient. Made it another week, that is encouraging for me.

    Thanks to Sean and the others for posting answers/encouragement. Incredibly helpful!

  144. Hello all — looking for encouragement here.

    I have been on and off caffeine for 6+ years (mostly on), and have had difficult withdrawal in the past but this time is very scary. I typically react with a lot of hypersensitivity to drugs, so this isn’t surprising but the length of time it is lasting is very concerning.

    Since stopping cold turkey, my head feels like there is an oversized balloon in it — massive pressure, especially in the back/top of my head. Whenever the pressure gets bad (comes and goes throughout the day), I start feeling very light-headed. I’ve been having lots of cognitive issues as well — can’t remember certain words, lose my train of thought while speaking to someone, feel confused.

    Tons of anxiety as well — I typically wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing out of my chest!

    A lot of sites seem to indicate the headache should be gone in 5 days, yet I am on day 7 today and my head is still throbbing! Anyone else have the head pain/pressure last a long time? I feel very hopeless, like somehow my brain is damaged will never be normal again. 🙁

    • Hey buddy 🙂

      I have the same balloon and head pressure from my top of my head for months but then it gets lower and the more it gets lower from your top of your head the more you improve and the symptoms becomes less….Stay strong because I almost have these balloons but now on are lower down the head and you will improve..stay strong 🙂

      • Let me second what Jack says. I had this too, and it does go away in time. Now I’m about five months along after going cold turkey, and I get the occasional weird head feeling that passes after a few minutes (most likely linked to heightened anxiety).

        Be at peace, it will pass.

        • Hey zac 🙂

          Yes Sean article has helped a lot because at first months it was hell and I was freaking out what hell has happened to me…..When I no longer take it anymore I used to read the comments and the article and it helped a lot….Most sites say it takes 1 week and I was like terrified until I found this site…It sure take months not weeks…I would say 1 year until we heal 100%.

          I found something new that is supposed to remove caffeine much faster in amazon….Hope it helps 🙂

          http://www.amazon.com/Rutacleanse-Natural-Acting-Removes-Caffeine/dp/B00G9JZDIU/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416237006&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=rutaxcleanse

        • Hey zac 🙂

          Yes its the high anxiety from caffeine withdrawal….I think I have the last two balloons from my right and left lower head then I should be stress free after that …I had big one in the middle which is gone now….it does get better but it take months….For me I will never touch the stuff again after this brutal withdrawal…hope you get better zac 🙂

          • Thanks for the encouragement Jack. I’m done with caffeine too.

            A huge thank you also to Sean for writing this article, as well as everyone who commented in it. When I found this article and discussion about 4.5 months ago, I was nearly beside myself from the weird withdrawal symptoms, of which anxiety is king and which feeds on everyone else. The article and everyone’s input has been a gigantic help as I get past this.

          • Hey guys, thanks for the reassuring… do you guys find that it comes and goes in waves a lot?

            I actually experienced some nice calm Thursday and yesterday, but for some reason, this afternoon I got hit with really big waves of anxiety, brain fog and headaches. Almost like my body was cycling…

    • Hey Paul,

      Read through the comments here. You will see that for people sensitive to caffeine and other drugs this lasts a lot longer than 7 days. But you will also see that everyone who was freaking out because of how they felt, and feeling like they would never get better, eventually came back to say they were good now.

      You will be good, but 7 days is not enough time for your brain to rebalance chemical that have been neglected for years because of caffeine use. If you go back to caffeine, you will likely have to go through this again if you want to quit. So I say, you’re 7 days in, just stick it out. Take magnesium (400mg), and try to meditate twice daily and relax.

      Your brain is definitely NOT damaged. Trust me, my brain has come back from much worse. And the good news is, the brain is elastic and can recover from almost anything. Just give it time.

  145. Hi all,

    I just wanted to leave a comment as I found Sean’s summary of caffeine withdrawal very helpful.

    In short I suffer from an anxiety disorder and figured that drinking caffeine is like adding fuel to the fire. And it is. I have had no major anxiety attack since quitting caffeine six months ago, except for in the first month of withdrawal. That does not mean I do not get anxious or nervous anymore, it is just a completely different order of magnitude. I still have phobias, but do now for the first time have the feeling that I can start taking care of those via exposure exercises. In short it feels like that the “off” switch is back in function again. I can calm down much easier, can stop worrying and have much less repetitive thoughts. The first thing that vanished completely was the “permanent feeling of immanent doom”. I never expected that.

    Having said all this, in my opinion, not all anxiety disorders are the same. They can have different causes, not all will benefit caffeine withdrawal. Not all people are that sensitive to caffeine. If you feel better after say two months of withdrawal, I think it is a good thing to keep of it, and probably you will feel a slow improvement with each month of the stuff as you have removed a major stressor. But if it did not have much effect on you after a few months, I doubt keeping of it for longer will do much for you.

    N.B. There is for all practical purposes no caffeine in white chocolate.

    • Thanks so much for the inspiring comment Masha!

      Yes, if you have anxiety, getting of caffeine is a must. No way around it, and I am glad it helped you so much.

  146. Hi, I am a 52 yo man from the Netherlands. Two-and-a-half weeks ago I quit smoking, one-and-a-half week ago I quit caffein, alcohol and watching porn. All of them cold turkey. I smoked and drank huge amounts of coffe for over 30 years and drank a lot of wine the last couple of years. The nice thing is: all 4 addictions seem to be interrelated and quitting them all at once seems to diminish the withdrawal symptoms. Feel a bit foggy though. Anyway, thanks for the article and all the comments, feels like having lots of friends around…

      • I gave up coffee earlier this year. I weaned myself off expresso coffee over a period of 3 months which minimised withdrawal symptoms. I had headaches for a couple of weeks and fatigue for a few days but otherwise felt great almost immediately. A few months of feeling great I made the mistake of introducing chocolate, mainly in the form of cocoa, and white tea into my diet. After about a month I realised I was back on the caffeine rollercoaster – headaches, energy slumps, stomach acidity and nail biting. I was beside myself as I realised I would have to start with withdrawing from caffeine all over again after I beat it (after years of trying unsuccessfully) earlier this year. This time I went cold turkey. It’s been about a month and while the headaches have stopped, I’m now experiencing weird zombie like moods which are difficult to snap out of and fleeting moments of caffeine cravings. There are days when my body picks itself up for a few hours but those are still rare. In my experience, its worse coming off tea than it is coffee so don’t be fooled in thinking tea is a better option.The moral of the story for those that are reading this, once you give it up and realise how fantastic you are feeling, DON’T BE TEMPTED to ever go back! And wean yourself off gradually to minimise the withdrawal effects. I’m looking forward to those energy packed days again!

  147. Hey

    So I was unsuccessful in my attempts to quit coffee. Before trying to quit I was drinking 2 a day, 3 max. Now I’m drinking 1 a day 2 max. But it looks like I’m going towards 2 a day again.

    These aren’t huge numbers but they are consistent dosages, and without them I feel like I need caffeine to kill the withdrawal effects.

    The withdrawal is especially bad in the morning, and I want to keep sleeping forever. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Anyway, I managed to cut the drug out for 2 days, but I finally gave in to a little buzz one day with decaf, and eventually I crept up to 1 coffee a day and so on.

    However, on the first week that I quit caffeine I did some exercising during the days as well. At the end of the week, right when I stepped up my caffeine intake, I found that I was extremely lucid with very little anxiety and all the problems I had on caffeine like memory issues, fogginess of thought, fatigue, etc., were all gone. I was incredibly comfortable and I was carrying on conversations very intelligently.

    I’m not sure if that was just random or a result of having cut down in coffee during the first week.

    My question to you guys is, how do you deal with the wanting to sleep forever in the morning? How do you deal with the horrible symptoms of depression and anxiety, etc., in the morning and throughout the day? Is it worse for you in the morning?

    If the moment of clarity during the first week was a result of cutting down on caffeine, I absolutely MUST be successful in quitting, as I had gained a new lucidity absent for over a decade of my life. I actually felt like a normal person with value to add to the world, not the skittish scatterbrain who can’t focus on simple tasks for more than a couple of minutes.

    • NicePants,

      Everyone is different and I wish I had a cure all answer to how to get through withdrawals if you face them. But I don’t, it is a combination of time and trying to keep your mind off of it. I never had the problem getting up, it would hit me differently. Hopefully someone else can input on that.

      Coffee is not the devil, and if you can function on it and not go above 2 cups a day without anxiety, don;t feel bad about it. Don’t feel guilty about drinking coffee, but if it has a bad effect on you it is worth quitting. But withdrawal effects happen for some, and unfortunately there is no magic cure. There are things you can do to help, which are listed in the article. But I also do not know everything, maybe there is something else out there that can help. Def don’t look towards psychiatric medicine though. That is a drastic step just to deal with caffeine withdrawal that could set you down a whole nother path.

      • My personal advice regarding the terrible caffeine withdrawals: if you’re healthy, don’t take beta-blockers when you consume caffeine, specially if you’re already an anxious person. I used to take propranolol when I had to do public speeches, but when I took it during my coffee-binge weeks I felt like the xantine + beta-blocker combination kick-started the withdrawal process with a nasty panic attack the same day. This has happened to me three times. If I’ve been consuming coffee, tea, chocolate and other sources of caffeine for a few weeks, and then used propranolol, that same day I was almost guaranteed to have some sort of “withdrawal-attack”. There may be some pharmacological association between those classes of drugs when mixed together.

        Also, I tend to get the terrible version of the withdrawal. First 1.5-2 weeks are filled with anxiety, invasive thoughts, palpitations, hot flushes and insomnia (no migraine, though). Week 3 makes me feel quite depressed, completely demotivated about life yet still functioning like an empty robot. Week 4 onwards makes me feel empty, emotionless perhaps, and each every 3-4 days I feel better with glimpses of feeling better until the condition heals by itself around weeks 7-9. Funnily enough, antidepressants take around the same time to alter the neurotransmitters in the brain. It is possible that those weeks of withdrawal are the same thing: your brain readjusting the chemical structures by itself, just like an antidepressant would (not saying you should automedicate on ADs). That’s just my theory. Anyway, it gets better. For me the worst is the anxiety, which doesn’t last that much, and the depressed mood which feels like it never is going to get better. BUT IT DOES. I honestly envy people who only get headaches and minor somatic symptoms in their withdrawals, they’re lucky. My reccomendation are: don’t think much about it, physical exercise if you can, try to have quality sleep at night and force yourself to be distracted from the invasive thoughts. It all goes away in a matter of time. Cheers.

  148. Andy,

    I have been caffeine free for 2 months now. I am experiencing the same “dizzy spells” that you spoke about.It’s like this stuff will never end. I wanted to know how you are doing now?

  149. what about high quality white tea? I have read it has much lower caffeine levels than green tea and coffee. I really like the relaxed but yet focused feeling I get from drinking it. L-theanine is used for relaxation right? And white tea contains l-theanine? But I know my problem is that I start with white tea, then I want more buzz and it escalates into green tea, black tea and alot of coffee.
    But if I could control my habits, whould white tea be a good choice?

    • Don’t know much about white tea ECO, but it sounds a lot better than coffee. Green tea and other teas typically are. But wether you can control yourself is up to you. Like I said, caffeine in itself is not some hellish thing that you hold avoid at all costs, it is natural. But when it becomes a beast of an addiction like most coffee drinkers is when problems arise. If you can tolerate caffeine, white tea sounds nice.

  150. Sean,
    you mentioned niacin (vit b3) as effective for you to reduce anxiety. I have ordered and recieved a bottle of 500mg pills. But now I do some research online and it seems like they say doses like 500mg can potentially be dangourous. I am abit worried, but can I really trust what it says online?
    I have no other medical conditions.
    What would you reccomend as a safe dosage?

    • Hey ECO,

      I no longer use Niacin, although people have said online that it does work for anxiety, IF your issue is a vitamin B3 deficiency. Niacin can be hard on the liver in some if you have an existing condition. But for most it is fine.

      Have you used the niacin yet? You may have a crazy flushing reaction (you likely will). Don’t freak out haha. It goes away after half an hour but can really burn.

      But I no longer use it because I have found a program that has alleviated my anxiety, and relying on supplements does not fix the root cause. Niacin has worked for some, but these people may have been severely deficient in B3. Most people are not. Whether you take it is up to you, I cannot say what it will do for you. I have read people taking much more than 500mg. I wouldn’t do that but I would worry to much about it. I would break the pills in half if you could. 500mg is a lot.

      But I will be writing about the program I used shortly to alleviate my anxiety and fatigue. I will add you to the email list to inform about it. whether you take Niacin or not is your call, don;t be surprised if you absolutely hate the flushing effect.

      • Thanks for you answer. I took half the pill 250mg. I got a very strong flushing. Like being sunburned. Luckily I didnt freak out 🙂
        I have ben struggling with social anxiety for years. Very interested in hearing how you have overcome it. Thanks!

  151. Hi Sean,

    That’s great, please use the email listed under this comment.

    I find the anxiety to be definitely exacerbated by coffee. Sometimes I feel like I’m having a panic attack although I don’t think it ever gets too serious. I believe that the caffeine causes my mind to “race” which leads to constant self-monitoring while trying to take in everything happening around me. It seems like a very physical thing, with impaired cognition being a casualty of it. Although that’s just how I feel about it and IANAD.

    All that said, I’m an independent adult and I function fine. I’ve also had jobs that require dealing with the public without too much issue. Although it seems like over the years anxiety has gotten worse alongside consistent coffee consumption (average of 2 cups a day).

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

    • The coffee will definitely make any anxiety disorder worse. And the impaired cognitive function is dude to the fact that your brain can only focus on 128 bits of information while it is being bombarded with 128 billion bits of sensory information at anytime. When you have anxiety your entire CPU per say is taken up on that anxiety, even if its on a subconscious level, making it almost hard to focus or concentrate at all.

