Depression & Quitting: 5 Important Things Every Woman Should Know
Monday, November 26, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .