Normal depressive reaction or a real organic depressive episode

The emotions that flow from nicotine cessation
Patticake (Gold)
Patticake (Gold)

October 31st, 2001, 9:32 am #11

Joel, I read my post of 7/17 and I guess I need to update it. I injured my leg last summer and didn't get to do any of the things I love to do. I'm fine now, still doing the therapy thing but am okay. August was a really bad month, nothing I could pinpoint just felt blue and out of sorts, no energy, no appetite, no nothing............had a whole lot of triggers. September was even worse, really thought I was backtracking. I had started teaching three days a week hoping some outside activity would help....didn't. Finally made an appointment for a complete physical and have been diagnosed with a chemical imbalance commonly labeled depression. Am taking medication and am beginning to feel much better. I am having no triggers and as a matter of fact was around a smoker the other day and absolutely thought I would barf. My doctor is thrilled I have quit and said he sees no connection between my quitting and my diagnosis. He said he felt my inactivity and confinement from the leg injury, considering I'm normally a very active person, probably has been the culprit. This is one more check to add to my reasons for quitting. To think I could have disabled myself from the nicotine addiction, and to think there isn't a pill in the world to have given me my life back only makes me more determined in my commitment to stay nicotine free. Hopefully around the first of the year I can again climb aboard my beloved horse, run through the pastures with my dogs, take the stairs two at a time, dance with my husband,.............in other words live my life that I have been so blessed with to have a second chance.
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Joel
Joel

October 31st, 2001, 8:00 pm #12

Hello Patticakes:



Sorry you have encountered depression but as your doctor has pointed out, this is not an uncommon situation when an active person is all of a sudden sidetracked to an inactive lifestyle due to illness or injury. It is great that you have been able to isolate your feelings toward smoking from your feelings of depression.

So many times people blame everything on not smoking, relapse in the belief that becoming a smoker again will somehow solve their other problems and be gravely disappointed at the eventual outcome--they have the same bad feelings as before and are stuck smoking again.

The real irony is if they did it in a case such as yours--where they likely became depressed because of physical limitations due to illness or injury--they almost assuredly increased their risks of having such limitations over their lifetime because smoking can cause crippling illnesses and even slow healing of non-smoking caused conditions.

So the way to a happier and healthier life is minimizing your risks of being impaired and being able to do life affirming and health sustaining activities over your lifetime--and the first and often the most powerful step in being able to do these activies is to know to never take another puff!
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Sophy(Silver)
Sophy(Silver)

June 17th, 2002, 4:20 am #13

"Smoking is lethal. Don't give cigarettes the legitimacy to treat feelings. They don't. They make them worse. They in effect minimize your ability to communicate and grow. Growth may hurt, but it beats carrying on unresolved feelings that slowly may deteriorate the quality of your life."

Hello. This quote from the article by Joel that starts this thread touches
on an issue I'm really trying to deal with -- instead of hide from.

Also, this from JennyG, in another thread :
"But quitting is just the first step, maybe not even the most important one. What I mean is you can white knuckle your way through physical withdrawl but if this is all you do, in the long run, you are likely to fail. Why? You haven't fixed your thinking. Your body might be healing, but in your heart and mind you are still a junkie."

Nearly every day of late, at some point I find myself feeling lost and empty and wistful and sad -- and thinking about how smoking was so comforting at such times. And a friend has pointed out to me that this is the Nicodemon sneaking in sideways, putting little subtle lies in my head. In short, it's junkie thinking. I'm thinking of a quick fix, rather than wanting to address what's really causing these feelings in my life. Smoking kept me a prisoner, a slave to my addiction -- I KNOW this. But, still I'm wishing for the magic wand to make all my uncomfortable feelings go away. And I even know that I had plenty of uncomfortable feelings as a smoker -- it's not like smoking actually made me happy -- I was miserable.
I am much happier to have quit!!!!

