Like any substance that directly alters your brain chemistry, caffeine is a drug, and as such, it has the same essential drawback; namely, it favors some brains states over others, and is addictive. Thus, the chronic caffeine user has a limited set of mental states available to him, a set defined by the drug. In this way, the drug limits our will.

In some instances, this limitation of will is useful. The chronically depressed person, for example, is caught in a self-sustaining, undesirable state – feeling depressed is demotivating, thus the person does not do the things which might take them out of the depressed state. The necessary solution would be to make recognizing the depressed state and becoming motivated to change it easier, thus requiring less raw motivation. By artificially placing the person in a more energetic, positive state through the use of a drug, we create the opportunity for the person to create anchors to those experiences. So, when they reenter the depressed stat, as when they are removed from or become accustomed to the drug, they can access those states more easily. (See Anchors.)

It is an evil of our current methodology that depression is viewed as “physical,” which is taken to be different than (and mutually exclusive with) “psychological,” or “willful.” In fact, this failure of understanding is pervasive in the public mind, and, seemingly, in the scientific community as well. That which is psychological is physical, period. To access a motivated state through anchoring accomplishes (if successful) the same physical result as is intended with administering a drug. The difference is that anchoring empowers the subject – he may choose to enter that state, or not. The drug takes away the choice. With a chronic depressive, temporarily removing that choice is good – the subject either does not know how to choose otherwise, or lacks the motivation to make the choice. Give him no choice, and you provide him with the opportunity to learn about other states. Permanently removing the option, however, seems an inferior solution.