Lathargy and depression

I know there have been threads on lethargy and depression as a result of smoking cessation before and I wasn't sure whether to add to an existing one or not, but I decided to start another.

I've just completed one month of my quit using patches. The first three weeks or so were relatively easy with very few serious problems. The past week's been somewhat different though. I'm finding that my concentration's gone to pieces, I have no energy or desire to do anything, and I'm suffering from depression - the main symptom being that minor everyday setbacks that everyone has are overwhelming to me.

I'm pleased to say that smoking isn't even remotely an option (I'm too far into my quit for that!!), but I've got to find some way to get back to a semblance of normality. Does anyone have any tips? I know the gym's been mentioned in other threads but I'm not really the exercising type :p. I'm considering visiting the doc if things don't improve soon.


Ed xx

13 Replies

  • Hey Cap'n,

    I'm very similar to you - I will NOT go back to smoking but then I don't want to be a miserable sod the rest of my life. Have you looked into taking St Johns Wort? Lots of people have recommended it to me, I started it 2 months ago and didn't really feel massively better -well a bit maybe but then I went to my docs who said the amount of SJW in the supermarket brand I was taking probably wasn't enough so I have bought some stronger SJW from a health website and have started taking them (they were V good value too - PM me if you want the web address ;)), it's early days but my GP said that in some European countries they prescribe SJW instead of anti depresants - worth a go in my book!

    It's awful that doing something sooooo good and important as giving up smoking can make us feel truly pants.

    I hope things look up for the both of us soon I really do. Oh and I'm with you on the gym thing....shudder......:eek:

    Jane x:)

  • Thanks Jane,

    I'd not considered St John's Wort. I'd much rather investigate other options before seeing my doctor. PM on its way :).

    I totally agree that it's wrong that giving up smoking (which is among the best things someone can do) turns out to make us feel awful. Similarly it's bizarre that smoking feels so good (or at least seems to) yet is incredibly bad for us.

    I hope things pick up for both of us soon too. I guess I won't be bumping into you at the gym then :D.

    Ed xx

  • You may well bump into me in the cafe eating a massive cake! :eek:

  • You may well bump into me in the cafe eating a massive cake! :eek:

    Throw in a Mocha coffee and you've got a date :D.

  • Hi Ed,

    Sorry you are finding it so hard at the moment. Stupid question, but could it be the patches, and could it be worth trying coming off the nicotine? I have no idea, and have done no research whatsoever, but it seems the two changes are 1. Quitting smoking and 2. Starting patches. Unless there is something else causing it, I have no idea, but surely better to remove the patches than add the fags?!!

    You seem mighty strong, and I am sure you will get through this. Sorry I cannot be more helpful!

  • Hi Joanna,

    I'm pretty confident that I won't go back to the fags, but that's an interesting point about trying to leave off the patches. I think the habit aspect has been broken in that I don't feel the need to go outside every hour or so, so maybe I could try leaving off the patches and see how I get on. The splurge enclosed with the patches recommends following the course precisely, but that was written by the pharmaceutical company who wants my money!!! No vested interest there at all!!

    I won't put one on tomorrow and see how I go.

    Ed xx

  • Hi Ed,

    I have no idea if it will help or not - if it makes it worse you can always put a patch back on, but unless you know of something specific it might be worth a shot at least.

    Hopefully one way or another you can get to the bottom of it, or it will sort itself out.


  • Hi Ed,

    i totally understand how you are feeling. I am on day 96 (i think) and feel the same. I dont think its just related to NRT etc, as i quit CT and still suffer with it.

    I am permenantly shattered and have turned into a misery guts.Its horrible because i am normally such an upbeat happy person.

    I know that you said that you arent up for any exercise, but just think of ot like this: What do you have to lose? If this one thing (exercise) will make you fele better, then why not give it a try???

    You probably dont feel like doing it because if the lethargy (i understand that too!!), but i tried it for the first time last week and can honestly say that it made me feel instantly better.

    I only went for a run for 10 mins, to the local park and back, and am planning on working up slowly, but maybe you could just go for a 10 minute walk, swim, or try out a varirty and find which ones you enjoy.

    If youREALLY cant stand the thought of exercise, i would go and see your GP (who will only recommend exercise to you-do you see the recurring theme here :D) just to check!

  • Could it be...

    Hey peeps!

    Let's not forget what time of year it is. The clocks have gone back, days are much shorter..lack of uv light causes an increase in sleep inducing melatonin in the brain which will make you feel lethargic and down.

    It's quite normal for smokers and non-smokers alike to be feeling blue at this time of year. Before we go blaming the quit for it, could just be that purely natural seasonal cycles may be getting a grip of most people in some way during the winter months?

    Trandem x

  • Clare - That's rather disturbing that you're still feeling like that after 96 days!! :eek:. I think I'll have gone totally off my rocker if I make it that far. I *did* notice a slightly recurring theme in your post :p. Maybe I should give excercise a chance.

    Trandem - That's a good point you make about the decrease in UV light at this time of year. I've never really experienced that before, but possibly now that I'm off the fags I'm more susceptible.

  • I second the excercise idea.

    Using energy breads more energy, so although you won't feel like doing it to start, once you have been doing it for a bit you will notice a difference in your energy levels. Give it go, what have you got to loose? If you are not happy going to the gym try spending the money you have saved not smoking on an excercise bike and then you don't even have to go out:D

    It is also possible that you have a mild case of S.A.D in which case a light box can help with that.


  • Thanks Sian,

    Seems like exercise way to go then :p.

    I'll definitely look into exercise bikes. I like the idea of not having to go out and having it available at all times when I'm at home.

    I've never suffered from S.A.D. before but I'll check out light boxes too.

    Ed xx

  • Thanks Sian,

    Seems like exercise way to go then :p.

    I'll definitely look into exercise bikes. I like the idea of not having to go out and having it available at all times when I'm at home.

    I've never suffered from S.A.D. before but I'll check out light boxes too.

    Ed xx

    Morning Cap'n

    I am sure you will have worked throught this by now, only noticed this thread due to the joys of jimkerinmark pregnancy!!

    Any how if you haven't have you thought about something like the wii?

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