Search this site »
It's long since been determined that those with mental illnesses are far more likely to smoke cigarettes. They're also far less likely to give the habit up; but does that decision actually affect their diagnosed mental disorder?Smoking is one of those habits many have no desire to stop, and that includes the mentally ill. It's familiar, especially with so many experimenting with the new drugs recently approved by the FDA in their efforts to properly manage their mental illnesses. Indeed, many already feel as though their illnesses or disorders are somehow their fault, and then with the new societal norm of "all smokers are bad", it can feel like a vicious circle.Despite the leaps and bounds the medical profession has made in properly recognizing and diagnosing mental illnesses, a stigma remains. Many patients are still stereotyped and whether or not they're smokers has little to do with the image they're forced to live with.In a September, 2009 article in ScienceDaily, Brian Hitsman, who is a tobacco addiction specialist, as well as assistant professor of Preventive Medicine at Feinberg School of Medicine, says many doctors wrongly assume asking their patients to give up the nicotine will worsen their mental illnesses. Instead, he says it's a dependence in and of itself and should be treated separately, even if simultaneously, with one's mental disorders.
As he says, "doctors and mental health specialists focus on their patients' psychiatric health and lose track of their physical health". His concern, at least partly, is the financial aspect of treating smokers with no health insurance.He insists no studies exist that are indicative of a worsening mental disorder with the absence of nicotine. It's the bigger picture, however, that has many critics insisting that although the scientific studies may be accurate, a huge disservice is being done by ignoring the psychological aspects. While it's true breaking a nicotine habit has absolutely no downside, what so many fail to realize is smoking is often a familiar stabilizer in those patients who struggle in a world that they so rarely are able to define for themselves.
Often, new medications that are introduced have side effects that make the patient uncomfortable or even suspicious of the motivations behind those who provide these necessary drugs. If smoking serves as a method, regardless of whether or not it's physiological, then it certainly deserves at least some consideration.Although Hitsman's report is accurate, for many, it's lacking in the objectivity that's often required to gather a full understanding of any situation within the mental health sector. Disregarding the patient's perspective is dangerous at best. As with everything in the medical field, there is the proverbial "happy medium" and until it's found, it's those who suffer with these mental illnesses who pay the price.
This article is made possible by Argosy University, who has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. With a 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University offers unparalleled education to students interested in psychology.
bipolar bipolar disorder depression mental health mental illness nicotine quit smoking quitting smoking schizophrenia smoking smoking cessation stop smoking stress to quit smoking to stop smoking you quit smoking
Click here to rate this company
Helping Psychology maintains an RSS 2.0 Feed. Click the icon to subscribe to this feed.
Optimized by Lead Maverick |
Add Your Content |