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Smoking, depression, and homelessness

Smoking, depression, can cause homeleness


Francisco Perez
GEN499: General Education Capstone
Instructor Mark Bowles
March 29, 2015

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

Although people can't become homeless from smoking cigarettes it has been found to
increase depression in a lot of people. Most people that smoke cigarettes have depression, and
depression can lead to being homeless. People that are depressed lose interest in there and career,
and in life itself which can cause homelessness and researchers have made bold claims about
cigarette smoking leading to depression. In this paper youre going to read about how all three of
these combined can keep a person homeless.
In recent studies it has been found that people that smoke cigarettes have some form of
depression. According to the World Health Organization not only does smoking cause lung
cancer and heart disease but it also increases anxiety and depression (W.H.O., 2015). In most
cases some people believe that smoking can relax the nerves and calm them down which is not
the case. In actuality its the reason for some of the anxiety and depression that people have.
In recent studies researchers have made bold claims about cigarette smoking leading to
depression. It has long been known that smokers have higher rates of depression than
nonsmokers, but researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand investigated the link
further, and say they have found a connecting relationship (Munafo, M.R & Ayara, R. 2010).
This epidemic of smokers is starting to grow among our youth which cause depression at an
early stage in life and making it impossible for a youth to enjoy their early life.
Cigarettes is one of the hardest addictions to quit next to drugs making much harder to
be able to snap out of depression. Although, its least likely to overdose on cigarettes than using
drugs. The long term effects can also be fatal and very depressing because now the person has to
deal with the negative effects of smoking making it harder to cope with. Cigarettes have been
compared to drugs in such that the addition is hard to kick. The use of the two can affect a

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

persons life on how they think and act how it changes their morale values. As drug addictions
can make the most honest person the most dishonest creating a chain effect of negativity.
Drug addiction used to be thought of as a natural need for a drug that arises because of
physiological adjustment to the existence of the drug in the body. The body becomes 'dependent'
on the drug to be able to function normally. Addiction to narcotic drugs such as barbiturates
follows this classic model. These drugs potentiate the neural inhibitory actions of the
neurotransmitter -aminobutyric acid (GABA). The brain get used to, in effect becoming overly
emotional, so that when the drug is removed from the system, the brain enters a heightened state
of excitability, which can lead to seizures and even death. As with other drugs, such as opiates,
the withdrawal set of symptoms from nicotine is not life-threatening, but it is unpleasant and may
be a powerful factor motivating continued use of the drug (West, R., & Shiffman, S. 2007).
A key problem now recognized is that the drug-taking and drug-seeking activities take on
such an important part of the addict's life that other considerations such as health, work, social
life, moral values and so on take second place. Landmark study concluded that significant life
events and/or chronic strains make individuals vulnerable to depression (Thoits, 1999).
Additional research has suggested that individuals with good coping resources and coping
strategies are more likely to buffer such psychological strains and therefore have less of a
negative impact on their mental health (Thoits, 1999). Once the mental status of a person is
altered by any type of drug or addiction can lead to severe depression that can make people have
a hard time dealing with day to day activities that are simple to others.
Depression can affect everyone and anyone who is going through major life changes. It
also point out how some people can actually cope with some of life ups and downs and not being

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

affected by depression. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses people face
today. In addition to abuse and neglect, a variety of other causes have been attributed to the onset
of depression including poverty, race, and most important life changes. Some of the causes of
depression can be a person not happy with themselves or a person being brought down by
outside sources such as being bullied in school or in their work environment. In some cases it
mostly because of problems at home that they cannot resolve. ).
Further research has suggested that people with good coping resources and coping
strategies are more likely to buffer such psychological strains and therefore have less of a
negative impact on their mental health (Thoits, 1999). A large study concluded that significant
life events and/or persistent strains make people vulnerable to depression (Thoits, 1999). People
that usually get depressed tend to find something to make them feel better such as alcohol, drugs,
and smoking. Which all of these things tend to amplify the depression making it much harder for
a person to function and tend to responsibilities. Depression can lead a person to lose everything
that they have accomplished in their lives.
Other research has suggested that people with good coping resources and coping
strategies are more likely to cushion such psychological tension and therefore have less of a
negative impact on their mental health (Thoits, 1999). In this case a person that faces his or her
problems without addiction will most likely be able to bounce back and correct where they may
be wrong or make the needed changes in order to move forward.
Depression can go on for many years before a person realizes that there is
something wrong and in extreme cases result in suicide. The view that depression is

mainly a medicalization of normal sadness has been voiced in both popular and academic texts,

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

and considerable impetus to this critique of clinical practice has been derived from massive
increases in the prescribing of antidepressant drugs (Haddad, M., & Gunn, J. 2011). Some people
just have chemical misbalance that be treated with medications and close observation of a
physician. Some of these patients tend to not see things like a normal person and may need
counseling to also try to help through their dysfunction.
In a lot people with depression can cause homelessness. As mental health experts learn
more about mood disorders, it is becoming clear that depression and manic-depression, with its
wild mood swings, are a significant cause of homelessness. Much attention has been focused on
depression and manic-depression in recent years as a number of prominent -- and well-off -people have offered public accounts of their battles with the diseases. In ''An Unquiet Mind: A
Memoir of Moods and Madness Holloway, L. (1999).
Such depression can drive any person to lose their job, families, and in all cases the
reality of life. This becoming very common among the youth due to peer pressure, problems at
home or because of addictions. Homeless youth are an underserved and susceptible population at
high risk for physical and mental health problems (Abdalian, 2004; Cauce, 2000). In the general
population, mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time, and
for many youth, lifelong mental disorders begin in childhood or adolescence (MDMH, 2005). In
most cases some of these kids usually experience traumatic things that make them feel out of
place or not belonging.
Kids that usually end up being homeless is because parents are getting divorced and they
feel like nobody loves them because the parents are too busy fighting. During this time the youth
feels that the parents do not love them and become distant form family and friends and

