Saturday, February 7, 2009

Perhaps I am at a deficit - caffeine and ADHD

So anyways, on Thursday afternoon I was paying a visit to a Flavia machine when I ran into one of my co-workers, who commented that she couldn't drink coffee that late in the afternoon or she'd be up all night.

I remarked that sometimes coffee actually relaxes me and puts me to sleep.

She then remarked that she knew people with ADD/ADHD who took coffee instead of Ritalin. "Not that I'm saying that you have ADHD," she added.

Well, I'll refrain from self-diagnosing myself at the moment...but I will read

Caffeine is a mild CNS stimulant that can be used with ADHD children, teens, and adults, if used purposefully and in moderation. All stimulants are vaso-dilators, meaning that they allow the blood vessels to increase in size and increase the blood flow in the brain. One of the primary physiological problems causing ADHD seems to be a lack of blood flow to certain regions of the brain, and stimulants help to improve blood flow and reduce symptoms caused by this problem, at least temporarily.

It is estimated that 100 mg of caffeine is equivalent to 5 mg of Ritalin, which is the lowest therapeutic dose, and the usual starting dose for children. It is similar to Ritalin in that caffeine is absorbed and begins working in about 45 minutes, and the benefits wear off after about three to four hours. And, of course, caffeine can have the same kinds of side effects as other stimulants.

I did find a dissenting view:

[I]t is supposed to help if you drink caffeine an hour or so before an important test, but in the long run it is harmful. In the long-run it makes you dependent and makes the ADHD worse. It does the same with Asperger's. You should limit your caffeine intake to the times you absolutely need a boost rather than have it regularly. Ritalin and Adderall are different kinds of stimulants than caffeine and that's why they work better for ADHD. Adderall too is prescribed if you have both Asperger's and ADHD.

Then again, the same anonymous person then went on to post the following:

Nicotine in cigarettes it is not addictive. It is not addictive! You smokers don't believe me, do you? (laughter) You non-smokers don't want to believe me (more laughter). It is not addictive. Nicotine by itself has an incredible hypnotic effect. Anything that it is applied to, it tends to exaggerate. So, if somebody says nicotine in cigarettes is dangerous, it intensifies that, and it makes them dangerous. Nicotine is one of the most responsive substances on Earth. It fulfills your belief systems. It is wonderful.

Wait - it gets better:

The government helps to regulate the hypnotic effects of foods, of activities, of money, of morals. The government creates this incredible hypnotic effect. Now, you can particularly feel it when you go to any center of government, whether it is your city government, whether it is your national government. Go to the capital of your country, and just hang there for a while. You're going to feel its hypnotic effect. You are going to feel yourself buying into it. You are going to feel the intensity of the duality all around that your government is exaggerating duality in every way.

Now, isn't it interesting that the churches and the government are sometimes the same, even when they say they're not? Even when they pretend there is a separation, they work together. Again, this is not a conspiracy. It is just simply something that happens.

I'll grant that this is an unscientific survey, but I think I trust the first opinion a little more than I trust the last.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm tired of writing this and want to do something else.

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