Smoking And Its Detrimental Effects On Mental Health (Part 2)


It was discussed in the first part of this blog that smoking could affect not just the physical fitness of a person. The mental and psychological health is also affected and in a massive way. Stress can be useful to motivate someone to be productive, but if in excess, it can cause other mental health issues like anxiety. Smoking can bring about this problem, with stress and also anxiety.

Now, we move on to other mental health effects due to smoking.

When people face a life problem, which usually is about the work or the love aspects of their lives, they typically first feel anxious.  Looking ahead they feel uncertain about what if anything they can do about the problem. — Susan Heitler Ph.D.

Smoking And Depression

There is a newfound correlation between smoking and depression. Studies have found that smoking rates among adults are twice as high when diagnosed with depression. Withdrawal symptoms are more severe and prevalent in people suffering from depression, and they have a harder time dropping the habit. This mood-altering effect of nicotine has to do with how it stimulates the dopamine centers of the brain.

Dopamine, otherwise known as the happy hormone, is responsible for a person’s feeling of euphoria or happiness. Nicotine triggers its release in the brain to cause a change of mood amongst depressed individuals. There are scientific evidence and study that cigarettes are utilized as a quick dopamine fix to stave off depression. However, smoking also deactivates the brain’s facility to create its own dopamine. The result of this is that a prolonged smoking habit causes a person to be reliant exclusively on smoking to suppress their depression.

Smoking And Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia are three times more likely to smoke than usual and are also inclined to smoke in more significant amounts. The reason being that nicotine helps to suppress their schizophrenic symptoms or side effects of medication. Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that can cause harm to the person who has it, and to those around the one suffering from the disease. A person with schizophrenia who also happens to be smoking, in the long run, can make it worse as the withdrawal indicators can compound with schizophrenia’s symptoms, adding complexity to a treatment.

It is well-known that smoking is much more common among people with mental illness, especially depression and schizophrenia. However, most studies that have looked at this association have not been able to determine if this is a cause-and-effect relationship. — Rick Nauert PhD


Dropping The Habit

The best method for stopping smoking is to start early, have a plan, and be resolute in it. Cold Turkey or completely cutting off smoking abruptly has the tendency to cause an even graver relapse since longtime smokers may not be prepared for severe withdrawal effects. Being made is still the best indicator of success, and here are some guidelines that can help.

Find Alternative Ways To Relieve The Stress

Smoking habits are reinforced due to the temporary high it provides when stress. Seek other ways to relieve stress like meditation, exercise, a hobby, and having a balanced diet.

Find A Support System

Family and friends can provide support in dropping the habit. A concerted effort can be to quit smoking with similar family members or friends and keep each other in check.

The data on quitting rates suggest that smokers are not doing themselves any good by signing up. In the case of programs that use nicotine replacement devices, they may be doing themselves harm. — Nigel Barber Ph.D.

Be Informed Of Withdrawal Symptoms And How To Go About It

Educate yourself on what withdrawal symptoms will be like and how severe. It would help to have a store of fresh fruits, clean water, and high fiber food to stave off symptoms.


Finally, if cutting the habit proves too difficult, seek out medical attention. There are therapies and nicotine replacement practices that can help ween off the addiction. Further advice can be provided by your respective doctors and can point you to services better equipped to cope with withdrawal.