Showing posts with label Covid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Covid. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Let's make America well again. MAWA


There is a great deal of frustration, sadness, and fear in the United States over the rise of infection rates of the Omicron and other Covid variants. 

There are many factors which give rise to these increasingly high infection rates. One of those factors is individual choice over protective measures to limit infection. The further question might be what are the factors that influence these individual choices? A large factor is social norms and attitudes. Another is regulatory enforcement.

Social norms and attitudes have been politicized in the United States by those who seek the advantage of accumulated power by obtaining votes for their election to office. This creates a symbiotic tie between the representative elected and the people who want to be told what they want to hear, not the truth. This symbiotic relationship is well known in the field of mental health as the folie au deux. A folie au deux is a relationship based on a commonly held delusional belief. A folie au deux is considered to be a mental disorder requiring psychiatric treatment.

It is time to think outside the box. Anger and further polarization will get us nowhere. We mental health professionals  supposedly know how to manage neurotic and psychotic symptoms as they manifest in individuals and groups.

I learned several decades ago, early in my psychiatric social work career in two state hospitals, that you not only cannot argue a delusional patient out of their delusion, but that it only exacerbates the delusional symptoms and is counter productive. What is helpful is to reframe the topic in a larger frame of reference. There are many possibilities for a reframe such as an "opportunity to help one's family and neighbors."

How about a meme like "Good neighbors get vaccinated so they don't pass the virus along."? and "Let's make America well again." MAWA.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Watch what happens in red counties and states with the Omicron variant.

 

“It is possible to ignore reality, but it is not possible to ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”  (Attributed to Ayn Rand)

Editor's note: One of the definitions of mental health is being in touch with reality.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Delusional people need special treatment - don't poke the bear.

I had a discussion with a woman in her late 50s or early 60s in the Brockport Post Office in Monroe County on Monday 12/12/21 while we were waiting in line.

She told me she was vaccinated but wouldn't do it again.

I asked, "Why not?"

She said, "Vaccinations make people sick. I know three people in the hospital because they were vaccinated."

I said, "Really........"

"Oh yes," she said.

I said, "Well I believe there are a lot more people who could be in the hospital if they weren't vaccinated."

She seemed upset so I changed the subject to the sunny weather we were having and whether she is ready for Christmas.

Today, I ran across this chart.


The cognitive dissonance I was causing by challenging her beliefs spiked her anxiety and she shut down. My psychiatric training has taught me to let the truth go. Many people, maybe most, don't want to hear and know the truth. It is too upsetting for them and they can't handle it. Better sometimes to keep your own council and not poke the bear.