How do you stop smoking depression?
It's not easy, but it's doable.
There are overwhelming health benefits that come with quitting smoking such as a boost in energy, reduction in cancer and stroke risk and improved overall well-being.
Surprisingly, smoking cessation may also increase the risk of developing depression.
So you want to quit smoking.
Good for you.
You are determined to get healthy.
But before you run out and get the nicotine gum and patches, it's important to speak with your doctor about your plan to quit smoking.
You may be thinking, "What, I have to let my doctor know I want to stop smoking? What on earth for?"
The decision to quit smoking can be extremely challenging. If you're susceptible to depression, the chances of sticking with your non-smoking plan is more likely to go sideways.
I mean it's hard enough to stay dedicated when you're not battling depression on top of everything else.
If depression happened before you took up smoking, it's important to...
-Let your doctor in on your plans to quit smoking. That way your doctor will be able to monitor you and adjust any antidepressant meds, if you're on any, to begin with.
If you're a smoker with a history of depression, be aware that this will most likely cause some disruptions in your mood.
Always be alert for drastic mood changes. Contact your doctor right away if anything out of the ordinary occurs.
It's completely normal that nicotine withdrawal can trigger some emotional upset, which usually happens within a few days to a few weeks after you quit smoking.
Contact your doctor as soon if you notice any of the following symptoms of depression:
-Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
-Anxiety (It may seem unlikely, but depression and anxiety often co-exist.)
At one time cigarettes may have once offered a way of burying feelings rather than dealing with them. Or maybe, smoking was a way to deal with anger or frustration.
No matter the reason, the depression and urges that accompanies smoking cessation can be managed. Here's how.
1. Continually remind yourself that although you may miss the way smoking made you feel, things will get better and you'll be healthier with the passing of each day.
2. Make a plan of action to manage your mood.
-Consider some self-help therapy.
-You may need to speak to a trained professional to help you deal with your depression.
3. Get a straw and cut it to the length of a cigarette. Breathe through it whenever you feel the urge to smoke.
4. Take ten slow deep breaths. Breathing both distracts you and helps to calm your nervous system. Try these breathing exercises to help get you started.
5. Set small goals and achieve them. I find that setting and achieving goals does wonders for my self-esteem and my mood. Start by dividing a goal into small chunks. See the goal through to completion. Then as time goes on, move to larger goals.
6. Spend time with people who make you feel good. Hang out with a friend or a loved one you trust and who supports your goal to quit smoking.
The QuitGuide app,smokfree.gov,helps you track cravings and slips. There are other features that you can use to become smoke free.
I hope this article, Stop Smoking Depression Now!, helps you on your journey to better mental health!
Brighter skies are ahead,
Feel free to reach out to me anytime:
This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.
I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health.
This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being.
This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.