alcohol and drug abuse

Smoking Psychosis: Bipolar Disorder and Tobacco Use

G.J. Gregory Community Member August 07, 2006
  • Anyone ever notice that a large percentage of bipolar sufferers are smokers? It's in our nature, our personality. I no longer smoke, but I did for many years. Quitting was probably the most difficult thing I ever did.

    I read a book one time, a newer autobiography, I'm trying to remember the author, but he hit the nail on the head. He said he was kind of a messed up kid, nervous tics, no confidence, then he discovered cigarettes. Smoking completely took care of those issues. It was the same way for me-- my nervous energy needed an outlet, and smoking was it.

    My bipolar son smokes, and I have to say it seems to help him. He used to be a marathon runner, now he smokes. That's pure bipolar - from one extreme to the other.

    Some experts speculate that nicotine use may be a form of self-medication because of its specific effects on the brain. This absolutely makes sense to me. Another study says "Smoking was less prevalent in patients who were less symptomatic". Yet another study states that juveniles Bipolar Disorder need to be carefully monitored for the early initiation of cigarette smoking and substance abuse.

    A study I find particulary interesting ties smoking to severity of bipolar psychosis. The more significant the psychosis, the heavier the smoker, and vice versa.

    There are a few studies out there that attempt to link smoking with the onset of bipolar disorder. This I find laughable. Those that smoke seem to develop bipolar disorder at a higher rate than non-smokers? Just goes to show that if you have an outcome you want to prove, there’s always a way to do it.

    My wife asked me the other day what I would do if I was given a year to live. Without batting a eye or hesitating, I said I’d start smoking again. It was THAT helpful and satisfying. I quit in 1989, and 17 years later I STILL miss it. If I were to ever pick up another cigarette I'd be hooked for life. I don't think I'd have the willpower to quit again. It's not a perceived link, this link is very real.

    Smoker? Non-smoker? Ex-smoker? Give us your opinion on this. Leave a comment or let’s discuss it in the message boards.


37 Comments
  • ADHDB2
    Aug. 29, 2014

    Studies should be taken seriously. I don't recommend dismissing publicized, peer-reviewed articles in academic journals because the findings sound wrong, like the one G.J. Gregory mentioned about a relation between onset of bipolar disorders and smoking. Sounds to me like this dismissal was basically based on not wanting to believe it.

     

    I urge you...

    RHMLucky777

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    Studies should be taken seriously. I don't recommend dismissing publicized, peer-reviewed articles in academic journals because the findings sound wrong, like the one G.J. Gregory mentioned about a relation between onset of bipolar disorders and smoking. Sounds to me like this dismissal was basically based on not wanting to believe it.

     

    I urge you all to analyze your thoughts and try to be a little critical towards them, and try to identify conclusions based on what you want to believe. Check out the studies yourself. Not the pop-articles on general health websites, but the original articles in the academic journals not based on personal experience or personal assessment, but carefully conductet double-blind studies. This whole post sounds to me like a trivialization of smoking to convince oneself that smoking isn't so bad.

     

    https://www.aacp.com/pdf%2F1112%2F1112ACP_Saiyad.pdf

    This one concludes that there's a significant connection between smoking and symptom severity, particularly anxiety.

  • Anonymous
    Bpman
    Apr. 22, 2014

    I quit 9 years ago I have never been the same...quitting was GREAT BUT! screwin my head up.

  • Anonymous
    gridsleep
    Dec. 23, 2013

    I haven't had a cigarette in a week. It's difficult to tell if I feel worse or better or the same than I did a week ago. I only stopped smoking to keep from coughing and to keep from wheezing in a way that felt terrifyingly close to suffocation after minimal exertion (leaving the house and getting into the car, for instance.) I am terrified of suffocating....

    RHMLucky777

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    I haven't had a cigarette in a week. It's difficult to tell if I feel worse or better or the same than I did a week ago. I only stopped smoking to keep from coughing and to keep from wheezing in a way that felt terrifyingly close to suffocation after minimal exertion (leaving the house and getting into the car, for instance.) I am terrified of suffocating. Probably a claustrophobic reaction, or maybe agoraphobic, I haven't had it analyzed. But my anxiety for the past week has been limited to periods of sort of panting with the feeling of pure air going into my lungs, feeling sort of the same way as a big gulp of soft vanilla ice cream, and a feeling of a prolonged silent scream somewhere in the depths of me. That's probably been there for years. The "soft" "sweet" ice cream sensation of air is there only when I've gone without cigarettes. I can't say I have quit smoking. There's no feeling like having quit a job. I am just not smoking. I am not an ex-smoker any more than not breathing make me an ex-breather. That would only make me dead. I'm just not smoking. It's not fun. I can't pretend it is and I can't see how this gets to feel better after time, any more than hitting oneself with a hammer gets to feel better after time. One merely becomes innured to it. There are benefits, and there are defecits. We will see how much stronger my fear of suffocation is compared to my tolerance for total overwhelming anxiety and annoyance. That's what my life has come to, a balancing act between terror and anxiety. Emerson was right.