  152. I’d like to also pose a question which has been a serious issue for me.

    Currently I am at the end of a long string of education, this last program I’m working on requires a lot of presentations (and the career potentially would require some too). I have a lot of anxiety in public, I think it’s fair to say I have generalized social anxiety. I go out in public because I have to, but I never really feel content and I always feel on guard, looking around at everyone trying to read their thoughts, etc.

    Has anyone else dealt with this? I’m hoping cutting out coffee will take this away as I’ve been reliant on it for 10 years. I’m interested to know if anyone has found that social anxiety has diminished or gone away as a result of caffeine withdrawal.

    Thanks.

    • Hey NicePants,

      Social anxiety is a tough thing to deal with, but it can be dealt with. I do not think that quitting caffeine will suddenly cure your social anxiety, it may help in the moment that you are not revved up and fueling yur anxiety more, but the underlying anxiety has to be dealt with. I have had an anxiety disorder that plauged me for years, not particularly social, but general anxiety. There is a lot of science behind it, but I cured myself through breaking negative thought patterns, essentially the loop that causes all anxiety. I will write about it soon, after I finish a program I have been working with. It is too in depth to go into in a comment. But I will write down your email and send you a link to the article when I create it.

      Cheers

  153. Hi guys. I’ve been reading all of your comments over the past couple of days and I am grateful for the perspective you provide that seems to be absent when speaking with doctors and pretty much the general public. Most feel that caffeine withdrawal is trivial and short, of course, but we all know it can be more brutal and longer than that.

    I’m on day 2 of quitting. Day 1 wasn’t too bad, although I slept 14 hours. Last night I slept 12 hours. Today I ran into headaches and pretty bad depression. I don’t usually have depression like this, so I reached for a green tea. It shaved some of the edge off.

    I am unsure of course how much of this could be a result of genetics, because my whole family deals with depression. I think some of it is genetics and some of it is caffeine withdrawal.

    All I can say is that I don’t know how anyone can function like this. I’m lucky to have time off from work, but this feeling is horrible and I don’t think I could function like this. I expect I won’t be able to for another 1-2 weeks.

    I’m interested in knowing how you’re all doing. Bex, Eugene, etc. I suppose if I don’t hear from you that could be a good sign, however I’d like to hear from you if you check back here at all. How did it go after?

    Thanks as well to Sean for writing this article. I, like a few of you have noted, have found it a more accurate portrayal of caffeine withdrawal (as I’ve tried to once before and only got as far as a week) than is present on the majority of other websites on the internet.

    • NicePants,

      I am still an active reader of this forum and always looking forward to new comments.

      I am no longer caffeine free. I started drinking instant decaf coffee in late June, early July. Now I am on half decaf and I always keep it to one serving per day. Well at most two servings. This is still much less than what I used to consume.

      I was more than three months caffeine free except for a few slip ups. I was feeling horrible. First the depression and then the anxiety. I felt shaky almost every day. I was wondering if it was really caffeine withdrawal or I was just having a mental issue. I am very grateful for this site. I checked on it every day to read about other people’s experiences.

      I was getting a lot better after three months. I decided to go back because I missed the taste. I am aware of the shaky feelings and racy thoughts if I have too much. I hope I will quit for good after I finish my stocks of coffee and tea.

      In general reducing or quitting caffeine definitely helps with anxiety or worrying. It does for me anyway. However it gets really bad before it gets better. I think tapering might be a good way to reduce this bad experience. Having said that, my consumption tended to creep up after a short disciplined period of tapering. There would always be good reasons to have a bit more. I would think “well… since I messed up, lets start over”.

      Be prepared, cutting out or down on caffeine reduces your anxiety but also reduces your mental capacity. Decaf can still be addictive.

      Just sharing my thoughts and hope it helps others.

  154. Now its 5 or 6 days with no caffeine at all. I also decided to stop watching porn at the same time.

    Some postitive benefits I have experienced so far

    – no crash during the day
    -stable energy levels
    -vivid dreaming
    -no headache
    -less anxiety when talking face to face with people. I tend to be nervous when speaking to other people. But now the past days that has been totally ok.

    no sure if this is because of placebo or real effects 😉

    Studies shows some positive effects of caffeine, but also many shows negative effects of caffeine. Especially on people with anciety/panic attacks. So better safe than sorry I say. And also people talk about the antioxdant effects of coffee and tea. Then I say try Rooibos tea, without any caffeine and lots of antioxidants. My favourite is honeybush.

    • Hey ECO,

      Good to hear you’re feeling better.

      I think the antioxidants from Coffee are mainly beneficial in the American diet, considering many Americans are lacking many Nutrients from their unhealthy diet . I read somewhere that people absorbed the antioxidants from Dates better than they did from coffee.

      I’ve tried Rooibos tea, it’s good stuff.

    • Thats great ECO,

      There definitely will be positive effects – especially from quitting porn which does act as an addictive drug in many men.

      I thinkt hat is where you are seeing the social benefits. Many report this.

      Also, yes I am not arguing the fact that caffeine does have some prove health benefits. But you are spot on when you say it can be negative on people with anxiety/panic attacks. And the average person takes way to much in this day.

      I’ll check out that tea, I am a fan of herbal tea. Thanks

  155. I found a great way to get off caffeine without the major withdrawals as talked about here on the site. This works I have done it several times – I am the guy who drinks for coffee for about a year and then quits for a couple months at a time. This is how I do it. Warning this is not for everyone.
    Day 1 – Go on food fast drinking coffee or tea through day.
    Day 2 – Continue on the food fast – drink tea only.
    Day 3 – Continue on the food fast – cut out all caffeine.
    Day 4 – Break fast and begin working out every morning – at least do some jogging or biking.
    Day 5 and onwards – continue with exercise.

    • That is an interesting protocol Simon,

      Thank you for sharing. I have heard many people report that a fast after quitting caffeine has helped them recover faster. It is intense, but if it works for you then thats awesome.

  156. That is right, but I only suggest to be very cautious.

    Many people’s tendency is, if there are different possible explanations of what could cause a condition, to believe the explanation which saves them from altering their lifestyle or making drastic life choices.

    Of course I don’t know whether this is the case here also.

    • Hey Wurst,

      Overall my energy will be more stable without caffeine. In general they’re changes in my life that I can make for the better, I don’t use caffeine to mask those aspects. What I generally mean…. Is when it’s a boring cloudy day when you’re not in the mood to cut the grass or clean etc, then you have coffee and cutting the crash is more enjoyable…why? because it’s a drug that makes you feel excited for nothing lol .

    • I see your point Wurst. I made a big life change 2 years back and I do consider myself happy at where I am in life, which made this sudden negative mental change very strange. I totally agree, I think sometimes we try to rationalise it in such a way that we can ignore the real true root of our problems and carry on in denial.

  157. I have been on and off caffeine the past few years. The longest I have gone is 3 months. Reason why I have stopped is because of anxiety and feeling sluggish after consuming too much caffeine. Mood swings and not stable energy levels.
    I am now on day 4 of no caffeine.

    My withdrawal symtoms are
    -lack of motivation
    -headache
    -irregular sleep
    -Pain/aching in my bones! weird thing I always get when I try to quit caffeine.
    Its aching in my bones in my legs
    -fly like symtoms, like running nose

    Now its day 4 and many of these are alredy better. Not sure what to expect in the coming weeks.

      • Hey Sean,

        There must be a different study on caffeine every month. Lately all I’ve been reading, is how Caffeine can boost your long term memory, can stave off certain diseases, and how caffeine itself is a antioxidant.

        What’s your take on all pro-caffeine/coffee studies?
        Did you find your memory improved after giving up caffeine/coffee?

        I general find myself to have a better memory and be more creative when I’m free of caffeine.

        • Yeah, I am not going to deny the health benefits of caffeine, but clearly it is not for everyone. I haven’t seen those studies and yes my memory has definitely gotten sharper.

          • Hey Sean,

            One thing I notice about Coffee/caffeine, if I don’t have it for two months at then start again, the first 2-3 weeks where I’m having a cup a day are great. They’re mostly High energy days with the crash coming very late in the day .sometimes I wouldn’t feel the crash at all or as much. I would generally get an anxiety Euphoric feeling while being less depressed. Then after that 3-4 week period the caffeine has less of an impact and you I’ll start feeling worse, probably wanting a second cup a day to get the desired effects.

            I feel more down when I don’t have coffee.

  158. Hello Natalia,

    you wrote:
    “I have everything, I love my partner, I have a great house, in a great city, love my family, I’m fit and I workout 3-4 times a week.”

    Perhaps exactly this is your problem?
    Perhaps you feel your life has become boring, you feel “boxed in”?
    Perhaps you would like to make more out of your life, do other things – but you want to keep your well-earning partner and the house etc.?
    And thus the anxiousness?

    It’s very doubtful that such bouts of anxiousness come from caffeine withdrawal. Some people here with psychological issues should be very careful – don’t attribute things to caffeine when in reality you just want to have an excuse to not tackle certain issues in your life! It’s easy to say: “Ah, brain chemistry”…

    • HI Wurst,
      Thanks for taking the time to reply. While I can understand what you’re getting at, it would seem a little strange that a person that seemingly has everything good going for them to spiral into a very strange bout of anxiety/depression.

      I’m not saying from time to time we don’t all get a little down because we get into a boring rut, or need a need challenge project etc, as humans I think we always should have targets and challenges to keep us ‘happy’. But what was happening to me felt like a different thing entirely. From one day to the next literally my life fell apart, I had very dark thoughts, a strong fear of life in general, not wanting to think and wishing I could sleep to stop thinking. I felt like I was basically living in fear, and I can only compare these symptoms and feelings to those of a clinically depressed person. Considering my life situation I would think it would have to be at least some sort of chemical imbalance to bring on such a negative change don’t you think?

      On a positive note everyone, I have had 4 really normal days, which I was not expecting. I was starting to reach the stage where I feared I’d never see any ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel, and then one morning last week (after my last post) I just woke up and felt and thought more importantly…totally normal and happy.

      I guess I could expect a little bit of a rollercoaster but…at least this has been a nice break from the hell I’ve been experiencing in my own mind.

      I don’t think its fair to say these effects cant be caused by caffeine withdrawal after long term use. They very well could be right?

    • Hey Wurst,

      It can be chemicals in the brain adjusting or in can be a persons lifestyle that is effecting them. But at the end of the day only the individual truly knows what they want or what’s effecting them. Sometimes it can be many things.
      Human psychology is very tricky, life is very tricky .

  159. Awesome article. Thanks Sean for taking the time to write it up. It’s the most in depth and familiar experience to my own I have found yet.

    I’m so glad I found your article, you have no idea. Maybe this sounds a little silly but as I was reading all of your readers comments I found myself tearing. Not because what they were saying was sad (although some of the mental effects certainly are) but because they are exactly like what I am going through, and for nearly 3 weeks now I have started becoming increasingly sure I was spiraling into a depression I would never get out of.

    I have been drinking caffeine for the last 10 years or so, every single day. Probably around 150-200mg a day. The thing is, I stopped drinking caffeine because I recently had a health scare, and I believe it was contributing to my anxiety. However, it was nothing like it is now that I’ve cut caffeine cold turkey. My anxiety comes and goes but when its with me its terrible, it’s like I’m living in a black hole of despair and hopelessness, and I become convinced that this is my life now, and there is no going back to how I felt mentally before. The scary part is, I’ve never had depression, so of course when I started experiencing these symptoms I would read online (not always a good thing am I right?) and my symptoms seemed to fit. That scared the s**t out of me. I have everything, I love my partner, I have a great house, in a great city, love my family, I’m fit and I workout 3-4 times a week, and I started to realise that this is exactly what people felt like when they were depressed, and people told them…what do you have to be depressed about? Brain chemistry is a messed up thing when it’s off. I told myself, if this is how I feel now what does the rest of my life have in store for me when things are so good now? These are the thoughts that would plague me. A lack of hope and a numbness with tinges of fear creeping in, coming and going. I have good days, but they generally only stay with me a day or two at a time before the depression comes back.

    The good news is I am getting better at coping with it, I tell myself repeatedly that it will pass, that its the withdrawal, its got to be. Heck it started the day after I cut it out. Even though you feel like there is no hope or joy in life, tomorrow you may feel totally different, and some days that’s exactly what happens.

    Your readers comments have been so encouraging Sean, I thank you so much for taking the time. I will ride this out and remind myself it could all still be the withdrawal. There are glimmers of hope…today is a better day. It tends to get worse between 7-10pm…no idea why, then it subsides.

    It’s been just over 4 weeks for me now, so when I read all these websites giving all these ridiculously short recovery times I was dismayed. If anything the depression was at its worst week 1-2 and it still lingers with me now.

    Best of luck to everyone and hang in there. I am hopeful this will all be a bad dream for me one day.

    • Hi Natalie,

      Sean is exactly right. You’ve been drinking caffeine for the past 10 years, it’s going to take longer than 4 weeks to feel back to normal. When I quit caffeine I’m usually depressed for the first 3-4 weeks, then I get better. I started coffee again a month ago and have been free for 2-3 weeks again, back on the path to feeling better.

      Caffeine alters Dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, and few other neurochemicals. It takes time for these neurotransmitters to rebalance back to normal.

      All the best, Adam

      • Hi Adam thanks for your reply! 🙂 At first I totally dismissed the idea it could be the caffeine withdrawal as the mental effects were so acute! I believe its one of those things that can vary enormously from person to person depending on their propensity to feel anxiety in the first place. For me I know I was reaching a stage where I wasn’t able to handle the caffeine anymore, and coming off it has been hell. Having a really good 4 days so far after my last post, so things looking up 🙂

    • Natalia,

      I am sorry to hear that you are in this mess but I am glad you found this article!

      Going off a drug like caffeine after 10 years is a huge shock to your neurotransmitters and your nervous system. I am glad that you can see that these harsh effects are from that, because I know how easy it is to convince yourself that something bigger is going on.

