Anxiety & Smoking

Paradoxically even though I have health anxiety, I am a smoker, but I have been trying to quit over and over. I would just like to find out if there was other people who have had an experience with this, did your anxiety go up, down because of quitting smoking? I'm anticipating my anxiety to go up and to have a bit of a struggle with depression, but, ultimately it must surely improve things like palpitations and worry over smoking related illnesses. I am 42 and it's proving to be a touch nut to crack because it is also a source of comfort somehow...


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7 Replies

  • Hi BlueGirl

    I don't smoke myself, but my partner does and he is finding it really hard to give up. I can only imagine that trying to cope with health anxiety and quiting smoking must be exhausting physically and emotionally. I suffered from health anxiety a few years ago and it just engulfed my life don't think rational thought came into it - it didn't for me - felt like I was in my own little anxious bubble and reality was on the outside. Stay strong - if your smoking is a source of comfort, don't be too hard on yourself - give yourself small goals and work toward each one with a positive attitude. I'm sure you will have ups and downs with anxiety levels, its to be expected - its a big change that you will be going through. We can't let this anxiety beat us!! I don't think I will ever be free of anxiety but I have learnt to cope with itin such a way that it doesn't stop me from doing what I want to do - most of the time!! Its difficult at times though.

  • Hi Blue Girl

    I have had health anxiety and still smoked, sometimes when I gave up I worried more on reflection of what I had been doing to my body ! I have been an on off smoker for years trapped in a cycle. I have moved onto the electirc cigarette now but do worry about the side effects. I think with health anxiety there is always something to worry about !! My advice is to give up and try to be healthy and worry about something less toxic. The absense of chemicals will help you to feel better and ease your anxiety.

  • Thanks for that Rose 12 - I worry about this cycle too, that is what I'm in as well, I give up for a while, then I feel better and then I relapse and then the whole worry cycle begins, but I"m sure if I wasn't smoking I'd be worrying about something else, the idea for me to quit smoking is to make me feel better, I'm really suffering from the effects of smoking now and I have ME too, but to be honest my anxiety is bad today...who knows whether it's the withdrawals or not...hard to tell if anything makes a difference anymore...the anxiety seems to come and go as it pleases anyway...

  • Yes anxiety can come and go whether you smoke or not but from my own experience with smoking I feel a hell of a lot better as a non smoker. It does take a bit to start feeling better sometimes. I feel tired from smoking. The electric cigarette has fewer side effects on me but to be honest I still feel tired . I have been sleeping this afternoon because my energy is low, just have low motivation and feel a bit down. I still think giving up is the best option. My plan is to move on to the NHS inhaler once my ecig cartridges have run out in next day or so. Will let you know how I get on. I can be a source of support if you want to give up : ) x x

  • Hey Rose - that is really kind of you, yes that would be lovely, my energy is quite low too and I think at least with quitting cigarettes it will improve...that is what people say anyway...a friend of mine said she felt awful for 18 months after quitting! I've started meditating and swimming and I just don't want that poison in my body anymore and my new bf has never smoked and hates it, but I'm not quitting for him...I think I'm just gonna go cold turkey as I don't want to prolong the agony of nicotine leaving my body...I only get real bad cravings if I have a few beers which I hardly do anymore. I am a bit fearful for stressful times as that is when I tend to crack and I went through a bad time with depression recently and I thought there was no point in quitting. I have mixed anxiety and depression disorder (MADD) ha ha, I feel madd most of the time....

    Good luck with the inhaler!!! Funnily enough when I am with my bf (usually at the weekends) I don't think about smoking at all....

  • Hi Bluegirl, have you been diagnosed by a doctor ? I diagnosed myself after reading about the subject and ironically seemed more knowledgable than the GP. They just kind of agreed with me. It really helps if you have a boyfriend that doesn't smoke. I am single but when I have had boyfriends it is easier to date an ex smoker except sometimes I have wanted to sneak one or two !! you would think as I am single I wouldn't smoke but I get fed up sometimes and do it for comfort. I am still on the ecig but only have one cartridge left so am determined to transfer to the nhs inhaler. You could always have one for emergencies? Every smoker is different, just do whats best for you. x x

  • when i tell people i have health anxiety and that i smoke they look at me gone out and ask why do i smoke if im so worried about my heath . i say i cant answer that one

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