Depression & Quitting: 5 Important Things Every Woman Should Know

Monday, November 26, 2012

Woman sitting on step thinking

Mood changes are common after quitting smoking. You might be irritable, restless, or feel down or blue. Changes in mood from quitting smoking (often caused by withdrawal from smoking) usually get better in 1 or 2 weeks, and they are not as serious. But, if you find yourself feeling very down for more than 2 weeks, it could be depression.

  1. Depression is common in smokers 
    Nobody knows for sure why smokers are more likely to have depression than non-smokers, but there are some ideas. People who have depression might smoke to feel better. Or smokers might get depression more easily because they smoke. More research is needed to find out for sure.

  2. Keep an eye out for these symptoms 
    People with depression usually feel down, blue, or sad. They also have other symptoms like not wanting to do things that used to be fun; feeling grumpy, easily frustrated, or restless; changes in sleep (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, waking up too early, or sleeping too much); eating more or less than they used to; trouble thinking; feeling tired, even after sleeping well; feeling worthless; and thinking about dying or hurting themselves. If this sounds like you, check out our depression screening quiz.

  3. Don’t start smoking again if you feel depressed 
    You should look for ways to get help for 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 get help for your depression and quit smoking is the best way to go.

  4. Get treatment for your depression 
    Many people benefit from treatment for depression, even if the symptoms are not serious. So you don’t need to have a lot of symptoms of depression before talking to your doctor or a qualified mental health professional (see "Who provides therapy?") about getting treatment.

  5. You have options 
    Treatment usually means getting psychotherapy/counseling, taking medications, or doing both. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you figure out what treatment is best for you.

Talk with your doctor or a qualified mental health professional. This is especially true if the feelings have lasted two weeks or more, are making you worried, or are getting in the way of your daily life.

*NOTE: This information is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis of major depression. It cannot take the place of seeing a mental health professional. It is common for people who are feeling bad to think about hurting themselves or dying.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of self-destruction or suicide, please seek immediate help. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911. 1-800-273-TALK is available 24/7 to provide free, private help to people in crisis.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, runs the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

we are strong enough to quit

Quit Guide

From those of us at Smokefree Women…Congratulations! You are taking the first step towards a healthier, new lifestyle.

Start Today
Woman looking at her cell phone

Quitting Smoking Happens

one craving
at a time.

one monday
at a time.

one decision
at a time.

Smiling woman holding her hand under her chin
Pledge Today

Our Tools

The Smokefree Women Web site includes a variety of interactive tools to help you quit smoking.