Toxic Mold Syndrome: “It Was Like I Lost My Personality”

Kimberlyn, a 46-year-old married mother living in Arizona is not your average patient. She is highly detailed, analytical, logical, and carries with her a master’s degree in pattern analysis. When Kimberlyn got sick, she applied as much as she could from her work life to try to uncover what was adversely affecting her. Even so, coming to the right diagnoses took a lot of work and required outside help.

From Concise to Confused

Out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason, Kimberlyn suddenly went from a highly-effective, busy, working mother, to a disorganized, uninvolved, confused individual who couldn’t focus long enough to put together cohesive, coherent thoughts. She was no longer able to make decisions for herself and struggled to even get dressed in the morning. Insomnia, anxiety, and a loss of appetite accompanied the confusion. “It was like I lost my personality,” says Kimberlyn.

Test After Test With No Answers

That was the first episode, lasting for three months starting in November of 2010. In that time she lost twenty-five pounds, was forced to abandon her practice, and withdrew from activities outside the home. Her doctor, family, and friends told her that they thought she had depression or even bipolar disorder. She resisted, even in her confused and debilitated state, and insisted on further testing, believing that something was terribly wrong.

After a series of blood tests, her general practitioner diagnosed Kimberlyn with heavy metal poisoning and recommended she undergo chelation therapy. After undergoing this treatment, she did feel better. However, within five months the illness returned.

During her second cycle of illness, Kimberlyn sought out another doctor who performed a series of tests and suggested that maybe Kimberlyn was suffering from mold illness, also known as toxic mold syndrome. This was the first time mold had been suggested as a possible cause for Kimberlyn’s symptoms and was unexpected due to the arid climate of Arizona. Yet after having her home tested, three different types of toxic mold were found, including Stachybotrys, also known as black mold.

Discovering Black Mold

Primarily, mold illness is associated with allergic reactions that mimic seasonal allergies. Respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, watery eyes, and skin irritation are the predominant symptoms. Mold is also known to cause asthma and life-threatening primary and secondary infections in immune-compromised patients that have been exposed.

Toxic mold exposure has also been linked to more serious, long-term effects like memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, confusion, trouble concentrating, and confusion. In a 2003 study by the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, 100 participants were examined in an effort to uncover how toxic mold exposure can affect the brain and lead to cognitive and emotional impairments. After the mold exposure, nervous system challenges were observed in all 100 patients tested. Brain SPECT scans also identified abnormalities in a significant portion of the patients studied.

After Kimberlyn was diagnosed with mold illness by her doctor in Arizona, she took steps to remove mold from her home and began treatment protocols to help reduce her symptoms, but she still felt it wasn’t enough. She continued to research mold illness and finally found the blog of a patient who was treated at Amen Clinics. “ It was the first time I had read anyone’s experience that matched my own,” said Kimberlyn. “I read and read and read and made an appointment that day.”

Brain SPECT Imaging Helps Treat Brain Toxicity Caused by Black Mold

Kimberlyn had booked a Full Evaluation, which took two days to complete. She filled out multiple questionnaires and history forms, talked to specialized counselors, and finally had a set of SPECT images taken of her brain. “Just to really see exactly what was happening to my brain in the SPECT scans and that I do have a toxic injury due to mold was amazing,” said Kimberlyn. “They did such a good job with all of the evaluations, and they were so thorough. By the end of the second day, Dr. Darmal had a whole binder of material that discussed the results of the testing I had done while I was there.”

Dr. Darmal and the staff at the Amen Clinics Orange County discovered that in addition, Kimberlyn also had ADHD and a previous traumatic brain injury that was increasing the effects of the mold injury. “When my brain swelled from the mold exposure, I was getting almost no blood flow to my prefrontal cortex,” explained Kimberlyn.

Co-occurring conditions that can increase the effects of an injury or illness on the brain are common, yet can be easily overlooked. For Kimberlyn, she was shocked to hear that the brain injury she had suffered in high school was impacting her life today and even more surprised that she had ADHD. “The medication for ADHD has made a huge difference in my productivity and ability to focus. That was like the bonus prize that I wasn’t even expecting,” said Kimberlyn.

Kimberlyn is already seeing positive results from implementing the treatment protocol prescribed for her by Dr. Darmal. In addition to the medication prescribed for ADHD, Kimberlyn has also completely changed her diet and started a supplement regimen. She will be undergoing hyperbaric oxygen treatments this summer as well. She looks forward to restarting her professional practice and enjoying continuing progress.

“To see the scans and to know that you are not bipolar, you are not depressed…to see what I knew in my own gut backed up on the scans…it’s so validating and powerful,” said Kimberlyn. “The idea that there is a way to address what’s happening and that you can get better, it’s just so wonderful.”

