Depression and Smoking

How is depression different from withdrawal from smoking?

Mood changes are common after quitting smoking. You might be irritable, restless, or feel down or blue.

Changes in mood from quitting smoking (withdrawal) usually get better in 1 or 2 weeks, and they are not as serious.

If you find that you are feeling very down after quitting smoking, then you should talk about this with friends and family, and also call your doctor. This is also true if you have symptoms from the list above. See "What is depression?" and the depression screening quiz.

Why is depression more common in smokers?

Nobody knows why smokers are more likely to have depression than non-smokers, but there are a number of guesses. People who have depression might smoke to feel better. Or smokers might get depression more easily because they smoke. Other ideas are also possible. More research is needed to find out for sure.

No matter what the cause, there are treatments that work for both depression and smoking.

If I get depressed after quitting smoking, should I start smoking again?

No. You should look for ways to get help with your depression. Smoking does not treat depression. Remember that smoking is linked to many serious health problems for both the smokers and the people around them. Finding ways to help your depression and quit smoking are the best way to go.

 

Next: Treatment for Depression  Next Topic

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