Psychological Effects of Mold Exposure

Mold growing inside Toronto homeMold exposure has many health side effects, including psychological, and the causes are often unknown for a long period of time or misdiagnosed. People exposed to mold may not understand the changes occurring to their bodies, which leads to psychological side effects in addition to the physical.


These psychological side effects can alter people’s moods, change the way they act in social situations, impact decision-making skills, cause doubt and decrease overall happiness levels. Understanding physical and psychological side effects help people identify mold exposure before it might be too late. If ever in doubt, perform a mold removal inspection and avoid the side effects altogether.


Social Psychology

Mold is an environmental health hazard, meaning it only affects people when they are in a particular environment where the mold is infested. When they are outside that environment, they won’t feel the side effects of mold. However, with prolonged exposure, certain side effects can become permanent, depending on the type of mold.


Cognitive Dissonance:  Cognitive dissonance is when someone’s behavior doesn’t match up with an action associated with a belief. When this occurs, the person feels uncomfortable and dishonest with themselves. This feeling is resolved in one of two ways; the person changes their belief to match the action or change the action to match the belief.


When exposed to mold, people’s moods and attitudes change. During this change, they may start to doubt some of their actions or become despondent to a routine. Once this occurs, they may alter a belief that correlates to that particular action to minimize or eliminate cognitive dissonance.


Attitude-Behavior Consistency:  Whereas cognitive dissonance focuses on beliefs and actions, attitude-behavior consistency reflects the correlation between a person’s attitude and actions. For example, if their attitude toward an activity they perform is negative, the chances of them continuing that action are reduced.


When people’s moods and attitudes change, they might feel the need to stop performing an action due to feeling negatively or lackadaisical toward it. With prolonged mold exposure, these consistencies can eventually impact their attitudes and behaviors outside the mold infested environment.



A personality goes a long way, but when unknown health issues arise from mold exposure, someone’s personality can change drastically. They become confused, distracted and can start questioning their true personality.

Suppressed Emotions:  The persona is what people present to the outside world. It is part of our conscious and how we want people to see us. Under that are our egos, which is how we personally identify ourselves. Below that is the unconscious, such as “The Shadow” and the true self.

If someone’s attitudes, beliefs and actions alter, but he or she can’t identify why exactly these changes occur, that person might suppress certain feelings to still fit in with others or maintain a certain persona around them. These suppressed emotions are caused by the person not wanting to admit something is wrong, since they don’t want to be seen as different.  

Esteem/Self-Actualization Diminishes:  Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs displays the levels of needs that people experience; physiological, safety, love, esteem and at the top lays self-actualization.

As previously mentioned, after prolonged mold exposure, people will experience various physical side effects, along with Psychological issues, including changes in mood and behavior. Once someone becomes despondent to a particular desire or passion, their esteem and self-actualization diminishes, meaning they don’t look for the need of appreciation, fulfillment and achievement or to truly do what they are meant to do.

Emotional Distress

The mood swings, fluctuating health conditions and loss of passion presents many questions for the person exposed to mold. Often times, these questions relate to doubt. Is there something wrong with me? Why am I acting different? Is this just a phase of life? Will I be the same again? This doubt and confusion damages someone’s confidence if these questions aren’t answered.


Anxiety:  The changes in health conditions give people anxiety. They begin to worry about their physical health, behavior and social acceptance, which results in a large amount of emotional distress. After a while this anxiety may reside or decrease due to acceptance of the changes of certain behaviors.


Depression:  Along with the anxiety, depression will prominently impact someone’s life. The doubt and confusion leads to unhappiness, which is why people may change their behaviors or beliefs to match their change in attitudes or actions to feel better-off.


The effects of mold exposure present several questions about the well-being of someone. Oftentimes these questions go unanswered because the causes are difficult to identify. Since mold is well hidden, people can go a long time before realizing what is wrong with them. These causes can sometimes even be misdiagnosed, which is why a proper mold inspection may be beneficial. If the inspection pays off and mold is found, then a professional mold removal service will take care of the rest. Be sure about the changes in your life. Cut out the doubt and don’t let mold exposure impact your life.


About the author

Sam Ott writes for Paul Davis Restoration of Kansas City, a 24/7 mold removal service. Find out why they’re the mold experts by visiting their website.

The following two tabs change content below.
NuSite Group is a Toronto based basement waterproofing and foundation repair company that specializes in Basement Waterproofing, Basement Lowering, and Foundation Repairs. Call us today at 416-622-7000 or 905-731-1228 for a free in-home estimate and inspection.

One Response to Psychological Effects of Mold Exposure

  1. I just walked off of a job where I was certain that the black “stuff” on the air vents and ceilings were mold. I have a known allergy to mold. I told the Administrator of the company of my suspicions and showed her the black “stuff”. She did nothing about it. While working there, I noted chest tightness, decrease in O2 saturation (down to 94), and extreme anxiety. I had headaches and ear-aches. I was irritable. I had trouble staying awake.

    Why is all of the information given here, not given on the CDC site? Where can I find information like this, by the medical community?

Leave a reply

Why choose nusite for your next waterproofing project





Customer Testimonials

Interested in working with us? Check out some of our customer testimonials below and find more on Homestars. We are one of the highest rated basement waterproofing companies in Toronto

Mark Lipton - Homestars Review

Basement Waterproofing

Our basement leaked! Of course . . . we bought a 100 year old house! But my office needed to be in the basement permanently. I interviewed 10 different companies until we decided on the Steinbergs and their crew at Nu-Site! They are professional, reliable, courteous, honest, and they really make an effort to communicate with the client about every step of the process.

Sara Jack - Homestars Review

Foundation and Waterproofing Repairs

After several years of chronic leaks, we decided to have our basement waterproofed once and for all. The team over at Nusite was professional, answered my questions during the project and stayed within their quoted price....which is always a concern for me when working with contractors. Great job overall

Joshua Persaud - Yellowpages Review

Basement Waterproofing

Had several cracks in my basement wall and they would leak whenever we had a heavy rain. It started about a year and a half ago and seems to have gotten worse over the past 6 months. I tried having my neighbor seal it, but it started leaking again within a few weeks. Called several waterproofing companies and got several quotes. Finally went with Nusite contractors for the job. They gave a reasonable quote and I liked the guy that came by for the estimate. They stayed within budget and cleaned up before they left. It's been almost 3 months now and it seems to be working great.