The Psychological Toll of Mold Exposure

Michael Rubino

November 17

Today’s Mold Talks guest is Sara Gerbracht, a health coach and mold exposure survivor! A fitness enthusiast at heart, Sara’s been involved in the health industry for over 12 years. When she started to not feel quite like herself, she was at a loss as to what was causing her body and mind to become unbalanced. 

A chance connection helped her to find the root cause of her problems quickly and allowed her to start down the path to healing. Now she’s using her experience to help her clients on their health journey and to ensure others never feel alone as they’re battling through mold exposure. 

Our chat today touches on the severe psychological toll mold exposure caused for Sarah and how it impacted her daily life. Fortunately, she found the root cause of her problem and is well on her way to healing.

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“The interesting thing is that it was more brain-oriented.”

Sara remembers the first time she knew something was amiss in her body. She was at her teenage son’s hockey game and for the first time in her life, experienced a major anxiety episode. Over the years, she’d watched her teenage son play hockey countless times and only felt the normal parenting worry over her son getting hurt. At this specific game, though, she felt extreme fear for his safety the entire time he was playing. 

From that moment on, the psychological symptoms continued to persist and grow worse. From that initial anxiety to forgetfulness, brain fog, and fatigue, she just didn’t feel like herself. Her calendar was the only thing that got her through most days without forgetting daily tasks. It got to the point where her friends and family members started noticing a difference, and that’s when she knew something needed to be done. The issue was that she had no idea what was wrong with her. 

“I do remember thinking a lot of like, ‘What is wrong with me? What is going on?’ And like, you know, in a sense of like, I don't know how to fix it... Therefore, how do you have hope? How do you have hope if you don't even know what it is? And so, those thoughts were, were pretty scary in a sense of like is this just what normal aging is? Even though I knew it wasn't! It was scary. And it is a sense of like, I don't know if anybody experienced this before because nobody had I ever heard of had really talked about it.” 

The loneliness and uncertainty were some of the worst aspects of mold exposure for Sara. As someone in the health industry and a fitness enthusiast, not being able to heal herself was devastating. She refused to accept that her symptoms were the new norm, though, and began to look for answers. 

Luckily, she was friends with someone who knew and functional medicine doctor and recommended that Sara give her a visit. Immediately, the doctor pinpointed mold and mycotoxin exposure as the root cause of her symptoms. Armed with the answer, Sara started down her path to healing. 

“It's still been a long process to really feel, I guess, normal again, like my normal self.”

While the journey may have been long, she said she’s back on track and thankfully feeling like herself again. 

Looking back, Sara points to how few people talk about mold exposure and the effects it can have on the body. Her passions remain health and fitness, but she’s adding helping others feel less alone to her list. Creating more discussions about mold exposure, she believes, is the first step towards making it a more accepted and understood topic. 

For others suffering from mold exposure, Sara recommends taking yourself seriously and trusting your body. If it’s telling you that something is wrong, something is wrong! Nerve stop searching for an answer and finding a doctor to listen and help you dig into what’s actually causing the symptoms is crucial. 

After that, she encourages everyone to be brave enough to share their personal story. 

“Share your story, even if it's scary and hard and you feel really vulnerable. It helps to help other people know that they're not alone. And, it helps the doctors who are dealing with it because everybody's symptoms are so different."
Chat with Sara Gerbracht at:

Instagram: @saragerbracht