Caffeine is not just in coffee and tea these days. Besides being put in “energy” drinks, food manufactures also put it in all sorts of products, from oatmeal to chewing gum. For this reason, the FDA has hinted at regulating the mild stimulant “for the children.”
Now, drinking too much caffeine can lead to “caffeine intoxication,” and withdrawal from the drug can lead to a caffeine-related “mental disorder”:
“This disorder, as it’s described in both the older DSM-IV [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] and new DSM-5, falls under the heading ‘Caffeine-Related Disorders,’ but in DSM-5, that section includes a new entry: caffeine withdrawal. According to DSM-5, symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include fatigue, headache and difficulty focusing.”
Sure, there are going to be symptoms of withdrawal if you grow a little dependent on caffeine. But does that classify it as a mental disorder?
It was included in the new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 at the behest of DSM work group members like Alan Budney who argued in favor of classifying it as a mental disorder:
“We feel that there is enough data to support a caffeine-withdrawal syndrome. There are enough people who go into withdrawal — that if they don’t get caffeine, it becomes a real syndrome and can affect work, sleep, or whatever they need to do. So we’re suggesting that it ‘make the big leagues’ and become part of the DSM to make sure everyone is aware of it.”
Of course, the reference to gun control in the headline has to do with something as insignificant as caffeine withdrawal being used as a pretense for gun confiscation. Since it’s now classified as a mental illness, all a mental health expert or doctor has to do is diagnose someone’s headaches or fatigue as caffeine withdrawal syndrome. That person would have a mental illness, and if he has any guns, they could be taken away. If he doesn’t have any guns, he could be barred from ever owning them.
Lots of things cause withdrawal symptoms. If you stop drinking water, eventually you’ll suffer from dehydration, the symptoms of which include headaches, decreased blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, delirium and unconsciousness. Is that a mental illness? Can you imagine being barred from gun ownership because you’re thirsty? Sounds completely ludicrous.
But so does “caffeine withdrawal syndrome.” The more they can deem a mental illness, the easier gun control will be.