  • Observer
    Jan. 29, 2012

    If second hand smoke is as dangerous or more dangerous. Imagine being a child with parents that smoke in the home. You get up to a smoke filled home (getting nicotine you never asked for). Then you go to school the nicotine wears off. You go back home to a smokey environment once again and repeat this for your entire school year. Then go out into the world...

    RHMLucky777

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    If second hand smoke is as dangerous or more dangerous. Imagine being a child with parents that smoke in the home. You get up to a smoke filled home (getting nicotine you never asked for). Then you go to school the nicotine wears off. You go back home to a smokey environment once again and repeat this for your entire school year. Then go out into the world without smoke. YOU get the DT's start smoking because that is what you did your entire life. Then we wonder why eveyone is having mental issues. Like giving someone a calming drug then taking it away.

    • Anonymous
      schnarf5
      Aug. 05, 2012

      hey you guys- I have been diagnosed as having clinical depression and I know I have high anxiety all my life, plus once I was diagnosed as having bipolar.  I smoked from ages 17 y/o to 32.  I was pregnant at age 30.  My best friend got lung cancer and I was told my child would have emphysema by age 5 if I continued to smoke because everyone i...

      RHMLucky777

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      hey you guys- I have been diagnosed as having clinical depression and I know I have high anxiety all my life, plus once I was diagnosed as having bipolar.  I smoked from ages 17 y/o to 32.  I was pregnant at age 30.  My best friend got lung cancer and I was told my child would have emphysema by age 5 if I continued to smoke because everyone i knew at that time was a heavy smoker... so I started trying to quit during pregnancy- I cut back on the cigs.  I moved to a home that didn't allow you to smoke inside.  I had a new car and I never smoked inside of it or allowed anyone to smoke inside of it.  I bought books on quitting smoking and read them and practiced what they said to do.  i learned to relax and meditate.  I bought video from american cancer society or lung society on quitting smoking and watched it several times a day.  I stayed away from my smoking friends for one year except for minimal contact.  I joined smokers anonymous.  and most important... I practiced, practiced, practiced- whether not smoking 5 minutes or 1 day- I practiced not smoking and I didn't give up- when I relapsed on cigs, - within a short time- maybe a few days or a week or two, I would just encourage myself to try, try again.... now I've been free of cigarettes for 22 yrs!  don't give up and please keep trying- get help and be around people who have succeeded at it.. believe you can do it and also- I did ask for God's help and I believe God gave me the strength to do it a little at a time until I succeeded.

  • Observer
    Jan. 29, 2012

    First, my father smoked in our home our entire lifetime. When I moved out, I was moody and down. After several years away from smoking, I noticed a change in my mood and felt confident. However, several family members, either smoked or husband's/wives smoked. And then there were family members like me, that totally stayed away from it. The members that were...

    RHMLucky777

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    First, my father smoked in our home our entire lifetime. When I moved out, I was moody and down. After several years away from smoking, I noticed a change in my mood and felt confident. However, several family members, either smoked or husband's/wives smoked. And then there were family members like me, that totally stayed away from it. The members that were around smoking seemed to come down with bi-polar or some other mind issue. The others like me, did not have bi-polar or mental issues. I would love to know if there are others out there that have noticed the same thing? If I were to make a deduction based on my observance of my family's history. I would say the chemical's in cigarette smokes brings ON mental issues. Sorta like they say everyone has cancer cells, it takes a trigger. I believe CIGARETTE smoke is a TRIGGER to bi-polar.

  • Anonymous
    h0pe
    Jan. 24, 2012

    I had tried to quit smoking for several years, until I decided to stop using my medication for schizoaffective disorder for fun. It's bipolar with psychotic features. A few days after quitting the medicine I was able to quit smoking, but when I was hospitalized again, I started smoking again. I suspect that most people who are medicated with antipsychotics...

    RHMLucky777

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    I had tried to quit smoking for several years, until I decided to stop using my medication for schizoaffective disorder for fun. It's bipolar with psychotic features. A few days after quitting the medicine I was able to quit smoking, but when I was hospitalized again, I started smoking again. I suspect that most people who are medicated with antipsychotics and such start smoking, because smoking lessens the non-wanted symptoms the drugs cause.

     

    Actually after stopping the medicine and quitting smoking, I started to feel that the psychosis was fading and I was starting to calm down. If I'm not on my drugs, it seems like I feel better if I don't smoke. I've had alot of experience with manias and psychosis, and I know all I need to do while in that state is to calm myself and my thoughts. Tobacco seems to interfere with the calming down while I'm not on my drugs, and it seems to have an opposite effect when I'm using my medication.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Aug. 19, 2011

    My teenager was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was in a manic state for almost a month before it was recognised as something other than a rebellious teen. It is the first time she has ever smoked or even shown an interest in smoking. She has been raised in a non-smoking home. When she is manic or hypo-manic, she is of the belief that she has...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    My teenager was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was in a manic state for almost a month before it was recognised as something other than a rebellious teen. It is the first time she has ever smoked or even shown an interest in smoking. She has been raised in a non-smoking home. When she is manic or hypo-manic, she is of the belief that she has been smoking for a number of years. The more heightened her symptoms become, the more she smokes. I question whether or not the illness somehow messes with the brain chemistry and creates new behaviours and symptoms, such as smoking.

