120: The Intersection of Food Allergies & Mental Health with Joann Carter

“People feel like food allergies aren’t serious. I think that’s the biggest myth because they are.” Food allergies don’t always show up in ways that we expect them to. A food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to certain foods triggers a harmful immune response—and it’s serious. Allergic reactions pose unique challenges to parents—especially parents of young children who cannot communicate everything they experience as an allergic reaction comes on. This is undoubtedly a scary concept to a child, but sometimes it can be even more anxiety-inducing for the adults responsible for their care. In this episode, I talk with Joann Carter, LCSW. She has both personal and professional experience around managing her children’s various food allergies along with the inevitable anxiety that comes with it. Throughout our conversation, Joann shares about her early experiences of learning to navigate the world after her two sons were diagnosed with severe food allergies. She also shares her insights into what to look for to identify allergic reactions, as well as debunking certain myths around allergies in general. Take a listen to learn more about managing your child’s food allergies and how to stay cool, calm, and collected all the while. About Joann Carter: Joann Carter is a licensed clinical social worker, serving in the Las Vegas and Henderson communities for over 15 years. Her background in social work has allowed her to view individuals in the whole system of their lives and assist individuals in dealing with mental health struggles, as well as attaining emotional wellness. Joanne is currently the only therapist in Nevada on the Food Allergy Counselor Directory. She is also a member of the Food Allergy Behavioral Health Association. Some Questions I Ask:
  • What was managing a food allergy for your son like for you? (5:16)
  • How prevalent are food allergies in children? (7:19)
  • What indicates a food allergy in children? (8:51)
  • What are some myths or misperceptions around allergies? (11:51)
  • How can a person discern when anxiety around food allergies becomes problematic? (15:54)
  • What words of support or wisdom would you like to share with anxious parents around managing a child’s food allergy? (21:36)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
  • Why food allergies cause so much anxiety. (3:11)
  • How to help manage anxiety around food allergies. (5:57)
  • How food allergies affect various areas of children’s lives. (10:55)
  • The difference between a milk intolerance and allergy. (13:40)
  • How Joann personally manages her son’s food allergies. (19:03)
Resources: Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) No Nuts Moms Food Allergy Treatment Talk Joann Carter’s Website