Commonly, you may believe that the consumption of nicotine or any other drug may relieve them from feelings of anxiety. In contrast, it is the complete opposite; that is, the consumption of addictive drugs may, in turn, cause the symptoms of anxiety.
Why Smoking Gives Pleasure?
Having any addictive substance can give immediate relief from stress. Smoking any addictive substance creates a pleasurable sensation in the brain by activating the dopamine signals. As a result, the brain associates the pleasure or being feeling relieved due to smoking.
But the addiction and relieving emotions are not the only side of smoking. The addictive substance in any cigarettes alters the brain’s chemical activity, because of which you may experience some symptoms of withdrawal.
The withdrawal symptoms may include; anxiety, annoyance, and an urge to have more nicotine. As for relieving the urge, people then reach out to smoke another cigarette. Then after some time, the desire arises again, and the cycle continues.
Does Smoking relieve anxiety?
Many types of research have concluded that a person’s mood and his habit of smoking are interconnected. One of the common disorders a smoker may face is anxiety. The symptoms, according to the DSM-V criteria, may include feeling worried, panicked, or uneasy. Anxiety can occur during stressful situations and may vanish as soon as the problem is better. Other symptoms may consist of not falling asleep, the fast pace of heartbeat, upset stomach, or feeling low. But if the anxiety persists more prolonged than usual, then it is a matter of concern.
Due to their regular cycle of being dependent on smoking, the smokers may view that smoking is relieving their anxiety; thus, smokers carry on smoking. But as discussed above, nicotine only alters the chemical activity, causing to feel reduced symptoms. Therefore, the relief caused is temporary; the smokers do not realize that the anxiety will probably return, and the cycle of smoking will, in turn, occur again.
1n 2019, a study was conducted by Canadian Pharmacy to study the effects of smoking on anxiety. The results indicated that smoking was directly associated with causing anxiety. Moreover, the results also indicated that apart from feeling anxious, smokers tended to develop suicidal ideations and showed lower academic performance.
Though some studies were conducted in 2020 to determine the impact of smoking on mental health, it was concluded that smoking might be the direct cause of generalized anxiety disorder. However, smokers may believe that their habit is giving them pleasure and relieving their stress. But the stance is opposite, and smoking indeed increases the chances of having symptoms of the disorder.
Moreover, many research types had concluded that many smokers had generalized anxiety disorders when they were smoking. Those smokers were then given proper treatment to give up smoking. The results showed that those smokers who had anxiety disorders while smoking had no anxiety after some time; they had stopped smoking and were back to their everyday life.
How can anxiety be relieved then?
To relieve anxiety, the cycle of smoking must be stopped. Some ways to quit smoking may include talking to your health care practitioner, having nicotine therapies, learning about stress-relieving strategies, and counseling. As smoking is a habit, a habit may take a lot of effort to get back to the routine. However, all it requires is patience and a strong determination.
Smoking is the leading cause of death in the world. Smoking has not been related to causing health problems like developing lung cancer, heart problems, and brain damage. But smoking has been linked to causing anxiety disorders as well. As smoking alters the brain’s chemical activity, you may hold the view that smoking indeed relieves stress.
With causing all these mental as well as health-care issues, one must give up on smoking. It may be hard at first, but you will have the benefits of quitting smoking for life.