  • Because of you Angel
    Jul. 09, 2011

    Hi, I'm bipolar, I've had or I do have a lot of issues in life.  At 14 I started smoking for a girl who I wanted to I don't know, attach myself to.  I never thought I would smoke before that, anyways within a year I was hooking myself on it.  I don't think for any other reason other than low self esteem, depression and the fact that I thought...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi, I'm bipolar, I've had or I do have a lot of issues in life.  At 14 I started smoking for a girl who I wanted to I don't know, attach myself to.  I never thought I would smoke before that, anyways within a year I was hooking myself on it.  I don't think for any other reason other than low self esteem, depression and the fact that I thought I had to be hooked to something because I grew up watching my father drink himself to death.  I remember the day, I remember choosing to be addicted to cigarettes over alcohol because I thought, at least with this addiction I'd still have my mind.

     

    Boy, was I ever wrong.  From that point on I've smoked a pack a day, in the last 8 years it's been two packs per day, sometimes even three when I get really messed up.  A few days ago, like an alcoholic having a moment of sobriety I looked at the pile of cigarettes I leave, like a squirrel leaving nut shells after finding a stash of peanuts.  I even puked from it six days ago.

     

    I am 35, I can feel my heart strain.  My lungs are burned out.  My dentist says my gums are receeding badly.  I stink, I ooze chemicals out my poors.  It leaves me with little self esteem.  I felt like I was there, just throw them away...  climb out of this and don't look back.  That lasted no more than two hours which felt like twelve.  This cycle is repeating for me over the last few days but I am getting weaker each time, the sobriety is losing out.

     

    One of the things that was scaring me is that I don't know what I would be like if I didn't smoke.  It actually scares me.  I think I have used it to keep myself controlled in a down state for so long I'm scared what will happen if I do actually stop and go through all the mental cycles of withdrawl.  Years ago I used to think if I was rich I would lock myself in an institution for a few months so I could be forcibly rehabilitated.

     

    I feel like a loser, I feel like... well I know I usually take the easier way out.  It's just easier.

    • Anonymous
      Asha
      Apr. 22, 2014
      You sweet thing. I feel your pain. Live. Life is so worth living. One day at a time. Lots and lots of love from me.
  • Anonymous
    Iastoh
    Jun. 09, 2010

    I whole heartedly agree that there is a strong link between smoking and bipolar disorder self medicating.  My husband was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder 10 years ago.  He to medication and stabilzed his mood disdorders for about 4 years.  Like many others, he incorrectly decided he did not need the medication and could...

    RHMLucky777

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    I whole heartedly agree that there is a strong link between smoking and bipolar disorder self medicating.  My husband was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder 10 years ago.  He to medication and stabilzed his mood disdorders for about 4 years.  Like many others, he incorrectly decided he did not need the medication and could use his will power to control the disease.  He started at that point to chew tobacco and drink alcohol to control his moods.  While his moods where not stabilized as well with out the medication, he did seem to manage his moods well enough to be functional.  

     

    Recently, he has decided that he wants to live a more healthy life style.  This envolved primarily the cessation of chewing tobacco.  After 5 days off the tobacco he went into an extreme hypomanic state.  He has not had one of these since before his diagnosis.  He has been in this state for 6 days.  The change in his brain chemistry due to the tobacco cessation was severe.

      

  • Fred M
    Jan. 31, 2010

    I've gone a year now with out lighting up. I still have dreams about it sometimes, because I guess it was quite a big part of my life. But I've found that if I eat certain foods I don't even want to smoke!

     

    Thats how I quit in the first place. I read about certain foods that help you stop smoking. It was still bloody difficult at first, but it's nice...

    RHMLucky777

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    I've gone a year now with out lighting up. I still have dreams about it sometimes, because I guess it was quite a big part of my life. But I've found that if I eat certain foods I don't even want to smoke!

     

    Thats how I quit in the first place. I read about certain foods that help you stop smoking. It was still bloody difficult at first, but it's nice to have something to believe in.

  • Anonymous
    Lauren
    Jan. 31, 2010

    My partner has bipolar II disorder. He started taking Lamictal this past summer and it really seemed miraculous, like the clouds had finally parted for him. Things were going so well that he decided to quit smoking and got a prescription for Chantix. I'm not sure if it was the Chantix or the withdrawal, but as soon as he quit, he went rocketing into one of...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    My partner has bipolar II disorder. He started taking Lamictal this past summer and it really seemed miraculous, like the clouds had finally parted for him. Things were going so well that he decided to quit smoking and got a prescription for Chantix. I'm not sure if it was the Chantix or the withdrawal, but as soon as he quit, he went rocketing into one of the worst depressive episodes I've ever seen him in. This has now gone on for over a month. He stopped taking the Chantix a couple of weeks ago, and to his credit, has not started smoking again--but his mood seems to keep sinking continually downward, and I don't mind admitting that it has me scared.

