Got Allergies? Hay Fever and Mental Health

April 24, 2017
Written by Patrick Glass

It starts with a tickle, a nasal twitch—an augury of the malaise that nests in my mind every April.

Springtime is generally a time of renewal and reconnection for me. The change to Daylight Saving Time in March brings evening sunlight, warmer weather, and soon enough, a return to outdoor living and socializing. Spring is the time of year that I feel most alive, following the darkness and disengagement of winter.

Yet, spring has a definite downside as well and its name is Rhinitis, or, as I call it: “hay fever.”

I don’t actually know what type of antigen causes my allergies. But whatever it is—be it tree, grass, or shrub—its pollen feels inescapable once mid-April rolls around. Even in the indoor haven of my office cubicle, I can’t help but break into sneezing fits every five minutes or so.

No matter what precautions I take, my springtime allergies always perturb my wellbeing and productivity. Without antihistamines coursing through my veins I feel like I’m underwater, snorkeling through the swamp-like sensation produced by my immune system. And even with medicinal intervention, there’s often little true relief.

Something new that I’ve learned this year—a result of searching for the homeopathic grail that will snuff my symptoms once and for all—is that seasonal allergies have a measurable impact on emotional wellness.

In fact, Rhinitis is linked with a host of negative mental health outcomes, including higher scores on Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) for children and increased suicide mortality for those suffering from allergies.

I know from my own experiences that allergies affect human wellbeing. If you too suffer from allergies, here are some natural treatments you can try:

  • Develop a wellness plan for allergy season. Planning ahead can increase resilience and help you avoid triggers.
  • Meditate using deep breathing. I suggest trying this guided meditation that focuses on alleviating allergy symptoms.
  • Drink water to ensure adequate hydration. I find that my own wellness during allergy season depends on my water intake.