Sneezing your Way into Depression

May 31st, 2019

Monica Younan, B.A., Psychology Intern

Springtime can be a sigh of relief for many. For some, on the other hand, it can mean stocking up on tissue boxes. Seasonal allergies emerge around this time of year, causing a runny or stuffy nose, watery or itchy eyes, and potentially a lot of sneezing. This evidently can cause individuals to become irritated and cranky.

In addition to the grumpiness that could arise as a result of these unpleasant physical symptoms, seasonal allergies have also been linked to depression. In other words, depression seems to worsen during peak pollen periods. Research has shown that this could be due to the cytokines released during an allergy attack. These chemical substances, secreted by certain cells of our immune system, promote inflammation. Furthermore, elevated levels of inflammation in the body have been associated to a decrease in appetite, social withdrawal, increase in sleep time, as well as decrease in sleep quality.

If you or a loved one would like to like to make the best out of this season, but your allergies have left you feeling sluggish and depressed, there are several things you could attempt to do. For instance, reducing exposure to allergens and keeping your indoor air clean is a good first step. In addition, washing up every time you walk into your home helps get rid of any allergens. You could also minimize inflammatory foods (e.g. sugar) or even try over-the-counter antihistamines. These strategies could help alleviate your physical symptoms which in turn, may also enhance your mood.

If you are still suffering with bad seasonal allergies that have impacted your well-being and your mental health, our team at PsySanté can help. We take into account your mind, body and spirit, and provide you with the right techniques to reduce the impact that this stress has on your physical and mental health.

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