The Allergy-Depression Connection
When I first started my book on the relationship between allergies and depression, I’m Not Crazy… I’m Allergic! I had very little to go on. Part of that was not knowing what questions to ask, the other was lack of information readily available. I searched the internet for months just to get frustrated at the lack of information, or only finding bits and pieces alluded to in criticisms of the studies I was looking for.
It seemed like I had gotten myself into researching something that couldn’t be proven, but one day I finally got a break and started finding the studies I was looking for. Not only did I discover studies examining the correlation between allergies and depression, but I found some medical professionals were actually considering that allergies could possibly be the cause of some depressions.
True there were other studies that stated people with long-term depression were more likely to develop allergies, but the fact that the connection was being even considered was extremely exciting to me.
Since then I have had some people think it ludicrous that eating rice or dairy could cause depression, they laugh to think that allergies have anything to do with how their brains function.
I wonder what they would think about a study that stated sexual abuse or childhood trauma could affect someone’s immune system and make them more susceptible to developing allergies. (Seriously, I have actually seen a report from a psychiatrist that says just that!)
The body and the mind are very closely linked and I think sometimes we forget that, but it is what these studies all insinuate, whether they mean to or not. Either way, the physical and mental are connected.
Does years of depression from a horrific childhood really disrupt a person’s immune system so that their bodies are more likely to perceive something as a threat? Sure, why not?
And is that any more strange than allergies causing lack of sleep, constant feeling of malaise and pain, brain fog, or even depression? Not in my book – literally.
I honestly believe that both schools of thought are correct. I’m sure sometimes depression can do a lot of physical damage in addition to the emotional and mental trauma, just as I know from first and second-hand experience how allergies can cause and exacerbate mood swings, anxiety and panic attacks, and especially depression.
The problem is getting people to recognize these are even possibilities.
Thankfully, since I first started on this journey to find answers, there has been a lot more awareness of how allergies affect depression. Type both terms into any search engine now and see pages and pages of information. When I started there wasn’t even one entry!
And the great thing for sufferers of both conditions, a lot of these are articles are by medical doctors, naturopaths and psychiatrists. The medical professionals are finally listening and doing the studies that show… there is a definite and real connection between allergies and depression.
Sherilyn Powers’ contact information: