Author Topic: Coffee  (Read 364 times)

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Coffee
« on: December 03, 2019, 05:30:57 pm »
Caffeine blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy, and that's how it does the thing most people use it for: stay awake or wake the hell up. There's a lot more going on in the brain, though. It increases transmission of dopamine (motivation and pleasure), raises serotonin levels (focus and mood), and acetylcholine (may help long term memory). It's a well known fact that people with ADHD have different reactions to caffeine than the general population. Some folks don't bother with it because "it doesn't wake me up" and others seek it out aggressively because "it makes me feel better."

So I'm sitting here, looking at my mother's 5 coffee a day habit, going huh. And her bouncing back and forth between a million projects, and her inability to hold down a job, and her seeking out new found family units every decade or so, the sorted-but-still-somehow-cluttered craft supplies all over the old house and the attic. And I wonder about what her college trajectory would have been without me, whether she was holding it all together or if it was a constant struggle. I think about her ability to balance a checkbook and get done the barest essentials, and how it got foisted on her when she was ten and filed under "do this or die" and how different that is than the normal lessons in adulting we get.

And yeah, I know she had some CPTSD stuff going on, and a different easily diagnosed neurological disorder that explains the dyslexia and early struggles. But NF isn't necessarily the culprit when you're looking at adult behavior.

So I'm just sitting here, going huh.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 05:48:51 pm »
This sounds like one of those YMMV things.

What would she be like without the coffee?
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 05:55:36 pm »
This sounds like one of those YMMV things.

What would she be like without the coffee?

Grouchy and miserable.

The Johnny

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 07:21:18 pm »

Mmm, maybe I'm wrong just as everyone else, but we perceive coffee as a panacea... the only negative issue with it ive encountered is drinking it in the afternoon or later which is when the sleep altering effects kick in, but that goes for any type of stimulant. Perhaps another general thing to be careful about it is if one consumes a lot, it tenses up your body and mood and I don't know the threshhold in which you need to exersice to compensate for it and relax.
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Re: Coffee
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 09:41:54 pm »
I have a ~550mg a day caffeine habit and caffeine doesn’t hurt my sleep. It gives me control over the ability to sleep. Sometimes this hurts more than it helps: “I want to relax” becomes “can’t wake up”, “need to be awake” becomes “FUCK IM READY TO RUMBLE LETS DO IT AUGH”

It’s no panacea though. I have had too much before.

720mg is hitting deeply scary doses, and I did it out of absent mindedness once. I became a jittery anxious wreck, all brittle grins and shaking fingers and “NO it’s okay I got it oh god oh shit I GOT IT please fuck I SWEAR”

I have heard of the dangers of caffeine overdoses exceeding the ones people read about in the news. The kind of stuff that doesn’t just cause problems with the receptors it is MEANT to react with, but causes all sorts of unusual toxic metabolites because of the sheer dosage clogging all the “intended channels” and leaving barely-suitable, untrained interns from a rival company trying to clean up the mess.

Paracetamol overdoses do the same thing. In fact, if they didn’t, they’d be harmless. Instead, they kill your liver.

But caffeine is certainly not the bogeyman some of these people going on about energy drinks and shit make it out to be, either. It has one of the widest therapeutic windows of any substance known to man, has incredibly mild and temporary side effects for almost every non fatal dose, and an incredibly strong dose response for its safety.

In terms of pharmaceuticals, it’s in a class of its own. Name another legal substance you can safely get a reasonable effect out of across a full order of magnitude. (50 to 500 mg is well inside the safe margins for caffeine.) Over the counter meds usually top out around 4x minimum effective dose before you’re nearing permanent damage. 8x is headed toward LD50.

Caffeine is really, really weird.
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Re: Coffee
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 01:23:00 pm »
QG, I get moments like that too, when my dad, late in life, started hinting that he most likely had undiagnosed high-functioning autism, and all of a sudden things start making more sense, like why there was a palpable lack of affection but absolutely no absence of love when I was growing up, and why "emotionally neutral" was the default state in the house, and why intellect was held as a higher plane than emotion.

That "huh" moment can be really weird, especially since it doesn't come with certainty, just a "huh."

Cramulus

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 01:49:53 pm »
I just returned from Europe -- every time I go, I encounter all these reminders that over here in the US we do things the hard way on purpose.

How many Shakespeares do we have that would be writing genius plays if they weren't burned out from working long shifts at Walmart?

How many brilliant artists never have the energy to Be The Trouble They Want to See in the World because of some health care issue that takes all their resources to break even on?

