Must read: Smoking while diagnosed mentally ill, testing thyroid and those who talk about serious issues are happier: Friday news and blogs

    • Smoking, neurodiversity, and pragmatism — Urocyon — Like Urocyon, I didn’t smoke until I got drugged up and prior to that I was grossly allergic to smoke. I actually vomited the only time I tried to smoke in high school. I started smoking once I was on a good dose of neuroleptics at age 27.Not entirely suprisingly, as I weaned off my drugs the cigarettes started making me sick again. I didn’t even have to try to quit. The nausea was overwhelming. I’m now totally allergic to them again! Urocyon wasn’t so lucky it seems the addiction hung around.We create smokers when we drug people up on neuroleptics and other drugs that effect dopamine. And then we make them feel guilty about having a hard time quitting. We make it their fault. Just like we make it their fault for getting fat on neuroleptics.

      When I worked exclusively with people labeled “schizophrenic” I used to get angry at how my colleagues would make our clients feel guilty about smoking and feeling unable to quit. I used to tell my clients it was okay. That they were not less important human beings if they failed to quit.

      If you go to Urocyon’s blog what follows are very important facts and ideas about smoking, mental illness and how we treat those who are part of the mental health system who smoke.

From Urocyon’s article:I used to be truly obnoxious about tobacco smoking. The effect any kind of smoke had (and still has!) on my allergies made me even more hyper about it. I would go into exaggerated coughing fits, shoot smokers truly filthy looks, and generally act like a self-righteous drama queen about it. I just couldn’t understand why anyone would want to do that to themselves, and had serious trouble resisting telling them all about it. No doubt, I drove a number of people close to me batty with the judgmentalism and interference I was being led to believe elsewhere was a good thing if I cared about them and didn’t want them to die horrible lingering deaths through their own stupidity. It wasn’t just me, they were (and are) honestly telling kids this was a good thing. — Then I was on meds that made my dopamine levels plummet, and started smoking at 20. Talk about cognitive dissonance. I was seriously depressed*, with akathisia, and am still not sure what made accepting an offered cigarette a good idea at the time. But I was out buying some the next day, and haven’t successfully stopped smoking for more than a week in the 15 years since then. I do not seem to be otherwise prone to addiction at all, but this is a truly special case. And I am ashamed of the way I treated other people when I was younger, with no understanding of their experiences and totally dismissing the existence of valid motivations.”  read the rest

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters