Smoking And Its Impact On Mental Health

Nicotine can affect the mood greatly. Smoking and its impact on mental health are well known and quitting is known to improve a person’s mood and general quality of life. Check out the list of quit smoking today aids!

When people stop smoking it can stop and reduce depression, anxiety and also lower stress levels. It can greatly have a positive benefit on mental health.

Most smokers are aware of the physical health risks of smoking but totally unaware of the mental effects of smoking.


Smoking is addictive

Did you know when a person smokes nicotine hits the brain within a matter of seconds. Nicotine also:

  • Improves mood and concentration
  • Decreases anger and stress
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Reduces appetite

Regular smoking leads to nicotine addiction which leads to changes in the brain. This is what causes nicotine withdrawal when you try and stop smoking. Smoking reduces these symptoms and this is how the addiction continues.


Smoking stress and anxiety

Studies show nicotine initially has a relaxing effect. but these only cover the underlying issue of the real cause and do not deal with it directly.

Studies also suggest that nicotine causes anxiety. Initially, nicotine gives the impression of relaxing but this is only temporary and soon the feelings of withdrawal and cravings are back.


Smoking and depression

Smoking and its impact on mental health

Smokers are twice as likely to have depression compared to nonsmokers. People with depression are likely to find it harder to give up smoking and are likely to have more severe withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine release a chemical called dopamine in the brain. People that have depression are often found to have low levels of dopamine, using cigarettes temporarily increases levels of dopamine.

Smoking causes the brain to switch off its own means of creating dopamine, which leads to more and more smoking.

Most people have already started to smoke before signs of depression show up. This makes it harder to determine if smoking leads to depression or if people with depression are more encouraged to smoke.


Smoking and its impact on mental health

People with mental health problems such as depression and schizophrenia are much more likely to be heavier smokers. Smoking can actually cause the need for higher dosages of antidepressants.

The main reason being smoking directly interferes with the medicine and how it works. For this reason, stopping smoking should be a major priority.

People with mental health problems are likely to feel much calmer and relaxed, and more positive, some evidence actually shows that stopping smoking can actually be the same as taking antidepressants.


Why it feels like smoking helps us relax

Its fact smoking causes interference with chemicals in the brain. When you have not had one for a while you start feeling irritable and anxious.

Those feelings go away after having a cigarette and lead to an improvement in mood. The smoker associates this improvement in mood with the cigarettes.

The problem is its the cigarettes that are causing the issue in the first place. This the reason that cutting them out over the long term improves mood and reduced anxiety.


Other ways to cope with stress

Because smoking is used as a coping mechanism to deal with stress smokers need to look for alternative ways to deal with it. Methods include breathing, exercise and eating a well-balanced diet.

Hypnosis techniques can be very helpful and relaxing too.


Additional reading

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

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