How sad is it that ambitious dreams are for the rich? That many people are climbing up the base of Maslow Hierarchy in the hopes of one day having dreams?


When I larp in germany, I notice that people there take different kinds of physical risks than Americans do. The sense that if you get hurt, you can just go to the hospital and get it fixed up without completely decimating yourself financially -- it leads people to make different decisions. Different lifestyles.

Who would we be without the roadblocks put in our way?

The Johnny

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 07:31:40 pm »
I just returned from Europe -- every time I go, I encounter all these reminders that over here in the US we do things the hard way on purpose.

How many Shakespeares do we have that would be writing genius plays if they weren't burned out from working long shifts at Walmart?

How many brilliant artists never have the energy to Be The Trouble They Want to See in the World because of some health care issue that takes all their resources to break even on?

How sad is it that ambitious dreams are for the rich? That many people are climbing up the base of Maslow Hierarchy in the hopes of one day having dreams?


When I larp in germany, I notice that people there take different kinds of physical risks than Americans do. The sense that if you get hurt, you can just go to the hospital and get it fixed up without completely decimating yourself financially -- it leads people to make different decisions. Different lifestyles.

Who would we be without the roadblocks put in our way?

It's an interesting take, but I disagree. I think Americans are just as vivacious as any other people on this planet, they just simply throw it all away in Drugs, Violence, Netflix and Jebus. (Healthcare is a matter I won't dispute btw, thats accurate)
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-B.F. Skinner

Doktor Howl

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 07:35:27 pm »
I just returned from Europe -- every time I go, I encounter all these reminders that over here in the US we do things the hard way on purpose.

How many Shakespeares do we have that would be writing genius plays if they weren't burned out from working long shifts at Walmart?

How many brilliant artists never have the energy to Be The Trouble They Want to See in the World because of some health care issue that takes all their resources to break even on?

How sad is it that ambitious dreams are for the rich? That many people are climbing up the base of Maslow Hierarchy in the hopes of one day having dreams?


When I larp in germany, I notice that people there take different kinds of physical risks than Americans do. The sense that if you get hurt, you can just go to the hospital and get it fixed up without completely decimating yourself financially -- it leads people to make different decisions. Different lifestyles.

Who would we be without the roadblocks put in our way?

There's more to it than that.  When I was in Germany, I noticed that nobody wore PPE in the plant.

I asked them about it, and they said that - while Americans aren't cowards - Americans are too risk averse.

So I asked them "What's your injury rate like?"

Dude said "Oh, it's pretty bad." as if that were the normal way the world should work.  Later, I learned that they have the exact same attitude towards driving at 250 KPH on autobahn every morning.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 08:33:32 pm »
QG, I get moments like that too, when my dad, late in life, started hinting that he most likely had undiagnosed high-functioning autism, and all of a sudden things start making more sense, like why there was a palpable lack of affection but absolutely no absence of love when I was growing up, and why "emotionally neutral" was the default state in the house, and why intellect was held as a higher plane than emotion.

That "huh" moment can be really weird, especially since it doesn't come with certainty, just a "huh."

For the record, LMNO is the only one currently on the same motorcycle as the OP

Doktor Howl

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 08:38:24 pm »
QG, I get moments like that too, when my dad, late in life, started hinting that he most likely had undiagnosed high-functioning autism, and all of a sudden things start making more sense, like why there was a palpable lack of affection but absolutely no absence of love when I was growing up, and why "emotionally neutral" was the default state in the house, and why intellect was held as a higher plane than emotion.

That "huh" moment can be really weird, especially since it doesn't come with certainty, just a "huh."

For the record, LMNO is the only one currently on the same motorcycle as the OP

I really prefer not to talk about my childhood in any real detail.  I assumed this was fairly normal.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Ecclesiastes 2:14, JACKASS.

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 08:45:00 pm »
QG, I get moments like that too, when my dad, late in life, started hinting that he most likely had undiagnosed high-functioning autism, and all of a sudden things start making more sense, like why there was a palpable lack of affection but absolutely no absence of love when I was growing up, and why "emotionally neutral" was the default state in the house, and why intellect was held as a higher plane than emotion.

That "huh" moment can be really weird, especially since it doesn't come with certainty, just a "huh."

For the record, LMNO is the only one currently on the same motorcycle as the OP

I really prefer not to talk about my childhood in any real detail.  I assumed this was fairly normal.

That's cool and I'm not trying to say you should, but the thrust here was "I am sorting through my mental health shit and knowing it has a biological component means looking at my parents' behavior, including the parent who is no longer here to be interrogated."