      A couple things that will definitely help you:

      1) Understanding that is *most likely* (mandatory disclaimer) is caffeine withdrawal and that it takes a long time to heal 100%. I deal with people on a daily basis emailing me with stories just like yours. They all improve.

      2) Don’t get discouraged if a doctor tell you it is impossible to still be caffeine withdrawal. They still think cholesterol is bad for us, they are some of the dumbest smart people alive, and are almost robotic to the sense that if they didn’t learn it in medical school it cannot exist. Stay away from any anti-depressants/anxiety meds right now as this is *most likely* not the issue.

      3) Time and positivity is the best cure. Sounds like you have that in your corner. Keeping your mind off the symptoms is key as well. Stay busy!

      I wish you a swift recovery and I am sure that you will have just that. Take it week by week.

      Feel free to come back and ask anything you want.

      Cheers,

      • Thanks for getting back to me Sean! =) Yea, I gotta keep reminding myself that’s the most likely cause. I’ve had mild anxiety in the past but this is something else, this is depression and I know it’s caused by the cold turkey.

        I will keep on trucking. It’s encouraging to see that the good days are few initially (as you and others have mentioned) but will become increasingly more common. At that stage it would be easy. I can handle a few bad days, its just in the beginning theres way more bad than good and it beats you down you know?

        Still 🙂 Will keep positive. I’ll keep you updated on my progress in a weeks time. Maybe I should cut out the decaff too! Might speed things up? I probably have 1 Nespresso Decaff capsule a day (claims to have 0.4mg caffeine wonder if its true)

        • For me, I like to psychologically stay away from all caffeine for a while. There definitely is trace amounts of caffeine in decaf. And while I wouldn’t worry about it, for some they can start to overthink it.

  160. Frankly, I think one should not over-interpret things!

    With 99% probability, after such a long time, these are not “symptoms” related to caffeine withdrawal – it’s simply the NORMAL up & down everyone has!

    You didn’t sleep enough? You ate something not-so-healthy? You experienced something difficult (controversy with work colleagues; issues with your partner; financial issues…)? Of course then it can happen that you have low energy, that you feel a bit confused or something like that!

    Only difference is that now, as opposed to when you still drank coffee, you don’t have the quick caffeine fix to “mask” your true condition!

    View that as something good! Because when you really feel what certain things cause in your body and mind (instead of covering it up by using drugs), you are more inclined to alter your behavior or lifestyle so that you’ll feel bad less often!

    • I think key is not focusing on the symptoms because this becomes a problem in itself. A lot of people effected by caffeine and withdrawals are people who are susceptible to anxiety. Then after a month of feeling shitty, withdrawal may go away but symptoms turn into anxiety and an overactive amygdala/nervous system. This can make symptoms last for months, similar to CFS. People constantly monitoring how they feel. You have to interrupt these patterns.

  161. Its been 6 1/2 months caffeine free and the last 5 days seems like the fatigue and head pressure is like when I was on my 1st month. It is better right now. I guess it is going to take longer. Even after 6 1/2 months I have some good days and some bad days. But it is all manageable. I feel it especially after doing some outside out around the house.

    • Yeah everyone is different, it is crazy how long somethings can take to be 100%. Plus healing is not linear, so you may feel better for a month and then have slight symptoms for a few days.

  162. Joe’s story must be taken with caution.

    It’s rash, to say the least, to say that his symptoms stem from the caffeine withdrawal.

    “Energy drinks”, coke, chocolate have other important substances in it, especially SUGAR.

    I stopped drinking coke already 22 years ago because I realized that caffeine+sugar made my feel much worse than caffeine only. Coffee in moderate doses was fine for me.

    It could be that Joe’s brain / nervous system has developed a dependency on sugar as well as caffeine, and it could be that the really bad withdrawal symptoms he experiences are not related to the caffeine.

    • Yeah,

      Sugar is another bad one. It’s hard to say if any one here is suffering solely from caffeine withdrawal. A lot of them I suspect are dealing with overactive nervous systems as a result of long caffeine stimulation and yeah sugar is another on that can do that.

  163. Thanks Sean for putting info out because I was going insane after I quite caffeine…..I was taking 600 mg until I was very tired and felt worse and it did not work anymore…I am still withdrawing after 2 months of hell until I began to see many symptoms went way but still have flu blocked nose and slight sore throat and bad cough along with brain fog and fatigue and very strange dreams everyday.

    I had to add some green tea on and off so my body can cope and it seems its helping while my body gets rid of the caffeine….I will report if I feel better later.

    Thanks Sean for putting info about this addictive drug 🙂

    • Thanks Jack.

      It is amazing how many people I have emailing me and commenting with similar experiences, yet doctors will still tell you that you’re crazy.

      • Hey sean 🙂

        Seems my acne is clearing up its a progress but still not there yet…..never i ever imagined that caffeine could be addictive like this…still waiting till i am free from it…it seems it will take its time with me…hope for it to go away.

      • Sleep is better yes seems i had deficiency and caffeine depleted me like hell after using natural sleep aid my sleep got restored to natural levels and even the mental withdrawal effects became less but despite sleeping better 9 hours still its very difficult for my brain to be free from it and taking a long time to heal so i am kinda worried…..physical withdrawal was over i said finally i am near but i did not know that mental is lengthy….i think i will check with a doc and see if my brain is fine or not….there someone i know that recovered but after 1 year or even more so maybe i will recover at the same length as him as it seems its comparable to him….Will report back if i get any better and i also walking and doing some gym but waiting for my brain to get back to normal which i hope it will.

        • Hey Jack

          I too was a bodubuilder and taking 600-900 mg of caffeine from pre workout. I told my story here previously. Basically, I’m caffeine free for 1 1/2 years now and about 7 months into it I still felt fatigued all day and have my best energy in the evening. I said this is prbably still withdrawls so I waited for a complete year and no change so I said this can’t still be caffeine withdrawls and began searching and did blood test and all and my cortisol levels were high. I did some research and I sure I have adrenal fatigue/dysfunction or hpa-axis dysfunction. I still have this. I’m seeing a ND and I need the calm my adrenals down. Sounds like you have some sort of adrenal fatigue. 80% of people have some level of it. Also MTHR gene mutation is common and a simple blood test can see that also.

      • Heya Sean 🙂

        The mental part is taking its time with me dont know why lol….Seems i have to wait till my brain heals….i will try my best to eat well and sleep as much as i could…lets see how well next months if i start seeing any sign of healing mentally…i sleep very deep now with vivid dreams…..Hope this mess ends up and i become free from it because its effecting my my life.Glad i found your article i keep reading it everyday so i can pass this.

        Thanks sean 🙂

          • anxiety disorder yes i think i have it that is why i was effected harshly by caffeine withdrawal….I did get back to the gym and i do walk but still very difficult mentally to be free from it still not stress free yet entering month 8….I do try to meditating but not consistently….I went to a brain doc and everything turned out fine my brain is fine and everything is fine but don’t know why its still not recovering yet….Maybe 1 year applies to my case as you said in your article for some it can take a full year for this chemical to be free from it….Sleep is not an issue now…its fixed just need the brain to get back to normal 100%….Will this program help me get free from it and cure this problem i hope so 🙂

            Thanks for the reply Sean 🙂

          • Hey sean

            the med doc gave me is called risperdal…i take 2 everyday…don’t know if does anything

          • Hey sean 🙂

            its still very difficult to be free from it mentally and i feel like crap…….should i drink moderate amount of caffeine to feel normal again will it hurt my detox because i am month 8 now and still not free from it….very hard to function without it after all those months is very hard to do anything with the stress in my head…..What you think??????

            i hope it wont effect my detox….sorry to sound negative but its really a long time to heal mentally and i cant function at all with out it…….i feel my progress is slow after taking the natural sleep aid but i had no choice sleep was a mess withdrawal effects was very harsh also i hope it did not effect my head.

          • Jack it sounds to me like you have an anxiety disorder that is leading to near chronic fatigue. I wouldn’t go back on caffeine man, but I am not a doctor. Wish you the best. I would get the Gupta Programme no lie. I think it will really help you. It cured my chronic fatigue syndrome and anxiety disorder.

      • Hey Sean 🙂

        Well i read an article that large dose of fish oil can recover the brain and repair it will try taking huge amounts along with the diet i mentioned with added veggies you mentioned also….Also i added read meat so i think that is perfect for recovery and healing.

        also it seems my sleep has been fixed naturally forever at first it was a mess and had bad reactions using melatonin which lasted month and half until my body got used to it and now i can sleep naturally like normal humans besides too it reduced the horrible withdrawal caffeine effects in my brain so i feel more calmer and better and sleep well also even when i stopped using sleep aids.

        Sorry to bug you Sean i am just never experience anything like this before so i like to look for better healing recovery options so i could heal the mental part that seems will last bit longer than the physical part as mentioned by some people in recovery….hope this passes because the anxiety and stress is killing me with its negative behavior that makes me carry tasks very negatively.

        Anything you can suggest for mental recovery or natural anxiety herb like kava kava???

        Sorry to bug you or anything its just that i am newbie when it comes to withdrawals that first time it happened to me so i like to search for the best options i can find.

        Thanks sean for being patient with me :)…God bless 🙂

        • Hey Jack, fish oil is great. And so are the veggies. Keep that going.

          Glad to hear your sleep is normalized, that’s a big deal.

          As for anxiety, you may still have an issue with anxiety that is not caffeine related. Keep this in mind. So it may take a little longer for you, but you can heal anxiety naturally. I don’t recommend Kava Kava, as I have heard some dangerous things. L-Theanine is okay, but only if you REALLY need something to take the edge off.

          Other than than I recommend edit, which you’re working on. Exercise! Everyday. Cardio or weight lifting. Adequate sleep. Meditation twice daily for 20 minutes (mandatory!) if you want to heal just do it. And time. This can heal you without herbs and shit.

          Optional extra’s: A program for anxiety. This one helped me a lot and it’s hard to say if you have the same issue I did. My anxiety was stuck and my amygdala was stuck in the on position. I had to retrain it and this program taught me how. The linden method is also good I hear.

          • I think i will take your advice and force my self in to the gym…only way to beat this stubborn mental withdrawal is the gym.

            Will report back if any improvements happen 🙂

            i also added creatine in my supp and diet program.

        • Dude! Stay away from the brain affecting supplements. You need to let your brain calibrate back naturally. That affects neurotransmitters, I wouldn’t use it unless you actually had to. Diet (lots of raw food and veggies), lifestyle (meditation) and time.

      • Hey Sean 🙂

        I am changing my diet and will cut off even little caffeine like green tea for 2 months and lets so how it goes…..tell me what you think of it.

        1st meal rice and cheese with a strong multi
        2nd: banana with whey protein and fish oil 3 6 9
        3rd: 5 eggs with fish and milk
        4th: oats and turmeric root plus 50 grams of whey protein and some amino beef
        5th:rice and salad
        6th: whey protein and cheese
        7th: tuna

        before bed i will take ZMA this product: http://www.amazon.com/Optimum-Nutrition-ZMA-180-Capsules/dp/B000GIQS02

        i don’t use Melatonin anymore i do know it has benefits and can help repair the brain and also reduce withdrawals effects but it seems its not for everyone especially people who struggle with depression like me and i just still have excess in my body from the supplementation that needs to be flushed out..will give ZMA a try

        • ZMA’s good stuff. Will help your nervous system and sleep.

          And the diet looks pretty clean man. Try to incorporate more veggies in there!

          I didn’t know you were still on caffeine. I don’t know much about green tea as I don’t even take that. I like to stay 100% free. How are as compared to a month ago?

      • Hey Sean 🙂

        I agree…I did not go to the doc because I found your article first and I read everything and everything you wrote I was in the same exact thing I am in now so I relaxed because seriously I thought I was dying when all that happened lol….Seems the withdrawal will last for 2 months more for me….I feel my stress is getting better every 3 weeks to 4 weeks is when I see symptoms some of them go away the less the stress in my head the better I get and it seems I am near recovery as I have only some symptoms like fatigue,brain fog,Flu and muscle aches……As you mentioned on your third month when your stress free is when your near recovery.

        I will report if I get better those few weeks ahead….Thanks again Sean 🙂

        • Thats good man.

          I think key is not focusing on the symptoms because this becomes a problem in itself. A lot of people effected by caffeine and withdrawals are people who are susceptible to anxiety. Then after a month f feeling shitty, withdrawal turns into anxiety and an overactive amygdala/nervous system. This can make symptoms last for months, similar to CFS.

          Sounds like you have your shit together though.

          • Hey sean 🙂

            It seems i have caffeine withdrawal syndrome that is why its taking my time with me…you told me before that you work in a company that sells supps…..i live outside the U.S and other melatonin i used stopped working but i do get 12 or sometimes 17 hours of sleep when my pineal gland produces lots of it every 2 days i get to sleep alot more than normal….want to give the product a try…Do you ship it outside the U.S??? if so i would like to buy one and try it for sleep maybe it would regulate my sleep better in normal healthy rang until i recover.

          • Heya sean 🙂

            I have anxiety disorder and ADHD and that is why i have problems with sleep and i am not healing at all despite sleeping every day for 9 hours everyday….i am still the same every month mentally anxiety still there and doesn’t go away…. That is why i was getting 2 hours max after i got physically free from it…got the natural sleep aid and it did increase my sleeping hours because i have ADHD but yet i am not getting any better or maybe its just placebo effect….i will check with drug addiction treatment because seriously i am not getting any better and i have health issues and now at month 8 and still the same and its frustrating…only thing i saw that it reduced the withdrawal effects but thats it….Sorry to bug you but its just that i am not getting any better at all and its my life is hell at the moment…i went to bodybuilding in the first place to build a body and to be healthy because my health was very bad and gym improved my health and build a lot and then i find out i was addicted to something while i stayed away from drugs because i know what they lead to and caffeine withdrawal nearly killed me at first……any advice would you give me because nothing is working….i will check with a doc and drug treatment center in hopes in getting rid of this addiction ince and for all….Hope for the best sean 🙂

          • For starters man, you def have an anxiety disorder so never drink caffeine again. I don’t think you are battling caffeine withdrawal anymore. I think you are battling fatigue from having an anxiety disorder. Your neervous system is all fucked up but it can heal! I have been though hell, trust me. You have to do what it takes to heal.

            Meditation 1 hour a day if you have to. Buy The Gupta Amygdala Retraining program. It will change your life.

          • Yes i used to be a fitness freak bodybuilder never skipped a day and i used pre-workout powders everyday with eating 200 grams of protein and multi etc….After i became tired as hell from caffeine i wanted to take a break but a shocker was withdrawal happened and it was torture…I want to go back to the gym but i tried but the anxiety and stress makes it it worse when i lift…..So you mean i have to force it even if i feel like shit so i can beat it???

            Yea fish oil is high dose just trying to feed my brain lol….i went to a doc and finally he understood and told me caffeine withdrawal is a bitch and gave me some med to take….He told me he mental part takes time for people who suffer from extreme anxiety disorders….also if i go back to caffeine and get depended on it again does it have health problems even when i was depended on it or its just chemical dependency that is the problem???

            i was fine on it until it got out of hand and now life seems hard….i will give more time for my brain to heal if that doesn’t work i will have to go back on caffeine so i can function normal…even i hate going back but i have been in hell for like 7 or 8 months

          • Hey Jack, it’s hard for me or anyone to say what’s going on inside your body or give advice. My advice would to be never touch caffeine again, but I understand you may feel helpless right now. Moderate caffeine may help you, like I said – it’s hard to say but I would imagine that it will affect you negatively if it did once before.

            What Meds did the doctor give you?

          • Hey sean 🙂

            Just want to reassure that the mental recovery takes time…..I entered the mental recovery from month November 2014 until now still in mental recovery….is that normal to take long until the brain fully heals???

            i Added broccoli and i take 20,000 mg fish oil daily…used to detox faster when i was physically depended but mentally seems slow as hell but only thing is better is sleep but i am not fully stress free yet.

          • Hey Jack, mental recovery definitely takes time, but I am not a doctor so I cannot give you any straight medical advice. I do think you will continue to heal now that sleep is better. You have to get stress free. That’s huge. Meditate meditate meditate lol. And nice work on the veggies and fish oil is good, that seems like a whole lot though. But I’m not an expert on it.

            Try exercising now, exercises helps the brain heal. Scientifically proven.

          • Hey sean 🙂

            Nope I did not heal yet mentally yet still not stress free and till have sore throat still my brain is inflamed …I just feel better because of good sleep I get and the build up of melatonin I took which fixed my sleep issues but still not healed yet i would say 90% but still not fully healed yet brain wise.

            I think that adding more to the diet and and protein and veggies and start gym again will help repair the brain even if anxiety makes me feel discouraged and kinda worse but i need to force it as you said in order to help the brain recover fully back to to normal…..it seems i had extreme anxiety disorder wich caffeine has shown how horribel it was when i stopped caffeine…..Yes i would love to follow your program but until i become stress free then back to normal social anxiety will be my next healing….God bless Sean 🙂

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            Green tea was like one cup a day and 3 or 4 of weak tea bags a day then i leave it for a week….Was getting better every month even when i was on little caffeine….when i reached November 2 months ago and changes happened like i got physically free from it and my body became very light vs heavy before and entered the mental recovery noticed a little improvement in December but not that much….This month i saw no improvement at all despite sleeping a lot so i think i would try cutting caffeine entirety and stick with this new diet and try zma as it can help in recovery while sleeping.

            What veggies do you recommend to add????

          • Hey Jack,

            Any veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets. Juicing is awesome with Kale and spinach and stuff. It’s all just so good for your body and aids healing.

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            I meant the over sized balloon stress and head pressure that puts a lot of pressure so i drink water and i feel my brain feels more relaxed during the day if i keep drinking lots of water or when sleeping….just waiting till my head becomes stress free.

            Thanks for the encouragement Sean 🙂

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

            Honestly i don’t want to go back because it was torture or even if i go back to function normal again i will be slave to it which i refuse….i was getting better every month until i entered the mental recovery which kinda became slow….reading comments from others that some take time in mental recovery after the physical is done like the guy i met which took him 5 or more 6 months to recover mentally that was after the physical pain was done and over with….He told me he went to rehab stayed for a while then went back home and could not get out of the house due to anxiety then he recovered and now is happy and now goes out and has lots of energy…..for me the middle stress in my head was easier to heal than the last two Left and right sides which are very stubborn maybe i noticed some of the stress got lower but still doesn’t want to go away…..i passed a lot of it but this mental recovery which is near recovery seems to take a long time to heal….i will try to hang in there and see if i get any better.

            I do eat healthy mostly but i will stick with water for now easy on the stomach.

            Thanks for the encouragement it means a lot 🙂

          • Hey sean 🙂

            I successfully tapered xanax on my own….Gladly i got rid of it safely my circadian rhythm has been out of wack since the caffeine withdrawal started and also my brain is the only thing that is awake during the withdrawal and it seems to relax only during sleep…i noticed after my body got used on the Melatonin and then stopped using it that my wake and sleep cycle got restored to normal as i get sleepy naturally now and sleep for about 12 or 8 hours of deep sleep….Yea i still feel mentally tired….physically i got free from 2 months ago but mentally still not….i am kinda entering month 7 and still in mental recovery which is taking kinda longer time to heal…..kinda worried if my brain wont heal or then i don’t want to go back to caffeine ever again due to anxiety and other problems…..My natural Melatonin levels has been restored after supplementing and it seems it was depleted because from all the caffeine that my body wont shut down because it was confused and depleted…..For now my sleep got fixed as i wake up and sleep normally….wanted to ask is it normal that the brain is the only thing that awake during the withdrawal???

            I met someone that got addicted to caffeine from only using 2 preworkout supps and he healed after 10 months and mentally it took him 5 months after the physical was over so i am kinda worried…i do eat lots of fish and take fish oil and drink green tea and supp with turmeric root and i eat lots of eggs.

            honestly i am kinda giving up then i remember that caffeine was causing me problems….i am trying to hang in there….hope its worth the pain

          • Jack you’ve come so far! Don’t give up man.

            Your nervous system has taken a beating with the Xanax and caffeine. And you sound liek you are healing.

            First of all, the brain has plasticity. It WILL heal. and so will your body.

            Going back to caffeine will only start this mess again.

            Keep meditating every morning, keep eating healthy and staying away from sugar. Keep off the supplements. And your body is getting good sleep now. It needs it. Just do one more month free of all supplements! I bet you’ll feel so much better after.

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            The sleep hormone seems it doesn’t work for me anymore….Used to work fine from days ago and it also does make me feel groggy and dizzy and foggy the next day so I gave it to my mom and it seems its working for her with no side effects next morning….I heard about valerian root and I will give it a try….Docs seems to be programmed from what I noticed so I am not shocked they gave me Xanax LOOL..I will check the site links and see what I can find….Thanks again Sean 🙂

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            I was prescribed Xanax for my sleep problems that before the caffeine withdrawal began….I would say 2 months before caffeine withdrawal started….I tried many stuff nothing worked only thing worked was Xanax and I used to leave it for days and did not have any withdrawals from it so maybe because I kept it at low dose or my body isn’t sensitive to it like caffeine was with me….I found this natural sleeping hormone and it works better but on lower doses or I wake up feeling it effects in the morning…I am tapering Xanax from 1.50mg to 1.25 mg till I reach 0.25 I do not want to take the risk as I did with caffeine just to be safe…Tried L-Theanine and did not do anything for me however I found this natural hormone and it does knock me out after 30 mins so I am going get rid of Xanax and thankfully I was not on high dose on it and I heard its addictive yes but I tried many things before and nothing worked and after the caffeine withdrawal began it amplified everything….I wish I would found this natural hormone before taking Xanax.

          • I want to meet the guy who prescribed you Xanax for sleep problems and literally punch him in the face. These guys don’t know what their handing out to people, they are brilliant at times, but senseless robots that are controlled by the pharmaceutical companies at others. You’re one of the lucky ones since it’s only been a few months. I have read so many stories of people being on xanax for years, and having to continually up their doses by their doctors recommendation, until 2-3 years later when they HAVE to come off it their dosage is so high and their lives are literally hell for years. Scary. So thankfully you become aware early on, taper and say goodbye to xanax.

            for help sleeping, Dave Asprey from bulletproofexec.com has some of the best articles on how to improve your sleep with supplements and stuff.

            I’m also working with a company called 88herbs they have a natural sleep product to check out if nothing else worked. It has melatonin in it, but if your melatonin is working now just stay on that.

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            Yea I was shocked that I found out that its a drug lol….I am bodybuilder and I used pre-workouts for like 7 years around 300 mg and 600 mg everyday…..The brutal withdrawal made me leave the gym due to anxiety and stress and fatigue…..I found something that seems to be better than Xanax for my sleep problems called Melatonin…I use low dose on Xanax around 1.50mg and thinking of tapering it till I reach a low dose then getting rid of it to replace it with Melatonin….What is your opinion on Melatonin???

            You think I should go back to the gym and start my high protein and low carb diet or wait till I fully recover???

          • Dude be careful with the Xanax. The longer you’re on it, the harder it is to come off of that. And if you think caffeine withdrawals are bad, forget it. Benzo withdrawals are another animal. I would start tapering now, slowly until you are off it. Then yeah melatonin is good, it’s the sleep hormone.

            You can get more melatonin naturally by getting more sun during the day and then eliminating bright light at night.

            During the day your body produces serotonin from the sun and it turns to melatonin at night when the sun goes down which makes you sleepy, but if you are getting bright lights all night until 12 AM, your body thinks its the sun, and that doesn’t happen as well and sleep is more difficult. They actually make glasses that block blue lights to wear at night.

            Who put you on Xanax?

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            Seems that from experience that caffeine is more addictive than nicotine….I never smoked nor even did drugs but it seems caffeine is more addictive that I thought…..Seems big companies hide the fact that caffeine is just as the same or even worse than nicotine when it comes to addiction…I never thought caffeine would be like that in its length or its brutal withdrawal.

            Anyway to update my recovery…..I still feel foggy and still have sore throat but I wake up more easier but not very tired nor full of energy just dull….Hope things improve for me and everyone here 🙂

          • Hey Jack,

            Yeah man. It is a drug, simply put. Some are more effected than others and become dependent, mentally and chemically.

            You’re getting better! Just stay the course. Caffeine free for life from now on, you’ll look back on this and laugh.

          • Hey Sean 🙂

            I read about a post here that food fast speeds up the recovery…Should I drink liquids only for few days or a week and see if it speeds up my recovery….what do you think sean??

            I heard its intense but I want to try it and see if it speeds up my recovery

          • I haven’t tried it so I have no input, but if you try it definitely let everyone know how it went! A week long juice fast is known to help people by removing loads of toxins, so I see the science behind it.

          • Yes the anxiety is tough to deal with this withdrawal I am in but it seems my sleep got better and I wake up much easier than last weeks but still not motivated and kinda tired but not very tired like before and the stress is still there….Seems I developed low back pain also but I could say as you said it take up to 6 months to feel better…..Defiantly when I recover back to normal would love to see your new post about dealing with anxiety as I had this issue from young age…..Looking forward for your post :)……Seems some people are sensitive to caffeine and that for us takes months to feel better….I would say never give up and keep up the fight and it will get better…it may take time for some but being drug free is the way to live life 🙂

          • Hey sean 🙂

            Yes I agree….I always had anxiety problems and caffeine made it worse and it gets overactive if I think about anything negatively I try to interrupt it with a positive thought….However now my stress is much lower than past weeks but anxiety and dullness and fatigue are still there….Hope my recovery speeds up….I now drink lots of water to speed up the recovery and I hope I will improve.

          • Yeah,

            That dullness and fatigue can often cause anxiety in itself. And harboring/worrying about this dullness/fatigue creates symptoms in the body of dullness and fatigue, which then results in more anxiety!

            It is a vicious cycle,

            But patients of chronic fatigue syndrome have this same cycle going on with their amygdala at a much more serious rate and they can beat it.

            The only way it to cut off the thought that goes from the subconscious (amygdala) to the conscious mind. There is no doubt you have symptoms that are nt just in your head, but when you worry about them you are telling your mind there is something wrong and to stimulate the nervous system. This is not what you want to do to an already stimulated nervous system.

            When you find negative thoughts pop up or you are focusing on how you feel say, “Stop stop stop!” Look up take a deep breath a smile. Then congratulate yourself and distract yourself into what you were doing. (this is a small NLP pattern breaking technique I learned from a anxiety program that works. It is more in depth but I will making a full post on beating anxiety in the next 3 months. I will ad your email to the list to be notified.)

            You are breaking that thought, and eventually it won’t come anymore. Even if you have to break it 100 times a day at first.

            Any excessive worrying/negative thought that someone without any anxiety would have needs to be broken. Your body and mind will heal, stay positive.

          • Hey Sean,

            Dark Chocolate… to eat or not to eat. You realize that real chocolate without sugar is bitter and tasteless and no one would really like it . It’s not something are ancestors wouldn’t eat.

            Theobromine is way more mild than caffeine, but it is still a stimulant that should be used with caution for individuals that are sensitive towards stimulants.

          • Hey Man,

            I understand, good Job on you for staying away from coffee, especially if you enjoy the taste, that takes will power . I think I also have a overactive nervous system , Even though I have hypothyroidism , I wonder if you can have both ? I take synthroid for my hypothyroidism .

