Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Vaccination of loved ones

Anybody out there having a hard time convincing their loved one to vaccinate against COVID-19? If so, what are the hurdles?
I’m trying to listen to my loved one (LEAP) and I’m just not getting anything tangible. There’s as many excuses (however relevant or not) but I’m still not able to get to a place where it can even be discussed. Reminds me a lot of all the reasons not to brush your teeth with toothpaste or use mouthwash or launder your clothes…
Any similar experiences or struggles or road blocks out there? How are you handling these?

Does your loved one offer any reason for not wanting to be vaccinated? There are many people who DON’T have mental illness that won’t get vaccinated…I’m just saying…

Yes you are right this is true.
He says all variety of things you could possibly conjure if you let your mind wander or listen to rush Limbaugh radio or have schizophrenia. He says all the paranoid things like the government is microchipping us and making women sterile on purpose. I try to give him reputable articles to read with just the clinical facts and try and show him what disinformation looks like. But it’s tough. I know him. It’s the same kind of thinking that makes him not brush his teeth because “toothpaste gives you cancer” and walk around with the same tee shirt on for a week with multiple ejaculate on the front of it stating “it’s still clean.” (Sorry so graphic. I’m just frustrated with him at the moment but yes, true story, though I’m pleased to report he has not done this in many years now. Also, he’s begun brushing his teeth somewhat regularly. Is adamant that floss is the only thing he really needs and mouthwash will make his teeth fall out but brushing suffices too if he’s got no floss. Argh. Baby steps.) Anyways, I think a lot of the resistance is simply part of his heavy tendency towards procrastination due to disorganized and pillars of irrational thinking. Same reason he can’t be trusted to pay his own rent on time because he won’t stick his hand in a blue postal box. No real telling what his thinking is there because he won’t openly share the thought process but the thinking non-the-less effects his ability to do day-to-day things many of us do without thinking twice. It’s disruptive to his basic functioning, safety, and well being. Sorry that was a little bit of a rant there. Just a bit frustrated as of late. Thanks for letting me vent a bit.
Anybody else running into roadblocks with this?

Same thing. No reason given, just won’t do it. It’s even easy because our physician’s office is now administering the vaccine.

He’s in the hospital now because he had a severe relapse within one week of stopping all meds. Maybe after he’s medicated again he’ll see things differently.

My son was vaccine hesitant. He lives with me and his brother and takes his meds. One of the things I shared with him was information in an article I read about people with scz having nearly three times the likelihood of dying of Covid. I encouraged him to look up the study. I told him there’s bad stuff in life you can’t control, so why not increase your chances of a good thing if you have the opportunity? Also, I let him know I was concerned about my own health and ability to provide for him if I got sick and had a bad outcome. I was eventually able to schedule his vaccinations and he got his second a couple of weeks ago.

1 Like

@amysfo

Also, I let him know I was concerned about my own health and ability to provide for him if I got sick and had a bad outcome.

I’m going to try this when he comes home from the hospital.

this thought disorder with scrambled thoughts then add agitation and underlying fears plus loss of self agency cause scattered, disconnected internal activation. and voila thoughts are even more disjointed and adamant as a way to maintain self integrity. my son, early on in his illness said “I want to believe you but my brain says different and wherever I go my brain goes with me.” your story is so similar to my 30 years with my son’s illness. it could be about bedbugs “oh they’re gone, I sprayed, everything is clean, there are no bugs, they are wood ticks, they are gone, I pray, I kill them if I see them, see there are no bugs, leave my room” to brushing his teeth, to wearing the same shirt for weeks “its my favorite, its clean see,”

and yes he at first refused the vaccine for many disjointed reasons. i asked some friends, his psychiatrist (who is the ONLY one he has ever trusted), his father to talk to him. I, also, pulled the mom string.

truly three things have kept him safe. 1. PACT with our local CSB; 2. our relationship and his often deep release of his autonomy to my wishes; 3. his “angels” both imaginary and people in the world who have been kind and helpful when he was lost or confused.
I have frequently called the police and the CSB. often to no avail and, of course, gone to the magistrate. even if hospitalized, discharge was too soon and no follow up. and of course there has been the greyhound bus discharge and even a 1 am with no money, ID, or phone. YIKES what a mess. maybe in 20 years we will finally see this as a brain disorder and research will provide better treatment. blessings to all who travel this road.

1 Like

An observation: antivax and other conspiracy theories closely resemble “organic” paranoid delusional systems and rely on similar flawed logic and epistemologic mistakes to endure. While I noticed a degree of patients seeing through other patients delusions in my stay in a mental hospital, I think online media limits bullshit detection due to lack of vocal tone and other nonverbal cues. Lack of critical thinking especially in consuming media and reliance on emotional argument is key in the spread of disinformation. Since people with SZ are impaired in their cognitive abilities it stands to reason they are more susceptible.

The disinformation will also seem familiar and likely to resonate and feel true. It’s a difficult problem. Limiting access to social media would be helpful, but that cat is likely out if the bag. My suggestion would be to approach it in one of two ways: offer no choice in the matter. That it’s required for one reason or another for things that they want to do whether that’s true or not. The other is to fight conspiracy with conspiracy, emotional argument with emotional argument. Say that you think the Russians or Chinese or space aliens or what have you are planting these stories to weaken society to “soften us up” to take us over. These “White lies” probably have more truth in them than what they may see elsewhere.

1 Like