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

eventually start doing things to be noticed one being running away from their homes and
becoming homeless. Eventually depression leads to substance abuse to help numb the pain of
what theyre going through and become even more distant from the ones they love. According to
The US Department of Health and Human Services youth that suffer abuse or neglect are at
increased risk for later mental health disorders (USDHHS, 1999). The childhood experiences of
these youth can lead to psychosocial risk-taking pathways meant to deal with trauma. Abdalian
(2004) supports this view, suggesting that: Exposure to violence alone can increase
psychological disturbance such as depression and anxiety, the need for psychological
interventions for the sequelae of trauma, and may result in reliance on self-medication through
substance abuse. Homeless doesnt just affect the youth but it can also affect the adults such as
maybe learning that they have some kind of disease, loss of a job, and or a death in the family.
All of these making a person not feel as whole and not being able to cope with the situation. As
the depression sits in either the youth or the adult will start to lose interest at work at school and
eventually in themselves.
Another problem that can cause a person to become homeless is the mental status. Some
people from birth are born with chemical misbalances that dont allow them to lead a normal life
unless they are under some kind of medication. Emotional abuse is thought to occur more
frequently than physical abuse; it is also associated with depression and conduct disorder, in
addition to delinquency and impaired social and cognitive functioning (USDHHS, 1999). Family
members and close friends can actually help a person get out of depression by comforting them
and giving them positive support.
Studies have proven Durkeims theory showing that having a greater number of relatives and
friends increase life satisfaction and decrease clinical depression, and furthermore, having a

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

higher number of strangers in ones life decreases happiness (Lin and Peek, 1999). Anyone that
is exposed to negativity and addictions the least likely that the person will be able to recover
from depression.
The longer a person is homeless the chances of being exposed to different types of street
violence or even be a part of the violence or a victim. Creating even a deeper depression because
that individual feels like there is no point of return. This makes it even harder for family and
friends to reach out because that person feels like they are not worth the effort. Which this would
also need to be addressed by a physician with the help of medications and therapy. This helps
bring down the anxiety that was also a big part of the depression.
As for the youth they have been seriously harmed and few services are available to
counteract that harm or reconnect these abandoned individuals with society. Most of the services
are at will meaning its up to the youth if they want these services and most of these young adults
they strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with them. So if the parents are trying to get
help for their kids it only works if the youth agrees to be a part of the treatment if not that child
will not get help.
In this paper you have read how smoking can cause depression in people. Smoking can
also lead to other health problems such as lung cancer, heart disease and other complications that
will make depression much harder to reverse. You have also read how depression can make a
person distant from family and friends. Once depression sets in it starts to make simple task hard
to do and eventually making the person dysfunctional and with the end result of losing their job
and family. Depression can also lead a person to become homeless making it harder to be able to
return to a normal life. You also learned that through the right treatments and medication it will

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

help a person snap out of depression and with the help of close friends and family to get through
this unfortunate part of his or her life.

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

References,
Abdlain, Sue Ellen MD, (2004) Street Youth Mortality: Leaning With Intent to Fall. The Journal
of the American Medical Association. 292(5): 624-626.
Haddad, M., & Gunn, J. (2011). Fast facts: Depression - overview (3rd ed. Ed.). Abingdon:
Health Press Limited. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1170751981?
accountid=32521
Holloway, L. (1999). The Nation; Seeing a Link Between Depression and Homelessness. The
New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/07/weekinreview/the-nation-seeinga-link-between-depression-and-homelessness.html
Lin, Nan and Peek, Kristen (1999) Social Networks and Mental Illness, Chapter 13 (249).in
Handbook for the Study of Mental Health: Social Contexts, Theories and Systems.
Edited by Allan Horwitz and Teresa Sheid. Cambridge University Press.

Mehta, S., Mittal, P. K., & Swami, M. K. (2014). Psychosocial Functioning in Depressive
Patients: A Comparative Study between Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Affective
Disorder. Depression Research & Treatment, 1-6. doi:10.1155/2014/302741
Munafo, M. R. and Araya, R. Editorial: Cigarette smoking and depression: a question of
causation. The British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 196, June 2010, pp. 425-26.
Spring, B. et al. Nicotine effects on affective response in depression-prone
smokers. Psychopharmacology, Vol. 196, February 2008, pp. 461-71.

Smoking, depression, and homelessness

Thoits, Peggy (1999) Sociological Approaches to Mental Illness, Ch.6 (125).in Handbook for the
Study of Mental Health: Social Contexts, Theories and Systems. Edited by Allan Horwitz
and Teresa Sheid. Cambridge University Press.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (1999) Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon
GeneralExecutive Summary. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services,
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services,
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health.
West, R., & Shiffman, S. (2007). Fast facts: Smoking cessation - addiction to cigarettes (2nd ed.
ed.). Abingdon: Health Press Limited. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/1160590355?accountid=32521
World Health Organization (2015) Cigarette smoking in schizophrenia: relationship to
psychopathology and medication side-effects. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149: 11891194. http://www.who.int/en/

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