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social, health, political imagery through the lens of G J Huba PhD © 2012-2021

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Once upon a time …

Think how much easier it might be for a person with cognitive dysfunction (dementia or other) to understand and remember the elements of this mind map than “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

Of the course, this is just a little example of making a point. There are thousands of applications of such a method in the daily life of a person with dementia or a child with cognitive challenges.

I think it a fantastic time of year for most of the things I like to do in spite of the inevitable 5:15 PM thunderstorms and the usual 5-10 days of 99 degree temperatures.

Row a boat, paddle a canoe, work on your paddle tennis game, walk in the sand of many bodies of water, drop an ice cream cone, and cheer at the baseball park. Take a vacation even if your travels are limited to local pools and nearby state and national parks. Go watch a little league game and take some pictures. Have a picnic. And never get frustrated by the amount of sweat you produce.

Although there is no account of the season in which G-d created the universe within the Torah, Koran, or Old Testament, it strikes me that summer is a most glorious achievement. I conclude it must have been the first season.

The joys of summer. Click on the mind map to expand it.

As we recover from the COVID pandemic, it is important to recognize that much of the world population has been under severe stress from the pressure of dealing with deaths of loved ones, uncertainty, financial pressures, anxiety, depression, and fear.

The symptoms of psychological crisis in the past 15 months are not going away without professional help.

The following show some of the ways that help needs to be offered. If even 10% of the global population has been affected by psychological stress, we have huge issues to address.

Click the mind map to expand its size.

 

A powerful set of tools for journaling are those that create visualizations depicting data, ideas, facts, research, news, evaluations, comments, polls, opinions, feelings, planning, communications, and models of many things. And any other things you can visualize.

Visual data of varying types can be visualized as graphs, diagrams, doodles, models, mind maps, sketchnotes, images, and infographics along with many other types of visual displays.

Visual thinking is underused by those who need to understand and synthesize information for themselves and others. Such methods should be taught and used throughout our educational systems.

Click on the image below to expand it.

The dreaded day has reached us in the United States.

On November 19, 2020, death 250,000 occurred in the United States.

On December 14, 2020, less than a month later, death 300,000 occurred in the United States. Current statistical models indicate that a new spike in coronavirus deaths is just starting.

Whether you have been vaccinated or not, had an episode of COVID-19 or not, or have high-risk factors that might make you susceptible to COVID-19 episodes in the future there are measures you can take to minimize your chances to get infected for the first time or a later recurrence.

Use a mask, socially distance, wash your hands, and use some COMMON SENSE. Everyone will need to keep doing all of these behavioral interventions for a currently unknown time.

The following diagram shows how we got to MORE THAN 300,000 DEATHS FROM COVID-19 in the USA.



 

300,000 souls should not have been lost. We could have avoided the wildfire of COVID-19 infections. We didn’t. 

Our highest priority should be for every person on the planet to work their hardest to make sure that COVID-19 transmission is slowed and then stopped.

To the lost family, friends, acquaintances, and those we will never know, we cherish your shortened lives and ask the Almighty Power that you rest in peace.

The dreaded day has reached us in the United States.

250,000 deaths due to COVID-19.

We have vaccines coming soon. But WE DO NOT KNOW how long the immunity from the vaccines will last. We do not know if a sufficient number of Americans will agree to take the vaccination. And for those who have already been infected by COVID-19 and either had symptomatic or an asymptomatic episode, WE DO NOT KNOW what medical conditions those who have been infected with COVID will develop in the next 80 years. Some of the medical conditions of COVID-19 infection might only manifest themselves in a year or two or a decade or two or in six decades.

Whether you have been vaccinated or not, had an episode of COVID-19 or not, or have high risk factors that might make you susceptible to COVID-19 episodes in the future there are measures you can take to minimize your chances to get infected for the first time or a later recurrence.

Use a mask, socially distance, wash your hands and use some COMMON SENSE. Everyone will need to keep doing all of these behavioral interventions for a currently unknown time.

The following diagram shows how we got to A QUARTER OF A MILLION DEATHS FROM COVID-19 in the USA.

250,000 souls should not have been lost. We could have avoided the wildfire of COVID-19 infections. We didn’t. 

Our highest priority should be for every person on the planet to work their hardest to make sure that COVID-19 transmission is slowed and then stopped.

To the lost family, friends, acquaintances, and those we will never know, we cherish your shortened lives and ask the Almighty Power that you rest in peace.

