I am looking at an interesting diagram in the book Free To Fly which outlines the difference between a functional family without environmental sensitivities (or who have these sensitivities under control by avoiding allergens and toxic chemicals), vs. a family with environmental sensitivities affecting members of the family.
A functional family tends to have fewer and less severe health problems. This stands to reason if you think about it. A functional family is emotionally healthy. Emotional health and physical health are related to at least some degree for a start. Allergy symptoms often affect mood, and therefore emotional health as well. Without these negative influences, a family is much more likely to be functional.
The book Free To Fly notes that functional families tend either to have no sensitivities or allergens are avoided or treated. The result is parents and children able to deal with everyday stress, and a family that is physically and mentally healthy. This in tern leads to a more positive mental outlook, a calmer disposition, greater self-esteem and relatively even temperament.
All of this in turn leads to a happier, more positive environment conducive to spending more time together. Result: a more intimate, loving family.
The members of a dysfunctional family tent do have more health problems. The stress of living in a dysfunctional family will tend to increase health problems, and health problems increase stress. It is a vicious cycle.
One factor to consider is the possibility of unidentified or untreated sensitivities or allergies to foods, chemicals and/or airborne irritants. To make matters worse, this often leads to nutritional deficiencies.
Parents and children tend to experience more stress, and be less able to cope with it. Physical health suffers, as well as mental health, leading to depression, mood swings, anger, aggression, lack of self control, lower frustration tolerance, and being overly critical.
According to the book Free To Fly, this strains interpersonal relationships, leading to denial, criticism, shame, and even abuse.
If anything in the dysfunctional family section rings a bell, it is well worth looking into allergies and sensitivities. Food allergies are one common cause. Another is dust. Mold may be one of the worst offenders of all, since the mycotoxins can cause allergies, and mold spores are a common allergen.
Do you have any experience with dysfunctional families that you think may be related to allergies, sensitivities, or mold problems? Please leave a comment! Comments that might help other readers are especially appreciated.
- Wikipedia on Allergies
- Wikipedia on the Dysfunctional Family
- University of Illinois Counseling Center
- Kansas State University Counseling Services
- Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies on Dysfunctional Families