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Has anyone improved their depression by quitting smoking?
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havetolearntoaccept posted:
This is just a simple straight-forward question directed at people who found quitting smoking helped relieve their depression to some degree. I will leave out my long struggle with depression. Besides - I am not thinking very well right now and hard to write.
I was a bit of a health and exercise nut in my mid-late teens. I was also very sick as a child for the first 10 years. Maybe all the exercise was my way of trying to never return to those early years. In my early 20's I went to a nutritionist because of what I thought was fatigue. That and other earlier signs would have me believe I was probably depressed during that time. There were certainly some clear and unusual stressors back then. But at 22 my anxiety had me believe that going into the navy was what I needed. I did well in boot camp but by week 6 or 7 I was having trouble functioning and eventually sent home (with an Honorable Discharge). I was absolutely devastated and severely depressed. I got help but kept to myself. Everyone was getting married or having children and I was seriously broken not knowing what happened. With help I was able to start college for my A.A.S degree. I took a full load of credits in the day and in the evening worked. I would stay up late, in my fathers work room that I fixed up, to do my school work. After all th years of watching my friends drink, smoke, and hangout I thought how discusting smoking was. But I started drinking coffee and smoking. I later found out the cigarettes were acting as an MAO (anti-depressant). I am now going to be 60 and have had MDD, and now Fibro, for some time. I am also on disability because of these illnesses. After being on every med there is for almost 40 years I am now classified as "treatment resistant" by my psychiatrist who is about the best there is. It took close to a year but I finally tried another psychiatrist and several other meds made no difference. I do force myself to go to a healthclub and exercise but it drains the little energy I have. My doctors have long known about the cigarettes (1 pack a day) but stopped pushing me to quit a while ago because physically I was tested okay and they knew my struggles with depression.
LIJ hospital by me has one of the best stop-smoking programs around and I had been to their meetings several times. As the literature states it is very hard for people with my conditions to quit.
So does anyone have any REAL EXPERIENCE with improving their depression by quitting cigarettes? I am aware of all the other reasons to quit.
Reply
 
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Anon_120855 responded:
YES. REAL EXPERIENCE here.

Quit smoking when I turned 30 after 10 years of Capri Menthols. Would also smoke Marlboro Lights to mix it up. I started smoking because I found it greatly helped with anxiety. A smoke and a cup of strong coffee first thing in the morning seemed to be a good way to start the day off mentally "up".

Initially, I quit because a pack went up to $2.25. I was barely scraping by and I thought my cheapness could override addiction.

I cried for five days, then I was done. I'm not sure if it registered with me then that quitting greatly improved my mood (looking back it did). However, when I have had relapses (usually at a cocktail party where cocktails were involved), I crashed hard the next few days. Maybe the booze, maybe the nicotine, not sure.
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to Anon_120855's response:
Greetings HaveToLearnToAccept - I hope you get feedback you need here! Looking forward to more members chiming in with smoking/depression experiences.

For those interested in the link between smoking and depression, here's some info I found fascinating, but not surprising. From a 2010 CDC surve y : Depressed people are more likely to smoke and less likely to quit, a CDC survey suggests. The findings don't prove that depression causes smoking, or that smoking causes depression. But the data, from nationwide surveys of adults conducted from 2005 through 2008, show there's a strong link between depression and cigarette smoking.

Haylen
 
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Jeune1 replied to Anon_120855's response:
Thanks for this. I admit my attempt to quit a second time (last year) was scotched by the fact that I was already feeling severely depressed and the withdrawal was just too much. Even though I knew it was withdrawal and I did feel so much better the first time I quit.

Sounds like now that I seem to be out of the latest MDE is the time to do it. (By the way, a pack now averages $7 in my neck of the woods!)
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to Jeune1's response:
Seven bucks! And I'm guessing no coupons in the Sunday paper? Ouch.

Best of luck to you if you decide to try again! If you need some more support, we have an excellent Smoking Cessation Health Center chock-full of tools/information as well as a Smoking Cessation Community with an expert who answers questions.

I work for WebMD so you know I had to link you to some of our resources

Haylen
 
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havetolearntoaccept replied to Anon_120855's response:
Thank you Anon. That was very helpful. Any one of us who have been through the mil going on/off meds to help make us feel better knows the affects of these drugs going in and out of our system. So I can understand how even briefly starting up again even for one night could throw someone into a spin.
I wish I coud wake up one day and this issue was in the past. I feel like I need to someone watching me or just put on an island until I was free. Wish I was stronger. It is the only thing I do that I really feel is making it harder to fight my depression. Will have to keep trying.
Thanks also to Haylen for your support and advice.


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