Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Nicotine, addiction and depression

Yesterday I was reading through an amazing archive of mental health fact sheets that mysteriously found its way onto my desk a number of years ago, and which I have carefully preserved since then (because you never know when you'll need to look up the 2002 stastics for schizophrenia in Canada) when I stumbled upon the smoking-related fact sheet (having to do specifically with addiction issues).

I was surprised to learn that incidences of depression are significantly higher in people who smoke than in people who don't smoke.

This came as a surprise, at least partly, because whenever I try to quit smoking, it tends to be depressive feelings of one kind or another that get me craving a cigarette again (depressive feelings which are ultimately made worse by the smoking itself, because then I feel like a failure, and I beat myself up for being a failure, which makes me smoke more, etc., etc.)

It's been a few years since the first time I tried to quit, when I managed three months of success before falling off the wagon again, and I can't remember whether I felt any more or less inclined to depression from not smoking. But it's something I'll be trying to take notice of this time around, if I can manage to keep myself butted out for longer than two days at a time.

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