  164. Hi, three months ago I did detox from caffeine abuse (Caffeine pills, energy drinks, coke, chocolate milk and regular chocolate), when I started to get issues like a rapid heart beat, insomnia and unrest. I quitted cold turkey because I rather want something to be over as quick as possible. I experienced some effects including Insomnia, anxiety and depression, that lasted for a good week. After the 9 day mark I moderately started to drink Coke again, before falling into my old habit again when I felt better with the energy drinks etc, just without the pills. A few weeks later I had the same issues again and was forced to do another withdrawal. After that was through, I kicked the Coke and energy drinks for good, just sticking to a occasional chocolate milk and a chocolate bar a day. Two weeks ago I had a gastric flu and left out the chocolate and chocolate milk. I also had the effects of detoxing caffeine at the start, which was confusing to me but I thought it was more due to the flu. Last weekend when I felt good again, I drank a cup of chocolate milk after a 14 day break on Friday and Saturday. When I didn’t take any caffeine on Sunday, I’m dealing with Insomnia, a rapid heart beat and mild anxiety again.

    So my question is: am I really going through another withdrawal after such low doses as 5-10 mg a day? Is that even possible despite taking 9-14 day breaks? Or to notice effects of such a low dose? My GP said it’s impossible to have any traces of caffeine left in the body after 14 days or to suddenly get that sensitive or allergic to caffeine. Could it be that I’m that sensitive or allergic to caffeine now after my caffeine abuse that lasted for 1,5 years? I’m a man in my late 20s. Anyhow I’ll try to go to a physician this week for a complete check. I’m really sick of these upcoming cycles when I start to feel better, should I rather kick any caffeine for the next months/for good?

    Thanks. I’m glad I found this site.

    • If you ask anyone on here, they will tell you the same thing. GP’s mean well but they have no clue about the true effects of caffeine. It’s not really their fault because there is not much on the subject, but they are robotic in their responses that there can be absolutely no effect from caffeine after being off it 2 weeks. It can be frustrating so don’t rely on them.

      Caffeine is a drug, so why would it be different than any other drug. Cocaine for instance. Obviously more powerful, but similar. If you had the exact same experience with cocaine and quit for a few weeks but then did a small amount and quit again, you would feel the withdrawals again. You have subjected your brain to chemicals for years, it takes time to revert back. Definitely more than 2 weeks.

      It sounds to me like you do not react well to caffeine. I believe it is definitely possible to feel that way after a small use after only 2 weeks. So my suggestion would be to stop, feel good as you were and never start again.

      I am not a doctor so these are my opinions.

      • Hey Sean,

        how old are you again?

        I read somewhere that one drink of alcohol can effect the brains of people with anxiety disorders, depression etc for up to 3 months. I wonder if caffeine has that same effect.

        I once read a study that showed the benefits of caffeine for people with ocd. I always thought caffeine exacerbated my anxiety symptoms.

          • Do you still abstain from Chocolate? For me alcohol once a month is okay. Caffeine effects me for longer, making my anxiety worse.

          • I used to abstain from chocolate. I think it was more a mental thing, if I had some I would overthink it and bring about symptoms. I think this is the problem with a lot of people who have trouble going off caffeine. They tend to be deep thinkers and care more than others. But I had chocolate a few times last week with no issues. I still don’t run to it though.

  165. I’ve been caffeine free for about 5 1/2 months and for the most part my energy is good. It was hell in the beginning. I went to every type of doctor and everything was fine. I still every now and then have sensations in my head like ants crawling and feels like my head is full like when you study for a test for about 5 hours. I been reading up on this product called go-yin (Genesis Pure) by Dr Lindsey Duncan which after research I got some and am hooked on it for life. It helps balance the body’s ph levels (Acidic to Alkaline) and mood.

    • Hey Man,

      Overall , how do you feel being caffeine free. Do you notice a big difference in energy and mental clarity? are more or less depressed ?

      • Hey Adam

        First off, for me my caffeine was pre-workout not coffee so I was taking one scoop then over time went to two scoops then three scoops. It added up to like 900 mg of caffeine and drinking that 30 minutes before I workout. I did this for 5-6 years and all of a sudden one day last November chest started to tighten up and left side of my body was numb so my wife called 911 and they came out and did ekg which was fine. ER doc said it was a panic attack. Never had one before. I felt better after about 15 minutes. So months went by and didn’t realize it was the caffeine and it happened again this year in Feburary. Still didn’t realize it was caffeine so it started happening almost everyday then finally after about a week I realized it was the pre-workout stuff and I stopped instantly. I felt bad for almost 2 months of being like a zombie and wanted to just sleep. The third month was better but still feeling dull for the whole month and these last two months got better and now my energy is overall good all day. Seems like I have more energy at night time. Sometimes in the middle of the day I have this head fullness like when you study for 5 hours and your head feels full. Seems like each week and month it gets better. Hang in there and it will get better for everyone.

        • Hey Rob,

          Thanks for the feedback. Wow…you were taking some large caffeine doses.
          Glad to hear you’re feeling better.

          I usually go back and forth to one cup a day . I find that coffee will make me less depressed the first few hours, and then I’m more unsure of myself, more confused. When I don’t have caffeine for a month , I have more stable energy however, I will feel more depressed at times….but that can just be certain issues in my life .

          Caffeine is like any other drug. If you use cocaine, you will feel amazing for the first 30 minutes-to an hour ….and then you feel depleted.

          I haven’t been caffeine free for 2-3 months in many years, I’ll give it a try.
          I’ll probably just have dark chocolate on occasions .

          I kind of use caffeine when I feel depressed and down.

        • Great input Rob. Seriously hearing stories like this about recovery helps people so much.

          And it’s crazy how you can still withdraw from something that was having such a harsh effect on you. But you do!

          Thanks again man.

          • Ok I see. How long have you been caffeine free now?
            have you noticed any difference when it comes to libido?

          • Hey Sean,

            Do you find you still get the same euphoria when caffeine free?
            are you more sociable ?

          • I find that now I can get a stable level of euphoria, this is obviously through other means such as meditation and things like this but in short yes.

            I am also definitely more sociable, but that is because I am actively working on that.

    • Thanks Rob, i just spoke to someone who is going through a hard time right now and its good to see comments like this to encourage people that it does get better.

      I have never heard of the product – I looked at the ingredients, all great stuff. Thanks for the recco.

      • Thanks Sean. I know you are going gluten free and want to give you some info on Genesis Pure. Their products are all natural sugar free and gluten free. Their superfruits are great and this month they are releasing 8 gluten free live pure food kits.

  166. Well, Bax, I’m not so sure whether in your case (or in the case of some others) it’s really just the coffeine withdrawal which causes the low energy.

    Do you do enough sports???

    Are you enough outside, in the sun???

    Are you sleeping enough hours per day???

    How is your nutrition??? Do you drink enough???

    Are you wanking too much (as you probably know, Sean has pointed that out – that fapping robs energy)???

  167. Well, it’s been quite a while since I last posted and good to see that others are hanging in there and others are giving it a go. 🙂

    I have to admit, I found the caffeine withdrawal extreme, even after 4 months. Unfortunately, it was causing problems with my job and I was making some errors; enough to where I received a caution and an incident form was filled out, so I decided to go back on a bit of weak tea to see if I could “wake” myself up a little. I think it helped a wee bit. However, I have never gone back to my strong caffeine intake and am persisting for much of the time with next to no caffeine. Some days the most I have is using one tea bag twice and that is it. The rest is herbal, caffeine-free tea. I believe that the cold turkey withdrawal caused a backlash for me and perhaps my system couldn’t handle the shock. I am not sure, but going back on a small amount has helped a little bit. I am going to see if I can handle having none again at some point soon and see what happens.

    I believe that for those of us who have been using caffeine daily in strong amounts, have been really subjecting the adrenal glands to a fair bit of abuse. Once you quit cold turkey, I believe it can present quite a shock to a system so used to the “fix”, that it’s almost as though the body goes into a sleep state when it is no longer being artificially stimulated day in and day out. This may not simply be withdrawal, but might be a part of the desperate recovery of the adrenals, which is why I think some of us suffer so long term after the initial obvious withdrawal (headaches, etc.) has long since passed.

    I am still experiencing my very deep sleeps and vivid dreams, so the reduction of caffeine is significant enough to still have that positive change continue. However, I have not yet experienced any noticeable upsurge in health or heightened energy during the day. I am hopeful one day that might happen. For now, it’s quite possible that my body is still trying to recover from long-term caffeine abuse.

    I have learned a lot from this experience and never want to go back to my 20+-cup-a-day habit. I just hope my body will recover from it and begin to show promising signs that go further than simply having deep sleeps with vivid dreams!

    • 20 cups a day for years is intense. Your system was fully dependent on coffee, so yes I agree cold turkey was probably a huge shock to your system – I would have recommended tapering. And in your bodies time, 4 months is not a long time. It may seem like long to you, but to get over a strong chemical dependancy can take up to a year. Hope everything looks up.

      • Hiya, I have been off caffeine for approximately 5-6 months (for the most part), aside from possibly one or two very weak cups of tea a day. I believe I have been finally noticing improvements after a very lengthy and hellish withdrawal (touch wood). I can tell people that it may take up to 6 months or even longer. As you said, Sean, it may take up to a year! That would NOT surprise me.

        I would recommend tapering due to the shock it can have on the system. I did wind up adding back a cup or two of weak tea a day and I “think” it may have taken the edge of it very faintly (as I was so bad, I was messing up in my job), but at the same time, my healing evidently continued. I still enjoy the very deep sleeps and vivid dreams every single night (which NEVER happened when I was on high caffeine). I have been able to (touch wood), come off a long-term parasitic cleanse that I had been on for FOUR YEARS, because of a persistent parasitic infection due to my body obviously being such an utter mess that opportunistic organisms like parasites easily come on board and are not easily eradicated. The cleanse would serve to help me fight the parasite, but never really killed it (or them) off completely, so they would fight back every step of the way. I don’t wish to speak too soon, but this is the first time I’ve been able to come off it and, so far, stay off it……(again, touch wood).

        So, though I am still not the healthiest person (never was), I do believe that I have made progress from ousting caffeine and of course, doing my best to stick to a healthy diet, consuming mostly natural foods without additives/sugar, etc. I encourage people to hang in there, because the ride may be very difficult and very long. You may, like me, have to include a “little” caffeine back in if you find things are unbearable. The small amount should not significantly effect you or sabotage healing, but possibly take the edge off it a little and enable you to cope just a bit easier and continue down the healing path.

        So big thanks for Sean for putting this information out there and encouraging people to give up this drug. I now believe it to be a far more damaging substance than I had ever imagined, and the withdrawal and its extreme symptoms should be enough indication to show you what the stuff has been doing to you and what your body is going through in an attempt to heal.

        • Thanks Bex,

          I am trying a program out right now that helps with anxiety, fatigue, and things of that nature. As I remember from our previous conversations I think you have dealt with these issues off and on – as many people who get hit hard with caffeine withdrawal often do.

          I will let you know how it works because it holds a lot of promise.

          Thanks for the update! Glad you are doing better.

  168. Sean,

    I quit caffeine a couple months ago.

    There’s no crash, ever.

    I have constant energy – stamina is way up in both the gym and the bedroom.

    One of the best decisions I’ve made this year.

    Your man,
    MR. VEINS

  169. I have just quit for 20 days. The feeling of caffeine free is absolutely amazing. Not easily angry, annoyed, road rage and full of energy. My intake was moderate but I can be very edgy even taking 1 cup a day. So no more caffeine. And its agreat article.

  170. Now I’m about 3 months caffeine-free. For several weeks also chocolate free (i.e. I eat only white chocolate).
    It’s clearly better, the energy is more constant, I’m calmer and more focused.

    How strongly I react to caffeine I could experience today.
    I ate some small chocolate bars from a gift I got. (Brown milk chocolate, not dark one.)
    After that, my heart was beating stronger and faster, and I was in a somehow nervous mood! I felt a bit bad for some hours.

    No thanks, caffeine really is not for me.

  171. Sean,

    Have you tried DLPA? I read on some websites it is supposed to be good for caffeine withdrawal. The users claimed taking this supplement they cab easily stop caffeine with no withdrawal symptoms.

    I have bought a couple of bottles and took a couple of tablets. Because I am not back on the bean full time just decaf coffee so I am not sure if it does anything.

  172. Sean,
    Wanted to ask, what brand of Astragulus are you taking? Do you combine with ginseng or other herbs?
    Thanks

    • I take the Solaray brand. The exact one I link to in the article. One in the morning and one in the evening.

      I do not take ginseng, as it makes me buzz and feel on edge. And I am not taking anything else herb wise. I do take magnesium (400mg a day), fish oil, V-D & other basic stuff.

  173. Guys I completely fell off the wagon. Oof. nearly 3 months in and had a day where I felt like I needed something. Had a great first week back on the bean (yippee, i’m back baby) , week 2 was less great , and now week three I’m feeling stressed/frazzled. Back to the bad old days. Ugh – very disappointed…so much for my dedication. O well, climbing this hill again, starting from the bottom. Glutton for punishment. Will check back in weekly or so to update.

  174. Great article. And I’m not convinced that so many of are health problems aren’t partially related to caffeine. Maybe we focus on things like, say, gluten because let’s face it: it’s easier for most people to give up gluten than caffeine. I’m on month 2 of drastically reduced caffeine–was an everyday coffee drinker but have only had about 10 coffees since late May. Also green tea and dark chocolate. But I’m trying to psych myself up for going 100% free. I just fear I’ll want to die at work! But each time I’ve drank coffee over the past couple of months–planning to go back–I’m reminded that it’s a lousy experience. You feel great for about an hour or two–then you feel anxious/depressed/exhausted and you realize it’s nasty stuff more than you ever realize it when you’re drinking it every day. I’m light years calmer and even my energy started to improve after about 3 weeks. Maybe the hardest part: everyone says it’s good for you and everyone else seems to consume it. So you almost feel weird being a caffeine abstainer–the opposite of how we’ve made smokers feel weird for smoking. But nicotine and caffeine are essentially the same thing in nature…

  175. Hey All,

    I’ve been caffeine free for almost 3 weeks now. I actually quit because I’ve been seeing a urologist for a while now trying to figure out the origin of my overactive bladder. I’m still pretty young and have been having this problem for a while. It turns out that its likely chronic prostatitis which are there are no quick fixes. He told me that caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods likely irritate the issue and cutting back could help resolve it. Since I’d still like to have a drink or two now and again I figured it would be much easier to cut out caffeine for good. I also figured it would have many added benefits, including helping me sleep better.

