Ben Norris

🧠 Leveraging caffeine

Part of the journey to figuring out a good rescue med has been understanding all of the options I have to deal with my OCD and its accompanying symptoms.

My therapist is of the opinion that just like depression and anxiety, ADHD can be a manifestation or symptom of OCD. That doesn’t mean that everyone who has ADHD also has OCD, but rather that having OCD typically includes having ADHD.

It’s a classic logic equation: if A then B does not mean if B then A.

P⇒Q ≠ Q⇒P

This makes a lot a sense when you think about what these diagnoses are. In an effort to create an understandable shorthand, we take a group of symptoms and call them a disorder. In this case, OCD is something of a superset of the symptoms of ADHD. Poor impulse control? Constant need for stimulation? Tendency to hyperfixate? Check, check, check.



I bring all that up because one of the unofficial tests for ADHD is the effect of caffeine. If you can drink a caffeinated soda and it settles you down instead of ramping you up, even to where you can immediately go to sleep, that is an indicator that you might have ADHD.

A few weeks ago, I took my three oldest kids to Disneyland, as I wrote about in update #99: Can’t get in.

Can’t get in

One of the days we were there, I started feeling my agitation and anxiety levels rise. I realized that even though I had found a good rescue med that works, I had forgotten to bring them to the park with me.

I remembered something my therapist had told me that works for her and ordered a Coke. I sent her a message a little while after I finished it.

Just experienced what you described with a Coke. Was feeling super agitated and had one for lunch and am now relaxed.

It was a great little moment for me to remember and reinforce that I am not powerless when my body and mind stop cooperating. I have options.

I shared last week how I have been changing medications and I was telling my therapist how afraid I was to have nothing: Tapering off everything.

Tapering off everything

My therapist reminded me that going to have nothing. Having a good rescue med makes a huge difference. And remembering my experience with the Coke, I joked that I would also have Dr. Pepper (which everyone knows is far superior to Coke).

I love that. Xanax and Dr. Pepper. Sounds like a great plan.

The second part of that plan is important because I need to be careful to not take Xanax too often. So I’m trying to ride the line of using it for emergencies and letting Dr. Pepper fill in the gaps. It’s an imprecise science, to be sure.

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