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Smoking is linked to depression


Intensive treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or antidepressant medications, which are used for depression, can help them quit and stay quit, say the authors.

Does smoking lead to depression or does depression lead to smoking?

The brain chemical imbalance present in people with mental illnes may lead many of them to seek relief from their symptoms by smoking.

“All major psychiatric disorders have a disproportionate increased number of smokers,» says William Shryer DCSW, LCSW, Clinical Director of the Diablo Behavioral Healthcare in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nicotine enhances dopamine, which targets the pleasure centers of the brain, he says, and dopamine is deficient in those with depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

But a New Zealand study suggests that smoking increases the risk of depression.


Robert Wood Johnson Medical School researchers have determined that carbamazepine (Equetro, Tegretol, Carbatrol and Epitol) and oxycarbamazepine (Trileptal), medications commonly used to treat neurologic and psychiatric conditions, increase nicotine metabolism in smokers. As nicotine metabolism increases, cravings for nicotine return more quickly which could lead to more frequent cigarette consumption among individuals who also take these medications.

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