One of the key steps to maintain a tobacco-free lifestyle is learning to cope with your nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Firstly, determine which of the following symptoms apply to you:
- Depressed mood
- Irritability, frustration or anger
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased heart rate
- Increased appetite or weight gain
As you can see, nicotine withdrawal consists of a wide range of emotions and symptoms, many of which are similar to going through a mini-depression. These symptoms illustrate how emotional Nicotine Withdrawal Syndrome can be. For many people, this is their highest hurdle—learning to feel normal again. Remember, just as Rome was not built in a day, tobacco withdrawal is not over in a day. According to the American Psychiatric Association, "withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours of cessation, typically peak in 1–4 days and last for 3–4 weeks. Depressive symptoms (after becoming smoke-free) may be associated with a relapse to smoking."
If depression and withdrawal worsen over time, we strongly recommend contacting an appropriate healthcare professional to help you get better and safeguard your efforts to become smoke-free.