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Smoking (not withdrawal) makes me depressed, am i alone?

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Lisa143:
Hi,

I've had a strange relationship with cigarette for about a year. I basically don't know why i smoke: i don't like the taste, it seriously impends my singing abilities and it makes me sick as hell, nauseous, lightheaded, i have to wait a few minutes after a cigarette until i can drive.

So why do i smoke? I got two theories. First, i have serious tendencies to harm myself in many way: cutting, eating too much while not enjoying it, drinking, medication... Second is more interesting, i'm a hyperactive person and feel culpability (a lot) when i'm not doing a thousand things a day, like every minute of my life has to be put into something creative and/or significant. And like i said, when smoking i feel sick, so i take a smoke, stand in front of Youtube or Netflix for a while, smoke again, so on and before i know it's time for bed and i've done nothing all day but watching TV show. It's a mixed feeling, culpability from not doing anything but also not so much because i've felt to sick and tired to do anyhting.

Now for the depression. I'm bipolar with a lot more low then highs and in the last month has been rough, feeling ok for a day or two, then sad, then feeling like crying, having to take a week of work, right now i can't seem to pull myself out of it. In the past month, i tried a few times to quit smoking (i will have to to start HRT anyway) and it went fine for a day or two, i can't seem to identify any usual withdrawal symptoms i've read about, but since i was depressed and quitting smoking is supposed to make you depressed, i tought maybe right now wasn't the good time for it.

But the more i think of it, the more i think the cigarette makes me depressed. I've been feeling down for a while after smoking but i tought it was just the depression in itself. When i tried to stop, after a day i was feeling perfectly fine, then bought a pack just to take 3-4 of them because i kinda miss not doing anything, then i'm depressed again and think i'm not ready to quit. But now i think there's a clear pattern, smoking makes me depressed, not withdrawal. Again, yesterday i bought a pack after 24 hours of not smoking (going from one pack a day to nothing) and went to doing lots of things to just feeling depressed and tired. Today i bought a pack earlier in the morning and have been totally down since.

So i googled the subject and all i can find is about depression from withdrawal, not smoking itself. I'm startking to wonder if i'm normal or if my brain has a very specific and weird way to process nicotine. I will try and stop again tomorrow, i have my first HRT apointment thuesday so quiting won't be an option, which is probably a good thing.

Dena:
A little googling turned up this link . Number 3 mentions "dysregulation of dopamine" so it's possible that combined with being bipolar, your recovery from smoking might take longer than normal. It would be a good idea to talk to the doctor who treats your for being bipolar about this as your doctor might have more knowledge about it or may need to adjust your medication.

Lexxi:
Hi Lisa,

I just wanted to write in and give you some support on giving up cigarettes. I started smoking when I was 17 years old. Smoking gave me the exact opposite reaction from you though. I LOVED smoking!! It made me feel good, helped me be calm, and I loved the taste. I smoked two or more packs a day for the past 33 years. I never thought I'd ever give it up.

Then I came out to myself. I realized that I'm trans and I wanted to take the necessary steps to medically transition. As I studied about what I needed to do, I ran across a few comments that said that the feminizing effects of hormones would be slowed down if I continued to smoke while on them. Well I couldn't have that could I? I wanted all the feminizing effects I could get.

So I asked my doctor to prescribe me Chantix. I picked up my prescription, set my quit date, stuck to it, and became a non-smoker within three weeks. As long as my Chantix prescription lasted I didn't have any problems not smoking. Sadly after a month the prescription ran out, and my cravings came roaring back. But you know what? I still haven't had another cigarette. (In hindsight I probably should have gotten a refill and took Chantix for two months...it would have made me life easier).

But the reason I still haven't smoked, and never will again, is because I want to look as female as possible. Even if smoking doesn't have any effect on my feminization, I don't want to take the chance.

So I guess all I'm trying to say is this...if you want to have the best possible chance to quit smoking, then maybe ask your doctor for a prescription of Chantix. As long as it doesn't mess with any of your other medications, it should make quitting smoking pretty easy. I mean I really had no problem quitting even after 33 years.

I wish you the best of luck quitting too. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to tag me so I'll see them.

xoxo
Lexxi

@Lisa143

Sia:
+1 on what Dana said. I am bipolar too (type 2), and I quit nicotine half a year ago. I never felt good from tobacco, but still I increased my intake over the years, probably searching for some kick. All I got was addiction and a uneasy feeling in my body. When I came out I decided I wanted off nicotine, so I quit cold turkey. It was the only way, but it was hard on the bipolarity... Three months of hell. I really should have talked to my doctor first, so I totally agree on that advice. (It was sooo worth quitting though, three months of hell is nothing compared to a longer life without tobacco.)

Lisa143:
@Dena thanks for the link, yes you're right, bipolar brain or other brains with chemistry issues probably have a specific way to deal with addiction and substances

@Lexxi thanks for the support. I think i will be ok if i can put up my mind to it. Last time i stopped for three days i couldn't identifiy any specific symptoms from withdrawal. I felt a lot better actually except for a bad cough. I really couldn't care less about the health issues but i do want to look pretty and dont want to age faster than i have to. Hopefully today will be my last day of smoking, i'm afraid the endocrynologist wont accept to treat me if i dont stop.

@sia so maybe i'm not the only after all. Maybe it's from being bipolar, maybe it's medication interaction, i don't know. I can count the times nicotine made me feel good on the fingers of a single hand.

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