There is hope. Amen Clinics can help you or a loved one when it comes to toxicity and mold problems. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online here. To get brain health updates, follow us on Facebook.

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  1. Ben Rogue says:

    Was this post written by someone with toxic mold exposure? “Toxic mold exposure has also been linked to more serious, long-term effects like memory loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, confusion, trouble concentrating, and confusion.” Maybe they just work at the department of redundancy bureau.

  2. Brian Lichtig says:

    Toxic Mold Syndrome is definitely a horrible thing! Thanks for the information!

    Remediation Baltimore

  3. Truetomylove4 says:

    My wife just went off and started yelling, screaming, and hitting things and breaking things out of the blue. She became extremely jealous and the only thing i can attribute this to is that she has cleaned moisture created black mold on my bedroom and kitchen ceiling from the cooking moisture drifting through the house and collecting on the ceilings forming it. I think she has breathed this and it is the root cause of her personality disorder. Mold is terrible to the brain.

  4. Michelle P says:

    Every women that I know with these symptoms has implants. Saline implants can have mold, and Slicone leaks creating another type of toxicity in the body, with symptoms similar to mold. It is actually very common, and it is no accident that these womens’ voices aren’t being heard. The Pharmacetical Industry is powerful and has a profitable business and inconvenient truth’s are covered up. The government complicit deception amounts to crimes against humanity. Breast Implant Illness is very real.

  5. Jessica says:

    Omg I have been dealing with this illness for over a year now and I have saline implants. Someone suggested this to me last week, my chiropractor muscle tested and confirmed that it is highly. likely that my implants have mold… But also – MUCH to her surprise- that silicone implants would be fine. I have heard that it’s only saline that is a problem… Have you heard otherwise? Thanks,,, jess

  6. Anna says:

    OMG the same illness is with my friend and i always told my friends to be aware of this dangerous disease. There are several black mold symptoms which can make you ill.

    • Greg says:

      I drove a work truck for more then 2 years, started to get lots of head aces, noucea weakness and burning throat breathing problems, and black mold was found inside the truck but doctors say that can’t find nothing wrong with me what should I do I’m sick and no help from doctors,thanks for any tips.thanks.

      • Elaine Somers says:

        Contact Haven Medical in Chapel Hill, NC.
        Mainstream medicine can’t diagnose. Haven specializes in mold poisoning.

  7. boomzy says:

    I’m trapped in a house with black mold. O Leo doing things to fix it, but having chronic illness makes you poor. I don’t even have health insurance now. I just got hired for a good job. I hope I can do it long enough to move and get insurance and see a neurologist and stuff.

    • Jill Smith says:

      I have a list of supplements for help

      • Otowner5 says:

        Maybe you could post that list here, because I’m in the same boat as boomzy, only I’m currently unemployed.

        • Jill Smith says:

          bought most of these off amazon. RNA results, colloidal silver nasal spray and the throat spray, RNA glutathione spray, solgar garlic pearls, allergena homeopathic mold mix, now clinical probiotic immune, bio-botanical G.I. detox or activated charcoal, next I am adding enzymes or neprinol afd read about the last one in a book on bio-films. Also, can add NAC, ALA, and lactoferrin. I did a bottle of molybedunum(SP?) as well. Can use fir sauna or oxygen treatments as well. Hope this helps.

    • Bill Wilson says:

      Try staying out of the house for several days to see if your symptoms disappear. Some molds produce short term symptoms that will end once you get away from the crud for 12-24 hours. That black mold is often found growing in and beneath carpeting. If yours is moldy then toss the carpet and pad, wash the slab/floor with Pine-Sol then wet them down with straight laundry bleach and let that dry. The straight 5.25% bleach will kill off any remaining mold and spores plus will leave a salt residue to inhibit future growth of mold and mildew.

    • christine says:

      No bleach no pine-sol.. Bleach make the mold to release mycotoxine more.. so don’t do that

  8. Ernest King says:

    I had a lot of the same symptoms and lost my imagination, or inner vision. But mine went away 3 months ago ( after a yr & half) without treatment. I’m moving as soon as possible, now that I found out what made me sick.

  9. Carnell Harbin says:

    Hello everyone I am 23 year old male, who had over 30 symptoms and cured myself after going to the doctor at least 20× with no specific answer to my illness in one month. If you want to buy my short story for $2.99 using PayPal please email my personal account and I’ll give you an elaborated summary regarding my black toxic mold sickness; including methods, and remedies on what I did to heal myself slowly and effectively. Save money from doctor’s bill that are sky high and most importantly your life.

