Psychiatry: Fighting Smoking Addiction With Psychotherapy

Psychiatrist New York, NY

Millions of Americans are turning to psychiatry to live healthier, more fulfilled lives. Hoping to manage stress and focusing on positive mental health are some of the most common reasons for seeking psychiatric care. In addition, many individuals may also find that it is helpful in dealing with unhealthy habits, including smoking. In fact, some studies have shown that many individuals who participate in psychotherapy are often more successful at quitting both immediately and long-term.

Understanding the underlying causes of addiction

Psychiatry can help patients better understand why they feel the need to turn to smoking while also allowing them to acquire the tools they need to quit.

Increasing self-awareness through psychotherapy

While there are many reasons for a person to pick up the habit of smoking, the addiction can be both harmful and life-altering. For some, smoking is a way to relieve stress and cope with everyday anxieties or past trauma. A trained psychiatrist can help identify the cause that leads to the continued need to smoke. In addition, psychotherapy can boost self-awareness in patients by identifying triggers that lead to smoking a cigarette for relief. These new understandings can help both the psychiatrist and the patient develop a more informed and effective treatment plan to stop smoking.

Using cognitive therapy to break unhealthy habits

For many individuals, it can be beneficial to engage in psychiatric counseling before starting a non-smoking program. Therapy can help prepare the patient for a more successful outcome by putting the right set of tools in place for when the process becomes more difficult. Positive approaches to both internal and external factors, combined with a healthier sense of self, can make the journey less challenging for many patients. A variety of continued methods may be recommended by a professional based on the person's unique needs. These may include a combination of:

  • Biofeedback
  • Talk therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Smoking cessation medication
  • Medication for depression or anxiety
  • Support groups
  • Intentional self-care

Sessions will often be scheduled more frequently towards the beginning of treatment. In addition, a therapist will likely suggest that the patient create a strong support system of friends and family members to help them stick to their plan when quitting smoking.

Dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms are often the most difficult aspect of giving up cigarettes. In addition to strong cravings for nicotine, people also experience a host of physical problems, from headaches and appetite changes to depression, trouble sleeping, and irritability. However, individuals who have the option of seeing a professional during a difficult time may be more likely to avoid a relapse. A psychotherapist can help a patient navigate through these challenging situations with more success.

Smoking addiction treatment with psychotherapy FAQs

Psychotherapy to treat smoking addiction is a great way to break the unhealthy habit. To provide you with more information, here are some common questions (and answers) from a psychiatrist about smoking addiction treatment.

Why is smoking so hard to quit?

The simplest answer is nicotine. Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco that makes quitting a challenge for everyone. The nicotine released when smoking sends signals to your brain that make you feel good. Over time, your brain gets used to having the chemical signals each day. In order to quit, your brain has to get used to not having nicotine around anymore, which can take time and detoxification.

What can I expect during detoxification?

Detoxification can take up to three or four weeks. The initial wave of detoxification is the hardest, which lasts for around four days to a week. During this time, it is essential to have some form of medical monitoring, as withdrawal symptoms can affect your physical health and ability to think clearly.

How long will it take to quit smoking?

The nicotine withdrawal period can last up to a month; this is the hardest part of detoxification and quitting smoking. However, the urge to smoke may continue for some time afterward. After all, smoking is a habit, and it takes on average 66 days to break the habit of smoking. It is important to remain patient and take your journey one day at a time.

Quitting smoking

While smoking can be a difficult habit to break, many individuals may find the journey easier with the help of a professional counselor. Psychiatry can help people identify triggers and underlying causes in order to develop a better strategy for quitting. The continued support can help provide the encouragement needed to stop smoking for good.

Request an appointment here: https://nycpsychiatricassociates.com or call NYC Psychiatric Associates at (917) 391-0076 for an appointment in our New York office.

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