Quitting Smoking and Depression - Discussion

This page discusses the link between quitting smoking and depression.

Smoking is widely considered as injurious to health, yet a large chunk of our society continues to smoke, mainly because people get addicted to nicotine, and also get psychologically addicted to smoking.

Teens and adolescents cultivate the habit of smoking mostly due to peer pressure, and the habit just continues to stay as they grow up and become adults. Soon, smoking will be associated with relieving people of stress, relaxing and calming their nerves when they are feeling tensed. Of course, socially, smoking was and sometimes continues to make a fashion statement.

However, misguided as it might seem, young girls, especially teenagers, cultivate the habit of smoking in an attempt to kill appetite and lose weight. The reasons for getting into the habit of smoking are several-fold, and when realization does dawn on these individuals, and they become aware of the fact that it is ruining their health, they try and quit smoking.

The question is, is it easy to quit smoking, what happens to people physiologically and psychologically when they give up smoking? Do they suffer from withdrawal symptoms that are related to the body and mind? The answer is, of course, yes, habitual smokers who have been on a staple diet of nicotine consumption are going to face certain unpleasant outcomes as a result of giving up smoking. However, it is worth the challenge mainly because the long term effects of smoking are cancer of the lungs, mouth etc.

Discuss the "side effects" of quitting smoking and depression is one of them. For people who are more prone to the condition, quitting smoking can contribute heavily to depression.

Chemical Effects of Smoking - How Quitting Smoking and Depression May Be Associated

Nicotine inhaled with every puff of smoke contains poisonous alkaloids present in tobacco which have a tranquillizing effect on the human brain. Though it may be extremely mild-to-moderate in nature, it nevertheless affects the human brain.

Once the human body gets accustomed to nicotine, it begins to crave nicotine and when it is not available, people start feeling irritable, restless, and the mind is not able to focus or concentrate on anything else. Therefore, it becomes difficult for people to give up smoking abruptly unless they are extremely determined, and are strong physically and emotionally. This partly helps to explain the link between quitting smoking and depression.

Quitting Smoking and Depression - The Latter Could Be The Cause, Too

People suffering from depression, especially undetected cases of depression in teens and adults, often find a lot of comfort in smoking mainly because of the exaggerated fears, sadness, and sleeplessness which make them feel highly irritable and tense. They thus find a lot of solace in smoking.

People who are depressed and are not able to sleep well, feel exhausted, and are not on treatment increase their smoking because they find it extremely relaxing. This becomes a major cause of concern to family and loved ones and, if coerced into giving up smoking, these people can sink further into depression and ultimately harbor suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it is extremely important for friends and family to first establish the emotional wellbeing of the loved one before encouraging them to quit smoking.

Quitting smoking is a process and will take time, and in cases where people are suffering from undetected depression, giving up smoking altogether without treating depression can lead to severe depression. Indeed, under certain circumstances, force someone into quitting smoking and depression could result.

Stopping Smoking and Dealing With Depression

If people who smoke a pack per day increase their smoking and exhibit other signs and symptoms of depression, such as lack of sleep or insomnia, loss of appetite, high levels of irritability, perpetually feeling sad and down, lack of interest in social activities, and neglect personal health and hygiene, one needs to consult a psychiatrist or psychologist and confirm the diagnosis.

Once the person is diagnosed with depression, it is extremely important to counsel him or her, treat the depression effectively through psychotherapy and other alternative routes, and once the symptoms of depression subside and the person is well on the road to recovery, he or she should then be encouraged to give up smoking.

In people that are emotionally stronger and are open to suggestions, overcoming depression and quitting smoking might be attempted simultaneously. However, a lot of care and comfort should be offered to these people because it is not easy to overcome both problems effectively without immense support from family and loved ones.

As for those who are emotionally weaker, quitting smoking and depression treatment might have to be carried out separately.

Staying Smoke-Free

To ensure that people who have quit smoking do not cultivate the habit once again, it is important for family and loved ones to constantly appreciate and admire their ability to give up the habit of smoking and share their experience with others who have similar problems. Constantly talking about kicking the habit, overcoming the challenge effectively, and being able to lead a normal and healthy life will reinforce their belief in themselves, and they will be able to draw a lot of strength and comfort from within.

The key to quitting smoking and depression being kept away is to ensure that people are kept physically and emotionally busy during the entire process. When there is not enough time to mull over cigarette smoking and people are enjoying what they are doing, the habit will disappear on its own.

In teens and adolescents, parents and friends should make sure they are loved and cared for deeply and never made to feel humiliated or embarrassed for any reason. Positive reinforcement of thoughts, ideas, words, and activities will make them take responsibility for themselves and, once they decide to quit smoking, they will do it.

In turn, friends and family need to provide a lot of guidance and support so that they do not give up on the process and slip back into the habit of smoking. With proper support, quitting smoking and depression recovery can both be achieved.

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