Vaping and Mental Health: The Good, Bad and The Implications
Vaping and Mental Health?
It’s no secret, there is a lot of discussion around vaping and the implications it has on mental health. Since the huge incline in popularity, a lot of people are becoming more aware of the device and its main purpose. A stigma has been born around the devices; due to its connection to cigarettes through some juices using nicotine. Thus, it seems to have shrouded some of the more positive reasons why Vaping is good. When it comes down to it, although vaporizers have been used as a tool for smokers attempting to quit; this was not its main purpose.
There are a couple of things that need to be identified and understood before this topic can be covered properly.
The majority of people believe it can be either Good or Bad, there is no in-between, and it can’t possibly be Good and Bad. In my opinion, this is not true, and there are many aspects of Vaping which are great for your mental health and others, not so much, wee can delve more into that in a bit.
Possibly the most important aspect to Vaping and Mental Health; the concern some people have with the devices and the risks of Developing a Mental Health Condition from using the devices.
Developing a Mental Health Condition from using the devices.
What are some of the Financial Implications of Vaping, how this can affect your Mental Health? The subject that is quite important to understand and greatly ties into some of the background problems that people may not understand.
It’s important to understand this Article is 100% unbiased, the content that has been written is purely educational and informative with the hopes to shine some light on such a dark subject where not many answers have been given.
Good for your Mental Health
Let’s talk about the positives behind Vaping and what it means to your Mental Health. There are many factors about vaping which can be taken into consideration when it comes to your Mental Health, a lot of which will be extremely helpful and the majority of the time help you out. Let’s take a look at these factors.
It’s quite common to hear a smoker or vaper say “It’s relaxing” or “It calms me down”; which is true. When you develop an addiction to something, and your body starts to rely on it after leaving your body craving it for so long, and you eventually give your body the thing it desires you will get a sense of relaxation and serenity.
It works the same way as a hug; if you’re feeling upset or down, sometimes a hug will make you feel all the better, this is because our bodies have associated a simple hug with the feelings of love, care, and affection. Therefore, this is exactly what happens with vaping; your body associates the process with being relaxed or winding down.
How is this used to fight mental health conditions?
Due to the relaxing nature of the device as mentioned above vaping has been known to help people fighting with Mental Health Conditions such as Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD.
Sometimes, for a person with these conditions, knowing that you have that tool to calm yourself down or take your mind of things can help with living alongside the condition. One of the best medical examples of this would be Anti-Depression Tablets; for someone suffering from Depression, knowing they have a tablet that can instantly make them feel a lot better plays a huge mental part of their condition.
Mental Health has a strong connection the Placebo Effect when it comes down to it, the majority of the time a mental health condition is made worse simply by a person’s lack of understanding, fear of the condition or simply feeling alone. If you truly believe there is a method that can help you feel better, then you can easily overcome the majority of mental health issues you may be facing.
If vaping is a means that has helped somebody stop smoking, then that could play a part in them having less mental health issues. Studies show that quitting smoking is very good for overall mental health.
Bad for your Mental Health
We’ve talked about how vaping can be good for your mental health, let’s talk about how it can be bad and could affect you mentally. This subject is quite diverse and will change depending on the Mental Health Condition you may have.
When it comes down to it, the majority of the time, if your Mental Health Condition starts to become a problem or occur, there will more than likely be a trigger or a prompt that has brought it up. If you have depression and you see something that makes you upset you will start getting depressed. If you have Anxiety and you start worrying about something, you could start having a panic attack. If you have PTSD and you remember something traumatic you could have flashbacks leading to the stress-induced attack.
When it comes to vaping, sometimes some of the side effects can be associated with some of the above and may act as a trigger for your condition. Another example of this could be the process of smoking and some of the physical elements it has such as the vapor. Let me explain this a little more with some examples below.
Let’s say you have depression, we’ve understood that getting upset or sad can act as a trigger for you to start feeling depressed. Let’s imagine you’re at work having a vaping break and someone comments on how the vapor is harmful to those around you and you are selfish for vaping near them.
Overall, this could upset you, and your mind would start racing about how you’re upsetting or harming someone, shortly after you’d get even more upset because you’re realizing how upset you are! It’s a ruthless cycle.