    Three weeks in and the headaches have generally gone away. The first two weeks were rough as it felt like my head was going to explode by mid-afternoon. Staring at the computer screen all day at work became excruciating. Ultimately though, I feel I got off easier than many and for that I’m thankful. Having this decision made for health a health reason that I can easily point to I think also made it easier to justify to myself. I miss the ritual of stopping for that morning Starbucks but my bank account certainly doesn’t.

    Just wanted to share and wish everyone luck!

  176. Sean,
    how did you function with work? You’re a mechanical engineer, so weren’t you concerned with how your job performance would be during these crazy months?

    • Yeah Morgan, it was really hard. Sometimes I don’t now how I powered through but I did.

      I guess just keeping the positive thoughts in my head that I was healing and could do it, and to troop it out was what did it.

  177. Hi Sean,
    first off, excellent website and article. I have a questions about the clouded mind symptom specifically. How long did this last for you, roughly?

    -Rob

      • I’m just curious about one more thing… how was waking up during this process? I assume during your fatigue stage it was difficult… but did you notice an improvement in being able to wake up after about a month or so?

  178. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it. cdkekdkddffadkad

  179. Would you say that you’re concentration was really affected during the beginning four months? I’ve tried to quit caffeine three times. Every time I quit, it begins with a one week period of crushing migraines and an inability to focus, then proceeds into the never ending dullness that you mentioned. After the first week,I am able to focus, but my ability to retain information seems lessened. I know caffeine has some benefits when it comes to short term memory retrieval, but prior to my raging caffeine addiction, I never seemed to have a problem retaining information. As a child, I was always the top of my class and in the 95th percentile on standardized tests. My caffeine addiction began around the age of 15 with a soda addiction, then progressed into coffee as my health conscious mind warded off the temptation to consume soda. After coffee lost its efficacy, I began a long-term relationship with my one true mistress- 5 hour energy. Since then, I have begun having really bad skin problems, and have problems with consistency in my energy levels and cognitive abilities. I have moments where I’m really on point, and other times where I seem to falter to the point of where I wonder what has happened to my once sharp mind. In my pursuit for a remedy, I have radically transformed my diet numerous times including eliminating dairy, grains, and non-organic produce. I have tried low carb, paleo, eliminated tap water,calorie restriction, and tried virtually every nootropic that is well studied and possesses little to no adverse effects. I have had allergy tests with no results indicative adverse reactions to any particular food. I drink water like a mad man, consuming upwards of a gallon/day of spring water, or artesian well water that I procure locally. I also will drink a pinch of Himalayan sea salt in my water every day or every other day in order to ensure I am keeping my electrolytes replete.

    Anyways, in order to avoid telling you every nutritional endeavor I’ve ever embarked upon, I will circle back around to my original inquiry. The longest I’ve gone without caffeine is roughly 6 weeks. I always find myself going back to it because I lead a pretty demanding lifestyle as I am a full-time student, work 20 hours a week, and over the summer, I intern. I don’t get much of a break, so it’s hard to subject myself to dullness and limited information absorption. I need to be on point…all of the time. Does this get better? Did you notice that your ability to retain information became limited for a period of time? Is this the dullness you referred to? It makes sense, chemically, that your brain has a great deal of adjusting to do, and I think that amino acid supplementation could be a wonderful addition to a caffeine detox program. It could possibly lessen the detrimental cognitive effects, but I’m not entirely sure as I have never tried it during one of my caffeine free stints.

    Also, are you still caffeine free?

    Thank you so much for writing this blog as it has been a source of motivation every time I gear up to kick the stimulants.

    -Matthew

    • Hey Matthew,

      I am still caffeine free for over a year now. And yes, there were months when my cognitive functions were severely affected. Honestly not sure how I tripped up and made it through, but I did, and now I am free from caffeine, never have to think about it and have consistent great cognitive function.

      It takes a while, yes. But to me, it was well worth it.

      • Were you taking astragalus during your detox, or was it something you kind of happened upon later? I purchased some today and it kind of put me down for a nap, but it’s important to note that I did only sleep for 5 hours the night prior. Is it a stimulating herb, or does it just kind of add balance? I know it’s great for adrenal support, so I will likely continue to take it during my detox. I’m in a limbo currently where my internship isn’t as mentally demanding as being in school itself, so this is probably a great 2 month window to make it through the bulk of the withdrawals. It’s unfortunate that the neurological symptoms last for such an extended period of time, but the benefits seem worth it. I can barely remember what it was like before I embarked on my 10 year caffeine high, but I do remember being more focused and much more balanced. I’ve also seen an odd correlation between my brief sabbaticals from caffeine and my acne. I never had acne as a teen. It all really took a nasty turn around the same time I started pounding the coffee, and seems to be completely alleviated when I’m not drinking the stuff. Possible causative, but I would need a longer frame of reference to know for sure. Today ends my last caffeine fueled day for the next 6 months. I will reassess after that!

        This is by far the best recount of a caffeine detox I’ve seen on the web. The detox definitely extends far beyond the physical withdrawals.

        • Hey Matthew,

          I stumbled upon astragalus after withdrawals, but I wish I as on it earlier. It is a great adrenal support and raises your bodies chi, without causing anxiety. So it is not really stimulating but gives you a little more life it feels like. I take it everyday now.

          Good luck with your quitting. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

  180. How we are feeling after quitting coffee partly is also just a sign how wrong things are in our society.

    It is expected of people that they submit to the capitalist lifestyle.

    You always have to be willing to perform. You always have to be “enthusiastic”, and if you are not, something is “wrong” with you. You always have to market yourself, so your “unmarketable” side (being tired, unhappy etc.) is not allowed to be seen by others. (OK, you are allowed to be tired, but only when you at the same time tell that you had a very long day full of work and achieved lots of important things…)

    How Facebook works exemplifies this very much.

    Without coffee we just feel NORMAL.

    And this frightens us because this society doesn’t allow us to be normal.

    We tend to look down on people who take cocaine – but coffee has the same function like cocaine, only on a lower level. Upgrading to cocaine from coffee is only – in a perverse way – consequent.

    So I also think that Sean leads people in a wrong direction and evokes false, inexpedient hopes when he says that after a few months, he was energetic all day long. This way he is fueling the old “coffee thinking” – people tend to hope to have the “coffee energy” after a few weeks or moths, but without coffee.

    No, you will, most of the time, feel less enthusiastic, less energetic than with coffee, and this will remain. Period.
    And this is good for you. Period.

    • No no….Wurst , I think you’re wrong, and Sean is somewhat right.

      I’ve been a Coffee drinker on and off, When I quit for 1-2 months, I have more stable energy throughout the day. In general , I have way more energy when I’m coffee/caffeine free. Everyone builds a tolerance to caffeine, and eventually the buzz is not as good, eventually you start feeling depleted.

      If you’re naturally depressed, quitting caffeine won’t be the answer, but it will help. When I’m caffeine free, I’m a better thinker, I have a better memory, more mental stamina , I have more highs throughout the day opposed to one short caffeine buzz that makes me feel over the edge, followed by a evening drop.

      Caffeine tends to give many a ”fight or flight” buzz, anxiety and Euphoria…and anxiety isn’t fun. I’ve tried a pharmaceutical form of amphetamines once , a way more stable and pleasurable buzz than caffeine however, way more addictive and dangerous.

      Moral of the Story,” In General ” Life is better when you’re sober and eating a healthy natural diet , enjoying the natural pleasures in which your body responds . Cocaine and other users are always chasing the first few highs….same with caffeine, people eventually get addicted to their 1-2 cups a day ( Some have way more) and eventually need the caffeine to just feel normal.

      People …After 2-3 months of being caffeine free , if you’re living a healthy exciting life… eating well, fun hobbies, healthy relationships, you should feel great, have tones of energy , enjoy natural euphoria’s . And yes , life has it’s good and bad days. You’re still going to have the occasional blues in less you’re some type of mutant lol.

      Caffeine’s good on rare occasions, just like many other drugs.

    • True,

      I am not “energetic all day long” as if I am on a constant caffeine high. Good point. However most people that feel horrible after quitting caffeine are not supposed to feel that way as they do in the beginning. There is a rebound effect and it does get better.

      But I like your point.

  181. Whobody,

    Glad to read about your update. Sounds like you are doing well. I got to be honest, I still have cravings for a good cup of coffee. I know how you feel about how it is harder to give up caffeine than nicotine. I used to be a smoker. When I was quitting I began to drink more coffee. After a month I was doing fine without nicotine. With coffee/caffeine the craving and longing seems to be there even after weeks/months.

    The feelings of emptiness, incomplete and lack of buzz or excitement are still there. I think this is normally how I should feel. The caffeine has been covering them up and because I have been using it for years I now need to get used to how I am supposed to feel without caffeine.

    • It is a tough thing, but yes – being used to a high can make feeling normal feel low. And often you over think how you are feeling instead of just being. But you should not always feel empty or a lack of excitement =. As crazy as it seems, your body is definitely still feeling the effects and recovering. I honestly think 1 year for 100% recovery. But like becomes livable and more manageable after 3 months.

  182. Hey Sean… almost 6 months on and just today I decided to see what would happen if I tried an espresso. So I took literally 7 sips of the drink…. in the first hour it was fine… the familiar dirty energy buzz was back. In the 2nd hour…. back came the anxiety…. terrible feeling. Only this time around I knew what it was and what it is like without it. Thats pretty much done it for me. I had thought that perhaps I could reintroduce a bit of coffee back into my day but …. no way now…. I am done with it. That dirty energy feeling, the headache and the tinnitus in my ears is not worth it. Despite the discomfort, a nice little reminder of how far I have come and where I do not want to return to!

    • It’s amazing right?

      When you kind of unplug from it and try to go back, you really notice what the stuff does to you. I had the same exact experience and that when I was like, nope – I’m done.

  183. Lorenzo, Eugene,
    Really glad I decided to visit this thread tonite and read your updates. Is encouraging. I am fully 2 months into caffeine free – no slip ups. And about one week into being nicotine free after about four years of using Snus during most waking hours.

    Funny, life feels so f’ing boring…like I’ve given up two of life’s greatest pleasures. Funny that a terrible relapse for me would be a 20oz blend of some great coffee, and a dip of SNUS. Lol…pretty pansy as far as vices go.

    Discovered that my first week without nicotine is about ten times easier than first week without caffeine.

    But overall life feels terribly terribly dull at the moment…for the last several moments. Not feeling anxiety, not depression, but the dullness and feeling like I’m not quite at full-speed, not firing on all cylinders. Just bland.

    Working out and regular exercise seems to help.

    Strange though, unlike most reports, my sleep has not been great lately. Can’t fall to sleep quickly, not sleeping deeply.

  184. I’m at about month 3, I found this early on and it has helped me stick with it so far. However, there has been times it’s been tough. Especially because I didn’t quick on purpose. I got put on anti-biotics and thought the caffeine or nicotine was making me worse. So I quick both cold turkey, I was smoking 4 e-cigs a day, and starting my morning with a pre-workout with caffiene, then drinking about 2 cups of coffee, then like 3-4 diet cokes, then close to a gallon of black tea a day. The end of the first week I went to the emergency room because I honestly thought I was dying, because I was getting panic attacks, I felt depressed, had horrible headaches. They just said I wasn’t drinking enough water and sent me home. The symptoms continued, and I started googling around and immediately thought I was just going through nicotine withdraw, caffeine withdraw never crossed my mind. As stated in the article up to this point it’s been mostly unbearably horrible. I have however constantly referred back to this article, when I’ve been feeling like I couldn’t take anymore. So for me at month 3 getting closer to month 4, I can say I have hours, or sometimes days at a time of mental clarity like man maybe this is all just caffeine withdrawal and I’m getting better, followed by hours or days of not being able to focus, and feeling a bit tired, although I don’t really feel depressed anymore, I do still sometimes get sudden bouts of anxiety. I’ve been to the Dr. they said it still could be caffeine withdraw, my thyroid is normal, but I’m going back to get the rest of my hormones tested just to be safe, although none of these symptoms started until I stopped caffeine, I’m also thinking there is a possibility as a result of my years of drinking about 4 times the daily recommended dose of caffeine that I have adrenal fatigue that may be causing me to have a testosterone deficiency.

    • Lorenzo,

      It is scary to read your story because I know so many people probably go through the same thing with no clue to what is ging on. They then may end up going on an antidepressant for years and change the entire course or their life.

      I 100% think that everything you experienced is indeed caffeine withdrawal and I hope you can stick it out to see 100%. With such long term use and high dosage I don’t find it odd that you are just experiencing moments of relief in month 3. I think by month 6 you will feel like a different guy. As for anxiety and panic attacks, that can take a while to dissipate and for your mind and body to move on from. (trust me I know) You almost don’t feel like you can just relax and live but eventually it will come.

      Goodluck with everything and keep listening to your doctors if needed. Adrenal Fatigue can be a tough battle. But it is definitely reversible. 1. Relax and much as possible 2. Eat healthy (lower your sugars and grains, and eat more healthy fats (DHA, avocado, coconut oil) and eat lots of veggies. 3. Lots of water. 4. When you feel up to it, start to exercise slowly. Start with walking for a few weeks, then when you feel up to it start jogging and then keep progressing. (#1 cure for anxiety.) The bitch about anxiety is that it will make you feel like you cannot exercise because it tires you out so much, but the only wy to beat it is to exercise. The first 2 weeks can be tough. Extra’s – Meditation, Yoga, Gluten Free. And most importantly – TIME.