     

    I'm curious to know whether anyone else has had this experience with bipolar depression being worsened by quitting, and what they did about it. If he was triggered by quitting smoking, will it get better eventually? Or does he (irony of ironies) need to smoke to be well?

    • Shelly
      Jan. 31, 2010

      this is just a personal opinion and not anything I know for fact...

       

      I understand that our (people with bipolar) are extra sensitive to any changes in body/brain chemistry.

       

      I personally get affected in my reactions and physically to a higher level by most anything. Full moon, allergens, OTC meds, prescriptions, etc. etc.

       

      Is he staying in...

      RHMLucky777

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      this is just a personal opinion and not anything I know for fact...

       

      I understand that our (people with bipolar) are extra sensitive to any changes in body/brain chemistry.

       

      I personally get affected in my reactions and physically to a higher level by most anything. Full moon, allergens, OTC meds, prescriptions, etc. etc.

       

      Is he staying in close contact with his doctor?

      Is he doing everything else the same or close to the same as before...diet, exercize, therapy, etc.?

      Stay extremely supportive...he needs to put one foot in front of the other...each and every day...do what he does.

       I'm thinking that it should get better eventually. But a doctor's care is the best. (and for me the absolute most important, a deep faith).

       

      Blessings on your journey.

       

       

       

    • Anonymous
      Stacey
      Feb. 02, 2010

      First let me start by saying this is the first time I have seen this site and I love it.

      But when I read what you said my heart skipped a beat. I am NOT a doctor but I am bipolar II, on Lamictal for several years (LOVE it and will NEVER go off it), and used Chantix.

       

      In 2007 I began taking Chantix - prescribed to me by the same doctor that prescribed...

      RHMLucky777

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      First let me start by saying this is the first time I have seen this site and I love it.

      But when I read what you said my heart skipped a beat. I am NOT a doctor but I am bipolar II, on Lamictal for several years (LOVE it and will NEVER go off it), and used Chantix.

       

      In 2007 I began taking Chantix - prescribed to me by the same doctor that prescribed Lamictal and diagnosed me bipolar - It was great at first, I quit for 2 months, I never took the full dose recommended. I was very aggitated, angry, weepy - okay goes along with quitting right? Well I began smoking again and tried Chantix again several months later in 2008. I took the full dose as recommended this time. I never quit smoking. Instead I wound up trying to commit suicide and checked myself into a MH hospital for 2 days.

       

      They would not allow me to take the Chantix. It took 5-6days for the complete and utter empty feeling to go away. My friend said to me I guess if you die then you will have quit smoking.

       

      I advacate against Chantix especially with people diagnosed bipolar.

       

      In addition, a friend of mine was telling me a couple months ago he tried Chantix and he became very depressed and had nightmares so he quit the medication.

       

      Since I have been on Lamictal I am asymptomatic until I try to quit smoking then I get weepy and tired; not sad though. I despise any change in my mood - it scares me! I want to quit smoking tho!!

    • Anonymous
      Spanophile
      Feb. 09, 2010

      Chantix sent me into a suicidal depression.  My psychiatrist said my regular doctor should never have put me on it and that she would never give it to someone with bipolar disorder.

    • Crystal
      Apr. 22, 2014
      There are a lot of lawsuits against Chantix. It should not be given to people with mental illness, yes this includes depression. I have bipolar. It took me a year to be back to myself. Smoking calms me down, at least that's what I think in my mind. In reality I know it makes the anxiety worse, at least that's what they say.I had quit for 5 years and was a runner....
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      There are a lot of lawsuits against Chantix. It should not be given to people with mental illness, yes this includes depression. I have bipolar. It took me a year to be back to myself. Smoking calms me down, at least that's what I think in my mind. In reality I know it makes the anxiety worse, at least that's what they say.I had quit for 5 years and was a runner. Then I got the bipolar diagnosis, put on several meds and started smoking again. For me there is definetly a correlation between meds and wanting to smoke. Back to the Chantix. It almost killed me. I lost mind, the chain of events happened in a few hours. I tried to commit sucide, and did not know what I was doing. I tried to overdose in my hospital room too, I had yet more pills in my suitcase. I was out of my mind. I was in ICU for two days. I was in the pscy ward for a total of a month. I kept checking myself out because I thought I was fine. I definetly was not. My husband knew I wasn't and drove me to another hospital/pscy ward. This happened twice. They ended up detaining me so I was not allowed to check myself out. I hallunicinated, thought people were having conversations with my husband. The list just goes on and on. Any one with a mental illness is putting their life in their hands if they take Chantix.
  • Anonymous
    Pat B.
    Jan. 09, 2010

    I smoked from the time I was 15 years old, and I'm 45 now.  I've tried to quit over and over, and the best I can do is cut down a bit.  I hate the habit, but I can't seem to do without it.  I agree that it is self-medicating, and of course, it's 100% habit forming.  Congratulations on quitting for 17 years!  I hope someday I can say...

