Smoking, Depression And Anxiety


If you’ve ever tried to quit you’ve been told you that the first week is the hardest and that once you make it through that the rest is a piece of cake. — Adi Jaffe Ph.D.

A study revealed that smoking, depression, and anxiety are all correlated. If a person is depressed or anxious, there is a big possibility and a tendency that he smokes as well. Or if a person is smoking, there is a considerable chance that the person is also suffering from depression or anxiety.

For quite some time, researchers have been studying the link between smoking with depression and anxiety. And up until now, there is no clear linkage between the two. But over the years theories were drawn with regards to this.

  • If you are depressed or anxious, there is a big chance you will engage in smoking. Smoking is found to be mood uplifters for many, which is why when people feel stressed or lonely, they smoke. They do this in an attempt to relax and to elevate their mood. Depressed people want to be left alone, either to soak on their depression or to think. And because no one is there to help sort out their thoughts, they resort to smoking.
  • The Smoking-Depression-Anxiety-Smoking Cycle. In contrast to the claim above, there is also a theory that says that smoking will make people more depressed and when they do, they turn to smoke even more. It is emphasized in this theory that smoking is the root of depression and at the end game, it is the factor people turn to when they are feeling so down. And with this, it turns into a cycle and goes on and on.
  • Genetics. There is also a claim that has to do with a person’s genetic lineage. This states that smoking and depression is in the blood. If the family of a person is into smoking, chances are he would engage to it too. And if the majority of the members of the family of that person is depressed, chances are he will also acquire the same mental condition as well. Moreover, if the two mental health conditions are dominantly present in the family, then there is a big chance that the person will have both issues too.

Depression and Second Hand Smoking

It’s been a universal fact that second-hand smoking is twice as bad as first-hand smoking. Second-hand smokers are not smokers. But since they are surrounded by people who smoke, they get to inhale the smoke that can trigger respiratory diseases. They don’t smoke, but they get to breathe in the smoke being puffed by the first-hand smoker. And this makes the condition a lot worse.

And because indirectly the second-hand smoker is already smoking, effects of the said vice is also experienced by the person. The impact of the second-hand smoker is twice as worse than the first-hand smoker. With this, changes in the body occur – physically and then psychologically, and that is when depression comes in.

Neuroscientists explain that people continue to smoke because they are too addicted to halt.  This is why TV ads promote various pharmaceuticals to enable the truly addicted to quit. — Stanton Peele Ph.D.


The Impact on You

If a person is depressed and he is surrounded by people who smoke, then, the tendency is the depression that a person is suffering from will only get worse. And in the part of the first-hand smoker who is probably depressed himself, should know the effect of his smoking to other people. And with that, the reason is all there for the person to get away from the said vice and pull himself together. This is for his sake and others as well.

But then again, turning back on smoking is very hard. This is especially true for those who have been smoking for years. And for people who smoke and have depression as well, the quitting is a lot harder since people cling on to something they believe in helping them out when they are depressed. Because of this thinking that the cigarette can at least ease off the burden, they are carrying, getting away from smoking becomes almost impossible. But for those who are willing to quit smoking, consult a physician on how to properly do it so that consequences of improper smoke quitting would be avoided. And the process would go smooth as well.

…most people who are successful in quitting smoking, have tried multiple times before quitting for good. — Amy Copeland, Ph.D.

For those who have tried quitting, it was said that the first week was hard. People become irritable, short-tempered and even become unreasonable. This is because depressed smokers are experiencing nicotine withdrawal. But this will not be the case forever. Getting over smoking has its phases. Thus, people should be ready for it. It may be hard at first, but eventually, it will be realized that everything is worth it. As soon as the smoker gets rid all the nicotine inside his system, he would feel a lot better physically and then eventually he would have that inner peace. And in time, depression would also be conquered. The feeling of overcoming it is indeed monumental.

However, if the person feels worse or gets extremely depressed during the process, it is best to get a doctor’s advice.