Wondering how everyone on here dealt with the depression and anxiety that comes with quitting smoking? meds? etc?
Exercise is good for both depression and anxiety.
What if you cannot exercise do to disability? This is what I fall under right now; I cannot even do my own house work at this time :-(
go to youtube.com and do a search for chair exercises and disabled exercises.
This is an important discussion to have, nonsgm. At the beginning of your quit, you are going through a mourning period, no matter how you feel about quitting. Blogging helped me a lot - getting that negativity OUT - and joining in on conversations on this site. You will beat this thing. Laugh every chance you get.
Also, really good point, coreinstincts_101. I also get stuck once in awhile in the depression trap over the things I can't do anymore. It helps me to stop comparing my current level of ability to what it used to be. I try to stay in the here and now and make the most of what I can do. Chair exercises like jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 suggested are a great option. I like of the ones on youtube, like smart move chair exercises and chair zumba. Just listening to happy, upbeat music reduces your blood pressure, which raises your dopamine levels. Bye Bye depression.
I was so sick when I first quit smoking that I really could not exercise. I was in terrible pain and my breathing was very labored. As time passed without cigarettes, I became stronger. I was on this site every chance I had, I did exercises while I was in bed, granted, they were not as effective as lifting weights or seriously working out but they did not HURT me and they made me feel happier, like I was doing something. Chair exercises can be very effective. There is absolutely nothing that you cannot do if you are motivated...even laying on the bed and lifting soup cans is something. You CAN do this...I promise you that if you stick with your quit and you stick with this site, you will feel stronger. You will find a stronger person inside of yourself, one who was being suffocated by smoke. Stay with us.
Hi again. I've had clinical depression with anxiety and panic for many, many years. I see a psychiatrist twice a year to have the medication adjusted as needed. But I still go through bad periods of anxiety and/or depression at times (shorter and less intense than before but enough to frighten me).
I find my first warning is ALWAYS changing sleep habits. Either sleeping too much or unable to fall asleep. And I will not add sleeping meds to my little pharmacy. So I use some apps on my phone at bedtime. Either meditation music, nature sounds, guided meditation for sleep/anxiety/stress relief/body scan/mindfulness... To be honest, I think it's the voices of the people I'm listening to that make me fall asleep...not so much what they're saying! I believe there are loads of free meditation and sleep inducing apps available on all smartphones. Go check out what appeals to you.
One more item for your quit tool kit!
Exercise is one of the best things you can do. It gives you the hit of dopamine you are missing from not smoking.
Slow, deep breathing, going slower and deeper with each, is a great stress reducer and you can do it anywhere, any time.
A bit of hot milk at bedtime produces melatonin, a natural sleep aid.
This is a process, and your body is adjusting to life without its drug. It should level out in time.
I agree with everything Nancy Youngatheart.7.4.12 said above except the Hot milk (sorry Nancy even the idea of drinking hot milk has always made me wonder if anyone ever really does it ! YUK ! ) Hot cocoa sounds better or herbal tea !
Walking really helped me I felt instant relief from anxiety and depression as soon as I got out there especially if I walked at the river or in the woods and listened to music while I walked .I made habit of walking almost everyday and it kept me from being overtaken by depression .
Sorry I did not mean this to go as a reply to Nancy I do this frequently and I did not feel like deleting and starting all over !
You can add a bit of sugar and vanilla to the hot milk if you need to. I started out that way, but ended up sipping it plain after awhile. Hot chocolate would have caffeine, so not sure that would work as well.
Try it- you MIGHT like it! You didn't think you could quit smoking either, now did you???
Exercise helped me more than anything but I could not start right after I quit because I was too sick and it was winter and a super cold one. I was recovering from pneumonia and I have RA so I was in agony all the time. Once I got past that and I was able to exercise, it changed everything. It releases dopamine and makes you feel happy and healthier and like you are doing something positive. I exercise regularly and I honestly do not think of smoking except maybe as a memory.
Ditto on the exercise/walking, swimming etc. Watching comedy. Reading positive stuff on quitting. Journaling. Work helped a lot. Making a list of reasons for quitting and re reading them. Saving money in a jar for all the smokes I did not smoke--adds up fast. Rewarding oneself with something...a treat, a movie, something. Watching youtube videos about quitters and how they felt about quitting and how they feel today. Keeping it one day at a time. There are a lot of rewards for quitting, but the first few days are more about just not smoking.
Yes you can do this.