    RHMLucky777

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    I smoked from the time I was 15 years old, and I'm 45 now.  I've tried to quit over and over, and the best I can do is cut down a bit.  I hate the habit, but I can't seem to do without it.  I agree that it is self-medicating, and of course, it's 100% habit forming.  Congratulations on quitting for 17 years!  I hope someday I can say the same.  PBIN

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Dec. 23, 2009

    If you're son is bipolar, why dont you get him treatment for his brain-disease instead of just accepting that he smokes. Smokes will give him a shorter (maybee very short) life and medications might take away all the symptoms of his bipolar. My husband got diagnosed this year after a very extreme full blown episode. Now he found medication that works wonders,...

    RHMLucky777

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    If you're son is bipolar, why dont you get him treatment for his brain-disease instead of just accepting that he smokes. Smokes will give him a shorter (maybee very short) life and medications might take away all the symptoms of his bipolar. My husband got diagnosed this year after a very extreme full blown episode. Now he found medication that works wonders, people hardly can tell it's the same person, before he upset everyone and couldnt keep longterm relationships. He is now about to quit smoking and be the healthiest himself he can be. Does'nt your son deserve that too????

  • Anonymous
    smoke free
    Sep. 24, 2009

    59 days free.  On my 30th day had a bipolar relapse.  My father a shrink is very frustrated with me being so symptomatic.  He does not remember this but my first psychotic break was also during my only nicotine free period.  In a PHP program trying to decide if I should buy a pack of smokes......

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Dec. 04, 2009

      hello everyone!!! im 19 and i was diagnosed with bipolar earlier this year. i was admitted into a care facility and was put on meds. i have been off my meds for about a month or two and i now feel extremely manic... but we know that we all love the feeling!!! anyway i have definately been smoking more today, but it does seem to calm me down to a certain extent....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      hello everyone!!! im 19 and i was diagnosed with bipolar earlier this year. i was admitted into a care facility and was put on meds. i have been off my meds for about a month or two and i now feel extremely manic... but we know that we all love the feeling!!! anyway i have definately been smoking more today, but it does seem to calm me down to a certain extent. i tried to stop about a month ago and was unable to so i have to say i would rather be a happy smoker than suffer through trying to stop! we all do what we must to survive.

  • Anonymous
    Rose Sims
    Aug. 20, 2009

    I was diagnosed with clinican depression in 2005. I did not want to smoke, eat or drink. I managed to live through the depression with Lexapro but a remember smoking again too. Then in 2008 I quit smoking again and low and behold a severe depression set in once again. I really thought I was going to die this time.

     

    I had a big project to do and decided...

    RHMLucky777

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    I was diagnosed with clinican depression in 2005. I did not want to smoke, eat or drink. I managed to live through the depression with Lexapro but a remember smoking again too. Then in 2008 I quit smoking again and low and behold a severe depression set in once again. I really thought I was going to die this time.

     

    I had a big project to do and decided to reward myself with a cigarette and I've been smoking and happy ever since. The question is do I die from depression or take my chances with cigarette. I'm opting to smoke right now.

     

    God help everyone who lives with mental conditions - it's tough and you need to do what you can to take care of yourself.

  • Anonymous
    DK
    Aug. 12, 2009

    I have recently quit. 3 weeks now and I can completly agree with what you and everyone else has said. My bipolar has been completly stable for 3 years, up until 3 weeks ago when I quit, still going downhill. 

    I dont think that nicotine is completly part of it but maybee additives or something else that is emitted through tabacco smoke. I say this because...

    RHMLucky777

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    I have recently quit. 3 weeks now and I can completly agree with what you and everyone else has said. My bipolar has been completly stable for 3 years, up until 3 weeks ago when I quit, still going downhill. 

    I dont think that nicotine is completly part of it but maybee additives or something else that is emitted through tabacco smoke. I say this because I chew a little also so I know that it is not only the nicotine. Just a thought.

  • Anonymous
    Taylor
    Jul. 17, 2009

    I'm a 23 year female who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when I was 17.  Mine is the "classic" case.  I experienced severe lows (usually spring and summer) and severe highs (fall and winter).  These lasted for months at a time. 

    I was hospitalized at 17 after not sleeping for 3 or 4 days in a row.  My manic delusions became out...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I'm a 23 year female who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when I was 17.  Mine is the "classic" case.  I experienced severe lows (usually spring and summer) and severe highs (fall and winter).  These lasted for months at a time. 

    I was hospitalized at 17 after not sleeping for 3 or 4 days in a row.  My manic delusions became out of control.  I acted like I was on hard core drugs.  This was embarassing to me because I had never even touched a ciggarette at this point in my life much less drugs. 

    It was after I was out of the hospital that I developed a self-loathing love affair with nicotine.  I hated myself for having this disorder.  I felt out of control, clueless, and guilty for the things I did and said during my "manic" episode.  Smoking seemed to calm my nerves.