      Let us know how it goes.

      • WIll do, I was in pretty good shape to begin with, low bodyfat worked out 5 days a week. That’s one of the reasons it hit me so hard, the first couple weeks off caffeine was debilitating. I’m still not really at a point were I have the energy levels to workout again. I do know when your at a point of adrenal fatigue it can cause hormone deficiencies plus it turned out I also had a vitmain D deficiency. So I believe that the caffiene was helping to mask how bad I really felt.

        I think when I added up my caffeine consumption it would have been like a 16 cup of coffee a day equivalent amount of caffeine. I never really considered how much tea I was drinking or diet soda, just thought oh well only 2 cups of coffee a day. So, to everyone who thinks that they can’t do it, I’ve lasted 3 months so far cold turkey, without any caffiene, it’s super tough, but it is worth it. Doctors gave me Xanax for the panic attacks/anxiety I’ve also not taken any of those just try to relax my way through them.

        Also know I think the feeling good for a bit at a time, can sometimes make things work, I really have moments were I feel 100% back to normal which makes when the ill feelings come back even worse. So just keep with it, compared to last month I’m much better, and hopefully the following month I’ll be better then I am now.

        • Lorenzo,

          I am in month 4 of being caffeine free except for a week when I went back to a serving a day. I feel fine most of the days. My anxiety has reduced greatly but I can still be tense on a daily basis but it is debilitating.

          I can relate to how you feel. Even after so many weeks of being caffeine free I still don’t feel quite like my old self. I still feel shaky and empty at times. I miss drinking coffee and tea. I imagine drinking them and savoring the tastes. I have experimented drinking decaf coffee. I felt spacy and quite unwell after just 1 serving. So until now I have managed to steer myself from caffeinated drinks.

          I am powering on and I can think much clearly now. I also feel more motivated and energetic. These reasons and less anxiety are what is keeping me from going back to caffeine.

    • Whobody,

      How are you doing? Did you try the supplement DLPA? I have just purchased a couple of bottles but have yet to take any. I am curious if it helps you in any ways.

  185. Thanks Sean…and I gotta agree with other posters on your article. It is the most thorough accounting I’ve come across regarding what to expect during withdrawal. Super informative…thank YOU.

    For the folks who think caffeine withdrawal is a joke, I’ll add that several years ago I chose to discontinue use of narcotic painkillers (due to chronic pain condition, not illicit), after about 2 years use. Was a real bitch for the first month, and took a full year to recover. Just making the point that I have a very real sense of going through withdrawal. While quitting caffeine doesn’t register in the same way, it IS a no-kidding withdrawal, and the impact to your thought processes, mood, motivation, general interest in life, and ability to get things done is very real. But I think very much worth doing. Six weeks in, I feel like I am starting to have moments of calm, clarity, and dare I say happiness. Starting to feel like I am slowly emerging from a dark and confusing mental/emotional cave.

    Thanks again Sean for your post. Stay strong guys (and gals).

    • Whobody,

      I was 10 weeks into caffeine free. You can see my posts earlier. I didn’t feel great benefits from being caffeine free. My anxiety was reduced due to the slowing down of my thinking. But the same applied to my motivation, energy and general well being. I was not excited about things anymore.

      I was on holiday last week. I was having at least 1 caffeinated drink a day. I was feeling good. But now I am worry I have reset my effort. Today is the first day I haven’t had any caffeine since last week. I am feeling jittery, anxious and general negative sensations.

      Sean,

      Am I back to square one?

      • I’m sorry to hear this, Sean, but I understand where you are coming from.

        You have done amazingly well to last 10 weeks with no caffeine and all those symptoms. That’s not easy, and probably many would have given up long before. So I would not be too down on yourself. You can always eventually wean yourself completely off it again later if you feel strong enough to try again. Perhaps a bit of caffeine a day at this point isn’t such a bad thing? Perhaps just keep the intake to a minimum, or even just allow yourself “one” cup a day and leave it at that? You can always weaken the dose or reuse a tea bag to keep it even lower.

        It is not easy to make the decision to stick with the withdrawal when you’re suffering pretty badly and for such a lengthy period of time, but you’ve shown you have the ability to stick with it for over 10 weeks. That is not bad going. I’m only 2 months (or a bit over) into it and I’m still finding it hard. Some moments seem easier, but a lot of the time I do feel more tired and dull. Still can’t quite find much energy. Still hoping it’s “healing” symptoms.

        Sleep is going well, very deep and full of vivid dreams. During the day, I feel less like my old self and like I’m kind of going through the motions. Some days a wee bit better than others. I’m still not sure if I will remain caffeine free for the rest of my life, but that will depend whether my health improves enough to figure it’s worth it. I haven’t seen much evidence yet, but the sleep side of things is interesting…

        • Sean, Bex and Whobody,

          Thanks for your feedbacks. I haven’t had anything caffeinated these two days. I did have a slight headache last night but overall ok. I still feel a little shaky and empty inside.

          What I noticed when I started consuming caffeine during my holidays was, with caffeine my mind started thinking about work issues. Even when I was in the middle of something like having fun, work issues would start to enter my mind. Work is a major stress trigger for me because I have a mean boss. He is demeaning and demoralising. I developed anxiety since late last year. Without caffeine my mind slows down and less thoughts enter my mind and I can be in the present more.

          The setbacks are of course less motivation, energy and general feelings of emptiness. I understand what Sean is saying. I need to decide if I should stick with it forever or quit it forever. A part of me wants to quit forever but another part of me misses my old self while taking caffeine but minus the anxiety. I am so worried starting caffeine will bring back the anxiety which was really debilitating for me.

          I am thinking of taking really low doses to start with like decaf and half decaf. But i will wait it out until I can think clearly.

          • Hey Eugene, sorry to hear about what you’re going through. It does not help to have a boss like that, especially when you have health and anxiety issues. Just makes the whole thing worse by adding to the stress. Would be nice if you’d be able to get out of there into another job with a more reasonable person to work for! But jobs don’t come by so easy.

            I do appreciate what you are going through in regards to caffeine. I miss my old self, too. I keep awaiting for that to return, but so far the lack of energy, motivation, and yes feelings of emptiness, remain. The only thing I enjoy is my sleep, but it’ll need to be more than that if I am to remain caffeine free. I’m afraid some of us have probably been on caffeine for so long and perhaps at such a level, that our brains/bodies are almost adapted to it (wired to it).

            I am unsure how long this will go on for. Certainly, I am aiming for the 3 month mark (at least) and then I shall re-evaluate and see if it is worth continuing. If there is no change, I may well go back to having moderate caffeine in my life. I would have thought they’d be more improvements by now. Dreaming and deep sleeps is great, but my daytime living isn’t fun at all and wanting to go to sleep early cuts out my enjoyment of my evening (which is what I used to look forward to). How sad that I’m that wired on caffeine, that I don’t even feel normal without it. However, I shall see how it goes over the next few weeks. The dreaming is amazing, though. If I ever do go back on caffeine, that is one thing I will miss about being caffeine free. Would be great if I was able to have moderate amounts, feel more energised, yet will get the deep sleeps and dreams 😀

            So don’t feel alone in this. It appears that this caffeine withdrawal is far more of a challenge than many of us probably anticipated. Do not feel pressured either way. If you feel you cope a little better with a little in your day, then it may be the way to go for you, especially if you are under stress and work obligations. Only you can be the judge of that, given how you feel everyday.

            Take it as it comes.

      • Eugene if you were feeling good with caffeine, maybe you should stay on it. Either that or stop any never go on it again! You cannot keep putting yourself through this rollercoaster ride, of stopping and going thru hell just to start again. You are no at square 1, but maybe square 2.

        Either way, in 2 years this will be a memory. You have to make a choice and stick with it for life.

  186. Hey guys/gals, truly encouraging to read about what people are going through. Makes my own process easier to bear. I think I’ve always had a sensitive chemistry/balance, and I’ve always known that caffeine affects me negatively in the long run. I think my wiring/chemistry makes caffeine a bad choice.

    For those thinking of abandoning the cause – dont. I have nearly quit caffeine multiple times, making it as far as month 3 previously, only to go back on the bean. Yep, the first few days will be as you imagined. Your old energy back, fog lifted, more social. But in a week’s time, you’ll be your same frazzled self. Burst of anxious energy in the morning, crash in the afternoon, poor sleep, and worsening exhaustion.

    I’m now almost exactly at week 6 of being caffeine free. Cold turkey is the only way to go for me, and I’ve had no mistakes/cheats in the last 6 weeks. Given that I’ve nearly quit caffeine on several occasions, I think it’s easier for me to face these challenges – ie I know they are just withdrawal, Im not having a breakdown. And the symptoms are f***ing awful. For me: weeks 1 through 4 have included anxiety, depression, horrible brain fog (to the point I’m concerned about my performance on the job), complete lack of interest and motivation.

    Here at week 6, I’m starting to have days that are okay. The fog isn’t as dense. I can focus enough to accomplish tasks that require clear thinking and concentration. Two days ago, I sat for almost 6 hours straight to draft a 6 page white paper, with a deadline of that very day. While I certainly wasn’t as peppy as I would have been on caffeine, I was able to approach it with a focused calm, almost zero anxiety, and completely surprised myself by hitting the deadline.

    For folks that have quit caffeine because they’re aware of how it negatively affected them, I would strongly recommend you continue the fight. Realize that caffeine is not something your body is supposed to need. While some in the sciences / industry point to potential benefits, you are robbing yourself of your bodies energy stores, your bodies ability to absorb certain vitamins / minerals, and you are adding to your stress levels, and you will show signs of aging more quickly. Bite the proverbial f’ing bullet and get through this.

    Some encouraging benefits I’ve expereinced over the past 6 weeks. My face has less wrinkles, especially around they eyes (I’m 34). My complexion is clearer / brighter. I just have a healthier glow. Once my sleep evened out (post the insomnia phase), deep sleep has meant that I wake feeling more refreshed. As such, I’m more prone to exercise and hit the gym, even in the evenings when normally I’d be too exhausted to consider. I’ve noticed that my mid-section is looking more toned / less flabby, and I’m convinced that quitting caffeine has had some impact. (the relationship between fat/stress/cortisol/caffeine is worth reading up on)

    Do I miss coffee. More than you know. I miss the quick morning buzz that makes music sound better, the day seem surmountable, and me feel invincible. All for about 3 hours. I don’t miss the rest of how I am on caffeine – irritable, prone to anxiety, less emotionally intelligent, tired, and scattered. I have no question that I’ll be better off sans caffeine. So I stick with it, this time hopefully for good.

    The withdrawal symptoms (almost all) still continue, but at quite a lower level of intensity. I look forward to month 5 or 6 when I think I’m supposed to fully reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Two things I’ll very strongly recommend to those fighting the fight:
    – A good daily multivitamin. Currently taking Orange Triad, seems to help.
    – Drink water, lots of it.
    – Look into L-Phenylalanine. This is a natural an inexpensive amino-acid, and is in the food you eat. Many claim that supplementing with this amino acid made quitting caffeine any easy/instant process. I did not have quite that experience, but it has provided considerable relief, such that withdrawal symptoms are less severe. You owe it to yourself to check this out. Long story short – the way your mind produces/absorbs dopamine has been impacted by your caffeine habit. Now you’ve stopped. Your brain is trying to recalibrate. L-Phenylalanine gives your brain a natural boost in this regard. It is non-addictive, does not provide a high, does not induce anxiety. Google this one.

    • Awesome and informative comment Whobody..

      Thank you for sharing your experience and for all the great tips.

      “Bite the proverbial f’ing bullet and get through this.”

  187. Sean,

    I have been following this site for a few months to figure out if my problems were caffeine related. I’m not sure but I think my 4-5 to 6 cups a day may have been masking a Thyroid problem. The reason I say I’m not sure is because I suffered what I thought was an adrenal crash after a nasty upper respiratory infection and then an inner ear infection in which I received a not-insignificant dose of prednisone. I also quit caffeine cold turkey at the same time. I’m really not sure what caused what, but I have undergone vertigo, anxiety, vision focus weirdness, concentration issues, ?brain fog?, random aches, 3 months of a ?tension headache?, etc.

    Turns out I have subacute Hypothyroidism…

    I have had a CT at the ER and later had an EEG and MRI issued by a neurologist. All normal. I did learn from the neurologist that Thyroid Antibodies can have an effect on the brain.

    I have been on thyroid hormone for 2 months hoping to feel normal again. After 5 months of no caffeine,I was hoping for my “head” to feel normal again. It does not… At least it’s a much more tame version of what I went through, but still frustrating.

    Long story short… If ppl experience weird symptoms longer than a couple weeks or experience anything that scares them, see a Dr!

    I still think caffeine may have masked my Thyroid issues for a long time. Stress, travel, illnesses, and funerals all around the same time may have been the straws to break the camel’s back…

    Also… Through this whole experience, I have had to rehab myself back in the gym like nothing I have experienced in my life. I do better every week…but the pseudo-dizziness was pretty bad after workouts. I also reacted to stress backwards… Driving past a cop made me feel faint instead of a little amped… You know what I mean… You get a little excited and check to see if you’re speeding….

    You mentioned adrenal fatigue…So I thought I would throw that out there… I understand the whole Thyroid/Adrenal endocrine system is somewhat linked.

    So… 5 months… Hoping to feel normal again… 🙂

    • Adam,

      I’m sorry to hear about your issues, but I am glad to hear that you know the problem so now you can fight it the right way and not feel lost.

      This is a good example that everyone SHOULD see a doctor regardless if they are feeling these symptoms.

      Thanks man, I hope you feel 100% soon.

