There are many reasons a person gets depressed and there are also biological conditions that affect depression as well. However, in the scope of quitting smoking it is important to know the risk of depression after quitting smoking.
For years, as a smoker, you have used nicotine as a means to control your mood. “Nicotine acts both as a stimulant and a depressant, depending upon your mood and the time of day. It controls your mood by regulating the level of activity of key parts of the brain and central nervous system that manage your sense of well-being.” (Source: National Cancer Institute)
If you have a history of depression you may find that after you quit smoking you go through a depressive episode but don’t use this as an excuse to smoke. Use the tools you have or consult with a doctor to get help. Breaking down and smoking could only make things worse as guilt sets it for breaking your commitment to quit.
According to the National Cancer Institute people with no history of depression rarely have a major episode after quitting smoking. However, if mild depression does occur it does so in the first few days and lasts a few weeks.
Coping with Depression after Quitting Smoking
Here are some tips on coping with depression after quitting smoking. They are also good for everyday life to keep positive and remain smoke free.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Add up how much money you will (are) saving from not smoking.
- Increase your physical activity.
- Think of how good you will feel and how much better your health will be by not smoking.
- Make a list of short-term and long-term goals.
- Plan a fun activity this coming weekend.
- Focus on your strengths.
- Think about the positive things in your life.
- Call a friend or family member; go out to lunch or a cup of coffee.
- Go for a walk in the sun – get outside!
There are many ways to deal with depression after quitting smoking, if your depression lasts longer than a month you should probably see you doctor. There are also programs available to help you fight depression. Whatever you do don’t give up on yourself and start smoking.