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I have seen statistics like this before but for some reason, this floored me this evening.

According to one study, 85 percent of people living with Schizophrenia smoke tobacco

65 percent of people living with Bipolar smoke tobacco

That seems high. My diagnois is Schizoaffective and, yes, I do smoke.

What do you guys think? Why would the stats be so 'friggen high?

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It doesn't surprise me.

Every time I try to quit, I end up in psychosis. Professionals don't seem to care about that link in my life.

There needs to be more attention to the role of nicotine in major mental illnesses. It's an obvious link, but people like my Pdoc don't think anything of it.

There should be health programs and research into the link. I am sick of smoking but there is no information about the role of nicotine in bipolar and schizophrenia. It makes me angry, as I spend so much money and time feeding my brain nicotine. :angry2:

And yes, its an alarming statistic, but like I said, I'm not surprised.

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I have looked into this, specifically the relationship between SZ and tobacco. I can't remember the details but it's said that the mechanism of action for nicotine may have an effect on SZ. So they are self medication. I can't remember what it was, something to do with dopamine.

From my own experience, when I've tried to quit when I haven't been on meds my mood has really crashed and burned. I go from happy and positive and enthusiastic about improving my health to crazy, nuts and all fucked up!

I have had a lot better luck lately since I am better medicated and use the patches if I try to quit. I have adopted the mentality that I will smoke if I want to, and abstain if I don't want to. I don't like to restrict or forbid myself from smoking so I just think it through and often find that I don't want to smoke, I may feel uncomfortable but that does not equal truly wanting a cigarette.

It's only been partially successful. Over the last six months there've been more days where I haven't smoked than ones where I have but... I have one resting in the ashtray right now so...

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I think those numbers sound about right. Personally, I can't imagine what you do when you go IP these days. I guess they give you a patch and a pat on the back and wish you good luck. Yet another reason to keep taking those meds and staying out of the hospital.

Don't the psych. hospitals/wards where you are have smoking rooms/areas? They seem to here. Whenever I've been IP I have smoked (I actually think I developed the habit when I was in an adolescent psych ward..

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Guest Vapourware

Some people were talking about this earlier in the chatroom, this article came up: http://www.schizophrenia.com/smokereport.htm

The focus is more on schizophrenics but it's an interesting read in any case.

Personally I don't smoke except for the very occasional bum off bf. I haven't had a cigarette since December and currently don't have the inclination to have another cigarette.

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Smoking sharpened my thinking and calmed me down. I miss having an instant acting "PRN" med like that. They are very unhealthy, though.

There is a fair amount of research on the relationship of nicotine and MI, SZ and AHDHD in particular. I think they are looking for ways to make nicotine drugs for a lot of different purposes.

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It doesn't surprise me.

Every time I try to quit, I end up in psychosis. Professionals don't seem to care about that link in my life.

There needs to be more attention to the role of nicotine in major mental illnesses. It's an obvious link, but people like my Pdoc don't think anything of it.

There should be health programs and research into the link. I am sick of smoking but there is no information about the role of nicotine in bipolar and schizophrenia. It makes me angry, as I spend so much money and time feeding my brain nicotine. :angry2:

And yes, its an alarming statistic, but like I said, I'm not surprised.

Have you tried working with your doc to use meds as an offset to withdrawals and psychosis? I always smoked less when on a benzo. I'm not sure the AAP made a difference, but I was on one of those, too. When I quit, I was knocked out in the hospital for three week from surgery due to smoking, and then on pain pills and benzos in addition to my regular cocktail. It's the only time in my life where I actually succeeded is stopping for more than a few hours. So, yeah, extra meds help.

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Thanks, Stacia.

I can't raise my AAP's because of side effects, but I may give the patches another go with benzos.

Stupidly, have never thought about using benzos in that way before, but that makes total sense!

I may give it a go again in a few weeks, cheers for the suggestion.

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I read someplace that AAPs increase the desire to smoke, i knwo my smoking really took off when i was on them. Before that, it was more mangageable and i even quite a few times. Like when I was pregnant and nursing. so it may be the meds, too.

i do agree that nicotine is the perfect drug for those of us with psychosis and mood issues. It is also one of the most potent painkillers known to mankind, I believe. makes sense to me.

I personally believe if you have chronic pain and/or mi you should be allowed by God to smoke with no ill effects ever, but unfortuantley it does not work like that.

In AZ they just shove a patch on you if you are stuck inside like me. Sucks. For a month. Even outside, unless you had a pass off grounds, they wouldn't let me smoke.

i DEMANDED AND GOT THE GUM because the patch makes me crazy. It was not cool at all but my first cig out of the joint was perhaps the best I have EVER SMOKED.

Like, EVER.

Anna

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Back last May, when I was in, they took us out for smoke breaks twice to three times a day- I wasn't smoking then and used to just go out to sit in the sun. Before that, though, the places I had been in just gave everyone a patch and that was that.

Before I was medicated, I would have maybe two to three cigarettes a year since I turned legal. Five years later, I've been going on-again, off-again with smoking. I'll smoke for a month or two, quit for a month, smoke again for a week, quit for two months...and so on. It's a big stress reliever for me, but I've found that I've been able to give it up for longer periods of time if I use an electric cigarette. I buy a few cartridges for that at a low or no nicotine level, and I use it when I feel I really need one. Or...that's how it's supposed to work, in theory. Sometimes I just really, really want to have a smoke.

This quitting crap is hard. sad.gif The worst part, for me, is that I use it as stress relief. So I get anxious and stressed out and want a smoke. The alternative for me would be to take an Ativan, but then I have to wonder which actually does the less harm in the long run. It's kind of like picking one addictive substance or the other.

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I guess I assumed that when the hospitals put up all those signs about being smoke free environments, I believed them. You can't even smoke outside on the grounds. So I figured that they'd done away with the smoking rooms on the psych units too. Am I wrong?

Oh I'm sure you're right. In Australia they have only just passed laws to stop smoking on hospital grounds. I have been IP twice and both times were before they passed that law. The psych wards had these dingy, well ventilated, sort of outside but not really (prison like) smoking rooms. A nurse would let people in there, one at a time, once an hour. She would light your cigarette and leave you there to smoke it. Of course if you had grounds privileges you could go outside to smoke during daylight hours, and use the smoking room at night.

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No prison areas at the moment, in AZ at least. They really enforce the fuck out of it. It's freaking horrible, man. cig smoking is tolerated when you are off the unit with family but being hospitalized by not choice and NOt allowed out, ever (people could only visit me on the locked unit until I got out) I did NOT have that option.

I got really sad seeing all teh family waiting for the door to open to embrace their loved ones and have a visit, sniff. I hate involuntearies and fortunately now that I am out of the public health system and abilify is on my "allergic to" meds list, hopefully THAt situation will never happen again.

Involuntaries and a really BAD doctor were not such a good combo. Thank GOD I got legal involved and got them to transfer me to the state. That doc sorted my ass out in 5 days by putting me back on all my NORMAL meds. Sigh.

I hated my guy, the first guy. Utter douche. When a patient is TELLING you what works for stability and it is ignored... They just flat out REMOVED my seroquel for 4 weeks, replacing it with risperdone. no fucking wonder i was wandering and pacing the halls for 3 weeks off my quel, with no taper. I fucking hateed them.. With a passion. And my feet really really REALLY hurt (I was the wandering night ghost, could not stay in bed or still.)

Got to state, he put me on 800 quel a day, was out in 5. Thank christ.

Anna

Off topic but yeah no fucking cigs at all during that time. They'd give me a piece of gum every 45 mins to shut me up and i chewed the hell out of that fucking shit.

Anna

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I just quit smoking about 6 weeks ago because it was increasing my anxiety. I could not stop thinking about cancer and heart attacks. :( My pdoc actually advised me to keep smoking until I was stable, but I couldn't do it. I love the patches because they make my dreams so interesting.

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Every time I have quit smoking, I become really destabilized. I'm fascinated by this topic, because I know that cigarettes do a whole bunch of things for me neurochemically.

