Is It Depression or Mold Poisoning?

November 11, 2019 8:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The effects of mold on mental health in Portland, OR can make a person think they are losing their mind. Early on, the signs of mold poisoning appear similar to seasonal allergies—a dry cough, sneezing and itchy eyes. Long-term mold exposure usually leads to different symptoms, some severe and potentially even life-threatening for sensitive groups of people.

If it’s determined that you have mold poisoning, and you’re feeling depressed, the two health problems could be linked.

Symptoms of mold poisoning

The scientific term for mold poisoning is mycotoxicosis. It can affect the upper respiratory system and mimic cold or flu symptoms. People with allergies or asthma can experience more harmful or even fatal symptoms in severe cases.

The most common mold poisoning symptoms for people without respiratory conditions are coughing, wheezing, itchiness, red eyes, itchy eyes and stuffy noses. Those with allergies or asthma may experience these symptoms more intensely, or have other symptoms, such as headaches, fever, difficulty breathing, night coughing, exhaustion and allergic reactions. Then there are the signs of long-term mold exposure—anxiety, confusion, memory loss, hair loss, stomach pains, sensitivity to light and numbness in hands and feet. It’s easy to see why it can be hard to know whether you are depressed or experiencing the effects of mold poisoning.

The correlation between depression and exposure to mold

You may have depression caused by mold because, among other things, exposure to mold may make you depressed. Although research doesn’t definitively prove that toxic mold causes depression or other types of mental illness, there is a link. When people with diagnosed mold allergies were asked about their mental state during allergy flare-ups, many reported an increase in depressive symptoms like fatigue and feelings of sadness. That’s not to say that mold is the sole cause of those feelings, but they can be made worse in people who suffer from depressive disorders. It’s important to note that exposure to mold may be more a contributing factor than the main cause.

You feel depressed and have mold in your home

Whether there’s visible mold in your home or not, you should see a mental health care provider if you feel depressed. If you have depression and are experiencing toxic mold symptoms, you should also see your general practitioner or allergist for testing. Depressive disorders are very serious on their own. When coupled with mold poisoning, a host of health problems can arise.

Testing for mold allergies

Anyone experiencing symptoms of mold poisoning should go in for an allergy test. A doctor may perform a blood test or skin prick test (or both) to determine a true allergy. They may draw a blood sample to send to a lab for analysis. A skin prick test involves a small amount of several different molds being applied to your skin using individual needles. If rash, bumps or hives appear in a pricked area, you’re allergic to that mold species. It’s also a good idea to schedule a professional mold inspection.

The effects of mold on mental health are still being studied. For information about mold inspections and prevention, call Active Mold Control LLC in Portland, OR today.

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