Spring Depression and Allergies | Allergy

Spring Depression and Allergies

by Allergy Guy

Spring depression: such a weird idea, I didn’t connect them for decades.  Figured it out last year, confirmed this year.  Allergies and spring depression can go together.

I thought it was just me!  But a quick search on the internet reveals that it does effect quite a few people. 

Are you one of them?

Let’s take a closer look at one possible root cause: specific types of allergies.

You would think that as the days get longer, the sun stronger and the air warmer, that everyone would feel happier.

It is hard to account for a consistent feeling of mild depression right when the weather is getting better.

This article carefully explains what types of depression might be related to spring allergies, what might not, and what may cause spring allergies.

Depression – Different Types

Depression comes in many shapes and sizes.  I won’t pretend to be an expert on the subject.  I do want to point out that there are different causes of depression, and different levels of severity.

I like to joke, more than half-seriously, that the medical definition of a disease is the deficiency in a patented medicine.  Meaning you have a problem, the doctor determines which patented medicine you are short on, and writes you a prescription.

Certain types of depression really are caused by a deficiency in certain chemicals in the brain.  In these cases, the pills really do help people. 

If you have severe depression, keep taking your medication.  This article is probably not relevant to your case. 

If you experience severe depression, and the rest of this article makes sense to you, then do consult with your doctor about any changes to medication that you might consider.

The Kind of Depression This Article Can Help With

This article will probably help you if you have mild depression, and if it is linked to allergies, especially seasonal allergies, particularly allergies that effect you in the spring (and at other times too, as you’ll see). 

Everyone’s experience with depression is different.  I can only speak about my own experience.

I experience mild depression.  The at its worst, I have trouble getting out of bed (I do get out of bed, but with difficulty), trouble focusing on what needs to get done (but I do get things done), and generally seeing things in a negative light (but not to the point where I want to end it all – it or me).  And there’s the feeling of generally feeling shitty, in a depressed kind of way.

That’s at its worst, and since getting many of my allergies under control, things haven’t been quite that bad, not for years.

Spring Allergies

This article is about early spring allergies.  Late spring allergies are more likely caused by pollen.  Late spring allergies can also be related to mold, which is what this article is about.

Spring Allergies and Mold

With warmer temperatures and melting snow, comes new opportunities for mold growth. 

The most obvious is snow mold.  This is mold that grows on the last of melting snow, and on grass where snow has just melted off within a day or less.  The mold seems to thrive when the sun beats down, but by the second day of the grass shedding its mantle of snow, the mold is no longer alive (although you can still see it).  A few days later, even that is gone, at least the visually obvious signs of it.

I’ve noticed a strong correlation between my mood and snow mold.

I’ve noticed a similar link, without actually seeing the mold, when it rains.  Often a day of rain is a downer, and the feeling doesn’t go away the moment the sun comes out either.

Actually, I love rain, but I hate the feeling that usually goes with it.

Rain usually (but not always) promotes mold growth which can trigger your mold allergy.  This can lead to mild depression.

Snow mold in the spring, and spring rain can lead to mild depression if you have a mold allergy.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Not Kafka March 10, 2011 at 17:04

I have come across many of these articles about Spring Depression. I wish that others knew how horrible this feels. I am on 20 mg of Lexapro–asked my Dr. about this sort of slow slide into it…but the main question for me (I have major depression) is, “Why can’t I see the symptoms before they happen?!”

This morning I felt like i was going to die, My arms and legs felt numb, I was so anxious (all stems from depression though) and finally took some xanax. It was the first time in a while that I’ve needed it–it just really fixes my mindset–gets rid of these TERRIBLE dreams that I’ve been having.

I don’t know, this happens every year–whether it’s March or April. I just need to get this back into check and find a Dr. to help me through this.

I can’t explain how bad it is. As with the rest of you, I’ve had this happen now probably 7 years running. It just seems like I have short-term memory re: remembering why and how I need to be ready for this.

By the way, I think the reason why Spring is so bad for me is because of allergies, AND because, about 8 years ago, I had the same symptoms right around this time. I ended up having to take weeks off at work. It’s just so goddamn hard. I wonder sometimes if others would understand if they could feel like I felt this morning. Basically the worst I felt since the first round…where I laid on the couch and watched shit like poker. Or bad movies. Things that don’t require my mind to focus so hard.

It’s also March Madness, (in basketball) and I’m really happy that I get to watch this. I took off today. Tomorrow I will as well. I think getting on the treadmill might help. It’s just glad to know I’m not alone. It took me like 30 minutes to write this…welcome to depression. No, I’m not sad. Tears don’t come from an area you understand. Seeing the world from outside yourself…

That’s scary. And all I want to do is feel better. Time. I know, Time.

Good luck everyone

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2 wendy March 17, 2010 at 21:53

snow mold, allergies and depression

Thankyou for the article, I thought I was losing it.
Currently my neighborhood in Edmonton, Alberta is blanketed in snow mold. I’ve never suffered the effects as strongly as now.

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3 Guest March 11, 2010 at 16:46

Yes, thank you for

Yes, thank you for validating this reality. I looked up “allergies and tiredness” because for the past week and one half I have been so tired, irritated and unmotivated. My eyes are burning and watering, my nose gets all stuffed up at night, etc. Someone told me it might be mold allergies. Here in MN, it has been warmer than usual with a rapid melting of snow for the past two weeks and now rain for the past two days. I already take allegra and nasal spray, but it is obviously not working. Any suggestions on how to feel better?

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4 admin March 11, 2010 at 17:48

Mold allergy and how to feel better

The short answer to your question:

1) Minimize exposure to mold. As nice as fresh air is to breath, better to keep windows closed and stay inside more.

2) Keep a dryer environment. You might have to turn the heat up or use a portable electric heater in what ever room you are in.

I know these aren’t always easy to do, but if you can do them a bit, it will help.

Also, make sure your basement is as dry as possible.

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5 Guest March 10, 2010 at 15:47

Thanks!

It’s such a relief to know I’m not the only one. I LOVE spring, yet here I am, slightly miserable, living in my head a bit too much, short of breath, nose stuffed up….and I just came to this exact same conclusion. Thought I’d google it to see if my “snow mold allergy/depression theory held any weight and here I am! Thanks for this article!

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6 admin March 10, 2010 at 16:24

You’re welcome!

You’re welcome! Glad to share.

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