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Does smoking help with stress and anxiety?

Hadoblado

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#2
No. Smoking helps smokers reduce anxiety pertaining to withdrawal symptoms. They wouldn't have these symptoms if they hadn't started smoking in the first place.

Things that to my knowledge have been demonstrated to reduce anxiety:
- mindfulness and meditation
- planning and scheduling -> engagement with life and challenges rather than avoidance
- adequate sleep
- adequate exercise
- breathing exercises
- social support
- diverse and nourishing diet

There's nothing magic about any of these. They're not particularly interesting. They're just what works at a statistical level afaik.

I'm pretty sure smoking has been shown to increase anxiety over the long term? You're exposing yourself to carcinogens voluntarily...
 

Ragnar

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#4
Yes. Smoking helps with almost every aspect of life: it is a grand and great pleasure.


It's not for everyone though, and I certainly wouldn't encourage people to smoke, any more than I would encourage them to sky-dive, or to become vegan.

Neither would I encourage them to refrain.



We must each dree our own weird.



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#5
Anxiety itself is a normal mental function. Almost everything living experiences it. It's much more harmless than it feels. It's originally there to keep you safe.

Something needs changing when you experience it where no threats are present. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help. Or as Hado mentioned, being mindful of your thought processes and identifying what triggered it. Sometimes, all that is needed is a realistic adjustment of your perspective and beliefs of the anxiety trigger. In some cases, it could be something more physiological, like consuming stimulants for example.
 

Ragnar

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#6
I smoked from the age of 15, tentatively 1 a day at first, then to about 7 a day more or less. Stopped smoking 3 years ago --- temporarily because of the vast cost in my country --- although I will smoke if a friend offers me one; not smoking does not make one a non- or anti- smoker.

However I would prefer to smoke, giving it up was not difficult, because the addictive nature is vastly over-rated, as much as the 10,000 potential harms meant to frighten the weak, but which after a time are so all embracing as to be merely a laughable disregarded catch-all puritans exaggerated in the liberal will-to-power. Telling me just it may cause cancer and/or heart disease would give me pause; telling me it causes every condition under the sun just invites disregard.

Pretty much as with every other thing including sex morbid old biddies whined about.



I am vegan, but no more prescribe it for others than I do legitimist royalism: if other people aren't such naturally, fuck'em: no business of mine when they go to hell. You have to want to be something for the being to be valid.

As a monarchist statist I have no problem in forcing people to virtue through regulation or decree [ a la Bismarck or Edwin Chadwick ], but I don't pretend it is to be used indiscriminately or for the small private matters of personal lives.





And no, no sky-diving: coming off a ladder last year was enough of an assay into that game. But, unless it hurts animals, I don't really think it my business to stop or preach against anything that is not utterly idiotic.




Permitting Climate Change is utterly idiotic, no matter what Soviet America thinks. The consequence of which will injure more healths in far shorter a time than were everyone to have smoked from the age of 3 or 4 [ as did kidlets in certain South American tribes back when we still had explorers ].




__mizuhashi_parsee_touhou_drawn_by_inoshin_inixia1748__fe26da450cb2881151158c5a5a5a1afc.png
 
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#7
I was mostly teasing you, ragnar, I understand where you are coming from

I do think you would benefit from more skydiving in your life however

I mean, it's air and stuff
 

QuickTwist

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#8
Just like with alcohol, there are differences in the types of people who smoke.

Some people are strictly "social smokers" and don't really smoke regularly by themselves.

The power of nicotine is not in how addictive it is, but in the frequency that one might need it. If you are only smoking 5-10 cigarettes a day, your addiction is not very strong. If you are smoking a pack a day, it is more difficult to quit. To those ends, it also depends on how much you actually like smoking. What is associated with smoking for you is often a telling factor for how much you enjoy it.

I myself am trying to quit. I smoked the equivalent of about a pack and a half a day. Now I am down to about a half a pack. I smoked by myself probably 99.9+% of the time. It was therapeutic for me because it would give me a chance to collect my thoughts and process things. My association with smoking was with the engagement of my mind and I really like to think.

