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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2017

Ever notice how often you yourself is as a person with dementia is confused? Ever notices how often a family member or person with dementia you care for is confused? Ever notice how often a healthcare/medical patient-client you serve is confused?

This post is about my own confusion while experiencing dementia (major neurocognitive disorder). I have no idea if my experience with confusion is representative of many or a few persons with dementia or only me. So let’s treat it as my self observations and let you decide if what I experience is like yourself or a patient-client.

Confusion is the most personally frustrating part of dementia for me. I suspect that my confusion — and not the forgetting of names or my occasional sharp tongue or my inability to censor my thoughts or tendency to get anxious and angry — is probably the aspect of my condition that is most difficult for others to deal with and understand. It is hard for another person to see why it is so difficult for me to decide which colors of fountain pen ink to use or which two t-shirts to choose for an overnight trip and but it still easy for me remember stories from throughout my career or how to use sophisticated statistical programs or to analyze my own behavior using skills I developed over the past 30 years. Confuses me too.

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What helps me confront confusion is to get as much information I can piece together on a single computer screen in a usable VISUAL form so as to facilitate seeing all of the pieces and arguments and information and associations that should be included in a conclusion and action plan.

Here is my favorite tool for visual. thinking and dealing with confusion – my own variant of the MindMap which I call the MindModel.

Maybe this will help you care for yourself or another under your daily care or a family member or a medical or mental health dementia. Maybe all of this is just idiosyncratic to me.

I do think that you should consider the possibility that I am onto something, both in terms of where all that confusion comes from and what I (and others might) do to try to deal with it.

Click on the image to expand the size.

Confusion in Dementia Personal Experiences of Contributing Factors

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  1. November 21, 2016

    The way you are studying and reporting on your condition gives me hope and a strategy. I am undiagnosed, with multiple risk factors, and am already a self-experimenter and -reporter for type 2 diabetes mellitus. With any luck, your work could help me cope, and help me leverage what I learn for the greater good if not my own.

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    • November 23, 2016

      Thank you very much for your kind comments.

      If you think that you are undiagnosed for a condition you believe you have or may have, I urge you to see your doctor(s). Natural starting points are a primary care physician, a gerontologist, or a neurologist for cognitive impairment and dementia. Any concerns you have about your cognitive functioning can be mentioned at the visits to any of your doctors. Also, many geographic areas have referral services if you think you need an assessment of your cognitive functioning – see Google or look in your local phone book – for community agencies. If diagnosed early, you may be able to live well with cognitive impairment and dementia.

      As general information, most communities in the USA and UK (I assume this is probably true world-wide) have local and national agencies and web sites that provide good information about cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, other dementias, and mental illness. Learn about what is available in your country and region.

      Getting diagnosed early for any disease and learning as much as you can is a good way to try to improve or maintain your quality of life. Give it a try.

      A local agency can help you identify available services which are provided in your area free or at a small cost.

      George

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