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Out of curiosity, how many of you smoke tobacco?

 

The several times I have been a psych inpatient it seems 90% of the patients smoked.

 

Even I have (foolishly!) been flirting with nicotine. I guess it is a novelty for my depressed brain, that's my excuse.  

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Don't fuck around with tobacco. You will spend a long time in the future wishing you hadn't. I smoked for 16 years. Quitting has been an ongoing and tortuous process. I do think more people with MI than without smoke. For me, I found it calmed my anxiety and gave me something to do when I was nervous.

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I smoked for 14 years. I liked it because it gave me a reason to walk away when I needed a time out.

I picked it up because in the substance abusing circles that I traveled in, everyone smoked, so I did, too.

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Flirting with nicotine you say?  

 

How about:

 

Taunting packs of wild dogs.  Publishing your militia's manifesto on the FBI web site.  Looking down the barrel of a gun to see if its loaded.  Mixing ammonia with Clorox to get the tub really clean.  Reading Mien Kampf in a synagogue during Yom Kippur.   Going hunting with Dick Cheney.  

 

I mean, as long as you are just "flirting".  

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I've smoked cigarettes daily and heavily for two years.  Prior to that, I "flirted with nicotine," smoking occasionally at social gatherings or when I felt stressed.

 

The process of trying and failing to quit over and over again is hellish and demoralizing.  I wish I could go back in time and prevent my younger, naive self from ever starting to smoke. 

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I'm currently trying to quit (again). I've been a few a days. I don't expect to last much longer. I started smoking when I was 16. When I was IP for the first time actually. There wasn't much else to do in there. I'm 22 now. 

 

There are just NO words for how difficult it is to quit smoking. Most smokers (including me) who've given up a drug habit will tell you that was easier to do. I really think the taxes and restrictions imposed on smokers are extremely unfair because it is just that hard to stop.

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I started smoking when I was 18 to quit self-injuring.  For more than 5 years I smoked less than 10 cigarettes a month, maximum, and I'm really not joking when I say maximum.

 

So it worked! sort of.   Because now it's 9 years later, I'm having problems not self-injuring, and I smoke half a pack a day.

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i've been a smoker for almost 3/4ths of my life (and i'm only 42).  i smoke less now than when i was younger.  ten cigarettes a day is a binge for me now.  medication influences my desire to smoke/not smoke quite a bit.  parnate doesn't like tobacco very much.  zyprexa loves it.  so they cancel each other out somewhat i suppose.

 

i've known people who take up smoking when they're IP because smokers are the ones who get to go outside for 15 min at a time.  there doesn't seem to be any equivalent time out scheduled for non-smokers.  it's not a very fair system.  that said, anytime i've been IP the majority of patients were smokers anyway.  e-cigs are hot commodities in an MI ward - if you don't hide them, they get stolen pretty quick.

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I've been smoking since I was 15, heavily since I was 19. I'm almost 24 now. I'm up to almost 2 packs a day. It's getting beyond ridiculous and just the other day I decided it's time to quit. I just don't know where to begin, it's an overwhelming thought. Smoking has, at times, been the only 'friend' I had. That's no longer true. And I'm just sick of it. Sick of spending the money, sick of smelling like smoke, sick of always worrying whether I have enough to get through the day. I want to quit. I need to quit. I just don't know where to go from here. I don't want to die at 30 because I made a stupid mistake to start smoking when I was still just a child. 

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I've been smoking since I was 15, heavily since I was 19. I'm almost 24 now. I'm up to almost 2 packs a day. It's getting beyond ridiculous and just the other day I decided it's time to quit. I just don't know where to begin, it's an overwhelming thought. Smoking has, at times, been the only 'friend' I had. That's no longer true. And I'm just sick of it. Sick of spending the money, sick of smelling like smoke, sick of always worrying whether I have enough to get through the day. I want to quit. I need to quit. I just don't know where to go from here. I don't want to die at 30 because I made a stupid mistake to start smoking when I was still just a child. 

 

If it seems overwhelming to quit all at once, you might want to try cutting down gradually.  There have been times in my life where I smoked a lot ( a pack to a pack and a half a day is a LOT for me) and in order to get it under control, I would be mindful of how many I was smoking a day, then set a limit for myself, and slowly cut that number down.  Smoking half, then putting it out and saving the rest for later helps, and it makes me feel like I am getting to smoke more. 

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The NAMI website says that, per the Journal of the American Medical Assn, 44.3 per cent of all cigarettes consumed in the US are by the mentally ill or people with substance abuse problems.  This stat has probably been posted previously on the board.

I smoke about 1.5 packs a day when manic, and chew nicotine gum when in remission.

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Will-that's an interesting statistic. But don't ALL smokers have a substance abuse problem by definition?

 

Well, you got me there bluechick, for sure!  But I would assume the stat relates to other types of substance abuse.

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i've found nictione to be good for my cognition and stress relief so i chose the lesser of two evils and use an e-cigarette.  I got the riva 510 kit from www.liberty-flights.com.  Costs are way less than cigarettes and the only thing i injest is the nicotine, which i can live with.  plus you don't have to go outside every hour!  i use 24mg nicotine strength which as a pack a day smoker keeps me with a good buzz all day long.  might be a bit much for some though.  you can go all the way down to 0mg if that works for you.

Edited by avidwriter
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I smoked from high school until age 30. When I was sick, I smoked more. When I got diagnosed, I smoked because I thought I was entitled (lol). Through the years, many of my tdocs have been committed smokers, also, and I don't know what that means. I smoked 1 pack a day when fine, 2 packs a day when sick.

 

I quit and have not touched one in years. This was not easy but I did it.

 

However, sometimes I believe I could eat a pack of cigarettes if placed in front of me. I will never stop wanting them.

 

I don't know why, but the crazy brain seems to love the smoke. I do not personally know a person who is MI who has not either been or is a smoker.

Edited by goldfish
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I smoked for years to help cognition and alleviate anxiety. I was totally hooked for over 30 years. I started when I was 12. I quit the day I went into the hospital to have the arteries to my legs and right kidney replaced because of a combination of a disease and smoking caused atherosclerosis. (I had a low fat/cholesterol diet, and exercised a lot until the last couple years when I couldn't. So, yeah, it was totally the smoking that caused the atherosclerosis. I was in my 40s, not 70s. You do not want to quit this way.

 

I never, ever hear of pharma being used to address the anti-anxiety properties of smoking. Yet that was the thing that made quitting the hardest for me - I'd get more and more anxious until I gave in and smoked. So, I have a theory on how I'd quit if I had it to do over again. I would go to a doc for prescriptions of Wellbutrin for cognition (as well as making cigs less desirable) and a PRN short-acting benzo like Ativan for the anxiety. I'd also join a stop smoking group, or see a tdoc or a hypnotist or something to help with the psych side of stopping and I'd suck on suckers and chew lots of gum (which actually did help). Basically, attack it on all fronts at the same time AND include something for the anxiety and ADD I was self-medicating.

Edited by AnneMarie
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