I have been doing some exposure therapy by myself with smoking. I am spending a bit of time in the places I would smoke all the time without smoking. I am trying to make it "normal" to be in these places without smoking.

To address the OP more directly, I agree with what Hado said.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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#9
I started smoking to reduce stress. That was over 6 years ago. I still smoke, but it's always on my mind to stop.

Don't start.
 

Adaire

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#10
I don't personally think there's much reason to start smoking, when vaping is an option. As far as I can tell it's superior in every facet, including the anti-anxiety affects.

I toyed with the idea of vaping for several years before trying it, in a self experimental way (I always have some self-experiment, going on). I'd done a ton of research, and thought it could be helpful for me, but waited for some more data before I took the plunge. In the case of vaping I thought it would help elevate my background mood and help with obsessive/intrusive suicidal thoughts. Anecdotally, it has helped me immensely. I used to have these intrusive thought-patterns multiple times an hour, now it's only a few times a week and they have very little staying power, they cross my mind and vanish. I no longer fixate on a depressing/suicidal line of reasoning for hours on end, like I often would before I started.

I still don't show any typical addictive symptoms of withdrawal like a smoker does, even when I'm explicitly trying to evoke them. I thought I would, that particular result surprised me greatly. I do miss it, but that's because it's a habit I thoroughly enjoy. When I have a purpose and am testing myself it's very easy to either not vape or forgo adding nicotine to my juice; I've done both multiple times spanning from 2 weeks to a month of total abstinence. In both cases, it's take about a week before I notice a significant uptake in problematic recursive thought patterns. Overall, for me it's a subtle, but significant positive change. I'm much happier. Sidenote: I may experiment on myself, but that's entirely for my own benefit to draw my own personal conclusions, free from any bias except my own. It's right for me, but I can't say if it's correct for you. I'm not a scientist. I'm not trying to make any big claims.

If you're interested in the potential upsides of smoking, I'd recommend you start vaping with the lowest nicotine content commercially available. That's typically 3mg. I vape at 2 mg, because I make my own juice. If you notice a positive effect after a week or so that is worth to you to maintain; then keep vaping. If it doesn't help you, then you can stop with considerable ease. There are a lot of addictive components in cigarette smoke, that aren't in vapor. There's vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine (if you want it) and whatever flavoring you choose. It's not a big scary mystery, like a lot of news organizations will tell you. Overall it's a cleaner, cheaper, and much more enjoyable habit in my opinion.

I recommend you stay away from menthol though, both in cigarettes and vapor. There's a lot of evidence to suggest that it significantly increases addictive effects. I can't recall the exact numbers, but it's a big jump. People who smoke menthol cigarettes are much less likely to able to quit for example and it could have a similar mechanism in vapor.

Anyway, good luck.
Wish you well.
 

washti

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#11
We need to come to a specific conclusion what exactly causes your anxiety.
This requires quite good self-observation, a sense of how the intensity of anxiety changes under different stimuli. And to accept that you are for now hopeless and incompetent but it's not irreversible. Or in some cases that your thinking about it is out of touch with reality thus unproductive and useless.

Passive observation of someone dealing succesfully with same or similar issue can make big differece in how your mind is wiered about possible and impossible.
I at least need to see evidence in action. Without it I can't change my harmful beliefs.

The Effective anxiety elimination is a gradual dealing with aspects of the worrying situation. Taming by finding things already known how they work, what and how to do with them. Then confronting parts that are uncomfortably new, but could be broken down into things which learning is relatively easy. After gaining momentum the shit is done and you have more confidence for future challanges.

Anxiety will never dissapear for good. It'll show up again when you'll face obstacles which are cognitively coded as insuperable.

I think other proposition are worth to try if you just wanna ease anxiety, not directly deal with it. Though smoking seems the worst one from what i see above.
 

