12 Comments to
Stop trying to smoke out your schizophrenia symptoms

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  1. But we don’t know how many nicotine don’t have schizophrenic symptoms IN VIRTUE of their nicotine intake. And we also don’t know whether nicotine use in the brain that hasn’t built up a tolerance helps with symptoms or not – do we?

    Typically even when smoking is being done away with in most parts of the hospitals people are still allowed to smoke on the psychiatric wards. Nicotine interacts with psychiatric medications such that it is important to stabilise people on their meds while they are consuming nicotine. People also tend to smoke more on psych wards. Sometimes because that is a good excuse to get outside and get some fresh air. Sometimes because people aren’t stimulated enough with activities. Sometimes because that is the social thing to do.

    What happens when the nicotine is taken away?

    Heightened frustration, anxiety, agression…

  2. I have worked in a psychiatric hopsital for 7 years, and I have dealt mainly with chronic schizophrenic patients. I have to disagree with the findings of the study. I have seen patients in the middle of a full blown psychotic episode that have calmed down by simply smoking. It is one of the main things we use to coerce a potentially combative patient; and I have seen the immediate calming effects. The patient is more likely to respond to de-escaltion tactics when smoking

  3. I have been a case manager and supportive living counselor for individuals with schizophrenia for 5 years. Most of my clients smoked heavily. I believe that this study is only looking directly at nicotine and how it affects symptoms rather than looking at the act of smoking. It’s not the nicotine that makes people with schizophrenia feel better, it’s the act of inhaling and exhaling. It gets them to breath pretty much rhythmically which is great coping strategy. Not to say that the addiction to the nicotine doesn’t keep them smoking, because we all know it does, but I believe that the alleviation of symptoms is mostly because of the breathing that goes into smoking.

  4. It seems that it is very typical of our doctors to say things to try and have a quick fix but in the end it just gives the people who are suffering another addiction that they now have to deal with.
    I know that it is hard to have a disorder that people look at as a diesease and treat you different but I am living today happy and glad that I can say I have bi polar and not care what otheres think or say cause I am greatful it has made me stronger and look at life differently

  5. Many smokers are only slightly bothered by physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, but experience a lot more trouble with the psychological nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Getting over the psychological loss can be very complex. It may even take several months for one to restructure a lifestyle without smoking.

  6. The act of smoking may be calming enough to bring to an end a psychotic episode, but smoking is certainly not a cure nor even an effective treatment for the disease over the long run. My hypothesis is that harmful chemicals from cigarette smoke – such as Nitric Oxide gas – have and will be shown to damage and kill brain cells. So, it may be calming at any instant, but it is also harmful over time.

  7. first, I’m trying so hard to quit and I make it maby a day. I have psychosis, I take seroquel, so let me tell me experience…

    It hits me hard. at first I do ok. I feel like I’m making it. my energy level goes up – this maby the first day i quit but then something starts to happen I cant control.

    I may break down crying and can’t stop. I just cry. I start to have feelings that I know are not right. I may start to have suicidal ideation. I cant get past this because I know that just one smoke and it disapears – poof – its gone.

    I’ve tried breathing, I’vetried to convince myself that I’m not a smoker. When I was in the hospital last I could not have a smoke the first day. I didnt go balistic about smoking but I did lose controle so bad I was put in restraints and given haldol 5mgs im. It was not smoking on my mind… i had been suicidal but once in the hospital and unable to smoke (i had burned myself, ok) the suicidal feelings got WORSE. I was doing things at the nurses station.. acting out, banging on the desk to the point I fractured my hand.

    Sure, the haldol calmed me down but the whole mood broke as soon as one of the techs took me to have a smoke… the crying stopped. I’m almost afraid to try again. I try to quit, I get deep depression and suicidal thinking… its a nightmare and no help online about it… my drdoesnt understand it at all.

    I wish that I could be put in a hospital to quit smoking the way that heroine adicts are… with the understanding i need help through this.. i do.. my lungs already damaged from blood colots – pulmonary emboli and my O2 exchange isnt great.

  8. one way of quitting is to drop one cig a day a week, so that you gradually decrease your nicotine intake and smoking making quitting alot easier.

  9. My husband was part of this study, they check to levels of nicotine in his system at the time of the ‘study’ (at the time he was 9 months into lowering his nicotine inatake thru use of the patch. He was not in the hospital at the time and had been working a full time job for over 7 years at the time of the study.

    I have to say that during the time that my husband was working on lowering the nicotine level, we noticed that his medication was working better and better and eventually had to lower the dosage. He went from 350 mil grams of Clozaril to 150 and has been nicotine free now for over 2 years.

    The higher the nicotine, the higher dosage of medication he needed.

    just thought you’d find it interesting.

    Thanks for listening

  10. Dave,
    Gradually cutting back cigarettes is the worst possible method one can use to quit. It puts you in a state of constant withdrawal as apposed to only being in withdrawal for a few days.

  11. hi i have had a episode were not too much happend along time ago i yes it’s acquard to not tell tales as i have gone off and on the ciggy’s most of my life. when i do my body tells me to swim/run/
    do small adrenlin hits also alot of yoga. my energy levels return .i have recently lost a really secure job from the govt as a —–. when i was not smoking i worked 45 hours a week and trained 20 28 hours preparing for half ironman. my meds got knocked back to 1 to one and a half a week . i managed this off ciggy’s
    i got bored and looked for a stable relationship i saw a physicoligist and she said i was very well.
    i started smoking and drinking the yes i dropped the 8 ball get it. now i have to pick the it up.
    there seems to be a tense emotional attachment to cigy’s and a conncection when and age it occurd most people who smoke alone come back with issues are less active and highly strung. if your on meds and i remember my head was hurting when i first took zyprexa. in the end i blew a secure chance of a better future now it’s blown up in smoke.
    my language is worse and speech very not good hopefully over the next 3 months the nightmares will turn to dreams bye thanks for taking the time to read



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