The Affect of Allergies on Mood
By: Natalie Umberger
Seasonal allergies affect about 36 million Americans and are a huge pain in the you-know-where. Allergies can cause its victims a range of symptoms, including itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing, and the dreaded runny nose. However, many doctors agree that there is also a real connection between allergies and mood.
Research has shown there is almost twice the risk of depression for a person suffering from allergies, according to Dr. Paul Marshall. Although correlations have been found between allergies and depression, that does not show that allergies cause depression. Generally it is found that allergy-connected mood changes are usually mild depressive symptoms; allergies usually aggravate the symptoms of depression.
Fatigue seems to be one of the most common reactions tied to allergies and depression. A study led by Dr. Marshall found that some allergic reactions caused “significant fatigue and mood changes” and that these reactions can cause a slower speed of cognitive processing. A correlation was also seen between suicide rates from April to June and the amount of pollen in the air during that time.
Now don’t get carried away. It’s important to remember that allergies DON’T cause depression. However, allergies can “circumstantially make existing depression worse.” If you’re having problems with your allergies, talk to your doctor or visit Lafene Health Center (532-6544). If depression is a concern for you, visit Counseling Services. Current students receive a free initial consultation and may receive up to three additional individual or couple sessions at no charge each fiscal year. A nominal fee is charged for additional services such as groups, workshops, tests, and biofeedback. Typically, fifty-minute sessions are scheduled, and most people are helped in three to eight sessions. You may make an appointment in any of these three ways:
• Call (785) 532-6927
• Stop by Counseling Services in 232 English/Counseling Building, located just West of Hale Library
• Go online to www.k-state.edu/counseling
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