Doktor Howl

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 09:12:23 pm »
QG, I get moments like that too, when my dad, late in life, started hinting that he most likely had undiagnosed high-functioning autism, and all of a sudden things start making more sense, like why there was a palpable lack of affection but absolutely no absence of love when I was growing up, and why "emotionally neutral" was the default state in the house, and why intellect was held as a higher plane than emotion.

That "huh" moment can be really weird, especially since it doesn't come with certainty, just a "huh."

For the record, LMNO is the only one currently on the same motorcycle as the OP

I really prefer not to talk about my childhood in any real detail.  I assumed this was fairly normal.

That's cool and I'm not trying to say you should, but the thrust here was "I am sorting through my mental health shit and knowing it has a biological component means looking at my parents' behavior, including the parent who is no longer here to be interrogated."

Yeah, in general terms:

You take a kid whose parents were raised by depression era parents.  Now, in the system in the 70s, they had 4 categories for children:  gifted, normal, retarded, and everything else was "hyperactive", or ADHD.

I was not a normal kid.  Not too long ago, I was told by a doctor that I trust that I am slightly autistic.  Back then, that sort of difference meant "hyperactive," so they stuffed me full of Ritalin.  Which is the absolute worst thing you can do to an autistic kid.  I knew it wasn't working.  However, the medieval doctors we had on The Rock had already warned my parents that, being hyperactive, I would resist taking my medication, as that seemed to be a thing with "hyperactive" kids.

Being properly-raised authoritarians, they made good and bloody sure I took the Ritalin.  They even figured out when I was hiding it behind my teeth, to spit out later.

So.

Now you have a kid that cannot interpret social cues instinctively, on a drug that makes that even worse.

A common event was this:  I would meet new kids, and very quickly make friends with them.  Within a few days, I would say or do something totally inappropriate to an occasion and suddenly my new friends became new enemies.  I saw the pattern, but not the causation.  My mother, being the kindly control freak she was/is, would then interrogate me for hours as to why I "couldn't get along," and that I should "just learn to stop making enemies."

My "normal" was friends turning on me.  My other "normal" was being told that this was due to a failing on my part, and a devaluation of myself as the cause of this, both internally and externally.  This lasted until I was in high school, when I went from being a little tiny kid into being a 6' tall dude who would react to perceived betrayal with a sound ass-kicking.  For which, of course, I spent a great deal of time in trouble and ultimately found myself enlisted in the army just prior to my 18th birthday, my parents being by that point more than happy to sign for my early enlistment.  Once I was in the army, I learned a great deal of how society works and how to interpret things going on.  Horror and pain and digging are fantastic instructors.  As is being in an environment where intentions count for nothing at all.

Results of all this can be summarized in 4 bullet points:

1.  If I feel that a friend has turned on me or is laughing behind my back, and I feel that I have evidence that this is the case, that person and I will be enemies until the sun burns out. 

2.  If I am told that I should be more sympathetic to people who have done this, especially when I was at a very low point in my life when the original event happened, because the person who did so is at a low point in their life or whatnot, I am going to assume that I present no value at all to the person telling me this, and I will probably never trust that person again in my entire life.  This will not involve the blistering hatred that happens in #1, but it is still very much a thing.  Very much indeed.

3.  Doctors are mostly lazy-ass bullshit artists.

AND

4.  Both my mother and I drink no less than two pots of coffee per day, each.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Ecclesiastes 2:14, JACKASS.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 10:44:22 pm »
What makes all of this mess relevant is that, while I love my mother, I do not trust her (she is entirely too much her mother's daughter), and her behavior has in fact influenced mine.  I make a pointed effort to not be a control freak, particularly with regard to my immediate family.  So I think I dodged that inheritance.  But I will also admit that I definitely inherited her (and her mother's) lust for revenge.

So yes.  You cannot analyze yourself without also analyzing your parents. 

Oh, and also your kids.
"Daisy had syphilis, Tom died of genital warts, and Nick Carroway watched it all in mounting horror, then made off with the silverware and the maid."
~ The Good Reverend

Ecclesiastes 2:14, JACKASS.

Faust

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Re: Coffee
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 11:21:32 pm »
The biological component and the resonance of their quirks and personality traits we pick up. Some things I found obvious like how alcohol was always the overriding factor in our household, it's why we left Greece and my father behind, because of who he was with it. My mother was better than him at maintaining normality, but I still remember being in the pub most evenings at midnight, until I was old enough to look after myself at home.
Whenever I drink it's in the back of my mind, because of the opportunities they missed, the life they would have led without it, would it have still played out the same.
That dependency is there, it's shown up in my brothers, and I worry about the youngest who never saw the really rough times.
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