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General : "Smoking contributed to my anxiety disorder"  
 Message 1 of 5 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 12/14/2005 8:41 AM
You have been a real source of inspiration to me Joel. I want to thank you from the bottom of my soul. I began smoking at 11. I am 41 now. Since that time, I have been pretty much a hard core 25 a day nicotine addict.
I am now on day 10 of not smoking. I never believed that I could do it. Over the last ten years I have developed an anxiety disorder and I was certain that cigarettes helped keep me in control and that if I quit I would 'lose it.' Now I know that long years of heavy smoking probably contributed to the development of the disorder and that every cigarette I smoked was certainly aggravating it. Sure, during my time of withdrawal I have been experiencing some heightened anxiety, which I know to be temporary. But I do not care anymore how long I live with this anxiety. It is far better than smoking- than the very possibly taking my life at my own hands.
Fortunately I still have my health and my wind. I am muscular, and my endurance is good. I can hike 20 mile mountain trails and ride my bike up mountain roads. But I wouldn't have been able to for long if I had kept smoking. It's pretty amazing that I can do it now. And now I can start healing.
I know I will never take another puff as long as I live. A good part of this resolve comes from the wonderful education I have received and am still receiving on your website. I sincerely hope in the future I will have some role to play at
Thank you so much for devoting your life to helping people quit.

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 Message 2 of 5 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/14/2005 8:43 AM
From the Kansas City Star
August 16, 2003

One more reason to stop smoking - panic attacks

Don't panic -- stop smoking.

A new study suggests that panic attacks are far more likely in nicotine addicts than nonsmokers.

In surveying more than 3,000 Munich-area teenagers and young adults, researchers from Germany and California found that 7.6 percent of regular, nicotine-dependent smokers had a history of panic attacks.

That compares with 0.7 percent of nonsmokers, 2 percent of occasional smokers and 1.9 percent of regular smokers who weren't nicotine-dependent.

The scientists report a similar pattern for subjects who met diagnostic guidelines for panic disorder, a condition marked by recurrent panic attacks, fear about future attacks and worries about their consequences. A history of other psychiatric illnesses couldn't account for the associations, the researchers write this month in Archives of General Psychiatry. Four years later, nonsmokers were less likely than dependent smokers to have developed panic ills.

Here is an abstact of the study being discussed.

From the Archives of General Psychaitry

Vol. 60 No. 7, July 2003

Smoking Increases the Risk of Panic
Findings From a Prospective Community Study

Barbara Isensee, PhD; Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, PhD; Murray B. Stein, MD; Michael Höfler, DiplStat; Roselind Lieb, PhD

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60:692-700.

Background  We examined prospectively determined bidirectional associations between smoking and panic and other anxiety disorders and their temporal ordering of onset in a representative community sample of adolescents and young adults.

Methods  Baseline and 4-year follow-up data were used from the Early Developmental Stages of Psychopathology Study, a prospective longitudinal study of adolescents and young adults in Munich, Germany. We assessed smoking (occasional and regular), nicotine dependence, panic attacks, panic disorder, other anxiety disorders, and other mental disorders using the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

Results  At baseline, panic attacks and panic disorder were strongly associated with occasional and regular smoking and nicotine dependence (odds ratio [OR] range, 3.0-28.0). In the prospective analyses, we found increased risk for new onset of panic attacks with prior regular smoking (OR, 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-8.4) and nicotine dependence (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.2-10.5). Prior nicotine dependence increased also the risk for onset of panic disorder (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.0-10.5), whereas preexisting panic was not associated with subsequent smoking or nicotine dependence. When using Cox regression with time-dependent covariates, prior nicotine dependence was confirmed to be related to subsequent panic attacks (hazard ratio, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.7-4.2), but not panic disorder (hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% CI, 0.7-3.9). Rather, we found indications that prior panic attacks/disorder might also have an effect on secondary development of nicotine dependence.

Conclusions  In young adults, prospective analyses revealed a fairly unique and specific, unidirectional relationship between prior smoking and increased risk for subsequent panic attacks/disorder. However, we could not exclude the existence of a second, less frequent, reverse pathway of prior panic and secondary nicotine dependence.

From the Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology Unit, Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany (Dr Isensee, Wittchen, and Lieb and Mr Höfler); the Department of Psychiatry, University of California–San Diego, La Jolla (Dr Stein); and the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany (Dr Wittchen and Mr Höfler).

 Message 3 of 5 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/14/2005 8:44 AM
Other related readings:

 Message 4 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameElevenPinkFlowersSent: 12/16/2005 2:00 PM
Hey Philip,
congratulations on twelve whole days without smoking! You have done really well. If you feel lonely, you might want to visit Freedom: We would love to have you there!
It is certainly possible that cigarettes contributed to your anxiety disorder. I hope that not smoking will make this condition easier for you.
Life in general will definitely become easier now:
  • No more withdrawal.
  • No more wondering whether smoking will be allowed.
  • No more running to the petrol station in the middle of the night.
  • No more hiking up a mountain, sitting down on the summit and ruining the pure fresh air by a fag.
  • No more biking and having to stop because of hunger for cigarettes.
Just you.
At Freedom, you would be almost halfway to Green...
Free since 2 March 2005

 Message 5 of 5 in Discussion 
From: ToastSent: 12/17/2005 3:23 AM
Congratulations Phillip on your quit!

Like you, I suffered from Panic Disorder and smoked, thinking the smoking was at least giving me a handle on the anxiety. When I quit, I had some anxiety bumps <grin> as my brain chemistry righted itself. You are 100% right in understanding that ALL the discomforts of an early quit are temporary! Over four years into my quit and I rarely have any anxiety issues. In fact, I can't recall the last full-blown panic attack I've had. If I have any anxiety now, it's usually situational, not a surprise, and totally manageable.

Another great thing you've got going is that you are physically active. Using your body in positive and healthy ways is another excellent tool for anxiety issues! I find that if I have a panic twinge, if I can get my body moving (I do T'ai Chi & other martial arts) that I can short-circuit the rest of the anxiety cascade by getting my head out of that hyper-vigilant place that just feeds anxiety more.

Phillip, your quit is the best gift you've ever given yourself - celebrate! You're worth every bit of it!

:) Melissa
4 Years 6 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days 23 Hours 23 Minutes 36 Seconds Free
33379 Less

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