Children with food allergies suffer depression in greater numbers than other children. One in five allergy sufferers will never attend a friend’s birthday party and one in four will always bring “safe” food with them to public events.
Children No Longer Curious About New Food
The burden for self-care is heavy on these young people. The social lifestyle can be limited and frustrated by their need to stay away from potentially lethal foods. As many as 23% of allergic children have given up experimenting with new foods and live with a monotonous, but safe diet. About one in ten also gives up physical activity for fear of the rare anaphylactic shock brought on by exercise.
Fear of Other Illnesses
“Also, 5-15% of cases of anaphylactic shock can be triggered by physical activity following the consumption of small amounts of allergenic food that would otherwise be harmless, so one allergic child out of ten also stops every kind of exercise,” explained Prof. Maria Antonella Muraro, Chair of the EAACI Meeting. “Allergies are often downplayed as a minor problem, but the life of an allergic person can be hell. Allergic children show to be more afraid of being sick and a higher level of anxiety about food than children with diabetes. The constant alarm surrounding them is taking a toll on their development and well-being.”
Auto-Injector Responsibility Is A Burden
Another trigger for depression is the need to carry auto-injectors in case of anaphylactic shock. While they are usually discreet, the burden of constantly having one in hand or nearby is overwhelming and annoying to some children. As many a one out of three leaves them at home.