    I tried to seriously quit two times.  Both times I quit for about a month and both times I relapsed into a manic episode soon after quitting.  I told myself after the last time (being in the hospital, for weeks at a time by the way) I don't have the strength to go through that again.  The emotional strain is too much.

     

    I still smoke today, but I choose to not feel guilty anymore.  I control my intake to half a pack a day at the most.  And I know it's bad for me.  I also know that diet coke causes weight gain (especially in the mid-section)and caused brain cancer in lab rats that were exposed to aspartame(artificial sweetner) but I don't see the warning labels on the can!  I know one day I will quit because I now have more tools to help when I decide it's time.  I take Lithium that I get from an herbal shop.  I have experienced too many side affects from doctor prescribed medication.  I find that lithium has helped me stay more level.  I have now been manic free for over three years since taking lithium.

     

     

    • Daniel
      Oct. 19, 2012

      That's awesome but that doesn't work for everyone that's bipolar. I am bipolar type 2 and I too am on lithium and I still go through manics every now and than and when I smoked I was smoking about a half a pack to a pack a day at the most at one point two packs a day, although I had fewer depression manics, I was also more easily angered. I've quit smoking...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      That's awesome but that doesn't work for everyone that's bipolar. I am bipolar type 2 and I too am on lithium and I still go through manics every now and than and when I smoked I was smoking about a half a pack to a pack a day at the most at one point two packs a day, although I had fewer depression manics, I was also more easily angered. I've quit smoking without going back for almost 4 years, I also did dipping tobacco at one time and that only seemed to help when in a depression manic. It all depends on the type of bipolar for certain medications and or supplements to work that effectively

  • Anonymous
    Soren Wethersby
    May. 08, 2009

    I just "broke through" bipolar last night. I am hoping one of you may understand what I am saying though I know many of you may not. Extreme intelligence and creativity are linked to bipolar.

     

    You can fall in a spectrum of bipolar. From the creative to the genius side. You also may not be the smartest bipolar or most creative in the group. There are varying...

    RHMLucky777

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    I just "broke through" bipolar last night. I am hoping one of you may understand what I am saying though I know many of you may not. Extreme intelligence and creativity are linked to bipolar.

     

    You can fall in a spectrum of bipolar. From the creative to the genius side. You also may not be the smartest bipolar or most creative in the group. There are varying degress. So what is smart and what is creative?

     

    Just so you understand, I am speaking in concepts, not terminology. People can understand concepts, but they don't always understand terminology if they have not been taught it before with "concepts. Anywho. Here we go with my explaination:

     

    Take a piece of white printer paper

     

    Get a big, red, felt tipped marker and make 20 dots at random points.

     

    Ok, are you ready for what smart is? draw a line from one point to another. Good job, you are not retarded(I don't mean to say actually physically handicapped people, I mean you are not stupid. You are not at a zero, you are at least at a one.

     

    From that dot that you are at now, draw another line to another dot.

     

    Do this one more time.

     

    Ok, if you think you are slick and just made a triangle, you are a creative and not that bright, but you might still be smart. Lets find out why.

     

    Ok the forth line, draw a line quicker to another point. 

     

    However quickly you drew that line is how much smarter you are than the other guy.

     

    Got it?

     

    Ok, now what about the creatives, except for the triangle jackasses?

     

    Draw another line to another dot.

     

    If you didn't make another dot and draw you line there then you are a smart person, not a creative.

     

    If you ventured outside of my rules at any time you are a creative. Good job.

     

    If you find that you fall in the middle of the two categories that is ok.

     

    If you find that you fall inbetween both categories and you are smart, meaning "you draw lines quicker than the other kids in the pre-school class then you are fucked.

     

    Those people are the ones that have the posibility of going crazy. 

     

    People with bipolar have engines inside of them that they do not control, at least before the break through (No, this doesn't happen in therapy with hugs and kisses, athough any bipolar person should be in therapy and on meds to help control the engine from reving up too high).

     

    Hopefully after a looooooooooooong time in therapy, you are comfortable with yourself, and you are ready, the time will come.

     

    Your internal engine will most likely rev like never has before. Mine reved like it once and a circuit breaker in my head tripped and I went to bed. This wasn't my choice. It was the second time.

     

    When that next time comes for you know that you have to cool yourself down. If you don't you will go to a place that you cannot come back from. It is a bad and dark place. You know what I am talking about.

     

    Whatever you did to "cope" in the past do it. Have a "fire extinguisher" ready incase you are not able to cool down the engine. It is better for you to go to sleep than to over heat you engine.

     

    Once you cool it down you are going to come to a very calm place. You will be able to feel like you are bobbing in and out of conscienceness. That is where something special happens.

     

    Start touching your body.

     

    You will feel like you are on X.

     

    I have never taken one illegal drug but I beat that it feels exactly like it.

     

    You will have an orgasim so mind blowing that it will feel like the earth just moved.

     

    After that you will be on the other side and everything is going to be ok.  

