Are Spring Allergies Worsening Your Depression?
In all the excitement of spring with its warm weather, budding flowers, and the bits of green beginning to peek up out of the ground, it’s also a time to stock up on tissues and medication to keep the allergies at a minimum.
As it turns out, allergies has shown to affect not just your nose, but your mental health as well.
Researchers have found that allergies may reinforce or even cause depression in some people. So if you find yourself feeling down during the bright and sunny spring and summer months, your culprit could be just under your nose. Or rather, it is your nose.
The Allergy And Depression Connection
Although allergies haven’t proved to result in clinical depression, they definitely have an affect on a person’s mood and well-being. Those with allergies may feed sad, fatigued, lethargic, or experience mood changes. And studies say that allergies make a person 50% more likely to have depressive symptoms. These symptoms, however, are more physiological, such as having low amounts of energy, rather than emotional.
For example, if you’re one of the 36 million people in America who suffer from allergies, you probably know all about the daily battle with the outdoors. For this reason, many people with allergies will simply refrain from going outside at all during the day, which can cause crankiness or restlessness.
Also, due to the constant wheezing, coughing, and sneezing, allergies and the medications taken for prevention can cause tiredness or irritability. Even the allergic reaction itself releases cytokines which cause feelings of sickness and fatigue, or being mentally drained.
Any one of the symptoms described above can put almost everyone in a bad mood.
How Exactly Can Allergies Affect Mood?
It’s important to understand that allergic reactions most likely don’t cause depression directly, and is rarely a main cause. More commonly it can have a negative effect on your mood or make depression worse.
Most mood changes or depressive reactions you have to allergies are similar to those one would feel under a lot of stress. In the simplest of terms, allergies basically just wears you out.
It is good to simply be aware of the possibility of allergies affecting your mood because it can help to take weight off your shoulders. However, it is very important to keep in mind that if you do suffer from depression that there are likely other parts of the equation aside from allergies.
Allergies In Children
Children can also suffer from mood changes and depression caused by allergies, and they can even be more susceptible since their bodies are more sensitive.
Their reactions will be district of course as well, such as temper tantrums or having trouble sleeping.
Effects of Allergy Medications On Mood
The allergy itself isn’t the only thing that can cause mood changes. Several medications taken to prevent or treat allergies may have negative side effects.
Antihistamines, for example, can cause sleep deprivation or grogginess. Other allergy medications can also result in irregular sleeping patterns, which can in turn bring irritability. Other side effects include heart problems, insomnia, and sometimes prostate problems in men.
And after all that, this new research may seem to have taken things from bad to worse. With spring comes allergies, comes medications, comes depression, and downhill we go. The good news is that simply being aware can decrease stress or confusion, and can be ultimately empowering.
Don’t let your allergies get you down! Make sure you find a medication or treatment that’s right for you and your specific situation. Take the necessary steps to bring the happiness back into spring.
- Consume local raw honey. Studies have found that eating honey produced locally can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms. It is important you choose honey that is produced by local honey bees, as they have contact with the plants that are giving you allergies in the first place.
- Diffuse eucalyptus & frankincense essential oil. Diffusing these potent oils in your home can help to kill allergy-causing house mites and will also reduce inflammation, act as antibacterial and antimicrobial. Another way to benefit from these oils is to add 10 drops to each load of laundry in the washing machine.
- Take probiotics. Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement daily has been found to reduce risk of allergies.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Allergies occur due to a hypersensitive immune system. Strengthen your immune system by including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet such as turmeric, garlic, bone broth, leafy greens, lemons, berries, etc.