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Question
Posted by: Margie | 2005/07/17

Effects of Quitting Smoking

I know that there is a cliche attached to giving up smoking. However, I am struggling to keep alive whilst doing so! I have suffered from anxiety disorder for some time and certainly lean towards depression from time to time. I have had to take anti depressants for anxiety attacks but have stopped time and time again due to side effects. I have not suffered an anxiety attack for the last two months (without any medication). I have, however, stopped smoking 47 days ago and am suffering from depressive, violently angry moods. I do not know at times how to continue living. I feel as if I simply do not possess the tools to carry on with life. By the same token I have a 21 year old herion addict son who has told me that if I start smoking again he would feel free to start using heroin again (he has been clean for 3 months). My husband also constantly tells me that if I should start smoking again I would be a bad example to my son.

Please help me. I feel as if I cannot go on anymore. I feel as if the cigarettes helped my anxiety and depression.

Thank you!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Margie,
Sounds like it would be a really good idea for you to se a good local shrink to assess this new situation, and advise on the best way to manage it. Smoking cessation is always for the greater good of one's health, but as one breaks out of the addiction, irritability and mood swings are typical effects. The cigarettes didn't specifically help your anxiety and depression, but the period of withdrawal from nicotine adiction is aggravating them. It might be worth considering the use of Zyban, also an antidepressant, but now used predominantly to reduce the problems of withdrawal in smoking cessation.
Buzz's advice, based on direct personal experience, seems sound, too.
And yes, continue to set a good example for your son, who also faces the challenge, not of stopping, but of staying stopped

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Deubel | 2005/07/18

Margie, just bear in mind that for your son it must be about 10 times worse to quit heroine than for you to quit smoking.

Be strong and set an example to him. In the end it would be the best for both of you. Buzz has given good advice.

Reply to Deubel
Posted by: Buzz | 2005/07/18

Margie, what you're feeling is exactly how I felt when I quit. But you have stopped for so many days now, please do not give up. It really isn't about the addiction any more, it's more a psychological "crutch" that you're missing. Don't believe that nicotine makes you feel calmer, in fact, it has the opposite effect. I used Zyban when I quit (the 100th time), and it worked. Apparently Zyban is an anti-depressant which they discovered helped smokers quit (no withdrawal, craving etc).

You need to find healthy ways in replacing your smoking habit. You have already started taking care of your body by quitting, now join the gym or go for a brisk walk every day, find some form of exercise you enjoy, take vitamins and lots of vitamin C (your body is depleted from all the smoking). Use the money that you would have spent on ciggies, to spoil yourself with a good night cream or moisturizer, see the effects on your skin, body and energy levels. Go to the oral hygienist and have the stains removed from your teeth. And don't concentrate so much on what you're "missing" by not smoking, concentrate on the scientifically proven facts and positive things you're doing for yourself, i.e. more oxygen going to your lungs, less chance of cancer / emphyzema (within 15 years you would have the same chance of developing emphyzema as a non-smoker), glowing complexion, much more energy, chances of living 10 years longer, you'll smell fresh all the time, and many many more.

Please don't start smoking again Margie, the moment you light up that "much needed" cigarette, you will feel so disappointed in yourself, but you'll also realise it truly wasn't what you made it out to be, and that it's disgusting. Good luck, I hope you succeed!!!

Reply to Buzz

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