I have no intention of taking a puff. I am happy in my quit. I don't feel in danger of relapse. But, I am concerned that I have this stunted, immature, junkie way of thinking about my life, and I'm wondering how to grow into mature patterns of thought. How do I stop thinking like a junkie, and wearing rose colored glasses and putting vaseline on the lens when I look at smoking? Is it just a matter of again and again and again making sure that I look at the whole truth -- reminding myself that there's no wonderful smoking experience waiting in the wings, that it's the whole smelly disgusting life in smoking prison that I'm getting so stupidly misty about? Is there some leap in understanding that will get me past this kind of thinking?

Sophy, nicotine addict in Day 37 of recovery
1,058 sickerettes not smoked. $209.11 not burned up poisoning myself
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Toast (GOLD )
Toast (GOLD )

June 17th, 2002, 5:58 am #14

Hi Sophy,

As Richard points out, you're still pretty early on. Grieving can be a real surprise when you quit. Amazing process, no??!! Look how far you've come already!

You know, most of us started smoking when we were teenagers. And we know smoking tends to really neutralize some emotions, nicotine running in ahead of our own neurotransmitters and blocking so much of the chemistry of thoughts and feelings. In many ways, the You that is emerging from the smoke is a You that you haven't seen in a long time. She's a You that hasn't had much of a chance to speak up, cry out, or even grow up in some ways.

And the process of relearning how to live w/o cigarettes, just the routine alone, can throw us back into a very self-conscious position. In certain circles it's called "conscious incompetence." Remember when you start a new job and can't find anything and every day is a challenge of trying to bear a lot of new info in mind? It's the same process, except for w/smoking, you've had the chance to hammer the routine down 20+ times a day times 365 a year times ? many years, plus you get the chemical "payload" of nicotine.

So, you see there are many possibilities of things that could be affecting you just now - grief, conscious incompetence, and a surge in feelings in a way you haven't felt in literally years. Real depression is also a possibility. None of these things are bad or permanent, just possible and sometimes part of withdrawal &/or learning to live past addiction. If you have any concerns, your MD is the place to turn first.

Hope you're feeling better soon! 37 Days is a tremendous accomplishment!

Melissa
The Gold Club
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blondie (green )
blondie (green )

June 17th, 2002, 8:31 pm #15

Hi Sophy,
I just read your post from yesterday... I wanted you to know that I am feeling the same way. I have felt this way from the beginning and some days are much worse than others. And I think it's getting better although it's still present in my mind.

I also have no intention of taking a puff. But, have the same concerns about immature thinking, junkie thinking and generally being an unhappy person who doesn't smoke, rather than a person who should be thrilled to pieces that she's a non smoker. And, I am really. But, I still have these thoughts.

Do you understand? I think you do.

I believe that this is going to be a long, slow process for me to readjust my thinking. I need to reaffirm my belief in the "evils" of smoking and redirect my thoughts to the positives of non smoking which are many.

I'm fairly sure that I've always hid from problems and smoking just masked that. So now that the mask is gone I have to face problems head on. I'm 48 years old and now I need to learn how to be me. Wow, that's heavy. I think it's gonna take longer than a month and a few days.

I'm always being told I need to have more patience and so I think I can safe give myself that advice. I need to have patience. Maybe we both do.

I wish you well Sophy. I'm so sure that things will get better for us. They already have.

Ruth
1 month 1 week now
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My3Sons (Green)
My3Sons (Green)

June 18th, 2002, 4:35 am #16

Sophy and Blondie,

I've recently learned I can't really give you any advice but what I can tell you is that I was right where you both are 1 week ago (I think someone referred to it as the Green Wall). It's strange but I've noticed a lot of posts like this between green and one week, many of the other more experienced quitters have said the same.

I can only tell you that I am doing much better now and I'm glad I pulled through. Do whatever you would have done for depression before you quit smoking ie: walks, movies, etc... whatever worked before should work for you know and see if it gets better for you. If it doesn't, maybe talk with your Doc, I know a straight A physical cheered me up as well!

I'm at green and two weeks, things are looking much better for me now! Hang on!
Colleen
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blondie (green )
blondie (green )

June 18th, 2002, 7:31 pm #17

Hi Colleen,
Thanks so much for your post. I hadn't noticed others hitting this "wall" at about this time. What a strange process... I just read another thread about becoming an ex-smoker. I can really relate to that as well.

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I hope that I'm right behind you in getting over this bump.

Ruth
1M4D
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misha (Gold )
misha (Gold )

June 18th, 2002, 9:04 pm #18

I am amazed by the "green wall" thank God! I thought it was me!!!! I mean, I thought that it was something in me, like missing smoking, that was bringing back all those feelings I had when I first quit......
I know that I do not want to smoke, so I didn't know where the feelings were coming from.....it makes so much more sense now. Thank you for this thread. I always see something here that I need.
misha your quit sister
1 month 1 week 1 day
Last edited by misha (Gold ) on April 19th, 2009, 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

June 19th, 2002, 1:09 am #19

For a more indepth look at the concept of a "green wall," see post 39 in the string The Terrible 3's .
Last edited by Joel on April 16th, 2009, 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 19th, 2002, 2:35 am #20

Study: Smoking may be cause
of some psychiatric disorders
By Michael Woods, Toledo Blade For Scripps Howard News Service
June 17, 2002
Experts long have known that psychological disorders are unusually common among cigarette smokers.
One 2000 Harvard University study, for instance, concluded that almost half of all cigarette smokers in the United States have some form of mental illness.
The researchers found that many smokers have symptoms that fit neatly into the standard psychiatric definitions of major depression, anxiety disorder, phobias, alcohol or other drug dependence, and antisocial personality.
Other studies show that almost 90 percent of people with the most serious mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, smoke cigarettes. Individuals with mental illness also are among the heaviest smokers.
So what started first, the illness or the smoking?
Mental illness occurs first, according to the time-honored theory. People with mental illness start smoking, and smoke more because nicotine relieves their symptoms and makes them feel better. In addition, they may be more psychologically vulnerable to nicotine addiction or the allure of tobacco advertising.
New studies, however, are suggesting cigarette smoking is the cause - not the consequence - of some psychiatric disorders, including common conditions that involve depression and anxiety.
Tons of scientific evidence during the past 60 years have unmasked tobacco's role in heart attacks, lung cancer and other physical diseases. Cigarette smoking causes more than 430,000 deaths annually, according to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's one in every five deaths.
Suspicion that tobacco may cause mental illness arose in the 1990s. Yet it still gets little attention, compared to tobacco's effects on physical health.
Some of the first hints emerged from a 1998 study on teenage smokers headed by Dr. Naomi Breslau, a psychiatrist at the Henry Ford Health Systems in Detroit.
Her five-year study of 1,000 young adults found that smoking increased the risk for developing depression. People who smoked before the study began had twice the risk of developing major depression during the following five years as nonsmokers.
Larger studies have bolstered the link. A University of Cincinnati study of 8,704 teenagers, for instance, found that mentally healthy teenagers who start smoking are four times more likely to develop depression than their nonsmoking peers.
Harvard University researchers studied cigarette smoking and mental health in 4,500 adolescents and adults. Mentally healthy teenagers who smoked at least one pack a day faced a 16-fold greater risk of developing panic attacks, a seven-fold risk of developing serious phobias and five times the risk of anxiety attacks than peers who smoked less than one pack.
How could cigarette smoking cause mental illness?
Experts don't know.
Some suspect that the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke may damage or change the normal activity of brain cells. Others think that nicotine and high levels of carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke work together to cause symptoms of psychological illness.
Nicotine's stimulant action keeps smokers in a state of heightened alertness. With minds racing, hearts pounding and blood pressure up, they are more likely to overreact to body sensations and situations in the environment.
Carbon monoxide may cause breathing disorders responsible for one sensation - a false sense of suffocation - that triggers many panic and anxiety attacks. One attack then engenders fear of others and causes changes in behavior.
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Sophy(Silver)
Sophy(Silver)

June 19th, 2002, 3:53 pm #21

As so often happens, after you really crystallize and articulate something that's been bugging you, this whole thing is bothering me less now. I think Melissa (Toast) hit upon it in saying I'm "relearning how to live w/o cigarettes." I've been consciously working on sitting with uncomfortable feelings as they arise instead of thinking I have to make them go away immediately (which I used to do by ... smoking, of course ). Thanks also to Richard and Colleen for the kind words and to Joel and John for the useful information. And blondie (Ruth) and Misha, it's good to have company on this journey. I guess, we will be through with this weird sensation (at least for a while), if we follow Colleen's example. I've been reflecting that I used sickerettes to make all of my uncomfortable feelings and empty moments go away (or at least distract me from them). Now I am experimenting with what to do at those times, how to actually live without escaping like the junkie I was. Some former smokers say they grew and changed through quitting -- this must be part of that growth.

