Tag Archives: anxiety and depression

Teen Smokers Often Find Depression Follows Taking up Smoking

A commonly admitted reason teenagers have began smoking is that they are seeking a boost for their mood.

Canadian researchers surveyed teen smokers to determine how smoking actually affected their moods.

What they discovered was that smoking can actually depress and not enhance the teens’ mental state of being.

Teenage Smoking and Moods: The Study

The teens were divided into three groups. In one group were the teens who had never smoked. The other two were for teen smokers who smoked for self medicating reasons, and for teens smokers who smoked but not for self medicating reasons.

Using a scale, the participants were asked to rate the occurrence of several moods and depression symptoms, including lethargy, sleep disruption, feelings of sadness or depression, feelings of hopelessness, feeling nervous or tense, and bouts of worry.

Symptoms of Depression

The researchers found that the teen smokers were much more likely to experience depressed moods that the teens who were non-smokers. Furthermore, the teens who reportedly started smoking as a method to increase their moods experienced more frequent depressive symptoms than the teen smokers who did not using smoking as a form of self medication.

Beyond Physical Harm: Emotional Consequences of Smoking

The physical health consequences of smoking are widely known: coughing, difficulty breathing, decreased immunity, increased chance of lung disease or lung issues, increased heart problems or occurrence of heart attack—even increased chance of death as a culmination of these symptoms.

What this study allows us to see are the effects of smoking on emotional health and well being, too. While symptoms of depression do not necessarily lead to the disease depression, they certainly put people at a higher risk. The teenage years can be trying for most adolescents, whether or not smoking is an addiction that is picked up.

Reference: Smoking Seems to Backfire on Teens Hoping for a Lift: http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=642605

Smoking Associated With Both Anxiety And Depression

A new study indicates that smoking is linked to anxiety with depression, as well as to anxiety alone.

However, people who are depressed but not anxious smoke the same as any other smokers.

These findings come from a joint study from Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), University of Bergen and King’s College in London.

The link between smoking and anxiety/depression was most apparent among women and young people.

Data were collected from 60 000 participants in “Health Studies in North-Troendelag” (HUNT), a study based in a county in northern Norway.

Figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that 30 percent of inhabitants in the western world smoke daily. Earlier studies have found that people with mental health problems are twice as likely to smoke as the rest of the population. Injuries to physical health after smoking are well documented. It is also known that smoking is linked to other psychological problems. Anxiety and depression are the most common complaints and are often both present in people who smoke.

Anxiety and Depression Most Common Among Smokers

Arnstein Mykletun is the primary author of the article “Smoking in relation to anxiety and depression: Evidence from a large population survey: The HUNT study” published in European Psychiatry (see link under related articles). Mykletun is linked to the Division of Mental Health at NIPH but his main position is at the University of Bergen.

Depression is realMykletun explains that the study shows the strongest correlation with smoking when the subject is both anxious and depressed, next strongest with anxiety without depression and with a marginal correlation between smoking and depression without anxiety. There was no reduction in anxiety and depression over time after smoking was given up.

About the study:

  • Approximately 60 000 people in the age 20 – 89 years old who took part in HUNT were included in the study (HUNT has a total of 92 000 participants).
  • All participants were screened using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
  • Smoking was defined as daily use of cigarettes, cigars or a pipe.
  • 29 percent of participants said they were active smokers. A similar number said that they had quit smoking while 42 per cent had previously smoked.
  • 9.6 percent had anxiety, 4.9 % had depression, while 5.9 % had both, as defined by HADS.

Link to article (abstract): Smoking in relation to anxiety and depression: The HUNT study