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A Guide to Having ADHD and Quitting Smoking

Smoking and ADHD seem to go hand in hand. That is, people who have ADHD are twice as likely as those who do not to take up smoking. And it is harder for people with ADHD to quit smoking once they have started.

quitting_smokingThis comes down to the fact that smoking can help with focus and calming, which is really beneficial for people with ADHD , as they experience hyperactivity and trouble concentrating and focusing. The cigarettes can be a way to self-medicate, but even if you have ADHD and smoke, there are ways to overcome the habit and break free from the addiction.

You have to keep reminding yourself every day, and sometimes every hour, why you are quitting. Focus on both the positives and the negatives. Remind yourself of your goals and what it will mean to you and your family for you to stop smoking. Maybe you are trying to quit so that you don’t have to stay away from your family while you smoke. Maybe you are looking for a way to stop spending so much money on a destructive habit. Whatever your reasons for quitting in the first place, make sure you remind yourself of them constantly.

You should also see about getting help. Yu can get help from your friends and family. Just let them know that you are trying to quit, and they are very likely to be supportive. You can also find help outside your family, through quitting groups, forums and quit smoking organizations. They have the experience and advice that will help you cope with your problems and make it through the quitting process.

You may also want to consider a medical solution. Many people who smoke and have ADHD are prescribed bupropion. This replaces the function of the cigarette by providing the individual with improved focus and calmness. You may no longer need the cigarette to feel like you are in control.

You should also watch out for triggers. These are situations, emotions or circumstances that activate your desire to smoke. For many people, it is stress that causes them to seek the comfort of a cigarette. For others, it is simply certain portions of their lives where they are likely to light up because it is convenient. If you can identify where you are most likely to smoke and what causes that craving, then you can avoid or eliminate these triggers to help yourself make it through the quitting process.

quit-smokingIt is going to take a lot of work to actively avoid the instances that cause you to want to smoke. You can tell those who are supporting you what makes you feel like smoking, and they can help you steer clear of those things. You can’t avoid every part of your life or every trigger that would make you break your quitting streak. Instead, you may need to find a way to keep yourself occupied. Many people find alternatives to smoking to take up their time. This helps, because for many, smoking is just a result of them feeling bored. They light up because they have nothing else to do.

So if you involve yourself in a hobby, make some new friends or find a little distraction (stress ball, portable video game, sketch notebook, journal) you can keep yourself form thinking about how bored you are and wanting to grab a cigarette. You need to try to trick your brain into ignoring the cravings.

This isn’t something that will happen overnight, and if you make mistakes, just get back up and keep on going.

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