Sad in the spring? Allergy-mood link is real
You know spring has sprung when hundreds of people daily turn to Twitter to vent about their itchy eyes, dripping nose and uncontrollable sneezing and coughing. And if it’s not obvious that allergies can ruin a person’s day, watch how many tweets go by that use “allergies” and the f-word in the same sentence.
Seasonal allergies, which affect about 36 million Americans, aren’t just an annoyance; many doctors agree there is a real connection between allergies and mood.
“‘Cranky’ is really the best word for it,” says Katie Ingram, 30, of Alexandria, Virginia, a triathlete who suffers seasonal allergies. “I take a lot of medication for it and that makes me sleepy. And I can’t do a lot of the things that I like to do outside, so that makes me cranky. … The wheezing part of it makes me feel tired.”
In some people, such annoyances are more serious. Research has shown there is about a doubling of risk for depression in a person suffering allergies and, if you’ve been seen by an allergist, that about triples the likelihood of having depression, said Dr. Paul Marshall, neuropsychologist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.