    • Anonymous
      tigerbeat
      Jul. 15, 2009

      I think I started smoking because I was manic.  Somebody offered me a cigarette and I didn't say no, which I would have done if I was feeling ok.  Maybe the smoking ban would have helped back then as I probably wouldn't have followed the provider outside.  Too many nights out with alcohol just fueled my desire.  I def. start smoking more...

      RHMLucky777

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      I think I started smoking because I was manic.  Somebody offered me a cigarette and I didn't say no, which I would have done if I was feeling ok.  Maybe the smoking ban would have helped back then as I probably wouldn't have followed the provider outside.  Too many nights out with alcohol just fueled my desire.  I def. start smoking more when I'm hypomanic/manic.  The increase in energy just demands more smokes to sustain it.  I haven't stopped and am feeling aprehensive about doing so as I'm stressed most of the time.  The idea of adding the withdrawel on top makes me feel that it would be impossible to deal with.

  • Anonymous
    Glenn Bryson
    Mar. 15, 2009

    I have noticed, from personal experience, what seems to be a direct, very strong corellation between the severity of my mood swings, and smoking.

     

    I have smoked on and off for 7~ years now, and I notice that the periods when I had the strongest suicidal ideation / even attemps, were when I wasn't smoking at the time. Smoking seems to regulate (to...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I have noticed, from personal experience, what seems to be a direct, very strong corellation between the severity of my mood swings, and smoking.

     

    I have smoked on and off for 7~ years now, and I notice that the periods when I had the strongest suicidal ideation / even attemps, were when I wasn't smoking at the time. Smoking seems to regulate (to an extent) the severeity of my mood swings. I still have them, and they can be quite severe at times still. But I have noticed that they are so much more managable.

     

    Either way, I enjoy smoking, it seems to help a lot, and I really don't smoke that much. I smoke an average of maybe 6 cigarettes a day, more when I'm drinking (Not an alchoholic, though I worry sometimes, so I keep it controlled ^^), less when I have nothing to do.

  • Anonymous
    David
    Nov. 27, 2007

    I have been tobacco free for 46 hours and it is killing me.

     

    Yes, I think there is a strong corelate.  If only the pharmaceutical industry could mimic the chemical structure of nicotine that affects our brains, we would become somewhat socially acceptable.

     

    Until then, we are faced with dealing with side effects of the drugs or smoking.  Either...

    RHMLucky777

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    I have been tobacco free for 46 hours and it is killing me.

     

    Yes, I think there is a strong corelate.  If only the pharmaceutical industry could mimic the chemical structure of nicotine that affects our brains, we would become somewhat socially acceptable.

     

    Until then, we are faced with dealing with side effects of the drugs or smoking.  Either way it seems we don't have a great solution.

     

    Thanks for the encouragement / discouragement.   I was kind of hoping the cravings would go away over time.  Oh well, one can dream.

    • G.J. Gregory
      Nov. 28, 2007

      Hang in there David.  Quitting was one of the most rewarding and important things I've ever done.  Yes, I still miss it, but I miss a lot of things I used to do in life.  For a decade after I quit we celebrated my non-smoking anniversary every year, it was that big an event in my life.

       

      If I can do it, you can do it.  It's not...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hang in there David.  Quitting was one of the most rewarding and important things I've ever done.  Yes, I still miss it, but I miss a lot of things I used to do in life.  For a decade after I quit we celebrated my non-smoking anniversary every year, it was that big an event in my life.

       

      If I can do it, you can do it.  It's not easy, but is well worth the short-term pain.  All the best to you.

       

    • Anonymous
      David
      Nov. 28, 2007

      Thank you for the support.

       

      Unfortunately, shortly after posting, I bought a pack.   I still have a goal to quit.  There is a "Freedom From Smoking" online program on the American Lung Association's website which I am going to use.   They encourage to have a quit date 3 weeks after starting their program.  ...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thank you for the support.

       

      Unfortunately, shortly after posting, I bought a pack.   I still have a goal to quit.  There is a "Freedom From Smoking" online program on the American Lung Association's website which I am going to use.   They encourage to have a quit date 3 weeks after starting their program.   I have set a date and am working through the program.   I will accomplish this goal, just need to pace it.

       

      The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance website is initiating a quit smoking program.  Currently, they are taking surveys for gathering data.

       

      The link for the items mentioned above are found below:

       

      Freedom From Smoking:

       

      http://www.lungusa.org/site/apps/kb/home/login.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=38973&membershipreq=83912&targetURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Elungusa%2Eorg%2Fsite%2Fpp%2Easpx%3Fc%3DdvLUK9O0E%26b%3D39238

       

      Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance:

       

      http://dbsa.invisionzone.com/index.php?act=announce&f=6&id=59

       

      I hope these may be helpful for anybody else looking to quit.

