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Bad anxiety/depression briefly after smoking cigarettes
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Bad anxiety/depression briefly after smoking cigarettes

I am in my mid 20's, and have been struggling to quit smoking for a little over a year now. It seems like I will quit successfully for one or two months, and then end up relapsing. When I do smoke, it is very lightly, as in one or two cigarettes a day, unless I go out drinking for a night, at which time I smoke more heavily.

Lately, immediately during, and after smoking a cigarette, I begin to suffer from pretty severe depression and anxiety for a period of about 25 minutes. It will start approximately half way through the cigarette. Generally, I will start feeling like a failure, because of how long I have been trying to quit, but obviously haven't. Then, a couple of minutes later, I will get racing, and disturbing thoughts and the depression worsens.

The strange thing is that it seems to be getting worse every time I smoke. This last time scared me so bad, it is what prompted me to find this forum and post this question.

I am certain this is brought forth by nicotine, and not just me being disappointed in myself for failing to quit (although that does play a part), because of the immediate nature, and time frame which it lasts after smoking. I briefly searched google, and only found information on anxiety and depression after quitting for a period of time, and not directly after smoking.

I am interested to hear if anyone has had experiences like this, or if anyone at least has any insight into the situation. Thank you.
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23 Comments Post a Comment
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757137_tn?1347200053
Obviously it is not the cigarettes causing your problem, but your reaction to having to smoke. If quitting makes you ill, it would seem that a couple of cigarettes a day would not do much harm. I know that the all-or-nothing advocates a gearing up right now to attack me. But, be reasonable. If all it takes to make you happy is two cigarettes a day, then smoke two cigarettes a day. Your anxiety is much more harmful than such mild habit.
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1972289_tn?1325881410
I do think nicotine impacts emotions and has been associated with depression.  I'm not sure if the depression you describe could be brought on that quickly by nicotine or if other factors are in play.  Do you think you could deal with some aspect of minor depression all the time but smoking makes it stronger?
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757137_tn?1347200053
I have never in my life heard of tobacco causing depression. Tobacco has its faults, but it is not responsible for every physical and mental ailment that exists. In the Puritan tradition, Americans go overboard on just about anything.
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Avatar_m_tn
Man I was like this , when I quieted. Whenever I was lighting one ciggarete I was feeling guilt and anxiety for not be able to quit it.. The solution that worked for me is that whenever I wanted to smoke , I was taking one ciggarete  which I never lighted-up and I was acting like smoking. I think by that trick I was able to stop the psychologic addiction that smoke produces cause in my opinion this is the major source of the anxiety and not that much nicotine which as you told you have manage to significally reduce!!!  You might feel depressed but believe me it is very rare to get chronic and serious depression cause of nicotine..After some weeks  without ciggarete you will feel reborned!!!
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1937645_tn?1324239661
I've never heard of cigarettes causing depression or anxiety. My advice would be to seek professional help for those symptoms.
Don't give up!
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285927_tn?1380802356
Are u confusing depression with anxiety possibly? If you are already depressed and you quit when its not something you are ready for I think it could cause depression symptoms that way, but definately anxiety is a factor and no one ever told me that either so who am I to say, but personally I would suggest you see someone regarding the depression and if you think smoking is causing it, you need to stop smoking. I think I started smoking cause I was depresssed tho, which made me think I felt better after smoking. I think it was all in my mind...
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Avatar_f_tn
I do believe that it can cause feelings of depression while and immediately after having a cigarette. Everyone reacts differently to different drugs, and everything within a cigarette will affect you in some way.

I experience the same thing when having a cigarette, and it's not about feeling bad about having the actual cigarette. That definitely goes through my mind, but half an hour to an hour after the cigarette I no longer feel as sad or bad.

I want to quit too, and I will, but for now I think I will make sure to have my cigarettes when I don't need to interact with someone or do important things after.

This is something that I have felt for quite some time after having a cigarette. I have also quit for years at a time. So, all in all I've had the same depressive type of effect from cigarettes for the past 7 yrs or so (on and off while I've been a smoker). It's possible that i've even felt it since I began smoking, but wasn't aware that it was the cigarettes.