Sophy, 1 month, 1week, 23 hours
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IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

April 1st, 2003, 1:00 am #22

This morning I was pondering the question: "Which came first, the addiction or the depression?". I knew I had read something about that here at Freedom, and sure enough, here it is...offered as advice for another depressed Freedomite.

Since I am now able to step from behind the "smoke screen" and look a bit more logically at my addictions and the cause/effect way in which they intermingle with my personal happiness, such questions come to mind often. For those of you concerned, I have already contacted my physician, and as it turns out, I DO seem to be having some anxiety attacks and depressive episodes as related to an organic psychological disorder. A recent outbreak of anxiety related hives, has given me a physical manifestation of my condition as well as proof that I am not "crazy" (well, you get the point). I am actually looking forward to "medicating myself" in a more constructive way in the future, although I am getting a bit more anxious about releasing my other, non-healthy coping mechanisms. I am hoping that alcohol and other mood altering "self-medications" will be effectively replaced with clinically prescribed counter-parts, but I will be certain to check in here if I need any help facing these other addictions. I may not be around very often as I head on this journey, but I will be sure to check in if I ever feel my quit is in jeopardy, as well as keep on reading to reinforce my motivation to remain quit. Thank for all of this great information....

YQS-
Lotus
6 Months, 1 Week
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

April 1st, 2003, 4:42 am #23

Slowly but surely it's starting to dawn on me. . .

All of this sadness can't be just from quitting smoking, BUT it is not a sufficient excuse to go back to smoking. I was diagnosed with clinical depression six years ago, before I was a smoker, but I hated the medication I was given and soon found cigarettes an excellent substitute in many unfortunate ways. I have never really made the connection between the events until now, but I did start smoking at almost the exact same time that I quit taking my medication.

Smoking used to help with my depression a lot. It took me out of stressful situations for fifteen minutes, calmed me down, and made me feel like the problem had gone away. What a great little tool. Facing the actual problems is so much more difficult, and for the last few weeks I have been blaming all of my unhappiness on quitting as a way to try to continue using cigarettes to avoid this problem.

Lotus, I really hear you and applaud your courage. Cigarettes were the easy way out and quitting has been rather desperate for me because going to a doctor, getting diagnosed, and having to DEAL is just obnoxious as **** compared to buying a pack every day or so and ignoring this problem. The hard thing to do is often the right thing to do, though. It certainly is in this case.

I've made an appointment, loathe as I was to do it. I hope I'll be able to be more positive on the board (as in life) in the future. I can definitely say that although quitting has been extremely difficult for me, the act of quitting has been a lifeline for me during the last month's reacquaintance with organic depression. In some cases it has really been the only thing I have to grasp at for hope, and I have guarded it pretty jealously because of that. I truly hope and believe I will never take another puff.

YQS
Alex
I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Month 2 Weeks 3 Days 22 Hours 12 Minutes 55 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 734. Money saved: $183.70.
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Joel
Joel

April 1st, 2003, 5:24 am #24

There are some people who are depressed from an organic basis and medications may be indicated and beneficial for them. What is the difference between taking a prescribed medication to treat depression as opposed to using cigarettes to treat it? First, a prescribed medication must be approved by the FDA and must show some record of being SAFE and EFFECTIVE for treating a specific ailment. Being effective means that it has been shown to clinically help people who have depression-being safe means that there are generally low risk of dangerous side effects and that it is generally not a life threatening treatment. Using cigarettes to treat depression is not likely to be as effective as a prescribed medication and more importantly, carries a mortality rate of 1 in 2. No drug for any purpose would be prescribed that killed one in two people who use it, or even one in one hundred or a thousand if it were not being used to treat a life threatening illness treatable by other less dangerous means. Depression can be a chemical imbalance in some people, just as some other mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar diseases can be caused from improper balances of certain substances normally present in people who don't have such illnesses. Using medication for these people may be as necessary as a diabetic needing insulin to treat what is basically a chemical imbalance causing a medical condition as opposed to mental illness.

It cannot be determined online by anyone whether an individual is in fact experiencing a normal adjustment period or an organic based depression and so it is imperative that if the question is raised by an individual that he or she may be depressed that he or she gets attention from a person in the real world who has more to go on that words written on a bulletin board. Nobody is qualified to make a definitive diagnosis of mental illness or any diseases without getting more information both history wise and possibly physical measures only available by a physician who actually can test the patient.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 1st, 2003, 5:54 am #25


There was a new depression/cessation study just released and this seems like a perfect opportunity to share the results. Having a bit of perspective on how rare or common a condition actually is can sometimes in and of itself be reassuring. Although just 4% of participants in the below study experienced the onset of major depression we each need to be alert to the possibility that 4% of our members may need medical help. It's not a large percentage but a very real percentage for which treatment - not nicotine - is warranted!



Addictive Behaviors 2003 May-Jun;28(3):461-70

Onset of major depression during treatment for nicotine dependence.

Killen JD, Fortmann SP, Schatzberg A, Hayward C, Varady A.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1000 Welch Road, 94304, Palo Alto, CA, USA

We monitored the emergence of major depression (MDD) during treatment for nicotine dependence among 224 smokers.
MDD was assessed on three occasions during the course of treatment with the mood disorders portion of the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (SCID), fourth edition (DSM-IV).
Out of 224 participants, 20% had suffered a past episode of MDD, 18% of males and 22% of females. Four percent (n=10) experienced onset of MDD during the course of the study, four males and six females. Only 2 of the 10 cases managed to achieve abstinence at end of treatment. Those who reported large increases in depression symptoms between baseline and end of treatment (Week 10) were less likely to be abstinent at 26-week follow-up.
The evidence indicates that those who treat nicotine dependence must be prepared to monitor and respond to the emergence of depression associated with treatment.

PMID: 12628619 [PubMed - in process]
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BikenutGOLD
BikenutGOLD

April 1st, 2003, 7:24 am #26

I thought it was time to add in my expereince here. I have been diagnosed as having major depressive illness for a several years now. I had stopped all medications about two years ago. In early February, I realized my depression was returning, so I scheduled an appointment with the psyc. doc. At that time, he noted that ever since I had been seeing him, I had talked about wanting to quit smoking. unpon reflection, I had started smoking at the time of my first serious depression, about 23 years ago. So I started with Welbutrin as an antidepressant, and two weeks later i found Freedom, and quit smoking as well. I really believe that smoking all these years was an attempt to self medicate my depression, and after reviewing a lot of the materials I have found, I also thik that nictine adds to and increases depression. Like so many other of nicotine's effects it has one short erm effect, and quite the oposite long term effects.

I love being nictine free, and at 6 weeks can say that the occasional urge is far outweighed by the good and healthy feelings I am experiencing.

Terry
Terry has not used any nicotine containing product for:
One month, two weeks, two days, 23 hours, and 23 minutes.
2023 cigarettes not smoked, saving $455.36.
Life saved: 1 week, 35 minutes.
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mctomandlynn
mctomandlynn

December 22nd, 2003, 4:38 am #27

Joanne,
I am not sure why or how, but somehow you brought this thread up to the front today. For me and my husband it was in the nick of time and a true blessing.

We both quit Sept. 28, 2003, one week shy of 3 months into our quit. We have been having problems lately and couldn't put a label on them. First we thought stress at work, then stress with caring for his mother, problem still keeps occurring. Today we were going at it again and I wanted to smoke sooo bad. I don't remember having these problems when we smoked, and I thought that our relationship is not worth it. In other words, I would rather smoke than have not smoking ruin my marriage.