  10. Jill Smith says:

    Real time labs, urine test for all kinds of toxic molds.
    Mycometrix for home test

  11. Jill Smith says:

    Real time labs, urine test to start

  12. dale says:

    Plz need some help here. I was exposed to black mold last year for about 3-6 months…maybe longer. My eyes started itching all the time and i was fatigued. Im a roofer and always had high energy. I started getting dizzy spells. I went to e.r after 3rd day of dizzy spells. The doctor hooked up a iv did some tests and said i had vertigo. I didnt believe it. I ended up finding black mold all over my toilet inside the bowl and tank. After i removed EVERYTHING from the bathroom and cleaned the heck out of it, i started to get better right away. From me peeing standing up right above the toilet i believe the mold rose up and i inhaled it and it got into my eyes. Being the only guy in the house, i was effected, the girls werent because they sit down to pee is what i concluded. Although my one daughter used to get whooping cough. She hasnt had it since i removed the mold from bathroom. I think maybe the mold may have been the cause of that too. Maybe, idk. Its been over a year and im still not 100 percent. My mind isnt like it used to be. Its hard to describe but i just dont feel like its sharp like it was before the exposure. I have since then moved from that house. Im asking if anyone feels like this after they had blackmold exposure and what they did to fix it. Im praying someone can provide me with similar symptoms they had and something they did to get back to 100 percent.

    • Thahany says:

      I have been through black mold and recovered. You need to have your house cleaned professionally ( mold cleaning specialists) or move to a different house. Then to detox, drink a whole lemon squeezed into cold water everyday – you may need to do this for months. Since this drink is acidic, you need to supplement with calcium daily to make sure your teeth don’t become weak/damaged. Unless you see a doctor specialized in treating mold , this is your best bet. Please don’t take my advice lightly, It’s the only thing that helped.

  13. jane dedoe says:

    I am trying to get out of my apartment. I found black mold in my closet from plumbing problem and it was too late. Already had rash, mental fog, had got bronchitis and the worst was pins and needles and aches throughout torso. I am so scared. Went to ER they said my blood was perfect n discharged, but i still feel sick. I sleep in living room now so pins and needles r gone. But headached and torso aches arent. I hate black mold!

  14. Courtney Laytham says:

    I’ve been feeling less like myself these days. My fiance and I have been living in a house that we’re renting. The roof needs fixed to the point we’ve got mold and its affecting my health. More frequent headaches, memory loss, strange changes in behaviour, and I seem to be more depressed than usual. Even the way I think sometimes scares me.
    Is there anything I can take that will help?

  15. Bill Wilson says:

    I came down with a chronic case of mixed mold mycotoxicosis in December of 2007 and finally started recovering from the crud in January of 2016. Had spells during that time where I began feeling much better for a few weeks or months only get worse again. My doctor told me what I had in January of ’08 and not to waste any money on lab tests since there wasn’t a cure for it except for time as my immune system gradually developed a resistance to the various toxins. He said that could take several months or several years if I keep getting exposed to their spores. These molds grow everywhere in the great outdoors so believe I kept inhaling more since I live in the Deep South surrounded by forests with plenty of rotting vegetation on the ground.
    I spent most of those 8 years looking, acting and feeling like a zombie. Now I look and act normal except for having difficulty with concentration, getting confused easily and bouts with fatigue. Those symptoms seem to come and go, so hope they too, will eventually go away for good or become less annoying.

  16. Kelly Newcome says:

    Can mold be the cause of behavioral problems in a 7 year old – like extreme tantrums, defiance, inability to focus and pay attention in school?

    • Leo says:

      You will only know if you remove your child from the suspected area for a day and don’t feed them sugary foods.

      Mold exposure triggers a food sensitivity in children. Something as minor as regular ketchup as opposed to no sugar ketchup can change their mood.

      A day will give them enough time to reduce the build up of mold in their system.

  17. Ken Kanizar says:

    I too understand this. For 12 weeks I was exposed to a wall that was full of mold from water retention. At first I thought I had a cold. But it went away when I went home on down time for a few days. Then I thought it was floral due to heavy pollen in the area. Finally I collapsed at the emergency room door unable to breath. I was treated for congenital heart failure. Given BP medications, and Lasic to keep the fluid build up down. But I got sick again, this time I’m in a fog. My intellect was not working, I did not know who I was. My doctor found the problem, she saved my life. I went to the University of Florida were my 1-2 hour sinus Operation lasted nearly 8 hours. But they cleared all eight sinus cavities. They tell me it’s going to take a long time to recover. I have great voids of memory, then I will get floods of memories. But I’m afraid that these are wishes and not memories. I just want to be able to sleep through the night. Be able to breath normally.