To the girl posting that wants to be adimate about the fact that there's no possible way you could feel depressed right after a cigarette. Just because you haven't heard of it or felt it, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It happens to me and obviously it happens to the poster of this question. He asked because its a concern of his.

I hope this response helps in some way. It's definitely a serious motivator to quit smoking. If you feel sad or anxious or worse after you have one, makes it seem that much dumber to do it. I know that's my main motivator to quit again.

Good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, nicotine makes me too feel depressed, ****** up, sticky, etc. Ive smoked for over two years irregularly, ive not ever succeed to get addiction. Started at age of sixteen. First times I noticed access with smoking and that ****** up feeling was in the last spring, and now ive smoked very seldom for month or two because it does not just inspire me too feel so depressed for about hour after every cigarette. And ive heard that other peoples also are suffering after nicotine dose, but only in internet ive heard about that.

Dunno had I same kind of feeling bad when starting smoking, I do not believe so. Well, the euphoria was the reason to start smoking in me, so I dont really believe so.

I am interested about the reasons of this experience. Nicotine effects so many ways and it sets free so many neurotransmitters, that we can just guess.

Sry 4 bad english.
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Avatar_m_tn
What I hate about forums is that just because other people don't feel or have experienced what you have , then it can't be true.

Istarted feeling periods of depression many years ago , so I would grab a smoke more often. Then it seemed every time I was having a cigarette I felt worse ,  then of course with in an hour I felt better , so I would feel good , and have a cigarette. I didn't put 2 and 2 together till lately. Also around that time caffeine would make me feel anxious so I quit it. I was diagnosed with mild depression and have been now on paxil for several years , and it
helped and I went back to drinking lots of coffee if I wanted to. I have decided I don't like the side effects of paxil. Like mental confusion, exciteable conversation etc. So I have finally decided that it is the cigarettes that are making me feel depressed. (probably been creeping up on me for decades) So I must quit , then the tortureous task of getting off paxil , and we will see if I can get back to a "normal" I may not have known since I was 18 (am now 46). Hopefully things like sex drive and erection difficulties will improve also.( I am a male lol)I will let you know how it turns out. May take awhile.
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Avatar_m_tn
this just started happening to me. it is so bad. i don't know if i should call it depression, but it's a serious negative feeling right after smoking. it usually only happens when i am alone. I've been smoking for a couple of years, and been trying to quite on and off. i recently told someone that i care deeply for that i quite in hopes of motivating me to not relapse, but i failed to keep my promise. that could be the cause of my serious negative feeling after smoking. it bothers me heavily, so i know what you are going through. the only thing i can think of to stop this happening, is to quite smoking. i'm hoping that the drive to stop these feelings of anxiety and negative emotion will help me quite for good. this comment has enlightened me a bit as i wrote it haha. i think i might have found the initial correlation, and a way to stop it.
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Avatar_m_tn
this just started happening to me. it is so bad. i don't know if i should call it depression, but it's a serious negative feeling right after smoking. it usually only happens when i am alone. I've been smoking for a couple of years, and been trying to quite on and off. i recently told someone that i care deeply for that i quite in hopes of motivating me to not relapse, but i failed to keep my promise. that could be the cause of my serious negative feeling after smoking. it bothers me heavily, so i know what you are going through. the only thing i can think of to stop this happening, is to quite smoking. i'm hoping that the drive to stop these feelings of anxiety and negative emotion will help me quite for good. this comment has enlightened me a bit as i wrote it haha. i think i might have found the initial correlation, and a way to stop it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes I've noticed it too.  I'm so glad I'm not the only one!  I only smoke one or two a day after a long break of not smoking.  Maybe it's because it's only occasional and your body is reacting extremely to it, which it wouldn't notice if it was 20 a day.  It is definitely a chemical reaction in my opinion, not guilt or anything like that - it's a very physical feeling.  It was so awful I did not know what to do, searched it and found this thread and now feel better.  

The answer is your body is saying it doesn't like it.  But also if you're gradually giving up and get this horrible feeling when you smoke, it does seem it fades pretty quickly with a hot sweet tea.  

