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The Link Between Smoking and Schizophrenia

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There are a number of mental health conditions that are hard to understand. Any time that there is insight into a cause for them, people jump at it in hopes of comprehension. As mental illness can be a very challenging health condition to live with and to cope with overall, when there is hope to work through it, that is very desirable for the patient and their family and friends. Understanding that there may be a link between smoking and schizophrenia, for example, may be something that we never really thought about, but if it can help to answer the questions then it’s well worth looking at and this is why so many people are interested in it.


The thing to remember is that the studies are still being conducted on this potential link. Though there is a great deal of hope that people have when it comes to these types of studies, the answers may come later rather than sooner. Early indications are quite favorable that there may be a link between the two, but it’s not a hard and fast result, so you must remember that and not put too much hope into it. There is a lot to learn and some great discoveries to be made, but in the end health experts are cautiously optimistic. It may at the very least mean that more and more people with mental illnesses take a long hard look at their smoking and try to move towards a healthier lifestyle.


If you are somebody who suffers from this condition or who is close to somebody who does, then you very likely want to understand the potential link between smoking and schizophrenia. It may or may not be the insight that you needed, but at the very least it is worth understanding and therefore trying to use as a catalyst for a healthier lifestyle overall.


There is a very real link between smoking and mental illness overall:

The evidence speaks for itself and that is that those who have any sort of mental illness tend to be much more likely to smoke. The reasons for this are not proven but many believe it has something to do with self-medication. The problem with that theory is that many of the symptoms may not start until after somebody is already a regular smoker. Nevertheless, the evidence tells the story and paints the picture that those who suffer from schizophrenia or any sort of mental illness are much more likely to be heavy and frequent smokers, and that’s where this study derived from in the first place.


Those with schizophrenia tended to start smoking earlier than those who do not suffer from it:

This is at the heart of the debate, or the study, and that is that those who suffer from this particular condition have been smokers for a number of years. This is a very real connection and therefore many believe that there must be some sort of link between smoking and schizophrenia for those who started smoking early on in life and have been consistently smoking for years. They may have put themselves at risk of developing the symptoms of the condition. You may or may not want to believe this, but individuals in the study who suffered from schizophrenia were often smokers and therefore this must contribute to the condition.


The psychotic symptoms did not show up until frequent smoking was part of the individual’s life:

This is where the theory of self-medication doesn’t hold water. The problem is that while many believe that smoking is a method that people use to cope, it’s a matter of the chicken and the egg in the end. The reality is that through these studies people have found that the symptoms of schizophrenia didn’t even show themselves until much later on, well after the smoking was a part of life.


Quitting smoking early on may help to alleviate the symptoms of this problem, even if there is family history of it:

As you think of a healthy lifestyle, it’s as much about getting rid of the bad habits as it is welcoming in the better ones. That being said, it makes sense when you look at the link between smoking and schizophrenia that if you were to try to change your ways it may make the condition more livable. If an individual quit smoking then they may lessen their symptoms of the condition, and this is helping to prove that the link and all of the research points have a very real correlation overall.