Should I or shouldn't I? In two minds!

Hi all,

I have Schizoaffective disorder with rapid cycling mixed episodes, Borderline personality disorder- both lifelong, Agoraphobia, Anxiety and beginning of last year was diagnosed with COPD (emphysema) with roughly 50% lung function.

About 20 years ago I tried to quit smoking and had a nervous breakdown within a week of trying. Now I NEED to stop for my lungs and quit for National No Smoking Day (30hrs) then went back to my ciggies but it kept niggling the back of my mind so set a date for the following Wednesday to quit and managed 10 days with NRT but the depression really set in and I smoked a couple a day for 3 days then quit for another 5 days but then couldn't take it any more. :(

Two of my psychiatrists plus a neurologist told me that I shouldn't ever try to stop smoking because I've been too unstable and mostly treatment resistant - my drawer of pills takes the edge off it 'flattening' me at best, at worst nada/zilch/nothing except ECT helps but I don't want any more of that. OK it's not barbaric anymore but it's still very unpleasant for me...I hate the muscle relaxant when I come round and it permanently wiped out over 2 years of my memory.

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, half of me wants to stop...I don't want to die from COPD but the other half is scared to death of 'letting go' of my crutch...and what happens if I get really depressed again...then what?

I have real problems with loss (grieving) and change, this is driving me nuts and psychotic with voices telling me to,,, smoke.

I don't know what to do anymore and I've just lost my psychiatrist to a new job after 11years with same one so have enough to cope with plus Pulmonary Rehab Assessment tomorrow.

Please can anyone help me before I go completely crazy?


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10 Replies

  • well I dont smoke but I drink wine an keep getting told to stop but it helps me unwind

    Maybe just cut down a bit I dont no it is very hard

  • My friends husband has COPD and won't stop smoking. She has just stopped using 2 methods of nrt and so have I. I have bipolar disorder and was also told stopping would raise my anxiety too much. You need the right support from a clinic, the one I go to is in a sports centre, they helped me prepare and prescribed losenges and patches.

    There is also a health unlocked quit smoking site - they are are all using ecigs which have a really high success rate. I don't like the ecig smell but you get all different flavours as well. You need support, and are unlikely to sustain success without it, no matter what your health. Preparation matters too, stopping in a panic won't work. Accepting you are smoking for now, while you plan, will help.

  • That's a massive decision to have to make. I don't smoke myself but I can liken your situation to my Mum's. She smokes very heavily but also has other health conditions, including alcoholism. If she ever were to give up the drink, she would need her cigarettes to see her through. Yet they are making her ill in their own right. I suppose you have to treat the condition that is lessening your life chances first? X

  • Oh Lucky I know exactly what you mean - you are right you are caught between a rock and a hard place. I too suffer from COPD and cannot manage to stop smoking. On the occasions I have stopped my depression didn't get any worse though which is something I guess. I just got very twitchy and irritable. I don't have any answers I'm afraid. I can only emphasise with you love.

    Its the blind leading the blind but have you tried all the non smoking aids? Or is it the not smoking in itself which is making your mental health worse? I know you have extensively explored the link between smoking and depression. Have you had counselling in that area and if so does it help at all?

    Have you asked yourself whether your becoming more incapacitated through COPD would cause more depression than stopping smoking? Have you done some deep thinking about it? Have you made a list of pros and cons? I think when you are having a good day set aside some time to really sort out the issues in your mind. This might help you come to a decision.

    Racking my brains to see if I can come up with anything else...sorry can't.

    We are all here for you and all care about you Lucky. Millions and millions of HUGS


    Bev xxx

  • Thanks Bev,

    Didn't want to trouble you with this one for obvious reasons so thanks for your ideas. I have my PR assessment this morning so will PM you later hun.

    Thanks darling...hope you have a reasonable day,




  • Hi Lorraine

    Good luck at your PR assessment. I am a non smoker & cannot advise or know how to help you on that one.

    I just wish you the very best of luck & strength to do whatever you have to do.

    I wish I could be of more help. I think we all have our crutches, mine being food & trying to control it at the minute is hard..

    Take care & let me know how you get on.


    Jackie :) xx

  • HI lucky 19 Sorry you are going through a really hard time; My best idea is to take it one day at a time, With COPD I would if were you try and get off the Cigs, otherwise you will kill yourself. The discomfort of giving up fags will be much better than the discomfort that COPD will bring in the future. I would not use what that Doctor said " oh you should never give up cigs" as an excuse not to at least try. Even get those electronic cigs, and try and distract yourself, I know its v.hard and wont be easy, but try and be a good friend for yourself, I will be keen to know how you are getting on,

    I hope you dont think I am being unsympatethc because I know its really hard.

    Big hug to you and be good to yourself.


  • Thanks everyone,

    A lot of 'food for thought' in your replies...I will let you know how I get on.



  • Hiya,

    Have you tried the ecigs, I'm using them and proper cigarettes, as I've got to stop smoking, as I have high blood pressure etc.

    The ecigs are actually alright, you can take a good draw on them or a little one, total control over how much nicotine your getting etc etc.

    worth a try. I get mine from tesco's at the fag counter :-)

    I'm having to very slowly cut down, as I get a huge raction if I try to stop too.

    Wish you well



  • there is a good book called easy ways to stop smoking by allen carr it maybe could help you

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