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  1. Here is an article I found googling around dealing with the Quitting Smoking Blues. This is from the Very Well Mind website Depression Related to Quitting Smoking How to Deal With the Temporary Mood Changes By Terry Martin | Reviewed by Sanja Jelic, MD Updated August 29, 2018 Quitting smoking is difficult enough when you're feeling happy. Unfortunately, it can become further challenging due to depression—a common complaint early on in smoking cessation. Knowing what you may experience as you work to become smoke-free can better prepare you for the journey ahead. If you start to feel depressed after quitting tobacco and your low mood doesn't pass after a few weeks or gets worse, be sure to check in with your doctor for advice. Physical and Psychological Changes Nicotine withdrawal is the primary reason for the temporary depression you may experience after quitting smoking. When you use nicotine on a regular basis, your body and brain become dependent on it, as the nicotine bonds with your brain receptors to trigger the release of dopamine, the "feel-good" hormone. Once you stop smoking and are producing less dopamine than your body and mind have become accustomed to, it is normal to react with low moods and depressed feelings. Lack of nicotine also means losing the "companion" that you thought helped you manage everything from anger to fatigue, which leaves most new ex-smokers feeling empty and adrift for a time. Luckily, for most, the condition is a byproduct of smoking cessation and is temporary. Some common symptoms of depression that you may experience when you stop smoking include: Sleeplessness Sadness Difficulty concentrating Anxiety or an "empty" feeling Fatigue Changes in appetite (eating more or less) Loss of interest in hobbies and activities Emotional irritability You may experience one, some, or all of these at one point or another, and to varying degrees. Coping Techniques Quitting tobacco is a big change in lifestyle, and you should expect to react, to some degree, both emotionally and physically. You are also at an increased risk of suffering a smoking relapse during periods of depression caused by smoking cessation. It is hard to stay focused and maintain the resolve to not smoke when you're feeling low. After years of smoking, it is possible that you began to bury your feelings behind a cloud of smoke. Cigarettes are used to deal with everything from anger to sadness to joy, causing smokers to often lean on tobacco to avoid difficult emotions. It is healthy and productive to let those feelings out, even if you feel a little raw from the experience. For depression that comes with smoking cessation, try some of the following ideas to improve your mood: Get out of a quick walk. Fresh air is always invigorating, and exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which are known to improve mood. Set goals, but don't bite off more than you can chew. Divide tasks related to your goals into small chunks that you feel good about accomplishing. Spend time with people who make you feel good. When negative/sad thoughts come up about smoking, remind yourself that you miss smoking mostly because it was an addiction, and once you're healed, you won't feel this way. Create a list of things you can do at a moment's notice when you're feeling the urge to smoke, like do a crossword puzzle or call a supportive friend. Jolting ourselves out of a negative thought pattern is often as simple as changing what we're doing. Join a support group. Meeting people who are going through the same struggle as you can help you know you're not alone and offer some much-needed support. The American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking program has groups all over the country, or do some research to find other support programs in your local area. While quitting smoking, the body and mind are in a state of transition, and it's not uncommon for new ex-smokers to struggle with their emotions. Don't worry if you are close to tears one moment and angry or sad the next. The balance will return in time. Change Your Mind, Change Your Life One of the greatest challenges new ex-smokers face is an important change in perspective. It is that shift in thinking from seeing smoking cessation as an exercise in deprivation to realizing that it is, in fact, one of the best gifts you'll ever give yourself. This is a crucial step in the process of healing from nicotine addiction, and it is with this transformation that many see their quit-related symptoms of depression begin to lift. Pre-Existing Depression If you have been diagnosed and/or treated for depression prior to quitting smoking, it is important to let your doctor know ahead of time that you're planning to quit. Smoking cessation could make you susceptible to additional mood disturbances. Smoking also causes some medications to be metabolized more quickly, so when you quit, prescriptions you're already taking might need to be adjusted. Your doctor can monitor and correct dosages on any medications you might be on, if necessary. Always be on alert for drastic mood changes and contact your doctor as soon as possible if anything out of the ordinary occurs. If you're having thoughts of self-harm, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineat 800-273-8255. A Word From Verywell If the blues have come on since you quit smoking, remember that this is not uncommon. As you are patient through this likely temporary phase, find comfort from your friends, family, and keeping busy with healthier, more productive activities. With time and dedication, these will become the more familiar sources of good feelings, and smoking will become that thing that you thought used to bring you benefit. You can also take comfort in knowing that millions of people have been through this process successfully before you, and many include it among the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Happier days are ahead, and with them will come a tremendous sense of pride and empowerment from overcoming this addiction. Article Sources: National Institutes of Mental Health. Depression. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recognize Signs of Depression. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/guide/depression-and-smoking.html
  2. Everyone gets depressed sometime...…. I seem to be depressed all of the time, but I have this most wonderful mask that I made that hides it from everyone - we all have one - the one that we call our 'everyday face'. My everyday face normally has a wide smile on it, one with crooked yellowing teeth that is just a silly grin, but it hided the real me that I almost never show to anyone. Those closest to me are the only ones that see my real face more often than not, but even then, I have another mask that I try to keep in place to stop them from sharing as much of my pain as I can, because I love them deeply. I'm here today because it's Christmas and just 3 years and 3 days since my mother died. I had gone sick from work to live with her during her last 3 months of life. She had dystonia from when she was 52 years old, which caused the muscles in her neck and one side of her back to pull her over until she was walking with her head down by her knees. She needed elbow crutches to walk and a wheelchair if she needed to walk more than about 20 yards, but she remained a very strong woman until her death. Those three months were the worst part of my life, but I kept one or other of my masks in place throughout it until the very end, when I could not hold them stable any more. And after she finally died I just collapsed and kept myself numb for months...…. oh god, this is so very, very hard, but so very necessary for me to face up to right now. Need to stop for a while.
  3. Quitting is a learning process rather than a single act. The majority of our participants agree that the process can be difficult, especially during the first few weeks. You have to get through a physical and mental recovery when you decide to quit smoking. The physical recovery is the most difficult during the first two to four weeks due to experiencing the “symptoms of recovery.” The mental recovery, however, may take several months or longer as you learn to reorganize your lifestyle without smoking. This may be even more difficult to handle than the physical recovery; however, this program is designed to help you with the physical and mental recovery process so you’re in the right place! The psychological recovery process is very similar to the grief cycle, how someone feels when a loved one dies. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross did research on death and dying. She found that anytime we experience a major change in life, we grieve for the old in order to make room for the new. She also found that there are usually five stages to a person’s grieving process. Think about how these stages of grieving relates to quitting for you: Denial & Isolation Denial and isolation are the mind’s first way of protecting us from a sudden change or loss. People who lose a friend or family member say they feel numb. This is called a psychological defense mechanism. What this means is that although you know the importance of quitting, you may not want to believe it. The denial phase probably happened before you even found this program. Have you ever said any of these statements? I know I should quit, but I’m not sure I want to. Cigarettes don’t affect my health like they do others. I’m not huffing and puffing. I can quit anytime I want to. I’m not addicted. I’ll switch to a low-tar cigarette. Cigarettes haven’t been proven harmful. My parents both smoked and they’re fine. These are denial statements. What are some other denial statements that perhaps you have used in the past? Anger When we begin to accept a loss, we often feel anger. If you perceived comfort from smoking you are likely to feel angry about the change. You may be angry about the loss of your “friend.” You might be angry about many things, or everything. Some typical feelings or statements made during this phase include: Why me? I’m mad I started, I’m mad I quit. I’m mad cigarettes are harmful. I’m mad it’s so hard. I’m mad that things aren’t going my way. You might be angry with me, your Facilitator, and other participants on the Message Boards. You might find yourself reacting angrily to things that normally wouldn’t bother you. Your anger may be directed toward family members, friends, nonsmokers or coworkers. In fact, a lot of people avoid quitting because they feel so irritable during the recovery process. Remember that anger is part of the process. Don’t try to resist it. Accept it, safely vent it, and take some time to feel it. You may feel angry and testy. You don’t have to have a reason to feel that way, you just do. It will subside. Sometimes naming the feeling lowers the intensity of your anger. Bargaining This is the stage where participants feel tempted to postpone the inevitable. You might try to switch brands, smoke only at home or only at work. You might also try to make deals and empty promises. This is a risky phase because a lot of people slip or relapse at this point, so be careful! Some typical comments made during the bargaining phase are: I think I have the worst licked. If I just have one cigarette, I’ll get right back on track afterward and I won’t do it again. I’ll just smoke on vacation. I’ll just light your cigarette. I’ll quit as long as my weight stays down. I’ll try, but I’m not making any promises. Do these statements sound familiar? Everyone is tempted to bargain. Realizing that it is a natural part of the process of quitting sometimes helps to move past it. Laugh it off and have a heart-to-heart talk with your inner self. Make a strong commitment to be in control of the cigarette. If you give in to bargaining, the cigarette is once again in control. Say out loud, “Nothing or no one controls me.” Put that statement on a sticky note and put it in a place where you’ll be reminded to think about it and repeat it often. Depression When participants acknowledge and accept the loss of their “friend,” the cigarette, it’s natural to experience some sadness. This is especially true when no one else seems to know or understand this loss. People often experience this in one of two ways. They either feel a deep sense of sadness or a deep sense of deprivation. Some typical comments during the depression stage are: I feel so emotional. I cry all the time. I feel so deprived. Why can’t I have this one little pleasure? Life without cigarettes is awful. I feel lonely. This is the “ain’t it awful” stage. You may feel like you’ve lost your best friend. Don’t resist this stage or think it’s crazy to mourn the loss of a cigarette. Be as direct with this stage as we suggest with the anger stage. Accept it. Talk about it. Take some time to just feel sad. Then move on and focus on the benefits of what you’re doing. Acceptance A healthy person who has suffered a loss eventually accepts its reality and goes on living life. In this stage, you begin to realize that your former smoking lifestyle is over. You are finally resolving your sense of loss or grief. You can get on with living your new found, healthier lifestyle. A new and better life begins. Some typical comments during the acceptance phase are: I think I’m going to actually be successful. I still don’t like it a lot but I think it will stick. I’d still like to smoke but I choose not to. I am going to teach myself to like my new nonsmoking lifestyle. I’ll do it gradually and positively. I am living a smokefree life. I am an ex-smoker! The key to moving through the psychological recovery is your attitude toward quitting. Continue to look at these symptoms as part of the process. Move through them with a sense of challenge, expectation and excitement over what lies ahead for you. You will make discoveries about yourself. Reject the feeling that you have given something up. It’s quite the opposite. You gained something: your freedom and self-mastery. This is not an exercise in self-denial, but self-determination. You are giving a precious gift to yourself and to those around you. ~The American Lung Association
  4. SueBeDoo said something that struck a chord with me: I stupidly feared I would never be happy or enjoy anything again, wouldn't enjoy going on holidays, wouldn't enjoy a night out, meal out, a cup of tea, thought I was going to be miserable forever if I became a non smoker, even at the start of my quit when I'd wake in the morning I would be thinking, what is the point in getting up if I can't smoke, life will suck bla bla bla This is so exactly how I feel. She says it gets better. Can S or others tell me how long it took to feel better? I was okay while taking the NRT lozenge, but once I went off that, it seems that each day is getting worse. Sorry to be whiny, but the depression is really bad. Apparently, it is more a female thing, as my H says he didn't have it at all. If I have a time estimate, I feel I can hang in there.... K
  5. Posted 19 September 2013 - 02:04 PM So, I took an intended leave of absence from the board. Aside from the fact that this board may have been a lifesaver for me - I've missed reading and posting. It's been 3.5 months now, each day is a victory to me. I'm going to be honest here. The past month has been difficult. The urge to smoke has been unbelievably intense. Coupled with some depression due to weight gain, it's definitely been a struggle. I've gained 30 lbs. I know I am better off as a non-smoker - this and pride that I have made it thus far is what keeps me going. I have a nasty sinus infection which complicates things. I remind myself I quit during a sinus infection and I can remain quit through one. Sorry for the ramble.

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