So I went to the Freedom site hoping for some help and there was the string to this thread. I had my husband read it and he said it really summed up what he was feeling. We have decided to hold on to our quit and to each other. Now that the problem has a face and a name (so to speak), or that we have some insight into what is happening to us we can work through it together and like I said earlier, hold onto our quit as well as each other.

You see we have been married 25 years and have only known each other as smokers. As with any other couple there are things about each other that bothers us. Nothing big but it adds up over the years. We have tons of unresolved problems due to the irritation, smoke, let it go, issue addressed in this thread. The good news is that none of the issues are really huge, (definately not huge enough to let go of our quit ot our marriage, both are too important.) just big enough that we have to talk, listen and work through them with caring and compromise. Essentially what we have to do is step back a little and get to now each other as non-smokers.

We will continue to make the decision not to smoke one minute, hour, day at a time with the ulimate goal of NTAP. Lynn
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 31st, 2003, 8:17 am #28


Janet, only you know whether your holiday blues are historically seasonal or something more in need of treatment. If you see no joy in your day at 60 days please get seen. Medicating depression with the world's most addictive insecticide is self-destructive in itself. If needed, there are scores of non-addictive serotonin and dopamine manipulating medicines. With you in spirit. John
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 17th, 2009, 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Evolvingkaren1 GOLD
Evolvingkaren1 GOLD

September 29th, 2004, 5:31 am #29

I was glad to see this thread. My issue is related but not exactly covered here. I've been unable to locate other appropriate reading materials but I'm sure other members in the long term smoker category can direct me.

Quitting was TOO EASY. So why didn't I do it before? Why didn't I have to SUFFER MORE after 39 years of putting my family through ****. I am overwhelmed by GUILT. I know that Linda, Steve, Dina and others may have insights on how to cope with this. They've been there too. So, the question is...Do you just send me off to the SHRINK or is there something I can read first? Karen

14 DAYS

(my computer is old and crummy and this is the best I can do)
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Joel
Joel

September 29th, 2004, 6:36 am #30

Strings that cover the issue of quitting being too easy:
"Was I addicted?"
Every quit is different
I've encountered plenty of people who quit at one time, had a relatively easy time at it and either figured they were not addicted or that if they were to relapse they would simply just easily quit again. Most of these people are in for a real shock for it they did relapse they found the latter quits much more difficult and in some cases, they lost their lives before getting the chance for their next easy quit. If you think quitting is easy you should see how much easier relapsing can be. Of course, there is one simple way to make sure that you never have to deal with an easy or a hard quit, which is simply to keep this quit going by staying committed to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 16th, 2009, 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Skylark0
Skylark0

August 30th, 2006, 2:56 am #31

Please could any oldbies who have experienced depression as a symptom of their quit give me some help? This is a new emotion to me. Fortunately, I have never suffered from depression before in my life (I am 44). I am 7 weeks into my quit and everything has gone well so far in that I have dealt with all the difficulties experienced and felt confident.

However, since yesterday I have felt extremely low. I feel tearful, have had thoughts that life is not enjoyable and just felt very very low. I don't know how else to describe it. It is not a junkie-mind thing where I a voice in my head is telling me that smoking will make me feel better. I still don't want to smoke and am not tempted to do so at all. It is just a pit of the stomach, very low feeling and it is horrible.

Like other symptoms will this go when comfort arrives? How do I know if it's quit related or if it's something more sinister? Did anyone else not have this symptom at first but get it further down the line as I have? It is scaring me because it has crept up on me and of all the symptoms I expected to have to deal with, this wasn't one of them. And also because I don't seem to be able to logically argue or read myself out of it. Does anyone know what I mean?

Amanda x
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Joel
Joel

August 30th, 2006, 3:13 am #32

For people who are off for weeks, months, years or decades and who are cranky, nervous, depressed, angry, have sore throats, heart burn, ear aches, backaches, headaches, eye strains, poor vision, hearing problems, broken bones, have stubbed their toes, have financial concerns, job stresses, or any other extraordinary issues going on in their lives at the moment. Don't blame every feeling, bad or good in your life on the fact that you happened to have quit smoking. Life goes on without smoking and as the closing paragraph in this article states:

Life goes on without smoking. It is likely to go on longer and it is likely that you will be healthier at each and every stage than you would have been if you had continued smoking. Your life will continue to stay better and likely last long longer as long as you always remember to never take another puff!
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Joel
Joel

August 30th, 2006, 3:14 am #33

Every now and then a person will experience a specific symptom and put up a post asking whether or not the symptom is one that is normally experienced by people who have quit smoking and if others here had experienced the same symptom when they had quit. As far as if a specific symptom is one that "can" occur after cessation, we have put together a pretty inclusive string titled Possible Withdrawal Symptoms.

