So you want to Quit Smoking! Or you launched your Quit Journey but are on the point of forfeiting the whole plan because you also suffer from Depression, Anxiety, and Stress. You, like most smokers with and without Depression, believe that Smoking alleviates emotional problems and feelings of Depression and Anxiety, stabilizes Mood, provides Relaxation as well as Stress Relief.
You may even know that people with mental health disorders have a life expectancy eight years less than the general population, and much of this difference could be because of smoking but you’re still willing to pay the price if smoking relieves your Depression!
But what if the whole relaxation and alleviation narrative we tell ourselves is one BIG Nico-Lie?
Although smokers think that smoking offers mental health benefits, there is a strong association between smoking and poor mental health, and smokers with mental health disorders tend to be heavier smokers and more dependent.
Three explanations for these associations:
(1) Smoking and poor mental health might have common causes
(2) People with poor mental health smoke to regulate feelings such as low mood and anxiety
(3) Smoking might cause or exacerbate mental health problems.
Although smokers with and without mental disorders think that smoking provides mental health benefits, they might be misattributing the ability of cigarettes to abolish nicotine withdrawal as a beneficial effect on mental health. Smokers experience irritability, anxiety, and depression when they have not smoked for a while and when they first launch their Quit Journey and these feelings are reliably relieved by smoking thus creating the perception that smoking has psychological benefits, while in fact it is smoking that caused these psychological disturbances in the first place.
Contrary to the perception of cigarettes as a stress reliever, smokers are 70 percent more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression overall compared with non-smokers,
Long-term ex-smokers (those who have kicked the habit for more than a year) have anxiety and depression profiles similar to participants who have never smoked.
Quitting smoking actually boosts mental health! How much? The effect is equal or larger to those of antidepressant treatment for mood disorders! Yes! Smoking Cessation has as much effect as your Zoloft or Prozac!
Unsurprisingly, views about smoking predict whether or not people attempt to quit and whether or not they are successful.
So here’s the evidence you need to make that Daily Pledge – No Matter What – even through the initial Smoking Cessation Depression knowing that you will soon feel better than ever!
I have nearly 7 Years quit now and suffered from severe Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD. Now while I still occasionally have mental health episodes, they are less frequent, less intense, and easier to recover.
I attribute this to 3 reasons:
(1) I quit smoking! I recovered my natural healing processes because I no longer artificially stimulate dopamine and serotonin.
(2) I have, by learning how to quit, also learned many, many coping skills for Life! I Live Life on Life’s Terms!
(3) I have much higher Self Esteem because I have reclaimed my Decision-Making Power! Decision is the Ultimate Power!
If you suffer from Mental Illness, please know that you are not alone! Up to 50% of this Community also suffers from some kind of Mental Illness. We came, we conquered, we thrive – as EX-Smokers!
You CAN, too!