I suppose it might make you give up faster - it's not very nice is it?  
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Avatar_n_tn
I smoked more that 1 pack of cigarettes per day. Last year I  had  strong anxiety and depression. I quieted smoke, coffee & redbull. Did a lot of activities ( sports). Anyway, I got better, I was perfectly fine.  I me
But, I did back to old habit: smoke. I did for 5-6 months. I started have depression, and I pay attention that in the morning I'm ok, after 1 st cigarette I feel anxiety, and started worried , and after I couldn't stop smoke to the last cigarette, finished and went to buy another. Yes, for some people cigarettes influence: increase depression & anxiety. I did some researches: and I found out that is really true. I stopped today smoke, hopefully I will be back to normal life.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I get exactly the same thing, it's definitely a reaction to the physical effects of the cigarette and not a psychological issue, such as shame at not being able to quit.
I think it could be that, like myself and millions of others, you already suffer from low-level depression or anxiety and the ill effect on your breathing and cutting off of oxygen to the brain triggers a more extreme bout of said depression/anxiety. Not a Doctor, just a theory.
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Avatar_m_tn
professional help is what you are looiking for in my opinion!
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Avatar_m_tn
Do people understand his/hers comment????... Why cannot people understand basic things??? its not smoking in general....yes its bad...we all know that...quit now...blah blah blah.......big news...what he/she is asking about is.......smoking the THE FIRST ONE OF THE DAY!!! Not of their life.....

Yes dude...I know how you feel....first one of the day is the very worst of all...crushing anxiety...for me about 5 minutes....then settles down a bit after....I try and drink alcohol first so the wave of anxiety not hit so hard.....After the first one....seems to be OK with less/no anxiety...Ive often wondered about this horrendous feeling myself....from here in the UK...

I know the feeling....trust me....
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah I agree with this as well.  When I go from waking up in the morning to going directly out to garage to smoke, I get superbad anxiety/depression that is very short lived.  It usually leads to me having unnecessary negative thoughts about the day that is to come.  If I hold off smoking for an hour or until I leave for work - I am better able to manage my morning without those feelings.  For me - I believe it is directly related to the thoughts of failure that I have just entered yet another day of being a smoker.  I often have anxiety related to thinking I am sick, have cancer, or am killing myself from smoking.  I really think smoking (at least 1 pack a day) has a huge amount to due with the amount of anxiety I have.  Hopefully writing this out will help me inform MYSELF of what I need to do to gain a peaceful mind.    
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6754484_tn?1389148134
Well I've researched this extensively and there are some researchers out there who think that nicotine can cause anxiety. There are reports of people who quit smoking experiencing less anxiety, while those who quit and then start up again experience more severe anxiety than before. I didn't save these pages so you'd have to do some digging yourself to find it, but the info is out there if you know what to look for (try googling "does smoking cause anxiety" or "smoking and mental health", I'm pretty sure that's what I looked for). Despite the research, however, there is no cut-and-dry answer; it's possible that smoking only seems to cause anxiety in some people because they're anxious over the cost / social stigma / their health and other factors at risk due to lighting up. Another problem is that a lot of people smoke to "treat" anxiety, so naturally there are more anxious people among the smoking population. Nevertheless smoking is a stimulant and it is possible. If you're curious about it, I'd say you should track yourself with an anxiety tracker on here for a week or two, then quit smoking for a week or two and track yourself while you're doing that. That'll give you a good idea of whether your perception is correct that you're more anxious when you smoke.
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6754484_tn?1389148134
There's actually a lot of research that indicates that smoking might cause anxiety. It is a stimulant after all. You're right to suppose your smoking and anxiety are related.
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6754484_tn?1389148134
You're right malushka, I've done research on this too.
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6754484_tn?1389148134
Nono, I was smoking 2 packs a day and I noticed this effect too. I don't think it's about the amount, I think that some people just react differently to different substances, and some people happen to be anxious when they smoke (regardless of amount).
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same issue too, smoking makes me really sad and I just want to lock myself up in my room. Its a bad addictive drug darnt it, I wish I never would have had picked it up.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same issue too, smoking makes me really sad and I just want to lock myself up in my room. Its a bad addictive drug darnt it, I wish I never would have had picked it up.
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