As far as whether or not another member or numerous members experienced the same symptom, it does not really make a difference if they had or had not. It is like someone writing and saying that he or she is having a tingling sensation in his or her arm and wondering if anyone else experienced the same symptom when they quit. Then a person who had slept on his or her arm one night when quitting smoking and woke up with that particular arm tingling writes back and says that sure enough, he or she had a tingling arm the week he or she had quit. Now the recent quitter feels a sense of relief because he or she has seen that one other person had the same symptom. So the person does nothing.

The problem was that the person who wrote the question was not having tingling from having slept on his or her arm, but rather, was experiencing a symptom of a heart attack that he was now ignoring. This action could result in a fatal mistake of not seeking what was immediately needed medical attention.

Read the posts Giving and getting medical advice online., Possible Withdrawal Symptoms, and Life goes on without smoking. If you have a concern of a symptom that you are experiencing consult your personal doctor. We say it often here, that the only medical advice that we can give is that to reduce your risk of a host of illnesses and conditions is to stick to your commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 5th, 2007, 9:17 pm #34

Nobody should get the impression that the majority of people become clinically depressed or need medications to deal with the normal depression phase that accompanies initial smoking cessation. The fact is that only a small percentage of people will have a full-blown organic depression occurring just after quitting smoking.

But that fact is not important if you are one of these individuals. What is important is that if you believe you are organically depressed get checked out by your doctor.

Especially if you are a person with a past history of treatment for depression or if your depressive episode is lasting more than a week and is causing a real disruption in your life, get checked out. You may indeed benefit from treatment or maybe your physician will just give you the reassurance that you are really okay. Either way it doesn't hurt to get the situation professionally assessed.

Joel

I added the following comments into the string "Is anyone else experiencing the symptom of...?" I feel that the concept ties into this string also:
There are times where people have emotional issues stemming from family problems, work problems, actual organically based mental illnesses, etc, who will write on the board that they are having overwhelming emotional feelings. Then other people will weigh in saying that they had problems at one time or another when quitting but it got better. While it may be true that the person offering the advice was just having a reaction to smoking cessation, it may not be true for the person writing now as to his or her mental anguish. Giving the person the idea that it is automatically going to get better when the problem may not be simply from not smoking may be doing the person a real disservice. It may prevent the individual from seeking the real professional help he or she may in fact need for problems that were not in fact quit related.

As it says in the string How do I deal with....

A quit smoking site is not the place to solve major life traumas. A quit smoking site may be the best site to deal with smoking, depending on the site, and there may be some other specialized sites that are helpful in dealing with other traumas too, but often people on an Internet sites may not have the best training or understanding or be the best prepared for dealing with the specific problem at hand. You may find people who really want to help but who may not in fact be the best people to deal with the problem you are facing.

If a member encounters real life tragedies they should seek help from professionals. Who would you call if your car breaks down? Would you call a friend who has no particular knowledge of car repairs and whose own car is currently broken down too. This person cannot help you fix your car and cannot even at this point in time offer you a ride. If your car breaks down you call a mechanic. If your computer suddenly dies you don't call a friend whose computer also died and has not been able to get it going again. If your home plumbing explodes you don't get right on the Internet and waste time chatting on a bulletin board about how bad everything smells without first calling a plumber to actually fix the problem. If your house all of sudden starts on fire you don't go to the Internet and compare notes with others who may have lived through a fire experience--you call the fire department. If someone breaks into your home while you are still there you don't go to the Internet to talk out your fears. You either call the police or try to escape from your home. If you are experiencing sudden chest pains or maybe all of a sudden lose vision in one eye you shouldn't spend time looking up symptoms on the Internet or chatting with others who may have had a similar experience at one time, you call for paramedics.

