There was a knock at the door. I was expecting a couple to arrive for their quit smoking appointment. The guy said his partner was in the car crying and that they would have to postpone.
The problem was that this lady was already having a stressful day as her brother was undergoing serious surgery, but she suffered from depression and was on some new meds. The result was that everything became too much for her and she didn’t come in for her appointment.
It was the best decision she could off made at the time. Quitting smoking when done correctly is not particularly stressful but the fear of quitting is. Add this fear to existing depression and a person can be really suffering. This is not how they want to start their hypnosis session.
To make matters worse most people who suffer depression suffer some degree of anxiety as well. In fact most of us experience some anxiety from time to time but for most part our brain chemistry is well regulated so we cope OK.
Smoking appears to offer some anti-depressant action, but it is not clear which chemical in the cigarette is responsible.
The solution is to approach quitting from several ways.
- Advise your hypnotherapist of your condition and ask if they have any experience in helping clients with depression to quit smoking.
- Schedule your appointment during a stable period, not when you are feeling low. This can be tricky but hopefully your therapist can accommodate you.
- Be prepared to use Zyban as an adjunct to the hypnosis. Zyban is a non-nicotine based drug which has also been used as an anti depressant. This may or may not be suitable depending on what other medication you are taking.
- Some herbal preparations such as Hypericum and Avena Sativa may help but if the depression are severe then probably not. You may need some stress management support after you session Whilst the Zyban can help it’s the hypnosis that will free you from the subconscious habits you have formed while smoking.
Many smokers with depression may feel it’s easier to continue and avoid any quitting difficulties, but nicotine just makes your anxiety worse and smoking affects your brain and your circulation and liver and therefore your ability to properly process your anti-depressant medication.
It may be difficult but quitting will take you a step closer to feeling happier more often. You will also have more energy to exercise, which will also have a positive effect on your moods.