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Bad anxiety/depression briefly after smoking cigarettes

I am in my mid 20's, and have been struggling to quit smoking for a little over a year now. It seems like I will quit successfully for one or two months, and then end up relapsing. When I do smoke, it is very lightly, as in one or two cigarettes a day, unless I go out drinking for a night, at which time I smoke more heavily.

Lately, immediately during, and after smoking a cigarette, I begin to suffer from pretty severe depression and anxiety for a period of about 25 minutes. It will start approximately half way through the cigarette. Generally, I will start feeling like a failure, because of how long I have been trying to quit, but obviously haven't. Then, a couple of minutes later, I will get racing, and disturbing thoughts and the depression worsens.

The strange thing is that it seems to be getting worse every time I smoke. This last time scared me so bad, it is what prompted me to find this forum and post this question.

I am certain this is brought forth by nicotine, and not just me being disappointed in myself for failing to quit (although that does play a part), because of the immediate nature, and time frame which it lasts after smoking. I briefly searched google, and only found information on anxiety and depression after quitting for a period of time, and not directly after smoking.

I am interested to hear if anyone has had experiences like this, or if anyone at least has any insight into the situation. Thank you.
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Avatar universal
Thank god! I'm not the only one!, I'm 24 years old My story starts at the third year of the college sec semester I started this bad habit because I was alone most of the time leaving in other city far from my home and family you know I always have deep thinking then one day I said why not I will try smoking, for first couple of months everything was normal but then after that my life changed so badly I started to get massive anxiety/depression sometimes I feel like I want to suicide but for sure I will never do it the good thing when I  back to my home and family and my normal life on vacation  I forget about smoking like I never smoked before I don't even feel the withdrawal and then when I back to the college again I got a lot of triggers that makes me want to smoke again now I'm in final semester and I didn't smoke for 1 month the first 3 weeks it was in home I survived it easily 4th week here alone I started to fight with cig craving anyways I swear I started to feel much better my body my lungs no more anxiety/depression, one more thing I started smoking in 2016/2 about one year of smoking now, I hope I can make it....
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank god! I'm not the only one!, I'm 24 years old My story starts at the third year of the college sec semester I started this bad habit because I was alone most of the time leaving in other city far from my home and family you know I always have deep thinking then one day I said why not I will try smoking, for first couple of months everything was normal but then after that my life changed so badly I started to get massive anxiety/depression sometimes I feel like I want to suicide but for sure I will never do it the good thing when I  back to my home and family and my normal life on vacation  I forget about smoking like I never smoked before I don't even feel the withdrawal and then when I back to the college again I got a lot of triggers that makes me want to smoke again now I'm in final semester and I didn't smoke for 1 month the first 3 weeks it was in home I survived it easily 4th week here alone I started to fight with cig craving anyways I swear I started to feel much better my body my lungs no more anxiety/depression, one more thing I started smoking in 2016/2 about one year of smoking now, I hope I can make it....
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
its not just about feeling bad or cconcerned about society, becoz i dont feel bad or concenred abt wat people think or i never wanted to stop it.   But the anxious, negative, depreesed feeling is really very very worse
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
I'm feeling anxious right now I've been trying to cut back more on my smoking I just had a half of a cigarette and it's making me feel anxious i was smoking a half a pack a day for a couple of months then cut myself back to 6 or 7 a day only smoking a half only when I can't take it anymore I'm just taking one day at a time
Avatar universal
Im having same feeling after smoking. Truly very very worse. Feeling like want to stop my life for an hour.   Slowly it gets better. Trust me people not experienced this can't even imagine the extent of bad and anxiety it puts u into......
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Interesting! I also feel bad after a cig. I feel very sad all the time for about 20 minutes. One of you guys mentioned something about Cortinsone... I think this could be a chemical explanation, at least for me. Once I had an allergic reaction. I had to go to the hospital for a high dose treatment with cortisone. After the treatment I began to feel very bad after a cigarette. Since then this happens all the time when smoking. I have to mention that I suffer from depression anyway (already before the Cortisone treatment), but since then my depression is definately worse. That's why I have to quit... There are also studies that say that quit smoking can signiffically reduce anxiety and depression. But other studies say exactly the opposite. I think it depends on ones imbalance of neurotransmitters. Some people are probably depressed because of a lack of Serotonine, some because of too much Cortisole. The same for anxiety. Therefore it would make sense that many people (but not all) can profit from quit smoking.
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
In the fight-or-flight response, cortisol suppresses any functions that are unnecessary or detrimental to that response. During a fight-or-flight response, you can have:

a rapid heart rate
dry mouth
stomach upset
diarrhea
panic
Avatar universal
I get the EXACT same feeling! And I can't understand why it happens. It never used to happen to me, only the past several months. Like for example after I finish work (I'm a manager at a pub) and I have a cigarette, I always feel like I've done something wrong during work and screwed something up and get really worked up over it. One of my colleges asked if something was wrong after we had one together because she thought I was acting strange, and I  hate being around people when I feel like that! It's the worst feeling but before I have it I really crave one! It's so strange.. And like you said the feeling only lasts for about 20-30 minutes! I think it has to be something to do with the nicotine. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has this lol ..
Helpful - 0
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