Hidden Ways Mold Can Effect Your Relationships
In mold illness circles, people are fairly well versed in the common ways mold can disrupt health. As an immunosuppressant and neurotoxin, mold can be at the root of recurrent infections, cognitive, behavioral, or memory dysfunction, and of course pain and mobility issues, just to name a few.
Less commonly discussed are the ways mold exposure can disrupt your social and emotional relationships. Mold has the capacity to become a stealth weapon by eroding connections in your support network. More importantly, mold has the power to tear apart people’s lives, without them ever knowing what hit them.
Lack of support from loved ones, abuse, unresolved medical mysteries, addictions, and divorce are a few of the complications that arise from mold illness that can divide and conquer a previously harmonious family unit.
Understanding the root cause of the dark under current sweeping you away from your needed social network may prevent a lifetime of pain from the fallout of such a storm.
Two mechanisms in which mold may cause personality and brain changes include an anticholinergic response and a traumatic brain injury [TBI]. An anticholinergic response can be caused by a nerve agent, like neurotoxins released from mold. This response can alter people’s stress response causing feelings of rage, an inability to connect, and an inability to cope.
Mold alters the brain consistent with a TBI-brain volume increase that can actually change the size of various parts of the brain. Brain changes can cause adverse personality changes that can lead to damaged and dysfunctional relationships.
Lack of support from loved ones can be rooted in both of these mechanisms, even if the family members, “seem unaffected.” Sometimes the sickest person in the house has the most overt symptoms, while other family members who have little to no symptoms, still seem to be affected in less obvious ways. These less obvious ways can take the form of intolerance to people’s suffering, resentment, lack of empathy, inability to cope with stress, or anger outbursts over small issues.
Lack of compassion for a loved one’s suffering is a red flag that mold indeed is having an affect on one’s personality. Brain changes or exposure to nerve agents can disrupt thinking, feelings, and emotions resulting in imbalances in relationships within a sick building.
Mold Illness Can Cause Trauma but Trauma Does Not Cause Mold Illness.
When people become more aggressive due to mold rage or brain changes, they can do and say things that are emotionally abusive in nature. Some people may even rage out to the point of inflicting physical violence upon loved ones, with a sense that they can not control their anger or seething hatred. When loved ones are suffering from rage, unable to control their emotions or anger, or even lashing out physically, it can have lasting traumatic effects on anyone involved.
Medical mysteries or getting spun out by your health team without health improvement can also drive a significant wedge between families. The sickest person in the home may need validation from mainstream medicine before their family is willing to believe them. Mold illness is not recognized by the American Medical Association and therefore mainstream doctors can not begin to validate the severity of your illness. They often will not even acknowledge it! Mold allergy testing doesn’t validate the type of illness that is expressed. With no validation from a complex medical team, sick people can come off as crazy to their families, especially when they’ve been made hypersensitive from mold illness.
Many people who knowingly or unknowingly live in toxic mold may self medicate with drugs, alcohol, and/or other harmful substances, leading to addiction behaviors and dependence. Alcohol can dampen nerve impulses and bring relief to the symptoms of a nerve agent reaction. If someone is living in a constant anticholinergic response from nerve agent exposure, they may regularly self sooth with these harmful substances.
Divorce becomes a higher risk when families are led astray by a remediation scam that is, “guaranteed to help.” This reassurance from scam mold inspectors and remediators often leaves families still sick, confused, and financially drained.
We’ve seen and experienced the end of many relationships, marriages, and the separation of family units over toxic mold. Endless medical mysteries and health problems lead to frustration that people would rather walk away from than endure. All of these factors individually or combined can cause the permanent breakdown of relationships. There’s no doubt that sick buildings can cause sick relationships.
What Can You Do?
Don’t be a victim to the scams in the industry. Arm yourself with the knowledge of common industry failures in every aspect from mold testing to mold repair, so that you do not waste money on things that won’t fully resolve your indoor issues. Also, understand that there are limitations to health testing and that there are no tests to validate hypersensitivity.
Those who have had the most success in preserving their social and emotional wellbeing have been able to master the concepts of mold avoidance: controlling contamination, navigating locations, and perceiving your environment by unmasking are all the basics to a solid recovery foundation.
Those of us who have made leaps and bounds in health recovery have done so by setting this foundation. Many have wasted thousands of dollars on top mold doctors and still do not gain the tools required to understand this basic required foundation for recovery [and relapse prevention] from mold illness.
If you need support in learning these basics, Exposing Mold is here to help. Join our Exposing Mold Member’s Group for $179/month and receive all the benefits from our lower tiered membership plus 80 minutes of 1-on-1 consult time per month with a member of our team.
Writer: Kealy Severson, Founder and President, Exposing Mold Inc.
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