When I read about the stimulant paradox (links to AllPsych website), something made sense to me. How my total and complete addiction to caffeine faded the moment I started taking my ADHD meds.
It only really hit home when I had a day without taking my tablet and found myself craving what had been until very recently my daily habit of two litres of cola!
I realised I’d been self-medicating with a stimulant.
Other people can be judgemental, even if just in passing, and I was used to comments about drinking too many fizzy drinks and how too much caffeine was bad for you.
I’d always countered the argument with the fact that caffeine has a similar chemical make-up to theophylline (links to Asthma UK), which is used to treat asthma (which I also have). Both caffeine and theophylline, a bronchodilator, widen the airway.
I thought the reason caffeine calmed me because I found it easier to breathe. And there may still be something in that. But my need for it has significantly reduced now I’m on stimulant drugs.
I wonder how many people out there who self-medicate with caffeine have undiagnosed ADHD?