Normal depressive reaction or a real organic depressive episode

The emotions that flow from nicotine cessation
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:25

19 Jun 2002, 15:53 #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." Image 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 Image). 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. Image

Sophy, 1 month, 1week, 23 hours Image

IrishLotus GOLD
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

01 Apr 2003, 01:00 #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....

6 Months, 1 Week

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 Apr 2003, 04:42 #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.

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.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Apr 2003, 05:24 #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.

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Apr 2003, 05:54 #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]

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:35

01 Apr 2003, 07:24 #26

I thought it was time to add in my expereince here. I have been diagnosed as having major depressive illness Imagefor 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 experiencingImage.

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.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

22 Dec 2003, 04:38 #27

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

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Dec 2003, 08:17 #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 17 Mar 2009, 02:15, edited 1 time in total.

Evolvingkaren1 GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

29 Sep 2004, 05:31 #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


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

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Sep 2004, 06:36 #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!
Last edited by Joel on 16 Apr 2009, 09:44, edited 1 time in total.