  188. Hi Eugene,

    I am about 7 weeks in, or just over. I have not yet noticed any improvements in energy or brain fog. Basically I am in a state of chronic tiredness (feels like jetlag all the time). I am unsure how much longer I can continue, but at this point, it’s hanging in there by the skin of my teeth. I am aiming for the 3 month mark and then if there is no improvement? I may go back to some moderate caffeine intake. I’ll see how I am at that point!

    Glad to hear you are still hanging in there! But not easy when one is still struggling after such a lengthy period of time.

  189. Sean,

    I am 10 weeks in being caffeine free except for occasional instant decaf coffee.

    I don’t believe I still get heart palpitations. I didn’t get that in the past few weeks. This is frustrating. I was looking towards more improvement. I have been having doubts about this lately. But I am going to hang on.

    • Eugene,

      Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out for you. Instant Decaf still has traces of caffeine in it btw, I am unsure of what effect that would have on recovery.

  190. Am still suffering from withdrawal, but have to say the dreams I am having are unbelievable. It’s like being on a hallucinogenic drug. Very vivid and very neat and not something I want to wake up from. Been happening for sometime now, but moreso in recent times. During the day, however, I feel rather dopey/tired and a bit like a walking zombie. Am hopeful that this tiredness and, at times, emptiness/depression will dissipate.

    I wonder how others are doing at the moment? I hope you guys are finding improvements. I am trying to hang in there with this, because I believe that my body has relied heavily on this drug all my life. It must been a real shock to the system to have it withdrawal suddenly and have “nothing”. If I could have this over again? I would likely reduce it over time, rather than cold turkey. However, it’s done, so I figure I may as well run with it and keep going as is.

    • That is intense REM sleep, which is intense healing. I know how annoying it is that your brain seems awake only while sleeping and then resting during the day, but that is what has to happen for recovery to happen.

      You will get through it Bex!

      • Haha, thanks Sean. It’s incredible. I was even levitating in my dream 😀 I seriously don’t want to wake up. My life begins in sleep, lol.

        Yes, my fingers are crossed that this maybe part of healing and I sure hope so! I do not want to sabotage it and get back on caffeine, but do wish I would “wake up” during the day. I go through the day drowsy/half asleep almost and have to make believe at being alert.

        Thank you for the vote of confidence!

  191. Now over 2 months in (9+ weeks or 66 Days to be exact). I am still struggling. I have had some improvements and things are not as bad as the first 6 weeks – but still very difficult. My symptoms seem to have shifted a bit, although I still have all of the withdrawal symptoms to some extent.

    The biggest improvement would have to be energy levels. I keep thinking my sleep is getting better – as I’ll get 5 days in a row of decent sleep (4-6 deep hours) and then some more insomnia will hit – although I haven’t been up all night in over 2 weeks. Depression and Anxiety have lessened but are still present. The shakes, jitters, restlessness, shortness of breath, heart palps still occur once in awhile. Still dealing with intermittent dizziness (very frustrating) and foggy mind.

    One of the biggest frustrations is that I have nerve pain and ‘misfiring’ muscles – i.e. my nervous system is still very out of sorts. I have decent energy to workout now – but have to be careful because I pull muscles easily as they are so tight. My neck and shoulders are very tense and all other muscles tight as well….I hope this will pass soon.

    I also have a sensitivity (during this withdrawal) to many foods and have kept my diet very bland. I generally cannot tolerate any supplements and can’t tolerate any at all during this process. Interestingly – I will note that by removing all supplements – my anxiety and depression have lessened. I am getting pretty severe headaches now; I didn’t get them early in withdrawal.

    I wish everyone well on this journey and I hope my next update will be much better. Sean – you mentioned you continued to play soccer during withdrawal and I notice that most of your description of your symptoms were mental (other than fatigue). Did you have issues with physical pain – like muscle, joint stiffness, pain, nerve issues (tingling, muscle spasms, tense neck shoulders, legs)?

  192. Bex, most probably this has nothing to do with coffeine or withdrawal, but is a depression!

    Please stop trying to fix it yourself, see a doctor ASAP!

    I also stopped caffeine (drank 2-3 servings of green tea before, sometimes one cup of coffee, regularly ate dark chocolate), and after 3 weeks it feels fairly normal now.

    And I’m really sensititve to caffeine and in general one of those hypersensitive guys!

    So I can say that those horror stories about withdrawal lasting for months are not true in a general sense, these are individual cases.

    What feels unusual and a bit difficult sometimes is only that, when feeling tired, no “quick fix” is available. But that’s a good thing because it forces me to think of better ways to get out of the tiredness (get moving, eat something more healthy, sleep more etc.)

    • Hi wurst, it has a quite a bit to do with withdrawal, but also partly due to my physical condition that I’ve had since I was 15. The doctor knows about this. It’s not fixable with meds/psychiatry, I’ve gone down that path before and it just made me worse due to the chemicals and the psychoanalysis was BS. When your body is unhealthy, the brain is also impacted. When I am healthier, the depression automatically lifts off me.

      The withdrawal process has just made it far more difficult. It appears that yes, it can indeed go on for months if testimonies are anything to go by. So just because you are somebody else might find your self improving after no caffeine in a matter of weeks, does not mean it’s the same for everybody else. I’m happy for you, but please understand we’re all different.

      I’ve never felt like this before, only since I gave up caffeine. I guarantee that if I started caffeine again, my exhaustion would probably “miraculously” lift, but I feel that is because I have lived and relied on caffeinated products for most of my life. I believe this is also why my withdrawal is more intense and longer lived than say somebody else who may not have had as much caffeine and/or for so long.

    • Wurst, your advice is good but for some withdrawal simply does last for months. He should still however see a doctor, my advice is not to be misconstrued with medical advice.

      • Sean, I am female 😉 But I already have a doctor and she knows about my struggles. I’ve been down the road of meds and psychiatry, which was one of the worst stages in my life and never wish to go back to. This is indeed something related to my physical condition. The less unwell I am, the depression lifts. The sicker I am, the depression seems to go hand in hand. So the withdrawal has simply made this so much more difficult.

        I am actually making an effort to do something for myself in the hopes I might make a positive difference in the future. That is not negative, that is constructive, despite the symptoms I am experiencing. Sometimes it helps to share with others.

          • Thanks, Sean. Yes, I think we all know ourselves the best and learn to listen to our bodies. Doctors don’t know everything, unfortunately, and their advice may not always work. Although, a couple of doctors I had actually helped me heaps when they advised a new diet plan of cutting out sugar/wheat/gluten/yeast. The difference was marked! So those who are open to natural therapies can often be the most helpful in my experience. The ones before that who just labelled me as depressed, shoved me on meds and sent me to a psychiatrist were the worst and I actually grew worse, rather than better. So chemical answers were not the answers in my situation.

            I hope this experience of no caffeine will eventually pass. It’s just good to be able to share and gain insight as to what other people are going through. I’m hanging in there by the skin of my teeth at the moment.

          • Agreed on the doctors part. Sometimes I think they are the most ignorant and clueless of them all. They are trained to favor pharmaceuticals (a ridiculously powerful industry) when the truth is natural is often the way to go. Medicine obviously has its place, especially in dire situations but I agree on staying away from chemicals.

  193. Great article. Thank you:) People keep telling me that my withdrawal symptoms will clear after one week of being caffeine-free. I am now on week three and felling more tired than ever. At least now I have some hope that this will pass.

  194. Going back on caffeine would likely relieve this, yes, because I’ve never experienced anything like this before. If I ever did go back on it, I would not consume the amount or the strength of tea I got up to, because I am far more aware now. But I am not sure which way to go at this point. Nothing could have prepared me for how hard this would be. I’ve been disciplined since my early 20s with my diet and everything, and kept it up despite the difficult detox period. But even that was not as chronic and intense as this.

    • Bex,

      I am in month 3. I had a decaf a few times but never in a row. I am using Sean’s experience as a guide. There are times I feel if being caffeine free is the right direction. Then I try to recall how unpleasant the anxiety was. I am targeting 4 months caffeine free. If the benefits are worthwhile. I have a strong feeling it’s going to be.

      • Hi Eugene, good on you for keeping it up for that long. I’m glad you have experienced some improvements! Not sure if my anxiety was any worse with or without caffeine. I do not feel much has changed in that area for me. But if the caffeine gives you anxiety, then yes, I can see why you would prefer to keep off the stuff.

        I have to also remember that I went off my diet over a week ago and ate things I should not have eaten. Though I had no caffeine during that time, it has likely complicated matters and made the whole caffeine withdrawal feel that much worse and harder, as my body is also attempting to heal after the diet cheat. So some of this is my own fault. However, coupled with caffeine withdrawal, I just feel so bland and tired. It would be nice to have a wee “pick-me-up”, but in doing so, I would feel I’m sabotaging things and am trying to hold on a bit longer.

        I’m going to take things day by day and see how it goes. I may not always remain caffeine free, but it is still a lesson that my 20+ cup-a-day habit was not a healthy one and it’s not something that I would ever go back to after experiencing such difficult withdrawal. If, however, I find I come through this better than ever? Then there is probably no point in going back to caffeine, but I still miss my earl grey tea! 😉 Would still be nice to be able to have a weak cup of it every now and again.

        • Bex,

          You’re lucky caffeine didn’t cause you any problems. I would happily keep drinking it if it didn’t create anxiety symptoms for me.

          You don’t need to cut out caffeine completely. Just reduce the servings to twice a day. You’ll feel great.

          • Bex,

            My anxiety improved very much when I hit the 2 month mark. Of course there will still be times when I get overwhelmed. This happened this morning after I was away from the office for 2 days and there were all kinds of demands in the form of emails I received. I opened one email at a time and put off those I couldn’t answer straight away and re-visit them after a break. They no longer felt so challenging.

            I feel I am more stressed in the morning. It can be my cortisol level is higher. When I was still taking caffeine I get a lot of anxious symptoms in the afternoon too. I suspect this is due to withdrawal from the morning intake.

            If you still want to keep caffeine in your life you will need to experiment on the dosage. Or you can tough it out for another month and see how you feel.

            Good luck. Feel free to pour out if out need to. I understand how hard this is.

          • Hi Eugene, well I’m sure caffeine has probably had some negative impacts on me, but am not sure exactly what as yet, because I’m not really seeing any light at the end of this withdrawal tunnel. I’ve had anxiety most of my life, so I do understand how that is, but being caffeine free has not taken that away from me. It’s just the same in that area.

            I may have to take your advice at some point and start re-introducing a couple of servings a day of it, just to bring a touch of normality back in (if that works). I am suffering severely and see no light in sight. The symptoms are not abating at all, even after a month. The tiredness and sleepiness is chronic and extreme. In the moment, I do what I HAVE to do as far as my job goes, but overall my life consists of sitting/lying down and just wanting to do next to nothing or sleep. I keep waiting and hoping the next day will be different, but usually it isn’t.

            I may hold out for a bit longer, but am seriously considering getting back on some caffeine. I believe the cold-turkey style of withdrawal was not a wise move for somebody like me who already has health problems and had a very high intake of black tea prior to giving up. Perhaps too much, too soon?

            I wish you guys all the best in beating this habit! Who knew it could be this hard? Wow!

      • Thanks, Sean. I quit because one day when I didn’t have my cup of tea, I noticed headaches and I remembered this had happened once before. So I kept it up out of curiosity and the symptoms intensified throughout the day (almost intolerable). This made me aware that it was likely withdrawal symptoms. I didn’t like the fact I was having withdrawal from no tea, so decided I should probably keep it up and get through it. It just alerted me of the fact I must have had a problem with being reliant on caffeine.

        However, going off it? I never imagined it would be like this and go on for so long. I can handle a week or so, but to be over a month already and still have the same chronic fogginess/fatigue is interfering with other aspects of my life. I’m trying to hang in there, but am fearful this feeling may not go.

        I realised that I have actually been on caffeine since I was a child. As a kid, I drank a lot of coke and also drank coffee (not much coffee, but still), and had chocolate. I’ve always been an avid tea drinker as an adult, so my body doesn’t really know anything else. I almost wonder if going off it like I have has been a bad idea and perhaps I ought to have scaled it back instead? I’m trying to just keep it going, hoping that there will be a breakthrough.

  195. Well, it’s been over a month of being entirely caffeine free and I am not sure how much longer I can keep this up. The mind-numbing fatigue is driving me up the wall and I do not feel like myself. I have no motivation, no longer go and visit people, and life feels like it’s just passing me by in a bland way. I keep getting this aching in my shoulders/back area (which comes and goes and appears to be related to withdrawal or detox?). The only positive I have noticed is (sorry for too much information here), I no longer have to take pain killers during menstruation. Usually, every month, the first day is very painful and I’m on strong pain killing meds (without fail). Twice now, I have not had to take any. I do not know what to put that down to? And as I’ve said, the sleeps I have are very deep and usually vivid dreams. It is also a lot harder to wake me up. So those are the only two things I can give any positives to. Everything else is extremely difficult.

    I’m sorry for sounding negative, but I am in the throws of this and it’s quite hard to see my way clear and imagine any light at the end of this tunnel.

    • One day you will look back on this and say “holy shit” I can’t believe how horrible that was. You will come out of this.

      See the questions in my comment below I would like to help you.

  196. I feel so much better now after reading all these posts. Im on day 12 of cold turkey from caffiene after suffering anxiety. I don’t feel so alone now.
    The first week my anxiety was worse than before quitting but I knew that would be the case. I was sleeping all the time and had no energy or balance, doing simple tasks like washing up seemed impossible.
    I am now feeling worse, I haven’t slept for 5 nights which hasn’t helped my anxiety and I cant leave the house as I feel too wobbly on my legs. I feel sorry for my kids as mummy is not with at the mo. Last night I thought there was something wrong with me and this was nothing to do with caffeine. I think different after reading all these posts and it has encouraged me to keep going!!! THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!!

    • Amanda,

      I quit caffeine in the hope of easing my anxiety too. Caffeine had always been my friend until a few months ago. Even cutting down to 2 cups of coffee or grern tea gave me symptoms of anxiety.