“Is this a symptom of quitting smoking?” (part 2)

Video discusses how to regard physical and emotional symptoms and reactions that continue to occur after smoking cessation

Related commentary from the Freedom from Nicotine board:

Every now and then a person will experience a specific symptom and put up a post asking whether or not the symptom is one that is normally experienced by people who have quit smoking and if others here had experienced the same symptom when they had quit. As far as if a specific symptom is one that “can” occur after cessation, we have put together a pretty inclusive string titled Possible Withdrawal Symptoms.

As far as whether or not another member or numerous members experienced the same symptom, it does not really make a difference if they had or had not. It is like someone writing and saying that he or she is having a tingling sensation in his or her arm and wondering if anyone else experienced the same symptom when they quit. Then a person who had slept on his or her arm one night when quitting smoking and woke up with that particular arm tingling writes back and says that sure enough, he or she had a tingling arm the week he or she had quit. Now the recent quitter feels a sense of relief because he or she has seen that one other person had the same symptom. So the person does nothing.

The problem was that the person who wrote the question was not having tingling from having slept on his or her arm, but rather, was experiencing a symptom of a heart attack that he was now ignoring. This action could result in a fatal mistake of not seeking what was immediately needed medical attention.

Read the posts Giving and getting medical advice onlinePossible Withdrawal Symptoms, and Life goes on without smoking. If you have a concern of a symptom that you are experiencing consult your personal doctor. We say it often here, that the only medical advice that we can give is that to reduce your risk of a host of illnesses and conditions is to stick to your commitment to never take another puff!

This concept doesn’t only apply to physical symptoms. There are times where people have emotional issues stemming from family problems, work problems, actual organically based mental illnesses, etc, who will write on the board that they are having overwhelming emotional feelings. Then other people will weigh in saying that they had problems at one time or another when quitting but it got better.

While it may be true that the person offering the advice was just having a reaction to smoking cessation, it may not be true for the person writing now as to his or her mental anguish. Giving the person the idea that it is automatically going to get better when the problem may not be simply from not smoking may be doing the person a real disservice. It may prevent the individual from seeking the real professional help he or she may in fact need for problems that were not in fact quit related.

As it says in the string How do I deal with….

A quit smoking site is not the place to solve major life traumas. A quit smoking site may be the best site to deal with smoking, depending on the site, and there may be some other specialized sites that are helpful in dealing with other traumas too, but often people on an Internet sites may not have the best training or understanding or be the best prepared for dealing with the specific problem at hand. You may find people who really want to help but who may not in fact be the best people to deal with the problem you are facing.

If a member encounters real life tragedies they should seek help from professionals. Who would you call if your car breaks down? Would you call a friend who has no particular knowledge of car repairs and whose own car is currently broken down too. This person cannot help you fix your car and cannot even at this point in time offer you a ride. If your car breaks down you call a mechanic. If your computer suddenly dies you don’t call a friend whose computer also died and has not been able to get it going again. If your home plumbing explodes you don’t get right on the Internet and waste time chatting on a bulletin board about how bad everything smells without first calling a plumber to actually fix the problem. If your house all of sudden starts on fire you don’t go to the Internet and compare notes with others who may have lived through a fire experience–you call the fire department. If someone breaks into your home while you are still there you don’t go to the Internet to talk out your fears. You either call the police or try to escape from your home. If you are experiencing sudden chest pains or maybe all of a sudden lose vision in one eye you shouldn’t spend time looking up symptoms on the Internet or chatting with others who may have had a similar experience at one time, you call for paramedics.

If something emotionally big is happening in your life and you find yourself spinning out or control you need to seek professional help too. It may mean calling your doctor, a professionally sanctioned crisis hotline in your town who can offer real live support, going to a local emergency room, calling 911 or what ever emergency number is set up in your area by local authorities, depending on the severity of the problem and how fast you can get action.

This list could have gone on but hopefully everyone gets the point here. If you ever find yourself in a medical or psychological crisis seek professional assistance, meaning, seek a professional in the arena of the specific problem you are encountering.

Again, depending on the problem you are facing there are professionals who can help. There are professional mechanics, plumbers, firemen, police, paramedics, crisis counselors, psychologists and physicians. Deal with emergencies head on when they occur. At the same time stay focused on the fact that whatever the problem, taking a cigarette will not help it.

Once you have dealt with the crisis, and your full attention is not needed to get out of the immediate danger, then is the time to come to a quit smoking site and reinforce your resolve to stay smoke free, either by reading or maybe even posting. Hopefully if you come back in to post, the essence of the post will be saying how you have proved to yourself once again that even under the most extreme of circumstances that you are able to stay smoke free by just sticking to your commitment that no matter what else is going on around you that you still know to never take another puff!

Joel

Related resources:

Is anyone else experiencing the symptom of…

Nicotine Withdrawal & Recovery Symptoms