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Unread 03-06-2006, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default Caffeine - does it revv up or slow down an ADHD Person?

I have a friend, MrBorn, whom I think may have ADHD. Caffeine intensifies his existing obnoxious qualities so badly I don't want to be around him. He jitters and squirms constantly, blurts things out (often unkind), interrupts you constantly, can't stay on the same topic, and can talk 45 minutes without you saying anything - I've timed him!
I've heard that stimulants like caffeine can actually slow down an ADHD person. Does his hyper-reaction to caffeine mean he's probably not ADHD?
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Unread 03-06-2006, 04:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Caffeine - does it revv up or slow down an ADHD Person?

I've heard from multiple people, doctors, teachers, as well as people diagosed with ADD, that caffeine will help with focus and slow them down. I wouldn't take just my word for it though.
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Unread 03-06-2006, 07:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Caffeine - does it revv up or slow down an ADHD Person?

Same here for ADHD people things like caffiene, sugar and so on act as a calming. Basically their brians are "wired" the opposite of the normal, normal people get hyped up and so on from stimulants where as stimulants calm those with ADD and ADHD. That is why Ritalin is so popular and is usually the first medication ADD and ADHD is treated with. it is a stimulant, not a tranquilizer that almost always works.
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Unread 03-07-2006, 02:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Caffeine - does it revv up or slow down an ADHD Person?

Thanks guys! I guess the question is, if the 'caffeine test' indicates it's not ADHD, then what is it likely to be? Is there an OCD for talking? I'll compose my thoughts, then start a new posts with his traits.
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Unread 03-07-2006, 03:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Caffeine - does it revv up or slow down an ADHD Person?

No one can say really what it is only the friends physician or therapy proffessional (therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist) can diagnose your friend.

Trying to diagnose your friend yourself can be quite dangerous you may read more into some things and miss other symptoms completely. Also your forming your own diagnosis of your friend could start reflecting on the friendship by the way you start treating the person when you are in contact with that person. Not saying on purpose or consciously but it can happen. You could also lose this friendship by coming up with the wrong conclusions and so on.

Instead of trying to diagnoses this friend just be the persons friend. You didn't form your friendship of this person based on his mental problems. Leave the diagnosing up to your friend's professionals and just be a firend. That is the best thing you can do for him.
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Unread 03-07-2006, 04:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Caffeine - does it revv up or slow down an ADHD Person?

Hello Auntie Mame,

Sounds like you care very much for your friend, and that you want to help him to seek help?

Behavior Disorders or Other Disorders can be triggered by Caffeine, However in my unprofessional opinion as a consumer, Ruling out your friends possible ADD/ADHD with others experiences (including myself being ADHD) of possible disorders or diagnostic tools being caffeine intake to make up a diagnosis is just not really a way to find an "Answer" to his behaviour and continue to try and figure it all out, you yourself will most likely begin to become frustrated with all the what if's and failed reasoning to his issues. I do my best to try and be positive and live with this Mental Health terminal illness, hoping for new meds to be developed and hope of someday being self sufficent again.

I would suggest in alternative to the Caffeine Testing so to say, that perhapas it would be an idea for yourself and the others who are noticing this behaviour and perhaps some sort of intervention to make your friend aware, as he may not even be aware that he is being rude or lashing out.

It still could be ADD/ADHD, Depression, Bipolar disorder, a series of many personality disorders, and the list of agaitaion being a trigger goes on... I would say in my Mental Illness, I began to, at the Mall Bookstore in'Self Help" section determined I would find out myself and did find some things, yet ultimately until "I" decided to seek professional help, I realized that all the stacks of 'self help books' could not 'fix' what was 'wrong' with me and with experience as a Patient/Client of many Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Therapists and other Health Care Professionals over 14-years ago, that I realized with the issues I was having, i needed professional help.

Only I could make that decision as a 21-year old adult, to get a ride to the Mental Health Center to have an evaluation by the intake or emergency service Therapist on
call. who agreeed that I needed brief hospitalization ot stable my moods. I was there
for 35-days, and did not want to leave the locked ward. I attempted to return to College and my ADL'S only to be at 3AM in the ER of my former and birth town put in Intensive Care and monidtored overnight, when my family Doc said that this had happened once and he had let it go, and now I needed to work things out more intensivly through to the Psych Ward, and I did enter (did not have much choice) the unit. I recieved professional help with my issues (emotional, mental) and the into to medications while on the PsychWard felt safe and did get many things worked out or at least brought some deep issues up toward's the surface and shared some.

I try to observe myself and make my own diagnosis' through my own behaviours only to be way off as to which MI I do indeed suffer from including chronic pain. The younger age you seek help I have been told, the lesser degree of complex disorders developed in later years to come. From experience, I do have many more personality disorders from the point when I checked in the Hospital all the what if's and things. I was the one who had to work on this and if your friend has emo/or MI, professional help is most likely he/she is needing. Many times ppl can see a pdoc as an outpatient or go to

Good Luck to you! KK101

If you think you have totally givin' up- you haven't, because you are here!

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Unread 03-08-2006, 10:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Caffeine - does it revv up or slow down an ADHD Person?


In my personal experience, as well as my academic research, I've found that stimulants rev up the frontal cortical region of the brain (specifically the dopaminergic system and the adrenal system) which compensates for the naturally low level of activity of these systems in the frontal cortex.

However, while the drugs/caffeine's effect on the frontal region brings activity levels up to a normal, functioning level (producing an ability to concentrate, reducing impulsiveness, and lowering hyperactivity) it is a stimulant --- and acts on other areas of the central nervous system in a stimulating fashion. Which is why one gets the effects of faster heart rate, inability to sleep, loss/diminished appetite, and a mild increase in blood pressure. The calming effect that some experience while on stimulants is due to the focus it produces, which lowers impulsiveness, and is especially noticeable in people with the hyperactive type or combined types of ADHD.

Also, caffeine increases concentration and brain processing speed in all people, not just ADHDers; as do psychotropic stimulants (e.g. Adderall) which has a calming/focusing effect on non-ADHDers. Which is why it's the drug of choice on college campuses and even on Wall street -- if it really made people without ADHD bounce around physically and mentally, I doubt this growing phenomenon would exist. However, people without ADHD only require low doses to achieve the same effect, as their brains have a higher/normal level of frontal cortical activity. There's a great article about it in an issue of National Geographic. Sugar, however, usually exacerbates ADHD symptoms, since it's processed quickly by the body, causing a spike in blood sugar levels.

"Stimulants don't just work this way on people diagnosed with ADHD: most people experience this same effect, regardless. In the words of Michael Rutter, specialist in child disorders at the University of London, "Stimulants… tend to improve attention and reduce activity in all people, children and adults, irrespective or whether or not they are hyperactive." The only difference with a hyperactive person is that the effect of the drug is more noticeable."--

Ok, sorry for going on forever....I hope someone finds this useful.
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