Emergence of depression during early abstinence in depressed and non-depressed women smokers.
The emergence of depression early in a quit attempt and its relationship to ability to maintain abstinence were studied in 99 depressed and non-depressed women smokers. Participants rated withdrawal symptomatology during a baseline week and the first two weeks of a quit attempt, during which they used a 21-mg nicotine patch and received behavioral counseling. Depressed women experienced greater difficulty maintaining early abstinence than non-depressed women. They were significantly more likely to smoke on the first day of abstinence and smoked marginally more days during the first week. Among participants who relapsed during the first two weeks, latency to relapse was significantly shorter for depressed women. Although craving and all withdrawal symptoms except insomnia showed significant increases over baseline, only depression showed significant group differences, with trend analyses suggesting that depression asymptotes in non-depressed women after the first week but continues increasing in depressed women. Larger increases in depression on the first day of abstinence were associated with earlier lapse. Because depression is relatively infrequent as a withdrawal symptom, it may not be a "true" withdrawal symptom except in depressed people. Identification of depressed smokers and anticipation of their increased need for support during this period may help to counteract the "first-day effect" and difficulties during early abstinence.
Pomerleau, CS; Brouwer, RJ; Pomerleau, OF
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