All you wanted to do was go for a quick break, but now you have this awful connection between vaping and your Mental Health Condition. It could lead you to start feeling guilty whenever you vape, although it’s 100% fine and it’s your choice what you do; that feeling will always be in the back of your mind.
This is the most common Mental Health Condition associated with vaping and smoking, so it would be wrong not to cover it a little bit. The most common form of Anxiety (Panic Disorder) can easily be associated to vaping, the majority of the time this is felt through the side effects that vaping can bring.
The main cause of an Anxiety Attack is the realization that something is not right, or more importantly, something is wrong. When you have Anxiety and identify a problem with your body or something that you feel is incorrect or shouldn’t be happening; you will start getting scared and start panicking. However, when you start panicking and realize you’re panicking, you start doing it even more!
Sometimes this happens due to the effects that vaping has on your throat, lungs, and heart. It’s common for your heart to start beating faster/slower after pulling on your vaporizer, to someone with Anxiety this could be seen as a danger to them, so they start getting scared. It’s also quite common for vaping to cause loss of breath or tight lungs; something else that could trigger an Anxiety attack.
It’s important to understand that these side effects are a known thing, and it will happen when you’re vaping. It’s perfectly normal, and nothing bad is happening to you. Almost similar to how you get out of breath when you do sports, just without the activity.
When you’re vaping with a Mental Health Condition, the best thing you can do is fully understand the process, fully understand exactly what you will be doing; this will give you peace of mind when vaping which is the most important thing to living with a Mental Health Condition.
The Addictive Chemical
Let’s take a second to look at the main chemical that’s associated with smoking and vaping. For the most part, this may not be the reason people started using the devices; however, it’s more than likely the reason they carry on using them.
Well, we knew this was going to come up. Nicotine is the main chemical found in cigarettes; most commonly understood and identified as the “addictive” part.
What has this got to do with Vaping?
Just like cigarettes, in some of the juices that you can use with Vaporizers and E-Cigs, there is normally an option for a quantity of nicotine. When Vaping first started appearing because of the included nicotine a lot of people saw the opportunity to use it as a substitute for the Cigarette; After years and years of negativity surrounding smoking, there couldn’t possibly be anything worse? So they took the opportunity and quit.
Because of this, nicotine started being associated with the devices more and more, along with the addictive elements of nicotine starting to be associated with vaping. It’s important to understand that nicotine is and incredibly addictive chemical, resulting in many people needing it to properly function; this is when Mental Health problems start to occur.
Chronic exposure to nicotine can cause changes in the brain that can cause some mental illnesses, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s among them. This holds true whether the user is exposed to nicotine from cigarettes, gum or, yes, vaping. In fact, nicotine exposure can be far greater when vaping high-strength e-liquids when compared to cigarette smoking.
If it’s Nicotine Free, is it better?
Yes and No. When you remove the main addictive chemical from juices, the users will not have that drive and urge to take a vape, and it’s the same with smoking. The only thing that’s left over is the desire to vape or smoke because you want to. It’s quite common for people to enjoy the social aspects of vaping, depending on who you are as a person and what you enjoy, this can also be seen as quite addictive. There have been multiple “expeditions” or “gatherings” where communities of vapors get together and share hardware, juices, and experiences with the devices. The majority of juices used at these expeditions are nicotine free.
It’s beginning to be more and more popular for Juice manufacturers only to sell 0mg (nicotine free) juices. Surely, if you got to the point where you wasn’t vaping any of the addictive chemicals, then you wouldn’t need to do it anymore? This ties into what I mentioned above about people wanting to vape purely for the social aspects.
However, taking into consideration everything mentioned above, if you’re a person that is vaping for the nicotine and you believe you are addicted. Getting to the stage where you can vape 0mg juices will gradually help you shake the addiction, ultimately being able to put down the device, and any associated mental health issues alongside it; I’ve heard plenty of stories of this, and seen it in many friends and relatives. You just have to understand that Nicotine is the addictive chemical and that’s what you’re craving when you get the urge to have a vape.
Developing a Mental Health Condition
There used to be a lot of discussion about how smoking could be associated with more risks to develop a Mental Health Condition and if you’re at risk doing it. With the rise in popularity of vaping a lot of people are asking the same question. Here are some of the key factors on this topic and the things you should know.
