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Formerly known as the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum, this community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.

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Quitting Causing Depression   General Chit-Chat

Started 5/2/19 by missmypal; 10487 views.
missmypal

From: missmypal

5/2/19

I’ve posed this question before but I’ve just read articles that link depression with quitting smoking in a big way. The dopamine and serotonin rush caused by not just tobacco but other ingredients in cigarettes goes missing. It’s chemical. I’m in a depression that is lasting longer than usual, even though I’m taking anti-depressants and doing talk therapy. I’m attributing part of this to being 5 months smoke free. What I want to know from others who have had withdrawal related depression is how long it lasts. I have no intention of smoking to try to alleviate depression I’d like to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I really feel like if I was smoking, even just a few, I’d feel better. Right now I feel like someone I don’t even know. I’m not going to smoke. But I have to get through this period and would love to hear from someone who experienced this and got to the other side. I am 61 and smoked on and off for 45 years. Thank you!

Marci

ModAndrea

From: ModAndrea

5/2/19

Hi, Marci!

First, let me congratulate you on five months! That is a tremendous achievement.

It might be a good idea to discuss your concerns with your physician.  A slight adjustment in your medication may be needed

It is normal to feel depressed when you quit smoking. For some of us, it's like losing our best friend. It's what we used to celebrate good times. It's what we used to console us when times were bad. It was an integral part of how we faced or how we avoided things. Some members find it helpful to write a good bye letter to cigarettes. 

Quitting smoking is a process. It takes times. It's also essential that we change our relationship with smoking. We often refer to it as "romancing the smoke." You may find the following article helpful.

This will get better, Marci.

Have a relaxing smoke free evening. blush

Hugs,

Andrea

SamZahav

From: SamZahav

5/2/19

Hi Marci - thank you for this post.  I'm 58, smoked for 45 years, and have been on anti-depressants for several years prior to quitting.  I am definitely feeling some of the symptoms I associate with former chronic depression as I hit 2.5 months of my quit and, like you, I've thought - "hmm, nicotine would help me with this."  AND, like you, I am not going to smoke.  It's not an option.  But, because nicotine rewired our brain in so many ways, it could be - as Mod Andrea wrote - that some of us will need a change in type or dosage of medication.  I'm not ready to try that just yet, because it took me so long to find the right fit!  But that could just be non-fact-based stubborness that will get me into trouble - so I am going to keep an eye on my symptoms and check in with my doctor if it starts to feel a little too scary.  For me, there is a difference between tangible depression based on missing something and being sad, and chronic depression that has a downward spiral and life of it's own.  I have been thinking that I really need to start doing some intensive aerobic exercise like long walks or jogging.  At a time in my life when I did that, it really really helped with the depression.  I just feel that pumping my legs and breaking a sweat would be really good for me.  I am going to commit to getting in at least one session this weekend and will report back as to whether it made a difference ;-)

Let's keep in touch as we learn more!

Best,

Emily

x2.5  

  • Edited May 2, 2019 9:28 pm  by  SamZahav
missmypal

From: missmypal

5/3/19

Thank you! I need to hear that things will get better. I say it to myself but it’s reassuring to hear it from someone who’s been through this. 

xo

Marci

CindiS319

From: CindiS319

5/3/19

Hi Marci,

Every time I quit, I went back because of the depression.  This last quit I changed my mindset (using this forum and reading, reading, reading).  I still had some depression but it was a bit different this time.  It was missing the instant "feeling" that smoking gave me.  I smoked for 35 years and didn't even know what it was like to be a non-smoker.  It did pass though with time.  I just took each minute at a time, then each day at a time, then each month..... and now I'm going to be at 14 months.  So YOU CAN DO THIS!  Sometimes I just slept so I didn't have to feel that way.  I did everything to protect my quit and/or make myself feel better.

spartanfan

From: spartanfan

5/3/19

Hey Marci...I know we’ve chatted about this before...and since we’re so close with our quit dates I can’t tell you when the depression goes away, but did want you to know I’m still dealing with it too.  I think I’ve always had some sort of depression/anxiety, which I hid from by smoking it away...so I’m probably dealing with facing that reality as well as the decrease in dopamine and serotonin from quitting.  I’m on anti-depressants and still feeling sh***y.  So you’re not alone.  Smoked for 29 1/2 years, 47 years old. 

I’m looking at this whole year as a year of tremendous growth.  It’s painful and scary and exhilarating at the same time.  Muddling through...we’ll do it together!

julie

missmypal

From: missmypal

5/3/19

Thanks, Julie. I was at my family doc’s today and mentioned the quit as a source of unease, to put it mildly. She mentioned something about missing “the ritual” and that rung true. Coffee and a cigarette in the morning is the toughest. Even when I was smoking just one cigarette a day it was that morning coffee one. So that’s something I never gave up. And, yes, I feel sad without it. I am convinced that not smoking has at least a small part to play in my lingering depression. I’ve battled depression since college, even while smoking, so being smoke free can’t take all the blame. But I feel that I’m still battling my drug of choice - cigarettes — and, as you’ve said, I can’t mask my bad feelings anymore so they are surfacing like ghosts. I smoked my way through a lot of painful events and they are clamoring to be heard now. So maybe it’s a yucky time but also a time of growth. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and one day we’ll be past this. I hope it’s soon. Five months isn’t a long time in the 45 years that I smoked. Let’s keep talking. It helps me to battle through.

xo

Marci

missmypal

From: missmypal

5/3/19

Thanks, Cindi. It is reassuring to know that you went through this and it did end. I’m not going back to cigarettes so I’ll just have to wait it out. Damn those corporations who make money from our addiction. I include the pain med companies in that, along with cigarette and vape companies. They’ve numbed our pain but it’s killing us. At the end, I was smoking menthol. I wonder if it’s made withdrawal worse. Please keep writing me, Cindi. Remind me that this does end and life can look good again. Thank you

Marci

Amicahomi

From: Amicahomi

5/3/19

I'm feeling it too,Missmypal.  Was at my Cardio md yesterday (my 1 month quit mark) with serious palps and sky-high pressure.  I mentioned having anxiety without any reason.  Doc said it could be related to quitting, changed my heart meds up and prescribed me a few benzos.  I don't drink and am not using NRT.  Anyway, like magic the palps and pressure dropped off dramatically today.  Didn't need the Xanax. 

Like you, I didn't recognize myself and have no interest is smoking again.  My takeaway is, who knows what's lurking behind nicotine addiction.  Things can get better very quickly.  I have the feeling there was some masking going on during smoking.  Now I want to keep things in perspective and carry on with the better aspects of cig-free life.

Hang in there, maybe check things out with a health pro.  You're in my thoughts.

missmypal

From: missmypal

5/3/19

You know, you mentioning that you didn’t know what it was like to be a non-smoker reminds me that I often say “I want to get back to who I used to be” or “ I don’t know who I am anymore.” I didn’t think those feelings were related to smoking but now I am. It’s strange because I was a closet smoker. No one saw me smoke. Everyone thought of me as a non smoker. 

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