Here's a study done with adolescents that seems to show that cigarette smoking helps stabilize moods: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2605639/

Patches and gum never worked for me, and this is because there are psychoactive substances in cigarettes other than nicotine. For example, tobacco smoke has MAOIs in it (http://archives.drugabuse.gov/NIDA_Notes/NNVol13N3/tobacco.html) as well.

The fact that I can self-medicate with smoking does not mean that I should, however. It really does just make things worse, even if it helps short-term. I'm not smoking now and don't intend to start again.

I have seen statistics like this before but for some reason, this floored me this evening.

According to one study, 85 percent of people living with Schizophrenia smoke tobacco

65 percent of people living with Bipolar smoke tobacco

That seems high. My diagnois is Schizoaffective and, yes, I do smoke.

What do you guys think? Why would the stats be so 'friggen high?

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Interesting and believable stats.

I smoked as a teenager, but I stopped when I got out of high school because I took up singing and guitar playing. I stopped that, and ended up being one of those annoying social smokers. Then I stopped that, and only smoked at random times. Then I stopped that.

I started using an ecig about a year and a half ago. It seems to keep me from smoking actual cigarettes, so I roll with it. My parents smoked like chimneys, so I just assumed that is why I did it. Maybe that's part of it. I don't know. It's almost compulsive with me. I use the damn ecig all day. I have my own office, and I can shut the doors and puff away as I work. My boss doesn't know. heh. I doubt she would support it, even if she knew it's what I do to keep from killing my coworkers and employees. Love 'em dearly, but my job is fucking stressful and I prefer to not be a bitch towards them.

Interesting factoid about the pain. I get somatic pain when I'm feeling depressed. It's livable, but enough to make me whiney. I wonder if that's another reason why I do what I do.

The IP's around here are all smoke-free. You get a patch. People go right back to smoking when they get out. I'm not sure if people get any education or not - I don't think they do.

My doc is OK with the ecig. He was more amused by the idea than anything. He didn't say why it didn't bother him. Again, will just roll with it.

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When I was IP the smoking area crowd helped me feel less scared of the whole thing. We sat out there acting crazy together, helping each other out, bitching about the nurses and having some good laughs. I met some people that I feel really grateful to have known and heard some amazing stories (the Vets I met were freaking awesome guys). It made me feel better than the crappy groups we had to go to. I ran into one of my friends I made when I was at the hospital for a psych appointment. Unfortunately she had been re-admitted. She said they had closed the smoking area, made group participation compulsory (or you would be discharged to either home or a lockdown ward) and it was hell in there. Apparently the patients now hardly socialise and spend most of the time in their rooms. I understand that a hospital shouldn't condone smoking but I think psych wards should be the exception. Trying to quit smoking when you are unstable is not a good idea IMO.

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Smoking sharpened my thinking and calmed me down. I miss having an instant acting "PRN" med like that. They are very unhealthy, though.

This is actually a fact of how nicotine works on the brain in SZ. Something from my smoking cessation certificate(this was a general course with MH overview). Don't ask me to explain the way the brain works though. I think it's frontal. There is something about not being able to filter stimulation that nicotine is able to act on. I am actually doing another smoking cessation course this month, but the mental illness one is not available yet. I will take it when it is! I can't wait to learn more about this. I'll let you know.

In AZ they just shove a patch on you if you are stuck inside like me. Sucks. For a month. Even outside, unless you had a pass off grounds, they wouldn't let me smoke.

i DEMANDED AND GOT THE GUM because the patch makes me crazy. It was not cool at all but my first cig out of the joint was perhaps the best I have EVER SMOKED.

Like, EVER.

I guess I assumed that when the hospitals put up all those signs about being smoke free environments, I believed them. You can't even smoke outside on the grounds. So I figured that they'd done away with the smoking rooms on the psych units too. Am I wrong?

To both, the way it is here is that there are no longer smoking rooms and no smoking on the grounds - you have to go to the sidewalk. Sucks if you're restricted to ward. They did have smoking rooms when I last had my extended stay at the psych hotel.

Dawn

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