Stress And Its Effects

Throughout my story, and by the way, if you haven’t had a chance to read it, stop for a second and visit my other pages on the left side navigation and read about my addiction to Diet Coke and the health and side effects that I struggled with for so long.  Then come back and I will share with you, what I believe, was the cause of my Diet Coke addiction.

In my last post, Tired of Being Tired, I shared several reasons why people tell me they always feel tired.  I have found, after talking to many people, that addiction to things in life usually stem back to some type of stress in their lives.  Stress not only causes people to form addictions but can magnify a current habit to full blow addiction without a person even knowing it.  I will give you an example.  I have a really good friend who recently lost his job through downsizing.  Great individual, has a family, house, all the normal things that most of us have.  A loss of a job, next to a death of a family member, is probably the second leading cause of stress in a person’s life.  How are they going to survive, can they find another job at the same level, so many things go through the mind of someone experiencing this crisis, it’s a wonder people survive.  He called me one day to seek some advice and I decided to pay him a visit.  My friend was a smoker, but a light one.  He probably smoked a pack or so every week if that.  He didn’t drink, was pretty active, just your normal average human.

When I got to his house that day, he was the only one there, and he let me in and we sat at the kitchen table and he began to tell me what was going on.  The first thing I noticed after we got to talking was that he lit up a smoke.  I remember telling myself, that was odd.  Not long into the story, he got up from the table and pulled a bottle out of his cupboard and proceeded to pour a glass of whiskey for himself.  He sat down at the table and lit up another smoke as he sipped on his whiskey.  I am sure you are getting the picture.  My friend had never drank in front of me, let along whiskey, and I had never seen him light up to cigarettes within about 10 minutes of each other.  During my hour or so visit, he had his one glass of whiskey and 7 cigarettes.  I knew right then that the stress and worry of loosing his job and not knowing what he was going to do, was causing him to increase his normal comfort habit to a full blown addiction.  I won’t bore you with the rest of my friends story, but he did seek counseling and today has a great job, and actually doesn’t smoke anymore.

The point to my story and this post is that I realized my Diet Coke addiction was due in large part by stress.  I mentioned early in my story that I did not intend to drink 7-8 cans a day for all those years, it just happened.  When looking back today, the stress I had at work was the main culprit is feeding my need for Diet Coke.  Of course, I don’t have that job today, but back then, Diet Coke seemed to get me through the day.  Gradually my addiction became stronger, I drank more and more each day, trying to maintain it’s effect, until it finally became the addiction I share in my story.  Stress can cause people to do many things that later in life they might regret.

Maybe your addiction is not Diet Coke, maybe regular pop, coffee, tea, unhealthy energy drinks, and so forth.  Think back to when you started consuming your addicting beverage, can you place an event that might have caused you to start drinking it, or maybe you can remember the time when the amount you drink started to increase, was there something in your life that might have caused that.  I think you will find that something caused you stress in your life and the side effect of that was the addiction you face today.

If you are ready to break that diet drink addiction, email me, if you have any questions, I’d be glad to help out or provide some support.

Thanks for all the great comments,
Mike W.


  1. ede says:

    Hi, I have been drinking diet soda since my late teens and I am now 55 year old and have drop the habit all together. I went from a 2 liter of diet soda a day to water. I started to realize I was having a problem when I would look in my pantry and if I didn’t have at least 20 bottles of soda I would panic. Now my pantry only has water in it. I have been diet soda free for over a month now. I am starting to notice a difference in my body.

  2. wittmc says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thank you for the comment and information. I am very glad to hear that you are giving up the diet sodas and other products that contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Some of the things you are experiencing are very similar to mine when I tried to quit on my own and yes, those are the withdrawal symptoms you are feeling. It is hard to say how long the effects will last. I have heard of some people taking almost a month to see them lessen, and for others just a few days. One thing is for sure though, if you can keep it up, at some point they will go away and your body will start to feel so much better, just like your skin becoming brighter, that is your body healing. Keep up the good work, wether you try to quit cold turkey or slowly reduce the intake, either way, keep it up, your body will thank you a million times over.

    Mike Witt

  3. Susan says:


    Thanks for great information on you site. I have been drinking diet coke, 1-2 bottles along with pastilles and gum almost every day for two-three years. My anxiety has escalated and become really bad, my heart pounds all day and night long, I have lost weight, my muscles hurt and are weak and I feel very fatigued. It didn`t hit me that this could all be from the aspartame and artificial sweetenes I have been consuming through the years. What I find strange though, is that many people I know drink this stuff as well, and don“t get as ill as I am!? But I guess we are all different. I stopped all this three days ago, and I am rally going to stay away from it for the rest of my life. Reading stoires like yours are really inspiring!! So,I have a question: I have felt worse the last cpouple of days, is that withdrawal symptoms, and how long will they last? IDo I have to reduce the intake slowly, like withdrawing from benzodiazepines ? Or can I quist “cold tureky ” like I have done now? feel hot flushes, chills, shaking, tiredness, heart pounding, feeling like I am about to faint etc. What I have noticed as a positive withdrawal effect, is that my skin is much brighter and is actually glowing, for the first time in years:) How long does actually aspartame stay in your body?


    thank you so much.

  4. wittmc says:

    Hey Sean,

    Thank you for the comment and information. I understand right where you are at, I was there myself for quite a few years. You may be right, your body might have a stronger effect with the aspartame than others. I took me about 7 years of drinking all that I did everyday to start seeing the side effects, but everyone reacts a little different. Some see effects at a younger age, some see them down the line. The great news is that it is never to late to quit. Your body will heal once you are off the aspartame, and you will feel like a new person, at least that is how I feel, now off the stuff for about 4 months. All of my symptoms are gone, no more side effects, nothing. Keep up the work, don’t quit, your body will thank you for it.

    Mike Witt

  5. Sean says:

    Yeah i have a diet pepsi addiction. i’ve had it for 2-3 years. At one time i would down two to three liters a day of the shit. my back, neck and joint problems at most likely connected to my addiction. The thing is i am only 19 years old

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