Does Smoking Make My Depression Worse?
Smoking is one of those habits that may feel good at the moment but can have serious health implications in the long run. It just doesn’t affect your physical health (i.e. increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, etc); it can also affect your mental well-being.
The Effect of Nicotine
Nicotine, the main substance in tobacco and e-cigarette, is highly addictive. It’s also the reason why people find smoking as a way to relieve stress, boost their mood, or just make them feel better overall.
The substance nicotine binds to the receptors in the brain and other parts of the body such as the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.
Once the nicotine attaches to certain brain receptors, it increases the release of the brain chemical dopamine, the one associated with pleasure. Hence, smoking has a temporary mood-boosting effect.
Smoking and depression
People suffering from depression are twice more likely to smoke than people who are not depressed. It’s unclear though whether smoking leads to depression or if depression causes one to smoke. However, it’s undeniable that there is a complex relationship between the two.
One is more likely to smoke when depressed. But smoking when feeling down is never a good idea. Sure, you temporarily feel better while doing it but that feeling will soon wear down. When that happens, you find yourself smoking again to chase that feeling. And that’s how smoking addiction begins.
Alternative to smoking
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, talk therapy, medications, and TMS therapy can help you if you have depression.
TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is usually sought by people who experience unpleasant side effects from antidepressants or those who have little success from it. It’s FDA approved and is a non-invasive procedure to stimulate certain parts of the brain responsible for mood regulation.
For a no-obligation consultation, you may contact NeurOasis TMS at (520) 338-2557.