       

      Thanks again and good luck to all,

       

      David

       

       

  • Anonymous
    Q
    Feb. 04, 2007
    I believe there is a link, but the effects of smoking may vary by where you are in your cycles. I imagine smoking calms and focuses you when you are swinging high and while you start swinging towards low it makes things better until you start hitting the bottom and it doesn't help anymore, but by then you are smoking so much it makes you sick. This is all...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I believe there is a link, but the effects of smoking may vary by where you are in your cycles. I imagine smoking calms and focuses you when you are swinging high and while you start swinging towards low it makes things better until you start hitting the bottom and it doesn't help anymore, but by then you are smoking so much it makes you sick. This is all just my opinion, no medical fact in this comment, just observation and introspection. I am currently a non-smoker, but I quit and start up often. It's been about 9 months now and I'd LOVE a cig too :)
  • Anonymous
    Connie
    Aug. 14, 2006
    Good info on smoking. I have also read that smoking acts as an antidepressant. It is labeled as a stimulant. I keep qutting and resume a smoke here and then when I get very depressed. Doesn't matter that the pack is old and stale. I wonder if it has something to do with inhaling and exhaling? Any ideas? *********************************************************************...
    RHMLucky777
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    Good info on smoking. I have also read that smoking acts as an antidepressant. It is labeled as a stimulant. I keep qutting and resume a smoke here and then when I get very depressed. Doesn't matter that the pack is old and stale. I wonder if it has something to do with inhaling and exhaling? Any ideas? ********************************************************************* Hi Connie! I have read numerous articles about the effects of smoking on areas of the brain, and you are right, there seems to be evidence of a therapeutic effect. But is it so much the inhaling and exhaling, or is there comfort also in the oral aspects of smoking? Something comforting in our mouths? I do know that when I quit the changes to my body were quite noticeable, there are absolutely strong physical changes that take place.l Thanks again for your reading and commenting. -GJ
  • Anonymous
    maggs
    Aug. 10, 2006
    somehow, i was able to quit. and i can smoke and not touch it again for a year. not sure why, but it's a good thing *************************************************************************************************** To be able to smoke without fear of complete and total addiction would be wonderful. I'd be smoking again in a second. Thanks for stopping...
    RHMLucky777
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    somehow, i was able to quit. and i can smoke and not touch it again for a year. not sure why, but it's a good thing *************************************************************************************************** To be able to smoke without fear of complete and total addiction would be wonderful. I'd be smoking again in a second. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! -GJ
  • Anonymous
    Justin
    Aug. 10, 2006
    Just stopped smoking. Have gradually begun to see the connection between my mood swings and the amount that I smoke. There's a definite correlation between the two. Found your thoughts on the subject very interesting, especially the idea of cigarettes as an outlet for nervous energy....can definitely relate to that! *********************************************************************...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    Just stopped smoking. Have gradually begun to see the connection between my mood swings and the amount that I smoke. There's a definite correlation between the two. Found your thoughts on the subject very interesting, especially the idea of cigarettes as an outlet for nervous energy....can definitely relate to that! ********************************************************************* Justin - Like you, there's a lot of us with bipolar disorder who have found refuge in smoking. I'd sure like a cigarette right now... Thanks for your comment! GJ
  • Anonymous
    Nancy
    Aug. 07, 2006
    I can't agree with you more. I quit 4 1/2 years ago and I miss it today. I used to have nightmares that I started again. I quit several times. Twice I quit for over a year, when I became pregnant. I also noticed a correlation between being mentally ill and smoking. The majority of people in IOP smoke, a lot. But we can also quit. And with our resolve we...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I can't agree with you more. I quit 4 1/2 years ago and I miss it today. I used to have nightmares that I started again. I quit several times. Twice I quit for over a year, when I became pregnant. I also noticed a correlation between being mentally ill and smoking. The majority of people in IOP smoke, a lot. But we can also quit. And with our resolve we can stay non smokers. ******************************************************* Nancy - great comment! Yes, we can quit. You and I are examples of this. But do you think the "average" non-bipolar person still misses it 4 or 5 or 10 years later? That need seems to be so much greater for those of us with bipolar disorder. Thanks for you comment! -GJ
    • Greg
      Sep. 22, 2010

      Hi Nancy

      About 5 minutes ago I sat on the internet, to research the connection between smoking and bipolar disorder wich is what I have. I just read people with 4 years, 5 years, I even saw somebody who quit for 17 years and he still craves it, of course he has bipolar disorder too.

      I quit for 10 years then I started again. I feel good when I smoke, I feel...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Nancy

      About 5 minutes ago I sat on the internet, to research the connection between smoking and bipolar disorder wich is what I have. I just read people with 4 years, 5 years, I even saw somebody who quit for 17 years and he still craves it, of course he has bipolar disorder too.

      I quit for 10 years then I started again. I feel good when I smoke, I feel confident, etc.. So why should I quit.

      I tell you Nancy the law is against us. You know something it all started with the kind of people who think smokers are arrogent, because they appear so when they smoke.

      I live in Los Angeles county and alllready have 3 cities that have no smoking ordinance that I know of. Frankly I get offended when somenone tells me I should quit, even my doctor. I'm immagening to make the law with exception for people with bipoler disorder. I'm a guy who say's "hey, I don't care about lungs, I got to smoke". If you have time please respond to this letter.

      Thank You

      Greg