Mind maps and related methods can help you use visual thinking to fight against cognitive decline and dementia. These methods can also help you maintain physical and mental health by maintaining control, making good decisions, remembering key information, and planning. Or, maintaining self-sufficiency, control, and independence so as to retain an acceptable quality of life.

Click on the mind map to expand it.

 

In the next 20 years, the world will experience significant change. After the shock of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, everyone alive knows that significant changes must be made in the next 20 years to our governments, distribution of services and wealth and opportunities. We must integrate all global development with a restoration of the global environment as it was before the industrial revolution.

It’s a hard job. The change itself will provide numerous opportunities. The creative destruction of what is wrong and the creative building of what is right will be fun to observe and participate in. Hope will spring out as we get a lot of the things right that we screwed up the first time.

Here’s what we gotta do. It’s possible. It will be fun and rewarding to fix.

Click on the mind map to expand the start of a plan and an emerging roadmap.

This is what we have to achieve this time. The inclusion of all. The distribution of services to all. A high-quality of life for all.

I looked at this application when it first came out a couple of years ago.

It has improved significantly.

This is easier to use than my favorite program iMindMap. It is also a lot less expensive.

[Do not confuse this app with Xmind 8, which is the more complete but harder to use version. Xmind 8 is much more expensive. Xmind ZEN produces more attractive maps and works MUCH better on small screens (mobile phone, pads).]

I will continue to use iMindMap 11 because of its status as the very best mind mapping app and I use all of its features. If you do not need all of the fancy options, this is a very good program for a beginner (and expert).

Click on the mind map to expand it.

Xmind ZEN

Think about entering the healthcare system as a patient. You get handed 5 pages of tiny font sheets to fill in with your address, person paying the bills, the medical history of yourself and two generations back every time you go in, You scribble out answers into tiny boxes and hand the forms back. Then they give you 3 small-font pages of legal disclaimers and conditions to read and approve.

Next a nurse takes you aside for a blood pressure reading, a weight assessment, and various other information. He scribbles all of the resuolts into a chart.

Next up the doctor enters. She scans all of the paper you filled out and what the nurse wrote down, and then starts asking you questions in a shotgun approach. When you comment that the answer is still what you wrote down 5 minutes earlier, she is not impressed.

Later the doctor gives you instructions. She goes fast but alo types the suggestions into an EMR (electronic medical record). You may lose the form (common with the cognitive diagnoses I have), not understand everything in the report, and not be able to read 2 point text. but at least you can recover what she wrote.

Don’t they always say a picture is worth 1,000 words? Don’t most people agree with that statement?

For the current aging birth cohort (boomers), images are a way of life. Photos were available when we were born and financially accessible to most by the mid-1960s. The number of pictures increased in newspapers and later on the Internet over the past 50 years. Immediate images and videos from the ubiquitous smartphones have been available to the majority of world-wide families for the past 5 years.

Home black and white television sets became very common in the 1950s and color televisions in the late 1960s.. By the 1990 many US homes had more than one television set. In the 2000s screen (flat panel) sizes at least doubled in size in most homes. 700 channels and 3 TV sets and and nothing on.

We all use images constantly and reading text is going down. We primarily get our news from pictures on the Internet, in print media, and shared with friends or on social media. Pictures are used to influence our attitudes, behaviors, preferences, and to sell us products.

I have been working hard at creating and using images in my own healthcare for the past 9 years after I was diagnosed with a progressive neurocognitive disorder.

About six months ago I had a PET scan of my brain as well as my fourth MRI since 2010. I now have two neurologists. The secondary one (a cognitive neurologist who ordered the scans) emailed me a one page written report wit the results. No images were shown on that report. At my following appointment she discussed the report with me. She commented that there were no images to see. I then asked her if she was going to correct the conceptual typo in the report. In the first summary paragraph of the report it said that my PET scan was normal; the remaining two-thirds of the report gave numbers that indicated portions of my brain were not functioning well. Then the first paragraph was repeated at the end but this time the summary was identical in all but one word which said that my scans indicated significant problems. The doctor sent an email to medical transcription while I was there pointing out the problem.

I asked to see the scan and was told that there was nothing for me to see. I was more than a little surprised by that (well a lot surprised!). I had thought that it would be cool to see which parts of my brain were goners and which were lighting up.

A month later I saw my primary neurologist who has been in charge of my care for more than 9 years. I asked her if she had read the report on my PET scan and last MRI. I explained that I was really surprised that the other neurologist told me that there was nothing for me to see. So she then went to her large clinical display, called up my file and showed me sequential MRI and PET scans. It was pretty easy to see changes in my brain over time. Nice pictures, too. I learned a lot about my treatment and disease progression over time.

