What about using nicotine gum or patch directly? I was diagnosed with depression at age 17 and began taking anti-depressants. I started smoking cigarettes at age 18. For the next 13 years I did not take any medication, but smoked 1-2 packs of cigarettes per day without any depression symptoms and I not only functioned well, but led a successful career.. At age 31 I quit smoking and the depression returned. For the last 20 years I have tried about 20 different medications and combinations of medications without long-term recovery and many unbearable side effects. Even my doctor says this is compelling evidence but is concerned about addiction to nicotine. I was able to quit smoking using a nicotine patch and weaning off of it over about 8 months, so I know first-hand that it is addictive. I ask myself whether nicotine addiction (not cigarettes) is any more harmful than psychotropic drugs that are only partially effective before they stop working and then I have to try a new regimen. I would appreciate any insight or information you may have about using nicotine directly to affect brain receptors and neurotransmitters. Is there any research using nicotine itself to treat depression as an alternative or adjunct to medications?