A lot of smokers worry about getting depression after they quit smoking. Before we jump in, let’s state that the evidence between quitting smoking and depression is not clear. What is clear is that there are more smokers who suffer from depression than non-smokers, potentially because they smoke to feel better.
You shouldn’t wait to quit because you’re worried about depression. New evidence supports that quitting smoking is actually associated with reduced depression, anxiety, and stress, improved positive mood and quality of life
compared to the continuation of smoking .
How do I know if I have Depression After I Quit?
It’s important to note that depression is more than just being sad a single day. Changes in mood and feeling down are normal when you quit smoking. These feelings are from withdrawal from nicotine and generally go on for 1-2 weeks only. However, depression is characterized by constantly feeling sad, getting easily frustrated, changes in sleep, feeling worthless, being tried, getting grumpy, and changes in behavior like not wanting to do things that used to be fun.
Here’s a free Quiz that is sponsored by the National Institute of Health to find out if you’re suffering from depression:
What are the treatments for Depression?
If you feel like you may have depression after you quit you should look for treatment. Whatever you do, don’t start smoking again! Smoking does not treat depression and is linked to tons of serious health risks.
Treatments for depression begin by speaking to a doctor or your mental health professional. They may recommend counseling‚ talk therapy‚ psychotherapy, medication, or some combination of all of them.
Other small things you can do to make yourself feel better are:
• Exercise – A common theme for smokers who are trying to quit! It’s a great mood booster.
• Reconnect with friends and loved ones – Support is key, not only in quitting smoking but also in beating depression.
• Structure your day – Stay busy by getting out of your house and doing activities.
• Join a Sports League- Not only will you get exercise but you will also get to connect with others.
Don’t be discouraged or embarrassed if you’re experiencing depression. 1 in every 6 Americans suffer from depression at one point of their lives and millions have overcome it. You can too!
 Taylor Gemma, McNeillAnn, Girling Alan, FarleyAmanda, Lindson-HawleyNicola, Aveyard Paul et al. Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ 2014;348 :g1151