QuickTwist

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#12
We need to come to a specific conclusion what exactly causes your anxiety.
This requires quite good self-observation, a sense of how the intensity of anxiety changes under different stimuli. And to accept that you are for now hopeless and incompetent but it's not irreversible. Or in some cases that your thinking about it is out of touch with reality thus unproductive and useless.

Passive observation of someone dealing succesfully with same or similar issue can make big differece in how your mind is wiered about possible and impossible.
I at least need to see evidence in action. Without it I can't change my harmful beliefs.

The Effective anxiety elimination is a gradual dealing with aspects of the worrying situation. Taming by finding things already known how they work, what and how to do with them. Then confronting parts that are uncomfortably new, but could be broken down into things which learning is relatively easy. After gaining momentum the shit is done and you have more confidence for future challanges.

Anxiety will never dissapear for good. It'll show up again when you'll face obstacles which are cognitively coded as insuperable.

I think other proposition are worth to try if you just wanna ease anxiety, not directly deal with it. Though smoking seems the worst one from what i see above.
Fear of what tomorrow might bring. That is what causes anxiety.
 

Aviator8

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#13
Not when the people around you are anti smokers...other than that, vape, its way better, and yes it does until you build a resistance to it and need more to get the same hit. then you back off so you don't blow your money trying to get a hit again, and you keep the cycle sustained that way.

p.s. nice pictures ragnar
 

washti

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#14
Fear of what tomorrow might bring. That is what causes anxiety.
Do you mean fear of unknown? It's look like reluctance for introspection. I think it's important to not obscure for yourself sources of your own anxiety.
 

QuickTwist

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#15
Fear of what tomorrow might bring. That is what causes anxiety.
Do you mean fear of unknown? It's look like reluctance for introspection. I think it's important to not obscure for yourself sources of your own anxiety.
No, I mean what I said. Viewing the future through a hopeless lens is what causes anxiety.
 
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#16
Fear of what tomorrow might bring. That is what causes anxiety.
Do you mean fear of unknown? It's look like reluctance for introspection. I think it's important to not obscure for yourself sources of your own anxiety.
No, I mean what I said. Viewing the future through a hopeless lens is what causes anxiety.
That argument is a bit overgeneralized. There are many different causes, and even some counter-examples to your point. In some cases there are underlying health conditions. More common is being overloaded with work, deadlines, and obligations. Lots of people require some form of outside help to get it under wraps.
 
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#17
Smokingz kool.
As iz drugz, rapping, gettin shitfaced,...
Nothing sexier than smelling awful and trying to have lung cancer - as Serac said getting laid is an effect of smoking. kool tv people smoke. Oh, the tragic beauty in wanting to die! The flawed and perfect humanity in self destruction!
To decrease stress and anxiety, may I suggest taking a bath? Or drinking tea? Sharing your problems with others?
 

QuickTwist

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#18
Fear of what tomorrow might bring. That is what causes anxiety.
Do you mean fear of unknown? It's look like reluctance for introspection. I think it's important to not obscure for yourself sources of your own anxiety.
No, I mean what I said. Viewing the future through a hopeless lens is what causes anxiety.
That argument is a bit overgeneralized. There are many different causes, and even some counter-examples to your point. In some cases there are underlying health conditions. More common is being overloaded with work, deadlines, and obligations. Lots of people require some form of outside help to get it under wraps.
Riiiight... :skeptical:

And what do all of those "symptoms" have in common?
 

redbaron

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#19
what about when someone has anxiety that isn't related to viewing the future through a hopeless lens?

what about anxiety from over-excitement, overstimulation, drugs?

it seems there's many forms of anxiety that have nothing to do with 'viewing the future through a hopeless lens'. that might cause anxiety but that doesn't mean all anxiety is caused by it

there's not a singular cause for anxiety
 
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#20
No, I mean what I said. Viewing the future through a hopeless lens is what causes anxiety.
That argument is a bit overgeneralized. There are many different causes, and even some counter-examples to your point. In some cases there are underlying health conditions. More common is being overloaded with work, deadlines, and obligations. Lots of people require some form of outside help to get it under wraps.
Yeah man, it's like, from someone's perspective, dude. Everyone has obligations.
 

redbaron

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#22
what about when you know it'll be fine, you're just anxious?