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  19. This is a great and very informative article. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m a freelance writer in the niche of mental health and someone has asked me if there was any link between mold and depression. I honestly had no idea, so I decided to investigate. This is shocking! I knew mold could cause breathing difficulties and allergies but I never thought it could have such a big impact on the brain. I’m redirecting the person who asked about it to this article. Again, thank you for posting this.

  20. Janina Moe says:

    Ive had long term mold exposure for 18 years in my own home. I had np idea why a hardcore competitive athlete since age 15, Im 53 now couldn’t exercise without getting winded. I lost my job as an Immigration interpreter due to memory loss. Does your memory come back after detoxification and do all other symptoms go away?
    Ive had chronic sinus and respiratory infections yet had no idea why?
    My body aches like I had the flu but I dont. Ive removed myself from the home and am now having a very extensive mold test done to determine if all my belongings are contaminated. I have a fitness center in my home and expensive gym equipment, pricey Native American dolls, and oil paintings of my late mother. The dolls and oil painting are irreplaceable. My life is priceless however. Ive started my own detox program for mold. Im on a non dairy,gluten free, sugar free, red meat free diet. Mold feeds on all of that.
    I hope my brain is not permanently damaged and my hand/motor coordination and memory improves as I continue to heal.
    May God help us all who have been exposed to demonic black toxic mold!

  21. victoria knox says:

    The best way to kill and prevent future mold growth for years is to wipe, spray or cold fog Concrobium. It’s a new product that you can get at Home Depot and it’s non-toxic. The main ingredient is sodium carbonate. You can rent a cold fogger at Home Depot. There are loads of great reviews on how well this stuff works. I now believe the mold in my home has been a big player in my strange chronic fatigue, depression/anxiety, headache, screwed up endocrine system symptoms. The biggest clue for me was that for years I’ve noticed that I feel better when I’m away from home or outside, but after being home for an hour or so, begin to feel down again. Also, that I feel especially worse on overcast days, and much better on sunny days. I know this is a common human thing, it occurs to me that mold would be more likely to produce spores on days with less sunshine. Anyway, I think that may be what’s happening with me.

  22. Lauren Perez says:

    My mom is 49 and is suffering from SEVERE mold toxicity. Her symptoms have been tested for years with no solid answers. She has gotten to the point where she can no longer care for herself and requires a caretaker (my sister). Any basic cognitive skills a child would have, she lacks. She can no longer bathe herself, brush her teeth, speak or even understand what we are saying. She was tested and found that she has 5 different strands of black mold living inside of her. 5!!! The most the doctor had ever seen was 3. Mold is a terrible, terrible illness and I only hope and pray that one day my children can know my mother the way I do.

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Lauren, if you’re interested in finding out more information about our Integrative Medicine program here please call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834. We can book a consult for your mother to determine if there are other types of treatments that may assist her with such a severe case.

    • J says:

      Hi Lauren. Sorry to here about your mother and her mold problem. I would like to know what type of testing did your mom get to prove she had mold living inside of her? I ask because I have a son, sick from mold found in his dorm room. He has since moved out of that room, but constantly complains now about lack of concentration – especially while trying to do his class work (prior Deans List) and fatigue. We are looking for ANY ASSISTANCE with solving this problem. Please respond ASAP.

  23. Emily Williams says:

    It would be great to know if the woman in this article had to move from her home to get well or if she was able to remediate.

  24. Lisa says:

    Our 10-year old daughter has been exposed to mold. From an MRI we recently discovered she has swelling on one side of her brain which seems to be affecting her memory/cognition, executive functioning and her immune system, she has approximately 25 different food allergies. She also gets dizzy from time to time. Her functional medicine doctor has had her on chlorella and glutathione but the swelling hasn’t come down for the past year and a half and we are wondering what next steps we can take? We are in the process of having our house mold tested to ensure this was a past exposure and not a current one.

    • Amen Clinics says:

      Hello Lisa, Amen Clinics offers an intensive integrative medicine program to address mold exposure and brain toxicity. If you’d like information regarding the specifics with your daughter, you can reach one of our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834 or by completing this form – Thank you for sharing with us, please let us know if there is more we can assist you with.

  25. Bonnie Holmes says:

    I’ve lived in my apartment for over a year but recently lost my job and now home most of the time. The apartment that shares a wall with mine had squatters and landlord finally got thrm out the place was so bad he started hurting the bathroom which butts up to mine and since then I have this raised itchy rash on my eye my eyes are red and itchy watery and burn I’m always stuffed up.always have a rash somewhere and my ears hurt and are itchy. I have autoimmune problems and I’m the only one in my house that has this but also the only one home all day now. My daughter did have headaches a lot and stomach aches but is ok now. I was told that the rash is from mold exposure could this be true? I have. I doubt that next door had mold pipes were leaking for a long time the windows are rotting off the house on that side.


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