If I may share a confession with you, the dog on the right is not my only black dog. He is, undoubtedly, the one I prefer to spend time with (and my white dog), but he’s not the only black dog in the house.
Sometimes I get depressed. It’s not so bad these days, I’ve worked out a lot of the warning signs and I have strategies to deal with it… but sometimes the black dog does get to me.
The other thing I’ve found is that like with any chronic illness, there are triggers. If you can work out what your triggers are, you can do something about them, right? Hopefully, you can avoid them.
One of the triggers I’ve found, and it doesn’t only affect me, is mould.
Yep, that’s right, mould. It’s not just yucky, toxic, dangerous and revolting to have in the house, it can also trigger depression. Yay! However it’s not all bad news. At least if you know mould can be a trigger for depression, you can look for it when you have an attack.
Why would you want to do that? Well, if you remove the mould, the depression can lessen, and you’ll feel better. I found this out early 2012 – we were having serious rainfall, and the house I was living in had drainage issues like you wouldn’t believe. Everywhere was damp, humidity was above 80% every day and yes, you guessed it, mould was rampant!
Anyway, one evening I’d been feeling a bit low (stress, I thought) and knowing that everything feels better to me after I’ve had good sleep, I went to bed. Next morning I woke feeling okay, walked out to the lounge and the black dog started growling. Not Fenrir (in the picture), the other one… I felt awful! Was close to tears, felt like nothing was going right, I was a complete failure, who was I kidding… you probably know the words to this tune, right? On my way back out of the lounge, I noticed there was mould on the bookshelf. Lots and lots of mould. I hadn’t noticed it the day before, but it was certainly there now!
But at least I could do something positive! I could get rid of the mould! So I got out the vinegar, water and tea-tree oil, a cloth, and started wiping. I still felt really sad that there was mould on this bookshelf, especially as I didn’t want it in my books!! However, once the mould was gone, I felt a lot better!!
Now you could argue that’s because I did something positive and productive. You could say that’s because I was active and worked some endorphins through my system. And both of those statements would be true.
However, it’s also been proven that the mycotoxins* released from mould can seriously affect the emotions and the functioning of the brain. I do know that whenever I answer the phone and my client is in tears even as I’m greeting them, they probably have a serious mould problem in the house. Please note, if this sounds like you, you’re not going mad, no it’s not you… it’s the mould making you feel that way.
If you are having a mould issue, please note that bleach (chlorine products) do not get rid of mould. They will take the colour out of the mould, so it’ll be nice, clean mould, which you can’t see. The mould you wipe away will be gone (98% of mould removal is the physical removal of it) but it will grow back. Sorry. And to top it off, bleach isn’t good for you… so you’ll probably get a headache, and the mould will still come back. Remember the goal of companies selling mould removal sprays is not to remove mould… it’s to sell more sprays. Vinegar, water and tea-tree or oil of cloves is good. The worst effect I’ve had from vinegar is a craving for hot chips, and oil of cloves makes me want apple pie. Hey, at least it’s not a headache!
So if you’d rather cuddle a warm, living, furry black dog than battle the metaphorical one… check your house for mould and other chemical depression triggers. Be well!!
*(myco = mould, toxins = toxins, so mycotoxins = toxins from mould)
Queensland's leading Building Biologist, helping you to detox your home or workplace and achieve a balance between today's busy & techno-dependent life and nature.