A picture is worth 10,000 words. Five scans over 10 years is a treasure trove.

Visual patient-provider information exchanges can be aided by images. Self management and that by a caretaker can be aided by images. Memory can be enhanced with images. An understanding of the problem may be more easily achieved by family members and the patient when supported by images. This is a win-win-win-win situation.

The system I used for creating images to manage information allows me to manage myself better, relieve stress I put on caregivers, understand medical research better, and communicate with my doctors clearly. It primarily uses mind maps. Both neurologists have concluded that I use my techniques to compensate for some of my neurological (brain functioning) problems.

There are about 700 posts on this web site about issues in using mind maps, how to do it, my experiences, and “real” examples of using visual thinking methods as my cognitive functioning declined.

Oh … It should be noted I estimate that using visual methods of processing medical information for ONE YEAR are very inexpensive in comparison to ONE Emergency Room visit, ONE primary health care visit, ONE week of a patient’s period of acceptable cognitive functioning, ONE day of wasted homecare, ONE day out of work for a family caregiver. Now let’s multiply that by the number of Americans receiving healthcare through self pay or public insurance programs (Medicaid, Medicare, others) or private company managed health insurers.

Here’s another mind map about how the healthcare system might be made better (and less expensive) by incorporating health care information into mind maps and passing them around among patients, caregivers, family members, friends, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

Click the image to expand the mind map.

As the assault of the pandemic contiunues unabated, I find that I am getting increasingly numb to the causes and the effects. Some call this pandemic fatigue. Others call it trauma. Or overstimulation or shutdown on sensitivity to the continuing clatter. Yeah, I know a vaccine is supposed to save us, but I am so screwed by up by thoughts of what it means that 250,000 souls have been lost in 10 months, I casnnot even envision what it will feel like when 500,000 have died, a marker I think we will hit before the US population has all be vaccinated.

NUMB. No Understanding of the Many Battles.

Why do we fight about whether to wear a mask? The scientific research unequivocally shows masks save lives (including that of the wearer). Will we fight in a few months whether to get vaccinated? Probably so many will refuse that the overall protection for all of our citizens will be limited.

Why do we fight about dealing with the economy? We have far too many people crushed by unemployment. We can create millions of useful jobs that would improve the infrastructure of the country.

Why do we ignore the mental health and psychological processes injured by the ongoing pandemic? I feel crummy from the pandemic, your family and friends do, and you do. We should be able to agree it is a high priority to repair the damage the pandemic is doing to all of us. And, make even more jobs to achieve this.

Why are we so divided as a society? We have brutual political divisions affecting the healthcare and financial systems. We have racism, the denial of equal opportunity, gender and sexual orientation bias, and many other problems that are growing almost as fast as the virus spread.

I am trying hard to get over my own feelings of being NUMB. Maybe you should also try to stop being NUMB.

Click on the image to expand it.

 

CLICK HERE to open another window showing all of the posts to date (more than 20 are expected) in this series on The Great Visual Thinking Machine.

#TGVTM #TheGreatVisualThinkingMachine #MindMap #CognitiveDecline

#Aging #NormalAging #TypicalAging #Alzheimers

This is post is part of a projected series of at least 20 posts. Searching for any of the keywords given above in the search box for this site will list all of the tweets in this series. The search box is located in the upper left corner of each post. The most accurate search should come from TGVTM or #TGVTM.

In the two prior posts (Prologue, Part 1) I have discussed a model for a general model of cognitive information process for improving thinking It is my belief that the model can be used by adults with typical patterns of aging as well as those with cognitive impairment and dementia. The model is characterized by several major features. These are

  1. a large percentage of the information input and process and outcome information are in visual form;
  2. the model uses a unique blend of methods of processing combinations of primarily visual materials.

I call the model The Great Visual Thinking Machine™. The acronym is TGVTM™. The TGVTM is not a physical machine like a computer or automobile. Rather it a combination of procedures and knowledge as well as computer and commonsense algorithms that allow you to easily process large amounts of visual and verbal information. The key to the TGVTM is a way of using “pictures” to organize information, thoughts, and the results of processes. It can aid in better understanding related information, coding complex information into high-information images, an advanced way of increasing the likelihood that the information can be retrieved. The intent of the TGVTM is to produce generally better overall thinking.

Some examples that you might want to consider to visualize my concept are:

  1. the laboratory of Dr. Emmet Brown in the movies Back to the Future I, II, and II;
  2. the chocolate factory of Willy Wonka in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory;
  3. and — of course — the machines built by Cyberdyne Systems for Skynet which then produced the machines in The Terminator and its numerous sequels;
  4. and the last but the best analogy is the programs, environment, and thought processes of the characters living inside The Matrix I, II, and III. Plug Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus into the Matrix and watch their information process become almost entirely visual as they battle Agent Jones and Agent Brown.

The following mind map summarizes some of my visual thinking about The Great Visual Thinking Machine and is procedures and processes.

Who benefits from using TGVTM? Originally I developed it for adults to compensate for Cognitive impairment and Dementia (in many of various forms). Then I considered adults with typical aging processes and believe that it is just as relevant for them, especially if they want to have tools for combatting cognitive decline and disorders. So, every adult.

My conception of TGVTM was partially derived from Tony Buzan’s work on mind mapping; research and theory by J. Singer, J. Antrobus, and G. Huba on daydreaming; research and theory R Gardner, D. Jackson, and S. Messick as well as H. Witkin in individual differences in cognitive process and their relationship to personality and intelligence; R. Sternberg on cognition and intelligence; M. Rohde on sketchnoting and doodling; and S. Brown’s seminal publication on doodling. My ideas about how to implement TGVTM were heavily influenced by C. Griffiths monumental work on the program iMindMap expanding and computerizing Buzan’s theories of mind mapping). Of course, research and writings of dozens of others have also influenced in many different ways.

Oh, one other significant fact. I developed my entire theory and procedures between 2010 and the present (now 2019) during a period when I had cognitive impairment and dementia (of a type which is not Alzheimer’s Disease but rather a type of frontotemporal lobar degeneration) I started with a knowledge. The work started with ideas I had developed since the release of the computer program MindManager 2 a decade earlier and my experimentation with it and later versions.

As to the proof that The Great Visual Thinking Machine works, they are limited to the development of the method to personally assist me while having dementia and trying to lead a productive and full life with the condition. However before you run away muttering I’m nutz or live in a state where marijuana is legal,, consider the objective indices I would use to support the positive effects of The Great Visual Thinking Machine on me. Between 2012 and now (early 2919), I have built a following of about 135,000 on Twitter. I have about 5,000 additional followers on other social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest).  I wrote a well-reviewed book. I appear on many top 10, 25, or 100 lists of social media experts-influencers. I do my laundry, remember the places I loved most for vacations, have organized memories of everything from favorite movies and Allman Brothers songs to special moments and sporting events and concerts I went to. I’ve analyzed many daily-life decisions and their impacts for me and my family. Without the TGVTM I’ don’t believe I would have accomplished any of this, and the next post will explain why.

Click the images to expand them.

tgvtm™

The COVID-19 pandemic and all of the problems it has exposed or created in 2020 is far more than the transmission of the coronavirus.

It is my belief that COVID-19 is but one part of the pandemic. In the mind map diagram below I listed 14 plagues of the pandemic.[I rarely write about my personal religious beliefs but in this case, explaining mine is necessary to explain how I feel about the pandemic. I am sorry if you are offended.]

No matter how much individuals and communities pray to a Divine Being, it is my belief that Divine Intervention is not going to solve these problems whether you believe in Agnosticism, Animism, Atheism, Buddhism, Chinese Traditional Religion, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, as well as any other major religions (or their non-religious but humanistic alternatives) that I have inadvertently omitted from the list.

We created all of the plagues that relate to COVID-19 and I believe we need to get ourselves out of them. It is not enough to rush to do medical research to eliminate the pandemic. We need to solve the problems of food insecurity, violence, poverty, intolerance, inadequate mental health, non-belief in science, and many others on my list of 14 plagues of which COVID-19 is but one.

We created this current mess. We need to solve it. Then we will have a kind and productive world that meets the needs of all. It is my belief that the Divine Beings and humanist non-religious congregations all require this commitment on our part. So if you are not working on eliminating one or more of these plagues, get off your butt. We would all benefit from your commitment and hard work. And I believe the Divine Being(s) you worship will all smile at the kindness and hard work.

Click on the image to expand it.

By George J Huba PhD (Psychology)

After working hard (or some would say, “struggling) to continue having a good life with dementia, many (including me) find they must eventually come to the final obstacle of almost debilitating apathy and hurdle over it. It is very hard to commit the energy and time to fight back against the apathy which naturally results from knowing you will have to keep working so hard at fighting back for the rest of your life.

