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  • Writer's pictureAlexander James

Smoking Could Increase Depression Risk, Study Finds

With a new year on the horizon, no doubt there are many people out there thinking about their resolutions - one of which is highly likely to be to stop smoking come January.

If you’ve been smoking for years, it’s likely that you’ll find it hard to give up but you might be spurred on by the results of a new study suggesting that smoking could actually increase the risk of depression.

Carried out by the University of Bristol’s Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, alongside the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit and the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, the research found evidence that smoking tobacco increased the chances of both depression and schizophrenia, as well as that both mental health conditions increase the likelihood of smoking.

Lead author of the study Dr Robyn Wootton explained: “Individuals with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, leading to health inequalities. Our work shows that we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health.”

And senior author Marcus Munafo, professor of biological psychology at the university’s School of Psychological Science, made further comments, saying that the increasing availability of genetic data, coupled with the identification of variants in genes linked to ranges of behaviours and health outcomes, is helping researchers to use techniques to further understand causal pathways.

When it comes to quitting smoking, there are all sorts of avenues available to you and it’s simply a matter of finding what works for you and running with it. There are nicotine patches you could try, chewing gum, hypnosis, vape pens to wean you off the nicotine… trial and error could help you work out what you respond to and what you don’t.

Hypnotherapy could be one method that works especially well, having been used successfully for years to help people stop smoking. But you might be best served by choosing a quitting package that also involves the likes of mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy as well, helping you to quit smoking and making sure that you stay smoke-free.

Cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy can also be used to treat a wide range of other issues, including anxiety disorders, stress, panic attacks, insomnia, acute phobias, relationship difficulties and pain management.

Of course, some may find the idea of hypnotherapy and hypnosis difficult to comprehend at first, so doing some research into it is wise so you know what to expect if you do decide that this is the right route for you. If you have any questions about the technique, get in touch with us here at The Mindful Therapist to find out more.

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