'hopeless' has very specific connotations. not all forms of stress are derived from 'hopelessness'
 

QuickTwist

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#23
what about when someone has anxiety that isn't related to viewing the future through a hopeless lens?

what about anxiety from over-excitement, overstimulation, drugs?

it seems there's many forms of anxiety that have nothing to do with 'viewing the future through a hopeless lens'. that might cause anxiety but that doesn't mean all anxiety is caused by it

there's not a singular cause for anxiety
I am not going to engage with you because you are a hopeless sap.
 

redbaron

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#24
does that mean i should have anxiety or that you have anxiety about engaging me

let's get engaged, gay marriage is legal now <3
 

QuickTwist

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#25
does that mean i should have anxiety or that you have anxiety about engaging me

let's get engaged, gay marriage is legal now <3
You are the biggest tool on this site.
 

redbaron

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#26
the king of spannerss, my girth and length are unmatched
 

QuickTwist

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#27

redbaron

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#28
the true pinnacle of Ne-dominance

so wide

so broad

so much surface area for expansive knowledge
 

QuickTwist

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#29
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#30
what about anxiety from over-excitement, overstimulation, drugs?
Are those things not causes for altering your thoughts and seeing things through a hopeless lens?
Anxiety is expecting something bad to happen and there is a sort of resignation in it.
We know anxiety is a switch in the central nervous system, and the body is then flooded with some adrenaline. It does this when it detects danger so that we take immediate action to resolve the threat.

Couldn't we state that anxiety contrarily happens with a very hopeful lens? If I'm running from a vicious dog, I'm doing it because I'm pretty sure it's going to save me. (Even though it's not)
 

Lagomorph

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#31
Negative emotions (fear, anxiety, anger, depression) are experienced when we don't feel in control. Simple as that.

As far as the OP, if you want to take the chemical/placebo route ("placebo" in the sense that the chemical gives you control), just look at nicotinic agonists in general.
 
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#32
Negative emotions (fear ,anxiety, anger, depression) are experienced when we don't feel in control. Simple as that.
...and smoking doesn't put us back in control. It's like that experiment where the rats accepted their fate and stopped trying to escape from drowning? Or something along those lines. Accepting the hopelessness and turning to self destruction.
 
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#33
Couldn't we state that anxiety contrarily happens with a very hopeful lens? If I'm running from a vicious dog, I'm doing it because I'm pretty sure it's going to save me. (Even though it's not)
I feel we're straying from the point of the thread. Is the cause of OP's anxiety that she runs from vicious dogs?
And why would she want to quell her anxiety if it were? Until your post, the debate had been at least a little relevant.
 

QuickTwist

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#34
what about anxiety from over-excitement, overstimulation, drugs?
Are those things not causes for altering your thoughts and seeing things through a hopeless lens?
Anxiety is expecting something bad to happen and there is a sort of resignation in it.
We know anxiety is a switch in the central nervous system, and the body is then flooded with some adrenaline. It does this when it detects danger so that we take immediate action to resolve the threat.

Couldn't we state that anxiety contrarily happens with a very hopeful lens? If I'm running from a vicious dog, I'm doing it because I'm pretty sure it's going to save me. (Even though it's not)
This is for both you and RB because you are both too dense to get it.
 

Lagomorph

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#36
I'm aware of the irony of what I'm about to type, but I think QT has been needlessly aggressive and condescending ITT. Chill, bro.
...and smoking doesn't put us back in control. It's like that experiment where the rats accepted their fate and stopped trying to escape from drowning? Or something along those lines. Accepting the hopelessness and turning to self destruction.
I believe I was ninja'd in the 30 seconds I took to add to that post. :D

I've never smoked a cigarette. In the event I thought I needed a chemical anxiolytic, t'was L-theanine, which is basically in line with drinking tea and taking a shower.
 

QuickTwist

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#37
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#38
Not meant like that, silly rabbit. Just finishing your sentence.

I smoke quite a bit :D
How's that for a curveball?
It's just so cool, dammit
 

QuickTwist

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#41
Couldn't we state that anxiety contrarily happens with a very hopeful lens? If I'm running from a vicious dog, I'm doing it because I'm pretty sure it's going to save me. (Even though it's not)
I feel we're straying from the point of the thread. Is the cause of OP's anxiety that she runs from vicious dogs?
And why would she want to quell her anxiety if it were? Until your post, the debate had been at least a little relevant.
You're right, I went off on a tangent, and it wasn't very helpful. My apologies, cosmicflow.
 
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#42
It helps with my anxiety, but as Hado said it's anxiety that might not have been there if I hadn't started in the first place.

For me, as well as others, it's more than just the nicotine. It's having something in your hand and going through the motions of bringing it to your mouth, flicking it and sparking the lighter. Also the feel of the smoke going thru you.

Recently I've used a Juul, I highly recommend it. Its easier and less maintenance than a typical vape mod, it's small and discreet, unlike a vape mod that is basically a brick in your pocket that can leak everywhere, there is no huge obnoxious cloud, and it's much higher in nicotine content. Most vape mods are used with 3 or 6mg/ml liquid. The juice in Juul pods is 50! This will knock you off your rocker if you don't already have a high nicotine tolerance.

Suorins are good too, they are refillable. So are Juuls but they're not intended to be. I haven't touched a cigarette since starting. It's also a plus when you no longer smell like a casino... I guess I'm not an unbiased source of info on nicotine because of my daytime activities, but I get no money from Juul. I just happened to try one and liked it.
 

redbaron

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#43
googling anxiety has revealed to me that there are many different underlying causes to anxiety

dealing with anxiety is best aimed at identifying the underlying cause most relevant to you, and seeking advice from a healthcare professional
 
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#44
Sure, nicotine might alleviate the symptoms of anxiety at first, but if you haven't already introduced nicotine to your system, you're better off without it. People will tell you it isn't addictive, but the easiest person to trick is yourself.

I quit smoking nearly 3 years ago, and I still get cravings for it. If you can avoid this experience, you should. I imagine its something I'll be stuck with, to some degree, for the rest of my life.
 

Polaris

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#45
Obligations? What are oblig....

B1DC3446-AC63-4386-B297-F99083FD0769.jpeg
 

QuickTwist

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#46
googling anxiety has revealed to me that there are many different underlying causes to anxiety

dealing with anxiety is best aimed at identifying the underlying cause most relevant to you, and seeking advice from a healthcare professional
Well, my point was more that if you look at the very first definition given of anxiety, it basically states exactly what I said. I may not be a mental health professional, but I have been in the mental health system for over 10 years and have seen a lot of people over the course of that time. I personally have not seen a case where anxiety wasn't cause by a certain hopelessness/helplessness most prominently regarding the future.

When I say what I say, it is based on experience because I am not sure I am willing to believe someone else more than myself just because they consider themselves knowledgeable on the subject.

All that said, I am willing to drop it at this time.
 

Hadoblado

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#47
Yo QT.

I have anxiety and depression, and the degree. This is my understanding:

My depression is caused by my anxiety, not vice versa.

Anxiety makes uncertain outcomes unpleasant leading up to them. Physiologically it makes me uncomfortable, and mentally it drowns me in cortisol and makes it difficult to think.

Depression's role is to lower the stakes to ease anxiety. I don't have to feel anxious about whether I will do well at X, if I don't care about X. The uncertainty of the result remains, but what it means to me becomes a known. I will not care one way or the other. Repeat ad infinitum.

So when you say anxiety is caused by hopelessness, this rings false (at least to me), because I don't experience anxiety when I feel a level of certainty about the outcome. The more hopeless something is, the more I accept the result, and the less anxiety I feel.

And just for clarity, I prefer being depressed, by far, to being anxious. Anxiety is fucking horrible. With depression I lose functionality. With anxiety I lose the ability to function, but also feel a central directive to function.
 