If something emotionally big is happening in your life and you find yourself spinning out or control you need to seek professional help too. It may mean calling your doctor, a professionally sanctioned crisis hotline in your town who can offer real live support, going to a local emergency room, calling 911 or what ever emergency number is set up in your area by local authorities, depending on the severity of the problem and how fast you can get action.

This list could have gone on but hopefully everyone gets the point here. If you ever find yourself in a medical or psychological crisis seek professional assistance, meaning, seek a professional in the arena of the specific problem you are encountering.

Again, depending on the problem you are facing there are professionals who can help. There are professional mechanics, plumbers, firemen, police, paramedics, crisis counselors, psychologists and physicians. Deal with emergencies head on when they occur. At the same time stay focused on the fact that whatever the problem, taking a cigarette will not help it.

Once you have dealt with the crisis, and your full attention is not needed to get out of the immediate danger, then is the time to come to a quit smoking site and reinforce your resolve to stay smoke free, either by reading or maybe even posting. Hopefully if you come back in to post, the essence of the post will be saying how you have proved to yourself once again that even under the most extreme of circumstances that you are able to stay smoke free by just sticking to your commitment that no matter what else is going on around you that you still know to never take another puff!

Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 19th, 2009, 4:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Joel
Joel

April 9th, 2008, 3:28 am #35

There are times where people have emotional issues stemming from family problems, work problems, actual organically based mental illnesses, etc, who will write on the board that they are having overwhelming emotional feelings. Then other people will weigh in saying that they had problems at one time or another when quitting but it got better.

While it may be true that the person offering the advice was just having a reaction to smoking cessation, it may not be true for the person writing now as to his or her mental anguish. Giving the person the idea that it is automatically going to get better when the problem may not be simply from not smoking may be doing the person a real disservice. It may prevent the individual from seeking the real professional help he or she may in fact need for problems that were not in fact quit related.

As it says in our Medical Disclaimer:

This site is not meant to replace the advice of any physician. Do not rely upon any information that you read here at Freedom (or that you obtain through posts, email or links) to replace consultations or advice received by qualified health professionals regarding your own specific situation. The information provided here at Freedom is intended as smoking cessation educational materials only and it should NEVER be construed as medical advice.

If you have any question in your mind regarding any lingering health concern, including depression or mental health, IMMEDIATELY seek medical assistance. If you are not satisfied with the advice being rendered by a physician, you always have the right to obtain another medical opinion. We are not physicians or doctors here at Freedom. We are students and teachers of smoking cessation.

It is also important for you to understand that as a smoking cessation forum Freedom is staffed entirely by cessation educators who are not physicians, pharmacists or dietitians. Further, Freedom's Rules prohibit any member from rendering any medical advice to other members, from giving medication or herbal advice or recommendations, or from giving dieting or exercise advice or recommendations, other than the advice to seek the assistance of trained and qualified health care professionals.

There are organizations and individuals whose sites have disclaimers such as this to simply protect themselves legally. We have this policy because we believe it's right for every individual reading here. We do all we can to make sure that any information or concepts acquired here do not pose medical risks to readers.

When it comes to the treatment or management of any medical condition we sincerely believe that it is best for every person to deal with a qualified medical professional in their real world. The materials, concepts and information shared here allow readers to improve their health, and likely extend the productive years of their lives, by simply making and sticking to a personal commitment to Never Take Another Puff, Dip, or Chew.

Also from above:

Nobody should get the impression that the majority of people become clinically depressed or need medications to deal with the normal depression phase that accompanies initial smoking cessation. The fact is that only a small percentage of people will have a full-blown organic depression occurring just after quitting smoking.

But that fact is not important if you are one of these individuals. What is important is that if you believe you are organically depressed get checked out by your doctor.

Especially if you are a person with a past history of treatment for depression or if your depressive episode is lasting more than a week and is causing a real disruption in your life, get checked out. You may indeed benefit from treatment or maybe your physician will just give you the reassurance that you are really okay. Either way it doesn't hurt to get the situation professionally assessed.

Joel
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