Cigarette smoking and mental health
Apr 23, 2011
Hello, After being diagnosed with HIV in the fall, I quit smoking by using a nicotine patch. I was doing very well until a few weeks ago when the cravings began to reemerge. My infectious disease doctor is great and my drug regimen is working well, but I am still adjusting emotionally to being an HIV+ person. The thought of never smoking another cigarette is extremely depressing. Considering the amount of stress I am dealing with daily, would light smoking be okay if it allows me to keep my sanity?
Response from Dr. Fawcett
Nicotine is a powerful and highly addictive drug and cigarettes have well-documented health risks. Stopping smoking for that period of time is impressive and I think it would be a big mistake to start again. Besides, I don't know what kind of smoker you were, but many people have difficulty just maintaining "light smoking." Adjusting to an HIV+ diagnosis is a formidable and complicated process and I know you are facing a great deal of stress every day. Cigarettes, however, are a poor choice for coping (or keeping one's sanity!). Look for a support group for newly-diagnosed individuals in your area and broaden your support system. Many people find these groups, as well as individual therapy, very helpful in working through these emotional adjustments. There are also many support groups that help people quit and/or stay away from nicotine. These groups can help you learn specific techniques to deal with cigarette cravings, including understanding that cravings will pass and focusing on just one day at a time. Your doctor will be able to direct you toward such a group. Good luck.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Cure Vaginal Infections?
- Can Putting A Finger In A Vagina Cause HIV Infection?
- Does HIV Symptoms Reappear 6 Months After Exposure?
- Hiv From Handshake With Small Cut
- How Long Does It Take For Genital Herpes To Incubate?
- One Time Testing On Hiv After One Year Exposure
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.