Take a deep breath. You can do it and then do it again tomorrow. Do remember that all of us who deal with dementia face the same general set of obstacles every day. And maintaining a “normal” or typical lifestyle is well worth it.

A mind map showing the major issues. Click on the image to expand its size.

Dementia Hurdle

No covid vaccine yet. Even if one were to be fully tested and proven safe and effective tomorrow, you probably could not get a shot until 6-9 months later.

Mask use seems to be topping out at around 70% in the United States and even conscientious mask wearer and social distancers are getting pandemic fatigue and less conscientious about always using protective behaviors.

The USA is not using behavior change and social support methods to help deal with unhealthy and potentially virus-spreading behaviors.

Instead of promising a vaccine and telling me to wear a mask, how about some social support methods to help with people feeling the depression and anxiety and hopelessness and fatigue and loneliness that comes during a pandemic. Most Americans could use some support in dealing with the balance between working and providing childcare/homeschooling. Or the frustration of being alone at Thanksgiving.

How about promoting behavior change and showing people how to get a mask to fit comfortably and correctly, or showing people how to judge they are six feet away from others. How about getting cigarette smokers to stand 12 feet away from others as they do the huffing and puffing thing in service to nicotine addiction.

A lot of people would benefit from counseling and group support-self help groups during a pandemic.

Many need a case manager to help them get food or a place to live or a job or child care or eviction or mortgage default. Others may need a legal counselor to help deal with problems incurred because of wholesale job loss and the resultant loss of life savings.

To stop the spread of COVID-19 you cannot just tell someone to wear a mask or not go to a family member for support.

What you need to do is to help individuals with pandemic fatigue and other problems find ways to constructively deal with the pandemic and get help from public sources.

Fortunately, most of the social services needed to help many people deal better with the pandemic can be provided by trained mental health and healthcare professionals and their assistants. When provided by telephone or video sessions or online support groups and counseling or specific advice to someone getting evicted these services are much less expensive than treating someone in the hospital or outpatient clinic who has become infected with COVID-19. And of course, every person who gets COVID-19 can potentially die or be affected by lingering symptoms for the rest of their lives, and the cost of any life or development of a lifetime disability is one we should try to avoid as completely as possible.

If we want to cut the levels of COVID-19 we need to up the prevention, support, and behavior change services we provide.

Click on the mind map to expand it and look at the issues in providing behavioral and support services that could make it easier for people to avoid dangerous behaviors that spread the disease.

XMIND is a mind map app available for all major notebook computers and all major smartphones. You can use the app with the defaults and get good results after a few hours and very good results after a day. There is a free trial period.

I consider this app to be the #1 choice for beginners and intermediate users. Most users of mind maps will find it does a great job and have no need to move up to the two more advanced apps available for expert users.

I also find that XMIND by default produces mind maps that communicate very well with other mind map users.

You can click on the mind map if you want to expand it.

In case you were wondering which topics might be selected for mind maps to help patients and their caregivers with cognitive disabilities or dementia …

Click the image to expand it.


And, yes you are correct, this is the same diagram as in the prior post with just the title changed from sketchnotes to mind maps.

I think that is the exact point I am trying to make.

Use what works.

 

A caregiver looking at a person with (advanced) dementia can easily conclude that it is impossible to motivate them to do tasks that are “easy” (washing dishes, taking the garbage to the recycling bin, calling and making their own doctor appointment, or cleaning out the garage).

Motivation from the standpoint of the person with dementia such as myself is a much more complicated phenomenon. If you don’t have dementia you may not see it the way I do. Most people who have dementia will not articulate these issues in the way that I do (I have had 30+ years as a psychologist and this medical-psychological language is natural to me). I am convinced, however, that most people with dementia feel some of the things that I describe below. I not that I object to cleaning the garage but rather that in order to clean the garage I have to overcome dozens of fears and anxieties and find different ways to do simple things because I can no longer remember the order of the steps needed to do what seem to be simple tasks.

Please click on the mind map to expand its size.

LOSS OF MOTIVATION DURING DEMENTIA SOME REASONS WHY

2020 was one heck of a year. I documented my year in terms of themes and have shared them as blog posts with mind maps on this site.

Looking back, I should have also documented parts of the year as a visual diary.

I have started to look through my huge collection of Field Notes Books and my mind maps and my blog post and even tweets I sent out to recreate the year.

You will see the whole story later in this blog.

Here is a mind map of the kind of data I am collating from my personal observations over the course of 2020.

 

:)