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Smoking to Cope With PTSD

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by anthony, Feb 7, 2007.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    People smoke for many reasons, and no matter what the reason, quitting is difficult. When people with posttraumatic stress symptoms use cigarettes to cope with anxiety and other negative feelings related to the trauma, it becomes even more difficult to stop smoking.

    Two recent papers by University of Arkansas psychologist Matthew Feldner and colleagues shed light on the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and smoking. Their research begins filling the significant gap in knowledge about the effects of trauma-related symptoms on smoking cessation.

    In a paper published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, Feldner and colleagues examined how motives for smoking related to posttraumatic stress symptom levels, which is an important first step in developing effective smoking treatments for people who have experienced a traumatic event.

    The researchers reported that individuals in their study with higher levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms were more likely to smoke to reduce negative feelings. These results supported earlier predictions in the field, which had suggested this would be an important motive for smoking among those with posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

    Feldner worked with another group of colleagues to review research on the relationship between smoking and PTSD in a paper recently published in Clinical Psychology Review. Their work revealed a "striking and clinically important" gap in available treatments for smokers with PTSD. It's a gap that is particularly serious, the researchers noted, given the evidence that "PTSD and associated characteristics may be central to smoking cessation problems."

    While more research is needed to understand the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and smoking, understanding motives for smoking among people with PTSD has important implications for treatment. For instance, the researchers write, "smokers with posttraumatic stress problems may be in particular need of learning adaptive strategies for coping" with the negative feelings related to their trauma. The researchers point out that the results of long-term smoking - like withdrawal symptoms, health problems and illnesses - will only increase the negative feelings these smokers seek to avoid.

    In both papers, the researchers called for more sophisticated methods to measure smoking behavior in relation to trauma symptoms and PTSD. Long-range studies that did not depend completely on after-the-fact reporting by participants could be particularly useful.

    Source: University of Arkansas
     
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  3. mac

    mac Active Member

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    You know, being a 'do-gooder' military type for a number of years, I always frowned on and basically despised anyone who would use illegal drugs. Now, after doing internet research, I see that smoking 'weed' (not to get 'high') may be helpful to our situations to help us out.:pot: :smoking:
     
  4. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Absolutely agree with you mac. I smoked pot when very young, then grew a brain myself to realize is was shit. Went through the military without all that nonsense, even having to charge soldiers, defend soldiers also, from drug charges. When I got out because of PTSD, it was then that I was more open to the use of it for medicinal purposes, though I still do not touch it, I am certainly not against its use. Would I have a puff or two? Yes, even now, because I believe in small doses it can actually help calm you enough in order to give one some breathing room, no different to what medication is aimed at. The only problem is that Governments don't know how to control it, for tax purposes IMO, so they make it illegal instead, pushing the public to the legal alternatives, where the real money is made. Amsterdam doesn't seem to do too bad from it though!!!
     
  5. mac

    mac Active Member

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    You and I are of the same opinion/perception here.
     
  6. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    I have a cousin with schizophrenia who is a chain smoker, I think he smokes about 3 packs a day. About 90% of all schizophrenics smoke cigarettes. Recently there have been several studies that indicate that schizophrenics smoke to relieve a lot of their symptoms, even symptoms like hearing voices. Scientists believe that there's something in nicotine that actually improves their symptoms. They're now working on a nicotine pill to treat schizophrenia and other psychoses.

    Anyways I just thought it was interesting that people with PTSD also smoke a lot and I wonder if there's any connection there with the nicotine. One difference though, for schizophrenics, cannabis is the worst thing they can take. It brings on psychosis in someone with schizophrenia who is currently stable.
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Yes evie, nicotine is a stimulant by form a type of anti-depressant if you like. Alcohol for example is a depressant, so if you mix the two, you counter-act the effects of both.
     
  8. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Stimulants are anti-depressants? Cool, I didn't know that. I guess that explains why I get depressed whenever I try to stop drinking coffee?
     
  9. Scott_Fraser

    Scott_Fraser Well-Known Member

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    I've read that smoking canabis is a great help to people who have MS. It seems to relax the muscles and so eases the pain. Scientists are doing more research into it.
    Scott
     
  10. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

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    i am thankful that i am allergic to tobacco, except for when i must be near someone smoking. i hate all the coughing it causes, and i'm sure they think i'm just making some kind of a statement about the smoke. my oldest is also allergic, and he has asthma--having him around smoke was risking his health, if not his life. i am sure it is hard to break, especially with ptsd--i think chocolate is my "thing". if you are really worried about pollution, and global warming and etc, how come you don't care about the quality of air that you are subjecting yourself and your family to? this is an honest question, not a gripe--i really would like to know.
    cathy
     
  11. Thornbird

    Thornbird New Member

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    I smoke about a pack of cigarettes a day. I would love to quit, but I don't know how I would control the stress and anxiety. My doctor put me on antidepressants, but nothing for the stress and anxiety. I have never tried the illegal drugs, but I have to admit I have thought about it.
     
  12. map9

    map9 Active Member

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    smoking is a coping mechanism

    I too smoke, about a pack a day. I picked up the habit from my husband, a Viet Nam Vet, who chain smokes. At one time we had a friend who had been shot and was a parapelegic, he smoked pot to calm his nerves. We smoked with him for years, getting high relieved all three of us from severe anxiety. When he died we quit. It has been a really long time now that we haven't smoked weed. Sometimes I miss it. It was a huge cost to us and I noticed how badly we coughed so the health results were palpable. We were far more suseptible to lung infections and brochial related sickness. My husband and I both have tried many times to quit. I did for eight years, quit cold turkey one day after a horrible confrontation with a person who tried to choke me. I started again when a pedophile showed up at my workplace one day. Recognizing him shook me to my core. I went to the break room where others were smoking and bummed a cigarette from a co-worker and from that day on I have been smoking.
    Love, map9
     
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