Q. I'm interested in finding out if there's a connection with quitting tobacco and triggering psychosis. When I had my first and only delusional episode, I had quit chewing tobacco for nearly three weeks. I ended up starting chewing again after that ordeal, but now after nearly five years I'm making my second true attempt at quitting and am anxious about the fact that I could relapse. Research indicates that tobacco increases dopamine levels in the brain, and I'm curious if there's research indicating an abrupt alteration of this chemical could in fact cause the brain to stammer into psychosis. I'm truly not looking for an excuse not to quit, but quitting tobacco and going to a hospital is somewhat correlated in my mind, so I am a bit frightful!
A. Anything is possible, but I strongly doubt that the tobacco quitting caused the psychosis. Increased dopamine, actually is postulated as a cause of psychosis. So, if dopamine went down by quitting, it should lessen the likelihood of psychosis.