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Unusual Reaction
by Leigon of Coral
Citation:   Leigon of Coral. "Unusual Reaction: An Experience with Caffeine (exp28466)". Feb 26, 2005.

4 cups oral Caffeine (liquid)


After having noticed it several times but never quite putting a finger on it, I have come to realize that I have a reaction to caffiene that I hadn't generally associated with the drug's general reputation in American culture.

In small doses (I am generally only a social coffee drinker; I never really developed that burden of caffeine addiction that so many other Seattleites seem to carry) I get the general 'pick-me-up' that everyone seems to think of when they hear caffeine. However, the few times that I have splurged and taken a large dose, I've ended up with an unusual reaction.

Now here is a good place to note that I am not an experienced drug user; I've just never felt a serious need to experiment with psychoactives, and for career reasons I really don't want to fool around with America's draconian corrections industry -- I mean 'system,' espescially where drugs are involved. I also have always been lucky to have the ability to open certain deeper parts of my mind through non-chemical means. So I can't really compare this to anything else.

Anyways, my reaction to larger doses of caffiene goes like this: First I get the usual, the wakeful restlessness, slight shakes, the whole stimulant effect. As that progresses I slowly start to feel a kind of uneasy euphoria accompanied by vague feelings of unreality. This is also joined by feelings of increased self-confidence coincident with extreme loquaciousness, though this is not necessarily verbal (for example, I write more than any other time on caffeine, and it's not just that I have more energy; it's like the thoughts flow down a different channel. And the part that always confused me before tonight was that I'd come back the next day, and what I'd written would be good, but would not read like 'my' writing). No active hallucination, but occasional very vivid mind's-eye images.

Tonight, I started (around 8) with a can of Taiwanese iced coffee, caffeine content unknown. Over the course of the night, I drank two large cups of strong jasmine tea, and then a second can of the coffee at about 11-ish. Looking back I realize that that is probably not a smart amount of caffeine to have consumed in one night, simply for health reasons. I spent a while restlessly doing random useless things to put of working on the novel I'm trying hard to write. At about midnight I finally started writing, and pumped out what in my current state appears to be a brilliant passage. Perhaps it will still be brilliant in the morning; I can only hope. After wrapping up writing for the evening I told myself to go to bed, but then felt a strong desire to talk to someone. Sadly, all my friends had gone to bed, so I paced for a bit and then sat down to write this. The time now is approximately 3:00, and I am still feeling noticable effects.

In my past experience (mostly when writing last-minute term papers and such) I have found that I can work like a maniac on caffeine, go to sleep without a major problem, and get up still buzzed from it. The longest after consumption that I can remember feeling the effects is somewhere around 12 hours (midnight-ish to noon-ish). I'll give a status report, with as much info as I can come up with, right now.


Slightly light-headed, slight 'jitters.' Feel somewhat tired but happy, and kind of restless. Slight dry mouth, and a weird feeling on my tongue (possibly a result of an unrelated cold that I'm getting over). For lack of better words to describe it, my inner monologue is unusually loud, but not in an especially uncomfortable way. No visual effects, except possibly a slight sharpening of boundaries. Background noise seems more prominent. No notable increase or decline in appetite, but a slight emptiness in my stomach somewhat different in sensation from hunger (I ate a large meal at T-2:XX, and have snacked slightly since). No active hallucinations, but my imagination is more active than usual, and goes in directions that it would not usually. Mental images take on a sharper, more photographic quality, with more detail than in a normal state of mind. In this it is similar to results that I have achieved in the past from informal meditative practices.

More in the morning.


T+16:XX (or T+13:XX from final consumption):

Just got up, after uneasy sleep. Some minor effects remain, but itís pretty much limited to the stimulant effect, none of the other effects...


First and foremost, I now know a bit more about my personal response to caffeine. And though it was a somewhat disturbing reaction, it could be pleasurable with proper planning. I have also further resolved to NOT become habituated to caffeine, as I know that it could easily become a monkey on my back; Iíve known too many people for whom caffeine has become a terrible daily part of life.


I just have to put this here: My conscience canít stand the idea of someone reading this and going out and drinking fourty shots of espresso and ending up in the hospital. Even during last nightís dose (which most likely wasnít really all that huge) I caught my heart beating disquietingly hard. Iíve known people who have put themselves in the emergency room by overdosing on caffeine, and itís easier than youíd expect. Be careful about dosage, and be smart. Donít fall into the ďItís just coffee, so it wonít hurt meĒ falacy.

Exp Year: 2003ExpID: 28466
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Feb 26, 2005Views: 41,865
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Caffeine (11) : General (1), Alone (16)

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