Psychiatrist discusses why some people may choose not to wear masks | KOB 4

Psychiatrist discusses why some people may choose not to wear masks

Megan Abundis
Updated: May 12, 2020 10:44 PM
Created: May 11, 2020 10:24 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State officials have made lots of changes since the start of social distancing nearly two months ago.

Face coverings are part of those changes, but more New Mexicans are seen in public spaces without them.


Dr. Scott Carroll, a psychiatrist, discussed multiple factors that could lead to that choice.

“For teenagers and young adults there’s often a sense of invulnerability like you know nothing bad can happen to them,” said Dr. Carroll, Director of Psychiatrics at Presbyterian Children’s Hospital.

He said it stems from the feeling of invincibility. In other words, people don't recognize the danger.

“As you get older people will often have a sense of distrust of authority figures," he said.

Some might think wearing masks are part of a conspiracy or take issue with the government.

“Then you also have people who believe it's real, but then they're like, 'Just don't tell me what to do,'” he said.

Dr. Carroll said some people may resent the rules or rationalize not wearing it because it hurts to wear or it was forgotten somewhere.

“If you want to call it COVID fatigue, they're just, tired of dealing with it,” Dr. Carroll said. “That's why you see people you know having, little get-togethers are starting to break the recommendations and guidelines because they're just so tired of the restrictions."

He also said medical conditions play a factor, too. People with anxiety, asthma, or sensory issues can have real problems wearing a mask.

At the end of the day, Dr. Carroll says it comes down to simple discipline like brushing your teeth.

To be clear it is not mandatory to wear them, but encouraged by our state health officials.

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