Scared to Quit Smoking

Here's the deal.

 I'm a 22 year old male. I had my first seizure last year when I was 21. I smoked around 7-10 cigarettes a day during college. I went on the patch to quit and completely ceased cigarettes...3-4 days later I had a tonic clonic seizure, and subsequently lost my license for 6 months. After that I was put on topamax. Doctors said that the patch couldn't have caused it but I'm not so sure. After that I (stupidly) started smoking again.

 After around 11 months, I decided that topamax was driving me crazy. Went to my specialist, who said that I should switch to Keppra. I did and it was okay, although I had a crazy heart beat (rushing feeling). After a few weeks, I quit smoking again..this time cold turkey. A few days later I had another rushing feeling in my heart and ended up in the ER. They switched me off Keppra and put me back on Topamax (didn't gradually do it). 2 days later I had 2 seizures in a row, and lost my license for 6 more months. I was put on depakote. The depakote made me gain large amounts of weight (25 lbs in 5 months). I stupidly started smoking again after this time too...what with college graduation, finals, and moving to a new city.

 I know I need to quit smoking, but as we can see the common factor here is smoking. I know I need to deal with stress and sleep (as those are probably big factors), but I use cigarettes as a crutch.

 *note- please don't lecture me about smoking-I went to a very prestigous university, have never smoked anything illegal, and am gainfully employed- ie...I'm not stupid)

 I really dont know what I'm reaching for here, except I'm scared it's going to happen again if I quit. I can't afford to lose my license for another 6 months, as I am now alone (not even a roommate) in a big city that basically requires a car. It has poor public transportation and is very spread out. 

 What should I do? Between the weight gain (quitting will make me gain even more wait and I can barely fit into my clothes now), and fear of everything that comes with having a seizure I'm not sure if it's worth it...but then again, I know later down the road it will be worse for me to have been smoking.





Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

Hi watup. I'm a smoker too and have had experience quitting.

Yup I'm not stupid either, I enjoy it certain times of the day, socialy and most importantly when stressed. Ok bring it on non smokers, but first read about your own bad habits.I just won't read ya.

Now that that's out of my system lol, here's my experience on quitting. All 3 times lasting up to 3 months I ended up back at it due to stress...3 guesses and the first two don't count as to what stress can do to us. When I asked my Epileptologist about quitting smoking he said, don't quote me, while we know the dangers of smoking during this time of trying to gain control of seizures it's not a good idea. Get them under control first and then we can look into some ideas. My pharmacist said over the counter nor prescription meds for quitting are an option and could be dangerous. Quitting cold turkey I know won't work...deffinet seizures, heart races/palps and perhaps injured family members. lol.

I found that I had many episodes of racing heart when I had quit and believe that is part of the withdrawl and anxiety. I take Keppra and a large amount at that, it has never had any effect on my heart and it is not listed as a side effect anywhere. I don't understand why they would change you back to "dopamax" without looking into it alot more. Nor do I understand why they would change it so quickly....Keppra's touchy, if I miss a dose I'm gauranteed a seizure. "Depabloat" messed me up bad for years and one of those ways was immediate weight gain. At the time it was a new med and nothing was working for me so the Nuero asked if I'd like to try it, warning me that a side effect is gaining weight, anything to stop the seizures. Keppra gets a bad rap by many but everyone is different and after years of uncontroled seizures along with 14 med trials my quality of live is better than ever. Able to get my drivers back and the least side effects ever. Most importantly best seizure control I've ever had.

Now Epi and I can talk quitting. I'm thinking a loan for a trip to a very relaxing tropical resort which I can pay off with the money I save on smokes. Now that's a motivator!

Suggestion? Get the seizures sorted out first, perhaps an Epileptologist if you haven't one can help.

Good luck and Smiles to ya!

Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

You probably know this already but nicotine is both a stimulant and a depressant to the central nervous system. The nicotine in cigarettes acts on receptors for the excitatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, which increases neuronal firing.

But if you want to STOP smoking, here’s a piece of scary information: some nicotine preparations used to help people stop smoking can have a side effect of convulsions. If you’re thinking of quitting, check out your smoking cessation program with your doc first.

Phylis Feiner Johnson

Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

I'm sorry to hear that you guys have to go through so much difficulty with quitting smoking.  Smoking is a stimulant and should be causing you seizures while continuing the habit.  I am a smoker myself - not proud of it, but whenever I quit, I notice how much my full seizures go down. 

When you guys quit, do the seizures stop after a period of time?  I would say it's worth quitting, but at the same time, I know it's hard to let the driver's license go.  I was allowed to drive for about 6 years before I lost mine - and I lived in a rural area at the time where there was no public transportation available to me - I had to depend on friends and my husband who worked many hours and was not always available to help me.

Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

I've never tried, so I'm not sure what I'm afraid of. Pretty soon, I'll be more concerned with keeping a roof over my head rather than where my next smoke is coming from. But alas, I've never tried so I don't really know. I know I need to quit, but I'm not sure how I'm going to go about doing it. I guess I'm a little scared to because I've never tried. I guess I'm going to be afraid of the price of smokes pretty soon. I know it's not good for me especially because of my Epilepsy and what can happen if I have a seizure while I'm smoking. My Dr gave me the patch once and I never really tried it, too much going on in my life at the time to really try to stick with it. My Father and Brother both quit cold turkey and told me that's the easiest way to do it. I guess I am, like you say, a little afraid of quitting. Weather or not it will help or hurt my Epilepsy, that I don't know that either. 

Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

hi, i won't do the lecture thing.  i do understand the fear.  it is a bit///h.  it grows with or with not smoking.  problems.  smoking decreases the amount of oxygen absorbed in the blood.  the oxygen is replaced by carbon monoxide.(carbon monoxide attaches to the red blood cell alot faster than oxygen)  the  results in increased irratation to the nervous system. specifically the brain.  increase irratation, increase chance of seizure.  nicotine, increases heart rate increase oxygen demand,  decreased amount available to feed the heart as a muscle.  fear increases the need for oxygen.  That is just with a couple of the chemicals in cigarettes.  coming off of any addictive substance can make anyone more prone to seizures.  tapper off if you quit. 3-5 days.  cigarettes make the body work harder.  The calm that comes from smoking is false.  it is feeding the addiction in a stress situation.  The doc that took you off the meds without doing it tapered needs a kick in the....tail.  not a good plan.  Not smoking will probably make you less likely to have a seizure.  There are many kinds of seizure meds, it may be a trial and error to find the right one for you.  all people are different.  Keep the goals in mind.  First goal.  seizure control.  then you look at benefit verses risks, when looking at side effects.  goal 2, tolerable side effects.  that is where working with the doc and both being involved in making the choices.  I wish i could give you good advice as far as the fear goes.  I can only tell you what i have to tell my self.  courage is doing what is needed in the face of fear.  i know it is corny, but it works for me.  I have not been able to get rid of the fear.  I have just learn how to live with it.  I will tell you this.  chantix is not recommend for people with seizures.  I tried it. it was not fun.  Many other people had similar problems.  i have had positive results from quiting.  easier to breathe is number one.  saving the money,  not having people look down there nose.  The best result is that i have not had another doc, or other health care provider tell me i should quit.  i have not smoked in almost 2 years, and still want one every minute.   I smoked for 40 years and up to 2 packs per day.  Quiting will make you less likly to seize.  it is not a carved in stone result.  continuing changes nothing.  The end is that it is still a choice that every addicted person makes.  do or don't.  The thing that i noticed is like you, what am i going to fear. it is not a choice of being afraid.  hope it give a different prospective, or at least validates both what you feel, and that you are not alone in your fear.  rikk

Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

It was initially hard for me 2 quit smoking,though it was less than a pack a day...but i was determined 2 be b fully recover,hence i tried quitting,...naturally after some time,...the desire 2 want 2 smoke reduce,...It may be true tat quitting will reduce seizure...Also,..I chant...I practiced Daishonin's Buddhism. I'm still trying 2 overcome my sadness n depression of not having a full time job,a proper career.Society is cruel,..wat 2 do?Only 2 remind myself 2 b positive n b strong... All the best 2 u.....

Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

Quit smoking has many benefits that comes in paskages.The benefits of stopping smoking are not only an improvement in health and an increase in life span, but it can also have a positive effect on social life.
The benefits of stopping smoking are almost boundless.When a smoker stops this deadly addiction he or she will have a lower risk of developing cancer and heart disease. It will also mean that the ex-smoker will breathe in fresher air instead of cigarette smoke,which will mean less instances of coughing and breathlessness.Less carcinogens that can cause cancer.The benefits of stopping smoking are certainly many and the advantages
of smoking are yet to be discovered.

Hope this one could help you.

Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

Prostop Therapie helpt u in één behandeling om van uw rookverslaving af te komen. En wel op een manier die minimale ontwenningsverschijnselen met zich meebrengt. Ontwenningsverschijnselen stoppen met roken Het gaat om een eenmalig stopgesprek gecombineerd met een speciale laserbehandeling die ervoor zorgt dat uw lichaam snel geen behoefte meer heeft aan nicotine. Hierdoor zult u veel minder ontwenningsverschijnselen van stoppen met roken ervaren dan bij andere methodes. 


Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

Smoking is evitable so as early as now we should stop smoking to avoid some diseases. Although it would take a long time because it is already a habit but slowly and slowly for sure you can stop it. Instead of smoking, take some cool and mint candies, it would relieve your crave from smoking. - buying twitter followers

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Re: Scared to Quit Smoking

i take keppra and i just stopped smoking cigarettes yeseterday. were you able to stop? did anything bad happen while trying to stop? i tried stopping twice before to the extent of 6 months and 1 month. Nothing really changed for me but during those times my seizures were not controlled. it is now and i am just doing my due diligence. any advice would help.  thanks.