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Many people think about the physical effects of asthma, eczema, food allergies, and other allergic conditions. But the mental and emotional impact can have just as much impact on a person and their caregivers as the physical burden – sometimes even more so.

People with asthma and eczema have higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to people without asthma or eczema. This includes children and teens with these conditions.

These chronic conditions can also affect family members and caregivers. For example, parents and caregivers of children with food allergies have higher rates of anxiety and panic than parents of children without food allergies.

You do not have to manage your conditions alone. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has many resources – including free help and support.

Ways to Manage the Mental Impact of Asthma and Allergies

Here are a few ways to support your mental, emotional, and social health:

Form a circle of support. Enlist a team of people you can reach out to when you need help managing your condition. Giving information about your condition to these people in your life is very important. They can help reduce your exposure to asthma and allergy triggers. They will also be able to help you if you have an asthma attack or anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction. Include people you trust who will listen to you and encourage you.

Your support team may include:

  • Co-workers or your employer
  • Friends
  • Classmates, faculty, or school staff
  • Family members or caregivers
  • Health care providers such as doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists
  • Mental health counselor or therapist
  • Asthma educators, community health workers, promotoras

Join one of AAFA’s online communities. AAFA and Kids with Food Allergies (KFA), our food allergy division, has online support communities where you can connect with other people managing the same conditions.

Visit for more resources.

Talk with your doctor about your medicines’ side effects. Most people have few side effects, if any, from asthma and allergy medicines. But a small number of people may have side effects related to mental health, including mood changes, irritability, depression, and more.

If you think your medicines may be affecting your mental health, talk with your doctor right away. Don’t stop your asthma or allergy treatment without talking with your health care team first.

Reach out for help if you are struggling.

  • In life-threatening situations, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

  • If you have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or if you are in emotional distress, call or text 988 to connect with a trained counselor.

  • You can also reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET.

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I have made many comments that included the mental health aspects of dealing with animal allergies in today's society.  However, I have yet to see this association create a sub association for us.  Instead, I feel there is still a lot of push, even within the association, to accept animals over people.  This needs to change, as it is very damaging to mental health. Please work to train your helpers so that their implicit biases are not contributing to the problem.  Thank you

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