Hi and Welcome to Healthcare Magic,
Hope you are doing well and managing to remain off cigarettes. Now, it is not an uncommon thing for some persons to go through feelings of depression
or anxiety transiently after quitting. This could be a part of the withdrawal symptoms
, which occur because Nicotine
(the active chemical constituent in cigarettes) is a brain stimulant. In other words, like how your body can get used to the chemical substance, the mind can also get used to it, resulting in psychological symptoms when the substance is suddenly withdrawn. Usually, these symptoms tend to subside with time. However, sometimes they can either be prolonged or more severe, which result in distress and sometimes disruption of your day-to-day activities.
In your case, you seem to be getting these depressive symptoms prominently and repeatedly. In addition to the distress and suffering you undergo because of these symptoms, they can sometimes have a negative impact on your motivation to quit.
Here are a few suggestions to deal with your symptoms:
1) Nicotine replacement treatments - which is the use of smaller quantities of nicotine in forms which do not cause much harm; e.g. Nicotine chewing gum or patches. These basically ensure that your body does not suddenly 'withdraw' from the substance and hence the related withdrawal symptoms can be minimized.
2) Treatments for the depressive symptoms: Sometimes an anti-depressant or an anti-anxiety medication
can help (you can take these for a short period of time till you come out of the stressful period), but if you don’t want to take medication certain psychological therapies may work for you. E.g. Relaxation techniques
, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (which is a special kind of ‘talking’ therapy aimed at reducing your negative thoughts, which has been proven to be as effective as anti-depressants in mild to moderate depression)
3) It is also important to stay positive, continue to be motivated, try to engage yourself in activities that relax you and talk to people about your problems – be it a close friend, a family member or a professional.
If you find that your depressive symptoms are very distressing, do not hesitate to meet and discuss this with a psychiatrist
All the best.
- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar