Pollen season is upon us. This time of the year, through the end of April, is the worst for me. But my allergy medications have been very effective. If you have pollen allergies, Pollen.com is a handy place to visit. Just put in your zip code and you’ll get an idea of how bad the pollen is where you live, as well as what sorts of plants are responsible. You can even get free email allerts.

About three years ago, perhaps more, I realized a connection between my lifelong severe pollen allergies and my tendency toward depression. One evening I was feeling really gloomy, very despondent. I was also starting to get the sniffles–it was early March–and so I took my prescription allergy medication before I went to bed. In the morning, what I noticed first was the fact that my depression had lifted and I began wondering at that moment whether there might be a connection between that and my severe allergies. After doing a bit of hunting on the web, I discovered that such a link had been noted, for instance, Here. The connection seems more definite for women than men. However, since I realized that possibility and more consistently took my allergy medication, and especially since my allergist has, over the last couple of years, diagnosed my adult onset asthma and prescribed some additional medications, my sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes have gone away to the point that I’m essentially symptom free. Even more significantly for me, my depression is mostly non-existent now, too.

I’ve taken some steps in addition to the medication to deal with my tendency toward depression. For instance I write a personal journal every night that I share by email with my wife and a friend (I do this to make sure I keep at it, among other things; accountability is useful, as well as the value of complete openness with at least someone in my life). In addition, I regularly read poetry, reread certain passages of the Bible that encourage me, and practice regular prayer, and meditation. All these things have been helpful in correcting a lifetime of bad thought ruts. The consequence is that I have eliminated my depression nearly entirely. I still have the occasional gloomy moment, but nothing like the pain I used to experience.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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