One of the common reasons why some people smoke is to relax. To be specific, smoking is often treated as an avenue to cope up with negative moods and emotional distress. But when a person chooses to abstain from smoking, they are expected to experience withdrawal episodes that are often paired with spontaneous negative emotions and mood changes – making a tough challenge on the course to a smoke-free life.
Now, are there any means to effectively deal with the distressing emotional state while trying to stop smoking? How to manage mood changes while quitting smoking? Get to know more about the details as you continue reading today’s blog post.
Why You Experience Mood Changes While You Abstain From Smoking?
Although it is often attributed to the chemical changes in the body, the mechanisms as to why mood changes are experienced during smoking cessation remain largely unidentified.
Emotions Associated With The Initial Stages Of Withdrawal
More often than not, the quitter may experience one or a combination of these emotions when having withdrawal due to quitting smoking:
- Cognitive Disturbance
- Inability To Concentrate
- Impaired Inhibitory Control
- Low Mood
- Low Motivation
- Anhedonia (decreased ability to experience rewarding feelings)
These emotions are expected to intensify during the first 3 months of smoking cessation and are likely to subside at the following month(s). As for the case of anhedonia, the quitter’s ability to feel reward and fulfillment will already be comparable to that of non-smokers.
Coping Mechanisms To Deal With Mood Changes Due To Quitting Smoking
Perceived self-efficacy plays a crucial role in managing mood changes as you abstain from smoking. Basically, it works by motivating your mind or reinforcing your beliefs (believing in yourself) that you can effectively manage mood changes while quitting smoking despite having many struggles.
For some, self-efficacy needs to be developed as it does not come naturally. So in this case, they may ask a friend, psychologist, or behavioral therapist to assist them in developing coping methods that will help them deal with different types of mood changes.
On the other hand, you can also consider pharmacological quit aids such as NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy), bupropion, and nortriptyline to relieve feelings of stress and sooth mood swings without elevating positive mood respectively.
Furthermore, you can also manage mood changes related to quitting smoking by taking Prozac (fluoxetine) for the next 3 months to prevent depression and enhance post-quite positive & negative mood states.