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#48
Any symptom of a metal affliction has a location, a direction, and a concentrated affect. Some people get anxiety as a fuzziness in the center of the head. Some get a rush back and forth. And many other ways. When I have anxiety I feel all contorted inside my head with feels of burning trying grabbing on to something I cannot catch, the right side of my head. Anxiety suppresses my depression which is not good because a lot built up in there that needs to be let go but can't.

I stop myself from doing most things because I am stuck and unable to do them. I need to hold on to something that is not always there. So my inner system stops me. It is all tangled/bundled up and dysregulated.

Anxiety will follow different pathways in the brain from the amygdala outward depending on the cause of the stress experienced. Racing thoughts is a pathway. Fear that you will do bad on a test is a pathway. Any part of the brain can link to the amygdala from varying stressors. One of the most stressful things is randomness. You just don't know what to do. A control issue.
 

Adaire

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#49
Sure, nicotine might alleviate the symptoms of anxiety at first, but if you haven't already introduced nicotine to your system, you're better off without it. People will tell you it isn't addictive, but the easiest person to trick is yourself.

I quit smoking nearly 3 years ago, and I still get cravings for it. If you can avoid this experience, you should. I imagine its something I'll be stuck with, to some degree, for the rest of my life.
Piss off, Happy. Believe it or not, some of us are more interested in facts than boasting. I don't get symptoms of withdrawal. It's been years now. I expected them. That's not pride, that's not me somehow thinking I'm better or that somehow I have a stronger will. I want to know why. I've been around smokers my whole life. I know how their addictions affect them. I'm pretty sure I have the modicum of self awareness to perceive if it's the same thing I experience. Hell.... I've craved 2nd hand cigarette smoke before. I've been off for 3 days now, (because sick) and nothing remotely similar. I've done this sort of thing many times before, trying to test for the presence of addiction. I've got nothing. I don't know why. Maybe I'm simply not imbibing enough (unlikely, even at my low dose), maybe nicotine by itself is not as addictive as originally thought or maybe it's something unique to my biology. Whatever..... I want to know the actual reason. It could be many things, but don't fucking dismiss me as just simply being an egotist.
 

QuickTwist

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Yo QT.

I have anxiety and depression, and the degree. This is my understanding:

My depression is caused by my anxiety, not vice versa.

Anxiety makes uncertain outcomes unpleasant leading up to them. Physiologically it makes me uncomfortable, and mentally it drowns me in cortisol and makes it difficult to think.

Depression's role is to lower the stakes to ease anxiety. I don't have to feel anxious about whether I will do well at X, if I don't care about X. The uncertainty of the result remains, but what it means to me becomes a known. I will not care one way or the other. Repeat ad infinitum.

So when you say anxiety is caused by hopelessness, this rings false (at least to me), because I don't experience anxiety when I feel a level of certainty about the outcome. The more hopeless something is, the more I accept the result, and the less anxiety I feel.

And just for clarity, I prefer being depressed, by far, to being anxious. Anxiety is fucking horrible. With depression I lose functionality. With anxiety I lose the ability to function, but also feel a central directive to function.
When I said helpless/hopeless, what I meant was really the feeling that being anxious necessitates a feeling of lack of control. Naturally, when someone is afraid, it means they don't feel in control and anxiety is an offshoot of fear.

To address something else, I would not say I am addressing drugs here. The point is that after a person has had a medical checkup to make sure their anxiety isn't something physiological (outside circumstance) and the cause is actually anxiety and not something else, this is more what I am referring to when I talk about anxiety. Why? Because I am going in with the assumption that if all other things are "normal" that what anxiety is is a dynamic of fear - something that has more to do with nurture than nature. I am trying to get at the thought process that causes anxiety. That is what I am trying to address. Why? Because my point in this is that while other things can "cause" anxiety, if it is due to circumstances, it is generally understandable and so isn't saying much, but considering that what you choose to focus on can, in fact, change your emotional/mental/physiological state of being is something that has much more power behind it. Basically, it's the idea that you can control your thoughts or your thoughts can control you.
 
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