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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Depression and Cessation of Smoking

 ajaye875 - Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:21 pm

I've had a history of depression for a few years now, but I have had it under control without medication for over a year. After four years of smoking (half of a pack), I quit smoking a month ago. Ever since I've stopped smoking, my emotions have been on a roller coaster. I thought it was from quitting smoking, but its gotten progressively worse. Can it be that smoking cessation has been a catalyst for my depression to return? How long can one feel the emotional effects of smoking cessation? Do I need to consider this depression as a second case and go back to medication and therapy, although I don't want to?

Thank you.
 Dr. E. Seigle - Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:32 pm

Hi ajaye875,

If the depression has been back for an entire month, and it is not improving or it is getting worse, this indicates that you and your physician should strongly consider your re-starting an antidepressant that was effective for you in the past.
The brain nerve receptors that nicotine attaches to is interconnected in complex ways with those nerve pathways that regulate mood, and your smoking cessation may certainly have unbalanced this complex system of nerve and associated nerve chemical pathways. I'd encourage you to contact your physician for further discussion.

-Eliot Seigle MD

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