Short Term vs Long Term
To be perfectly honest, there is not much research or evidence that can strongly support if vaping is likely or unlikely to aid in developing a Mental Health Condition. In regards to short-term effects, there has been a noticeable difference between the effects of vaping and smoking when it comes to creating Mental Health Condition, with vaping being a lot less likely.
Why is it Less Likely?
Many people feel the main reason behind this is the lack of nicotine in some of the juices, and this is obviously removing the addictive chemicals in the making the only connection you have to the device a social or personal one. As mentioned previously in this Article, addiction is one of the key factors to the creation of some mental health issues.
From the information that has been provided so far, and taking into consideration the effects previously gained from smoking and how many of those side effects are starting to occur in users of Vaporizers and E-Cigarettes. I can confidently say that there is a significant difference in some people developing Mental Health Conditions from vaping compared to smoking.
However, Mental Health Conditions are normally combinations of many different aspects of your life and past experiences. Vaping appeals to a different audience and stereotype, which would have had a much different history in life compared to your average smoker, going further into this topic becomes quite controversial and confusing.
Financial Implications of Vaping
It’s no secret that Vaping is a lot cheaper than cigarettes. The majority of people don’t even mention it and let it blow over their head. But when you take a look at the effect the reduce costs has on some people it can be quite amazing.
Financial Troubles and Mental Health
Although some people may not understand or notice this much; if you’re financially unstable or have issues with money, it can really cause an issue with Mental Health. Some of your biggest day to day concerns being; “Can I afford to eat” or “Can I pay the rent” will ultimately lead to the biggest question “Do I have the money for my cigarettes or Vape Juice”… The simple acknowledgment that you can’t afford to feed your addiction this week can quickly turn you extremely nervous and upset, as mentioned previously this could act as a trigger. If you put your body under that amount of stress constantly you will start to associate it as a normal occurrence; this will eventually lead to developing some Mental Health Condition.
Vaping and Your Money
Unlike smoking, you have a lot more control over the quantities that you’re vaping and the amount you go through each day. Having the ability to manage your consumption can greatly reduce the effect it has on your Mental Health.
For example, let’s pretend you’re addicted to nicotine, and you use a vaporizer as a method to feed your addiction. You’ve identified that on this week you’ll be a little close for comfort paying your rent, and you only have £5 to spend on juice for your Vape for this week. You know that you have an addiction, and if you don’t get enough nicotine, you’ll start feeling angry, upset or simply lazy. You realize that you can’t vape as much as you normally do this week, so you set yourself milestones and limits to the amount you can vape per day. You could even purchase higher nicotine juices to help reduce the amount you’re vaping.
Adding to the stress one can feel that can exacerbate any mental illness is nicotine withdrawal that will happen if a user doesn’t have enough money to get their necessary dose to prevent the withdrawals.
Although this is possible with cigarettes, it’s a lot harder to smoke half a cigarette and then save half for later.
When taking everything into consideration, simply knowing that you’ll make it through the week will really help with Mental Health Conditions, this will stop any of your triggers occurring and more than likely stop you developing a Condition due to stress.
It’s hard to understand the majority of Mental Health Conditions and identifying some of the things that will affect them is even more challenging. Truth be told, if you’re suffering from a Mental Health Condition, the smallest things can set you off and cause issues; the most important thing to you and the progress of your Condition is to understand the possibilities and how vaping will affect you fully.
In my opinion, the positive effects that vaping has on Mental Health Conditions easily outweigh the negatives. With plenty of stories and past experiences displaying how it has helped so many people fight their Conditions and make it through such a terrible time.
Granted, when you vape there is a possibility to develop a Mental Health Condition, but there’s going to be a risk with anything you do. As mentioned multiple times in this Article, the key is to understand the process, understand how to do it correctly and know your boundaries.
Mental health is such a huge subject and is quite a hard topic to cover because people react to things differently in their own mind. Everyone finds different things upsetting, and people suffering from Mental Health Conditions will have their own prompts. I keep on saying how it’s important to understand the process; and this is to identify any possible prompts you would get, just because others can’t do it because of their condition doesn’t mean you can’t, we all react in different ways.
Are Mental Health Conditions Connected to vaping? Yes they are.
Is Vaping a cause for Mental Health Conditions? I believe not.
Should Vaping be attacked as a whole, simply because of one addictive chemical? It should not.