It’s that time of year again – colors are changing on the leaves, it’s getting colder, and the environment around us is changing.  With these types of environmental and seasonal changes there also comes changes in our bodies.  Typically known as allergies to most people.  Whether it’s spring or fall, these tends to be the most common seasons where people are prone to getting allergies, which include stuffy or runny noses, itchy and watery eyes, and sneezing galore.  With that being said, however, these are only the symptoms we can see on the surface and the one’s that affect us physically.  Aside from just the physical symptoms, allergies tend to bring along a whole other strew of issues that may be harder to see.  in this article, we’ll discuss some of the mental health issues that may arise from the stress of seasonal allergies.

1.) Depressive Symptoms – Research has shown that people who struggle with severe allergies may tend to feel more depressed or in a slump during these periods. There have been studies that say allergies can cause some inflammation in the brain and releases cytokines in the brain (a chemical).  This chemical is known to reduce the release of the neurotransmitter Serotonin, which helps to maintain well-being and feelings of joy.  If this neurotransmitter is not being released as much, feelings of depression, hopelessness, and irritability may occur.

2.) Mood Swings and Temper Tantrums in Kids – It is common for children with allergies to become more irritable and frustrated easily.  This is more specific for children that may need to take corticosteroid medications as this can cause an adverse reaction in moods.  This does not just relate to children, however, to adults as well that may need to take strong medications while their allergies are active. Adults may struggle with anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, and in some cases hallucinating. It’s important to pay attention to symptoms that may occur while on these medications and if it becomes an issue it’s vital to talk to your primary care physician for solutions.

3.) ADHD Symptoms – For many people, allergies may affect the ability to focus and pay attention in work and in school.  Some children especially may begin to have a decline in grades or may appear distracted in class when their allergies are heightened.  Before jumping to conclusions or thinking that your child may have ADHD, remember that some of these symptoms could just be induced by allergies.  Pay close attention to the signs and symptoms and especially the frequency and severity of when they occur.

Now, just because you have allergies does it mean that these types of symptoms are also going to pop up?  Of course not, but if you do notice intense mood changes when you are dealing with allergies, it may be wise to pay attention to what your body is telling you.  If your allergies dissipate and you are still struggling with intense emotions, you may want to consider talking to someone or seeking additional support.