I hear licking a bears ears is an old remedy
I had some depression in my quit. I was prescribed celexa for the lack of side effects and ativan to quell a panic attack quickly. When it got better I weaned off the celexa per my dr's advice. I still get an RX for ativan refilled once a year but
rarely use it. It's usually if I cant get to sleep
Taking Anxiety down from 12 to 3 and heading for 0
I have to echo the above remarks....a regular daily exercise routine will help immensely. Does not need to be an "exercise routine" as in Jillian Michaels (apologies to Jillian). It can simply be deciding that you will walk 30 minutes per day. It can even be 15 and 15 depending on the time you have. Done routinely----it really helps. Breathe deeply and keep focused on how your body is healing from this awful addiction. I never really had depression or anxiety issues----I had "anger" issues. Found myself really low on patience with stupidity, unfairness-----OR---what I perceived to be stupidity and unfairness in my nicotine withdrawal state !! I used a punching bag and still do....excellent stress reliever. I imagine it would help with anxiety and depression also.
I've been depressed as long as I can remember, certainly before I started smoking. I take medicine but it doesn't prevent depression symptoms when going through nicotine withdrawal. In the past, I have relapsed because I didn't want to feel depression symptoms.
To to be successful in my quit, I make a commitment not to smoke even if I'm depressed. When anxious I do deep breathing to calm down. I notice that when I stay busy I have less time to be anxious. I recently started walking, trying to get exercise to improve my mood. I use nicotine replacement to ease withdrawal symptoms.
I have had alot of aniexty about my health. It gets so bad that all i think about is if i am sick. This could also be from the massive pain I have due to knee and back issues and also I have started another journey, mental pause. I have been taking something but honestly I don't think it is working. I have made the rounds to doctors and thankfully everything is ok for now. Just a couple of more doctors to see before I will feel better, they have to wait I am having knee surgery next Friday. I need the knee fixed so I can exercise. I tried to walk but the way I walk now send more pain to my upper back and neck. I did buy a little pedal thingy that I have been using. it is not much but something. I also believe my weight is another reason I am depressed and anxious. I have never been this heavy it is bad for my mental state and my physical state. I am happy to report 9 lbs down in 3 weeks. All I can say is that I know this will get less and less as time goes by. I have such an awesome support system at home and at work my manager has been so great and understanding I don't know how to every thank her. I know my job is secure so that takes something off my shoulders.
I have also started mediation and it does help. Well lets just say none of us are every alone with everything we go through when we quit. we don't have everything everybody else has but there is someone that feels the way you do. not sure if that made sense hopefully you will get something out of it. thank you Everyone please have a great safe weekend, enjoy
Whatever exercise you can SAFELY do is a huge key and congratulations on the weight loss. Keeping busy is a great way to get past the craves. I am so glad that your manager is really supportive, that's wonderful. You can do this...you went to VEGAS with all of those smokers everywhere and you came through with flying colors!
You are doing great, I mean that.
Thank you my friend. I can also count on you for awesome words and encouragement
Exercise(!!) and keeping my mind and hands busy.
I'm using breathing methods, sleep and exercise to keep an even balance. And plain ole distraction works well too. Drink a lot of water.
Keep up with it you can get through this, your stronger than you think, we all are. Best of luck.
So with Anxiety there are certain mind traps we can easily fall into:
Worst Case Scenario
These traps make us feel awful, change our physiology into fight/flight mode and freeze our ability to think clearly or make/keep decisions.
First, identify the trap. Do you think that every day is bad? ....that cravings last forever?..."I'll never relax again"?
Second, ask yourself: why is this trap damaging you? "When I overgeneralize I can't act the way I want to act!"
Third, is it true? Look for words like every, always, never, forever.... Challenge your thought with a positive thought:
"Every day is bad."
Challenge thought: "Right now I'm depressed but soon I will feel better whether I worry or not and I am resourceful enough to get through this time. Smoking can only make my depression worse, last longer, and feel even more intense! By protecting my Quit I am growing my sense of control and self confidence and making a new better future for myself." Draw yourself a positive mental picture of what that will be like.
I hope this will help you!
I pledge today and I have 50 hours 36 minutes free of nicotine.
The days were handled by using the 101 things to do list and using Carr's self talk about cigarette. Whenever, I thought cigarettes, my tape sound like this: "Yeah one puff leaves me back to 1000 puff, poor health, bad smells, lost of income, and back to isolation." It worked. As I was enjoying myself, I would look over at the smoker's section and Carr's statement not to envy but pity the smoker would make it a glance rather than yearning to be with the smokers.
Your blog helped with my experience last night. Last night, I experienced a wicked craving. I woke up to the taste and smell of nicotine. My reflex was to reach for a cigarette. I was disoriented for a few minutes.
This morning when I woke, I was feeling agitated, anxiety and frustrated. To handle the frustration, I walked for 10 minutes and stayed in gratitude for not doing the first puff. I could not shake the agitation and anxiety, I magnified everything: having my dream, being disoriented, tasting and smelling the nicotine. I was overgeneralizing my withdrawals and comparing.
You helped me to turn off that fight or flight mode. Your suggestions were right on time. Secretly, I wanted my high power to give me instant gratification and success instead I am going through the process of being an Ex smoker one step at a time.
Feels like I am writing a novel, I don't have another nicotine meeting until Monday. I hate this feeling of generalized anxiety.
It has been over a year since I quit. I now have an ulcer and am taking meds for that. My anxiety has been very high. I am still working part time. I am excersizing. I wake up feeling sick every morning. I have been to doctors more in the last year than I ever have been in my life. I am at wits end as to what to do. I am not sleeping well and then wake up at 4 am. I now have made an appointment with a psychiatrist. I have tried everything I know to do. I have no desire to smoke. I just want to feel better.
LanaKay Certainly you are not connecting your anxiety and health issues to quitting smoking. I have struggled with ulcers on and off since I was in my early 20's and smoking, they were so severe that I, too, would awaken at 4:00AM and vomit undigested food mixed with blood, they took forever to heal because I kept smoking. My anxiety level was through the roof. Have you considered meditation? A psychiatrist is hopefully going to have answers for you, I so hope that you find some resolution.
Thinking of you.
Thank you for the reply. No, I have no desire to smoke again. I haven't even wanted to to. I guess I just needed to vent. I haven't had any health issues before. I have been very fortunate. Now I'm 70 years old and I guess it's just coming as a surprise that I can not feel good. My anxiety has flared now and again since menopause. It's just worse right now. I guess I'm just venting.
Sent from my iPhone
LanaKay I hope you can get things settled down. I went on a hormone replacement drug until I realized that it caused so many other issues but it sure did lift my spirits when I was on it. There are just too many risks. Can you cut down on working, take some more care of yourself?
PLEASE vent away, I just needed to be sure that you did not think all of your issues were a result of quitting smoking. That would be so sad. I so hope that you feel better.
I am just working part time now. Actually I feel better when I'm busy. When I have too much time on my hands the anxiety kicks in. I've always been kind of a worrier but now it seems worse. I'm working on it. If my stomach just gets to feeling better it will help a lot. Thank you for listening.
ANY time...you can PM me if you want and I will gladly give you my email address.
Non smokers brains produce neurochemicals that help us with the feeling of well being, joy, contentment.. etc. When we smoke the brain often times shuts down the production of these neurochemicals and it can take months for it to produce again, I have heard maybe sometimes it never does come back. I smoked 50 years, have been quit 401 days and now take anxiety/depression meds. I am hoping to wean off of them but I am a little hesitant as I have been feeling much better. I did a lot of research on the smokers brain chemistry and just learning about it made me feel better. I also upped my vitamins and B-12 complex. The B-12 has helped a lot. I tried other more natural things than an RX from my doc but decided I needed to protect my quit more than to fool around with experimenting.
Thank you for the information.
I am feeling unnatural and abnormal with my 7 days.
Your information on the brain was helpful.
Before I quit I was dealing with acid reflux, peptic ulcer, diverticulitis, generalized anxiety with moderate-severe heart palpitation, contusion of the hip, sleep apnea and two packs a day. Would see all type of specialists and their recommendation was to stop smoking. For my mental help, medication prescribed but I would not take it for my anxiety. Went to herb doctor and did not follow his recommendation. Vitamin taken randomly. I never kept the appointment with the dietician.
I have made a conscious decision to work with the pulmonary doctor, I am following her suggestions and trying the medications she recommended. I also received a stop smoking package that lead me to this site. I am hoping I will be wean off the medication.
My visits to specialists and primary doctor, I am listening and I am encouraged to continue to stop smoking.
I've tried several times to stop and by the 3rd day, I am at the store before it opens. This time the different is I am not doing it alone. I am educating myself about nicotine, mental illness and following directions.
Thanks for this information. I didn't know this. I just know that I quit over a year ago and still don't feel ok. I'm working on it.
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