Smoking Helps Quiet The Nerves
Mental health has always been one of those things that no one really likes to think about, much less discuss openly. For centuries, anyone who suffered from any form of mental health were stigmatized, persecuted and often misunderstood and misdiagnosed.
Even now in the 21st century, we as a world do not completely understand or accept mental health issues the same way we do with other health problems. Which is sad, because we are only who and what we are when we consider the whole of us, both physically and mentally.
Which is not to say we haven’t made progress in this area, because we certainly have and continue to do so. But we are still a very long way from understanding the human mind the way we should.
Take smoking for example. For years and years, people smoked to relieve anxiety, tackle stress and relax. Only then to become addicted to nicotine which was mixed amongst a huge amount of other toxins that we knew next to nothing about. Gradually, we began to find out how toxic they were to the human body, but that didn’t make it easy for smokers to quit. Studies were done, lawsuits were won and lost and still smokers continued killing themselves daily. But even more than that, they lived under a misguided notion that smoking actually calmed them down and helped them relax when they were stressed.
The Truth Is
The truth of the matter is much different. In reality, smoking is far more popular with people who suffer any form of mental health problems, and of those who smoke and suffer from these problems, treatment needed to assist their particular problem is often hindered by the cigarettes. So, instead of providing any sort of actual benefit, the cigarette actually exacerbates their particular issue.
Nicotine stimulates Dopamine production. Dopamine is the organic chemical manufactured in the brain which provides pleasure to the body. Therefore when Nicotine enters the system and stimulates Dopamine, it quickly becomes associated with the sense of well being, or calm and before long, the body is requiring more and more to release the same levels of Dopamine as it had previously.
In some disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, smokers have a 50% greater chance of developing dementia than people who have never smoked.
Disorders And Diseases
People with mental health conditions such as Schizophrenia die on average ten to twenty years earlier than the general population. We now realise that this is not due to increased suicide rates, but as a result of any number of socio-economic and health care factors. The rates of cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases among individuals with schizophrenia, who have the highest rates of smoking of any group is nearly double those of other mental health problems. Tobacco interacts with some psychiatric medication making it less effective, resulting in
increased dosages and more side effects associated with these drugs.
For example, people with Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression is characterised by shifts in a person’s mood, energy and their ability to function. The association between smoking and bipolar disorder has not been firmly established, although smoking rates among people with bipolar are significantly higher than in the general population.
One study found that among patients treated for bipolar disorder, smokers were more likely to
have an earlier onset of the disorder, greater severity of symptoms, a history of suicide attempt,
and morbid anxiety or substance use disorder.The association with suicidal thoughts was
confirmed in a separate study.
There is a well established link between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and smoking. Both children and adults with ADHD are significantly more likely to smoke than those without. Also, studies have shown that there is strong evidence to show that maternal smoking during pregnancy is a risk factor for ADHD in unborn children.
Among United States veterans of the Vietnam war with PTSD, 48% were classified as heavy smokers, compared to 28% of veterans without PTSD. Those veterans with PTSD who smoke also reported a higher number of PTSD symptoms. These smokers are also significantly more likely to be heavy smokers and to have significantly higher levels of nicotine craving and lower quit rates.
Regardless of the mental disorder or disease, it is only made worse by smoking. Although medical workers often feel reluctant to speak to patients with mental issues, for whatever reason. If the NHS could see their way clear to implement some sort of vape based stop smoking program, it would quite interested to see how these people fared, when the studies elsewhere have proved so promising.
Even basic education and recognition of the problems mentioned before could help change the lives of countless people suffering from mental disease and perhaps change the way these people are treated, as well as possibly providing them a safer route to if not curing, then controlling their ailment.
I suffer from depression and have for my entire life. I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder amongst other things. Along with a host of neurological problems, I have basically been a guinea pig for doctors for years. Not long ago, I fell victim to a deep, long lasting depression which took a horrible toll on my life in every way. It seemed like nothing I did could shake it. Finally I quit smoking and began to Vape. I can’t prove that this is what finally got me out of that deep, dark place, but I can tell you it was worth it either way. I’m feeling better now, and actually looking forward to the future as a non-smoker.
Certainly it can’t hurt to give up smoking and you’d be amazed at how much money you can save. Go on, give vaping a try and see if you don’t feel better in no time.