I feel depressed and feel like something is missing.
Hi and Welcome to Ex’s timara
There are many reasons why we get depressed when we don’t smoke...you really need to figure out some of it on your own...because some of us have depression and masked taking care of it through the years smoking, some of us feel such sadness from not smoking (like we lost our best friend), but we are just believing the Nicodemon, it has things to do with our sertoma levels and dopamine, etc., you see we are addicts that are in this journey with you, but individually we all have to understand the “depression”...
I suggest you read at http://www.becomeanex.org/my-quit-plan.php to plan and become knowledgeable in your journey. Read the blogs to get a better understanding of your addiction and to realize everyone sorta goes through a lot of the same things...keep close to the support site for help and to offer support to others....You can do this...we are here to help...Happy Monday ~ Colleen 378 DOF
Welcome to our community!
There can be a myriad of reasons for feeling depressed when we quit smoking. Some of us self-medicated for it with nicotine. You might be missing the hit of dopamine from it. It may be that you are missing what you perceived to be a "friend" that helped you when you were sad, or lonely, or bored. It could be all of these things. Read on to better understand how nicotine dependence affects us..
The important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This easy and entertaining read provided a world of good information about nicotine addiction, most of which I was not aware. I credit it in large part with my success at quitting. You can search for it online or at your local library.
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. Here is a video to inform you further about nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be.
I don't know from your post if you are quit, are thinking about it, or planning for it. I will give you information that might be helpful if you are thinking or planning for it Regarding NRTs, if you choose to go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort after you have tried to delay and distract. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. You need to start out with a plan to reduce use of them over time - which the patch does by decreasing the dose contained in them.. For the gum, you can start by cutting each piece in half, then in quarters, then sub regular gum of the same flavor in between, adding more and more regular gum. For the lozenge, you need to start subbing a mint in between to begin, increasing the number of them over time. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for four reasons: 1) the vapor has been compared to the polluted air in Bejing on a bad day, 2) they just provide another nicotine delivery system while continuing the hand to mouth smoking motion, 3) the batteries can spontaneously catch on fire and 4) you can become addicted to that and it has not yet been proven safe .
It will be informative if you do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. As you track each cigarette smoked, note its importance, and what you might do instead. Put each one off just a little to prove that you don't NEED a cigarette just because you think you do.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T. You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smoke
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
You feel like something is missing because something is missing. Time to replace that something with something else!
101 Things to Do Instead of Smoke
Good morning. Something is missing. I felt that for a while. You will get over it. Take really good, loving care of yourself. Quitting smoking is so worth it.
We grieve when we quit as if we'd lost a long time friend, which we have. A change of attitude is required. We need a willingness to change & grow. When we're willing everything can fall into place.
timara Not to worry. How you're feeling is very common. I know my quit was very emotional with few physical withdrawal symptoms. It can take some of us longer than others to get through this stage--our journey's can be differ. It's important to try and replace the missing dopamine. Exercise is great for that--just going for a walk can help immensely. In the meantime, stay close and continue to reach out for support.
Nicotine affects brain chemistry, and it can take a while for the neurochemicals to balance out. Do what you can to increase your dopamine (the feel-good chemical) naturally. Exercise if you can. Listen to music. Watch comedies. Get plenty of natural daylight. Spend time with loved ones. Eat some dark chocolate. Meditate. These are all ways to increase dopamine in the brain. (You can google "increase dopamine naturally" to find more ideas.)
Hang in there. You WILL feel better.
Quitting is a journey not an event as some Exers like to say. It's true. Recovery means not smoking one day at a time and learning how to take care of yourself--it's about relearning life. It is not an instant process. That is why support (and support combined with NRT or medicine) works. At Ex, you will be around many quitters who have been where you are and get what you are going through.
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