Vaccinated people over 65 with a history of substance abuse, mental health disorders including bipolar disorder, psychosis, and anxiety, have a 24% increased risk of contracting COVID-19. For those under 65, risks were up to 11% higher than for those without a psychiatric history.

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Mental health professional here. Here’s the sentence you need to notice and understand from the research: > Most specific psychiatric disorder diagnoses were associated with an increased incidence of breakthrough infection, with the highest relative risk observed for **adjustment disorder** (aRR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.10-1.16) and substance use disorders (aRR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.12-1.21) in fully adjusted models. You know what an adjustment disorder is? It’s the formal clinical diagnosis for being stressed out about something in your life, to the point you have psychiatric symptoms. Lost your job and having panic attacks about whether you’ll make the rent? Adjustment disorder. Got dumped and are so heartbroken you can’t get out of bed and have no appetite? Adjustment disorder. Adjustment disorders are kind of not what anybody means by “mental illness”. They don’t generally result in, say, one winding up in a homeless shelter or congregate housing, and they’re not generally treated with prescription medications. I understand many insurance companies won’t even pay for treatment of an adjustment disorder. So this study didn’t exactly find what you are probably imagining it found. I can’t help noticing that what their research found was that, pretty indiscriminately, all psychiatric diagnostic codes they checked showed an increase risk of breakthrough COVID infections. That’s mighty funny given the diversity of diagnoses they found it true of. But you know, there was one thing that was true of every patient in their sample that had a psychiatric diagnosis. Every single one of them got care through the VA. And you know what having a psychiatric diagnosis *means*? It means *a professional diagnosed you*. And given they drew their sample from VA medical records, it meant *someone from the VA diagnosed you and put the diagnosis into the VA’s computers*. Which in turn means this wasn’t a sample of “people with a variety of psychiatric disorders”, it was a sample of “people **getting treated at VA facilities** for a variety of psychiatric disorders”. You know what the difference is between getting treated for psychiatric disorders and getting treated for almost anything else is? The list of other medical conditions they controlled for was: > diabetes, cardiovascular disease including hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, and HIV), obesity (defined as body mass index ≥35 [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared]), and smoking status (current or former smoker or never smoker) Well people being treated for diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, COPD, and the rest, excepting cancer, *do not see their doctors every month*. Much less *every week*. And when they do see their treaters, it’s not for *an hour*. But psychiatric patients do. The standard of care for psychiatric medication management is monthly appointments. The standard of care for outpatient psychotherapy is 45 to 53 minute appointments, weekly or every other week. The biggest difference between mental health care and all the rest of medicine is that mental health outpatient treatment is *much* higher contact. So what do you think the chances are that all those VA patients were offered and able to utilize telehealth appointments with their behavioral health providers? Or do you think many of them had to present *in person* to VA facilities, monthly or even weekly, *during a respiratory pandemic*, to receive treatment? Seems to me the number one risk factor in contracting COVID is spending time in a space where somebody else has COVID. Like, say, a VA medical facility. They didn’t even bother to check. They didn’t even control for number of in-person treatment appointments. > emerging data indicate that individuals with psychiatric disorders may engage in more risky behaviors for contracting SARS-CoV-2,13 which in turn may play a key role in determining risk for COVID-19, even after vaccination.14,15 Well, yeah, if by “more risky behaviors for contracting SARS-CoV-2” we mean things like “going into a VA hospital to talk to your counselor for 45 minutes every week so the psychiatrist will renew your antidepressant prescription”. Probably not what they had in mind. Probably not what anybody else reading this had in mind.


Didn’t read it yet, but my initial guess is that people with mental disorders are more likely to be homeless or living in crowded, less sanitary conditions. Elderly people are more likely to be living in an assisted living situation, which are crowded and probably not consistently strict on covid regulations. Combine the two, seems like a perfect storm for “this demographic tends to live in spaces and conditions contrary to covid prevention”.


This post title is quite disconnected.. FroM the article itself, “Among older patients (≥65 years), all specific psychiatric disorders were associated with an increased incidence of breakthrough infection, with increases in the incidence rate ranging from 3% to 24% in models adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, vaccine type and timing, medical comorbidities, obesity, and smoking.”


This is the definition of bad, undirected, speculative correlations. The worst kind of science. If you literally look for people with the last name F, they will have a different COVID risk factor.


In other words, those that likely got tested more frequently were shown to have higher numbers of contraction. Wow…. -.-