I was wondering how long it would take

My friend Ren told me about a mother who started blogging about autism up in the town where he lives. I told him that it wouldn’t take long for her to go the anti-vaccine route, given how angry she seemed in all of her “rants” and “raves” about autism. I even confronted her on it in one of her first blog posts:

“Mrs. [redacted], I really, truly hope that you’re not going to turn this blog into yet another anti-vaccine “rant” blog like AgeofAutism.com, “Adventures In Autism”, and many others. If there is one thing that is very much settled, it is that vaccines do not cause autism. The Wakefield “study” was not a study, it was a case series, it was flawed, it was fraudulent, and it didn’t make any scientific sense. Time after time, case control studies looking at neurotypical children versus autistic children have failed to find any difference in the odds of being vaccinated between those two groups.

As for the increase in prevalence (and not incidence), it has been explained as consisting of increased awareness, diagnoses, diagnostic tools, and systematic reviews of the data. An increase in prevalence does not indicate an increase in incidence. For example, the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS is declining, but the number of existing people with HIV/AIDS is increasing. The former was incidence, and the latter was prevalence.”

That explanation of mine seems to have fallen on deaf ears. She recently wrote this (with my emphasis in bold): Continue reading

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Go read my friend’s blog

What are you doing reading this? Go read Ren’s declaration of a new “forever war,” and his subsequent post about depression. Mental Health is something that we in public health don’t think about often, but it influences a lot of what we do. If a person is not of sound mind, how can we expect them to make the right health decisions for themselves and their community?

I do hope Ren keeps at it on the mental health aspects of public health. I’ll do the lifting with quackery and the anti-vax crowd. (Well, not just me. There are others. We are many.)