In researching ‘Chest Pain after Quitting Smoking’ and ‘How to Deal With Depression after Quitting Smoking,’ devising a comprehensive essay on ‘Withdrawal Symptoms of Quitting Smoking’ was a give-away. While chest pain and depression are only two components of withdrawal symptoms from quitting smoking, there are a host of others that make recovery challenging such as: Cravings to smoke, Irritability or mood swings, Insomnia, Fatigue, Lack of Concentration, Headache, Cough, sore throat, postnasal drip, Constipation, gas, stomach pain, Dry mouth, sore tongue, gums, Tightness in Chest, Increased appetite, weight gain, Boredom/restlessness. It may be possible for those in recovery to experience a combination of the above or one of the above but either way, it is an uncomfortable experience. It is because of this discomfort; one cannot down play the power of nicotine addiction and should seek support. It is also extremely beneficial to work with your primary care physician so that together, you can monitor your overall health and catch early warning signs or more serious illnesses promoted by smoking. Additionally, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above can be driven by the length of time and /or the amount of cigarettes one has smoked. Also worth mentioning is that It is not uncommon for nicotine withdrawal to mimic, disguise, or aggravate the symptoms of other psychiatric problems such as bipolar disorder and depression, as previously mentioned in my earlier essay. Although the vast majority of my essay addressed nicotine addiction, there are other forms of withdrawal symptoms brought on by the use of smoking illegal substances such as marijuana, crack, heroine, and angel dust that can produce worse withdrawal symptoms than nicotine.
Additional withdrawal symptoms of smoking illegal drugs are as follows: Anxiety, Social isolation, Sweating, Racing heart, Palpitations, Muscle tension, Difficulty breathing, Tremors, Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, Grand mal seizures, Heart attacks, Strokes, Hallucinations, Delirium tremens. Withdrawal from smoking illegal substances are broken down into two stages, Acute Withdrawal and Post-Acute Withdrawal and trust me, there is nothing cute about either (hey, I tried). Acute Withdrawal is that stage which deals with the physical aspect and affects recovering addicts differently, depending on the drug and the person. Post-Acute Withdrawal deals more with the emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Smoking illegal drugs carries the worst type of withdrawal because the symptoms can last for a few days up to 2 years, provided that there is no relapse during recovery. Withdrawal symptoms can also make the recovering addict feel like they’re riding an emotional roller-coaster from minute to minute or hour to hour; however, if they hang in there, they will see that each wave will lessen and give them confidence that they can get through it. Withdrawal symptoms from quitting smoking vary in degrees depending on substance, amount of usage, and the person. Sadly, even with all that we know, there is always someone who will tempt fate believing they can ‘beat the odds’ of addiction. My hope & prayer is that we continue to tirelessly teach our generation and the generations to come, the power of saying NO.