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Is my nervousness due to smoking?

Q: I am 24 years old. I have been smoking since the age of 17. Immediately after smoking I feel intense nervousness in interacting with people. For instance, if I have smoked in the office, I feel very nervous getting back to my work place and interacting with colleagues. I am naturally a reserved person with painful coping problems socially. Is it cigarette that exacerbates the problem or is it the auto-suggestion while smoking that does it? I have tried abstaining for weeks altogether thinking that my coping problems would get solved by cutting out nicotine and also caffeine but they remain and this in turn reinforces me to get back to smoking and on relapse day I smoke uncontrollably leading to huge adrenaline withdrawal. This whirlwind of abstaining and loading is leaving me hopeless. Abstaining does not seem to solve my coping problems and smoking (it seems) exacerbates it; but I am drawn to it because of coping failure when abstaining.

A:The following comments should be considered: 1. Smoking is always bad. It leads to nicotine addiction and general ill-health. 2. Dependency on any drug - whether it is nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, narcotics or tranquillizers- - to improve social interactions is extremely hazardous, and may culminate in actions that could result in imprisonment. 3. Social inadequacy is a common disorder that responds to psychologic therapy provided by a suitable professional. 4. The awareness of a problem such as severe social inadequacy should provide the motivation to seek professional counseling on a regular basis until the problem is substantially improved.


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