To Mold Sufferers: This is a time of intense confusion and sometimes it can be a true reflection of who your real friends are. Keep in mind that this trial in your life is not a "friend test" because such drastic events in one's life can cause people to have fear, panic, confusion and even helplessness. Most of your friends will "leave you" during this process and it is not easy. Some will leave because they really aren't good friends, but other friends will leave you because they are just really scared, confused and even feel helpless so they hope you will solve your issues on your own and come back and be their "normal friend" again. As hard as this is, just accept it because this is the best choice you can make for your mental health and survival.
To Friends of Mold Sufferers: This time of confusion for your friend is very crucial. Toxic mold is real, your friend likely has some serious gene mutations that he/she never knew they had that cause them to become very susceptible to even the tiniest amounts of these neurotoxic mold spores and chemicals they release into the air. It effects their body, their perception of everything, their nervous system is under attack and their life has been turned upside down with the reality that their home, possessions, workplace and even others can be triggering their constant severe reactions. As a friend, please offer support and encouragement in any way you can. If this just means a hug and letting them know it's going to be ok (5 times a day) please offer it. If you can do more like help them cook, buy organic foods that only they can eat, wash their clothes in ammonia, pick up their kids from school or just give them a daily call to see if they are ok...you will be the best friend they could ask for. DO NOT: blow them off, make them think they are over reacting, tell them they don't know what they are talking about, make mold seem like it's nothing because no one else is sick, do things to spite them, say bad things about them online, stop talking to them and just plain make them feel like they aren't even human anymore.
The Spousal relationship when toxic mold becomes an issue can be one of the most challening and sometimes upsetting and tragic dynamics we've seen. Most often the female body are the majority of cases with toxic mold. This can be attributed to our differences in hormones between men and women. From our experience the ratio seems to be 90/10 with women bearing the brunt of chronic illness from toxic mold exposure.
Researchers are still under the assumption that somehow Testosterone plays a protective role against species of toxic mold strains and mycotoxin. The observation is that 90% of men are being protected somehow by their level of Testosterone when living in a water damaged building. The other 10% account for the men who fall ill to toxic mold exposure. This would also explain why a raise in Testosterone with men would help them heal and recover quickly just by removing themselves from the environment. Mycotoxin can lower testosterone in compromised males.
Estrogenic effects of ZEN mycotoxin differ from males and females. In males, major effects of this mycotoxin are immunosuppression, reduction in testosterone level, lower testes weight, reduced spermatogenesis, feminization and reduction of libido.2, 3, 5, 7 In females ZEN causes immunosuppression, reduced survival of embryos, reduced fetal weight, vulvar dilatation and redness, vulvovaginitis, retention or absence of milk, rectal prolapse.2, 3, 5, 7
Furthermore ZEN is capable of inducing cancer, genotoxic and endocrine effects.5, 7
- Grenier B., Applegate T.J., (2013). Modulation of Intestinal Function Following Mycotoxin Ingestion: Meta-Analysis of Published Experiments in Animals. Toxins (5) 396-430.http://www.fao.org/docrep/X5036E/x5036E1e.htm
- Krska R., Nährer K., Richard J. L., Rodrigues I., Schuhmacher R., Slate A. B., Whitaker T. B., (2012). Guide to Mycotoxins featuring Mycotoxin Risk Management in Animal Production. BIOMIN edition 2012.
- Marin S., Ramos A.J., Cano-Sancho G., Sanchis V., (2013). Mycotoxins: Occurrence, toxicology, and exposure assessment. Food and Chemical Toxicology (60) 218-237.
- Zinedine A., Soriano J.M., Molto J.C., Man J., (2007). Review on the toxicity, occurrence, metabolism, detoxification, regulations and intake of zearalenone: An estrogenic mycotoxin. Food and Chemical Toxicology (25) 1-18.
Your church may seem like the first place to draw from when needing support or comfort after being exposed to mold. However, we have to keep things in perspective. Church members aren't angelic beings that God gave supernatural powers or abilities to. Church members are "human beings" just like the rest of us. 99% of the time we feel that our church or our church friends and family should be an "iron-clad" support system when we are chronically ill or face a mold illness and loss of possessions.
This type of thinking can get us into trouble when they don't live up to our expectations of what they should or shouldn't be supporting us in.
Things you need to change your perspective on "right now" that could potentially upset you if you are not prepared:
- The church (just like all human beings) do not see mold as a reason to reach out and help (sometimes).
- The church is not the govt. and does not have the ability to fund your recovery process: pay your rent, your bills, clean your house.
- The church and the people of the church are "NOT GOD" therefore they cannot solve your financial, spiritual or physical problems.
Things the church is "Good for" in your situation:
- Love and Acceptance
- Cheering up
- A shoulder to cry on
- Counseling - (some churches offer free grief counseling)
- Resources in the community - They are connected and can lead you to others who may help you in time of need.
- Some churches may offer gift baskets or gift cards on a temporary basis.