Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Either Way, You're Dead :(

People are unceasingly lazy...we look for short cuts to solve just about anything. I usually refer to this as 'McDonaldization" but that's not to denigrate the fast food giant. After all, I DID rush to have some fries in Thailand after weeks of vegetables and rice. It's just that we always get ourselves into situations and then look for ways to get out of them with less pain and travail. For example, just yesterday, a student with whom I have been working indicated that he was having difficulty with some test questions on an online program. His suggestion for success? Read the book? Take notes? Nope...he wanted me to sit beside him when he took the next test and help him with the answers! (I hope you are as stunned as I was).
Anyway, we sometimes find ourselves in need of help to escape those jams we've gotten into; this has resulted in a plethora of support groups, 12-step programs and other artificial aids like hypnosis to get us through the battles we face. More often than not, the golden bullet is a drug of some kind. It is, many times, a drug that people turn to when attempting to quit smoking.
My parents both died as a result of smoking too much over too long a period. When both my brother and I demanded they quit, my father's response was twofold: "I'd rather do something I enjoy and die than live and be miserable." "Quitting is easy, I do it every day." The simplicity of his "logic" defied any explanation I could offer. He did manage to finally quit by simply stopping: no drugs, no patch; he just decided he had to do it: six months before the effects of smoking killed him.
Not being burdened with this kind of addiction, it was always hard for me to understand how people could continue when they KNEW that it was a potentially deadly addiction...but continue they did, until drugs like Zyban and Chantix came along and the FDA approved them for use in cessation programs. Only, the FDA missed something.
It seems that both of these drugs are great at helping peole quit smoking, but they often leave people with changes in behavior and mood, including hostility, agitation, depression and visitation of suicidal thoughts. The temptation of suicide seems to be so prevalent among users that the FDA is now requiring a special warning with each drug indicating that suicide and depression can be real side effects.
Wow! It's like all the other "cures" I see on television for ED and other malfunctions: the list of potential side effects is so scary that I'd be satisfied with a basic bodily dysfunction!
Smokers, it seems, have found themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place.
Here's a potentially helpful web site:
Good luck. I still miss my parents.


At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I quit, I used Chantix and talked to the doc about the suicide concerns - he mentioned that a majority of individuals with mood disorders (depression, bipolar, schizophrenia)are smokers so that it isn't necessarily the medication causing the issues as much as the issues manifesting themselves because of the resulting problems with seratonin and dopamine. It's talked about in the book "Tipping Point" as well. Interesting stuff. Highly recommend the book - talks about the broken windows theory and some other interesting "epidemics" - if you haven't read it already.


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