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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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6754484 tn?1389144534
There's actually a lot of research that indicates that smoking might cause anxiety. It is a stimulant after all. You're right to suppose your smoking and anxiety are related.
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6754484 tn?1389144534
Well I've researched this extensively and there are some researchers out there who think that nicotine can cause anxiety. There are reports of people who quit smoking experiencing less anxiety, while those who quit and then start up again experience more severe anxiety than before. I didn't save these pages so you'd have to do some digging yourself to find it, but the info is out there if you know what to look for (try googling "does smoking cause anxiety" or "smoking and mental health", I'm pretty sure that's what I looked for). Despite the research, however, there is no cut-and-dry answer; it's possible that smoking only seems to cause anxiety in some people because they're anxious over the cost / social stigma / their health and other factors at risk due to lighting up. Another problem is that a lot of people smoke to "treat" anxiety, so naturally there are more anxious people among the smoking population. Nevertheless smoking is a stimulant and it is possible. If you're curious about it, I'd say you should track yourself with an anxiety tracker on here for a week or two, then quit smoking for a week or two and track yourself while you're doing that. That'll give you a good idea of whether your perception is correct that you're more anxious when you smoke.
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Avatar universal
Yeah I agree with this as well.  When I go from waking up in the morning to going directly out to garage to smoke, I get superbad anxiety/depression that is very short lived.  It usually leads to me having unnecessary negative thoughts about the day that is to come.  If I hold off smoking for an hour or until I leave for work - I am better able to manage my morning without those feelings.  For me - I believe it is directly related to the thoughts of failure that I have just entered yet another day of being a smoker.  I often have anxiety related to thinking I am sick, have cancer, or am killing myself from smoking.  I really think smoking (at least 1 pack a day) has a huge amount to due with the amount of anxiety I have.  Hopefully writing this out will help me inform MYSELF of what I need to do to gain a peaceful mind.    
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Avatar universal
Do people understand his/hers comment????... Why cannot people understand basic things??? its not smoking in general....yes its bad...we all know that...quit now...blah blah blah.......big news...what he/she is asking about is.......smoking the THE FIRST ONE OF THE DAY!!! Not of their life.....

Yes dude...I know how you feel....first one of the day is the very worst of all...crushing anxiety...for me about 5 minutes....then settles down a bit after....I try and drink alcohol first so the wave of anxiety not hit so hard.....After the first one....seems to be OK with less/no anxiety...Ive often wondered about this horrendous feeling myself....from here in the UK...

I know the feeling....trust me....
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Avatar universal
professional help is what you are looiking for in my opinion!
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Avatar universal
I get exactly the same thing, it's definitely a reaction to the physical effects of the cigarette and not a psychological issue, such as shame at not being able to quit.
I think it could be that, like myself and millions of others, you already suffer from low-level depression or anxiety and the ill effect on your breathing and cutting off of oxygen to the brain triggers a more extreme bout of said depression/anxiety. Not a Doctor, just a theory.
Helpful - 0
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