The following is some of my observations and experiences concerning the human spirit and mold.
In caring for those who suffer from mold toxicity, one of the simplest descriptions that I can give is that it “dehumanizes”. I mean it dehumanizes by disrupting what it means to be human and well. We have discussed the interference with normal physical functions at length above. The dehumanizing aspect continues into a person’s heart and spirit. With difficulties in thinking come difficulties in communicating or relating to others. The increased physical needs put stress on family and friends. The brain fog, emotions, and mood swings make communication touchy and sometimes heated. The affected individual struggles with their faith from both an intellectual and an emotional standpoint. Intellectually, they struggle to read Bible verses which might encourage them or struggle to understand sermons that would provide peace. Emotionally, they become distrustful due to anxiety or feel excessively lonely as no one- including themselves- “understands” their depression.
Ultimately, they experience the loss of those things which had before provided safety and comfort. Relationships are strained. Church attendance becomes a challenge. Guilt and shame grow. Their home which should be a haven may become a source of the problem and they may cry out with the Psalmist, “How long Oh Lord?”
As guides in the recovery process, we try to point patients back to hope. While we encourage them with the success stories of prior patients who overcame, we ultimately want to point them back to a heavenly Father who cares. Our focus during visits in terms of time is almost always on monitoring progress and adjusting therapies, but in small ways we want to continue encouragement in finding the ultimate restoration in God. Given the great time family spends with the patient, we also work to encourage the discouraged parents, spouses, and children of patients. The encouragement is for their well-being and for their continued emotional and spiritual support towards the suffering patient.