Fear of Getting Lost

There is a whole list of the different kind of phobias people have.  I have a number of them.  I was looking at this list of the different kinds of phobias.  I see that I have quite a few.  One I have had since childhood is a fear of heights, called Acrophobia.  I had that fear since I almost fell out of a tree as an 8-year-old boy. I never climbed another tree after that.  I guess I could fill this entire blog with the number of fears I have.  I have seen my top fear of them all...the fear of being lost, called Mazeophobia.  But, most articles I have read says this is not the true medical term.  Some say the fear of being lost has no clinical diagnosis.  Being lost absolutely makes me lose control of any clear thinking I should have in that kind of situation.  I have even panicked and had to pull over while driving if I got lost. If I can't get my bearings of direction, I am totally wasted at that point.  It is an age-old problem for me.  I try to calm myself.  But, it is almost impossible to do.  I take great care in planning before I go to a place with which I am unfamiliar.  But, yes, even in this age of online maps and highly accurate GPS devices, I still am fearful of getting lost.  This brings me to my point of this entire post.

This past Saturday (03/22/2014),  I finally made the trip to Birmingham, AL to visit my niece and her family in her new home.  She lives in a twisted maze of a neighborhood that requires you to know all the twists and turns to get to your home.  It is a huge neighborhood.  There are approximately 12 different turns to get to her house in this neighborhood.  If you go there without at least a map, I don't see how you could ever get out.  But, if you miss one street by using that map, I don't see how you could ever get yourself corrected.  GPS devices are a lifesaver, at least, to me.  But, even with that GPS app on my smartphone, I am still very nervous.  The problem with getting to her house is that when you make one turn, you are almost immediately told to make another turn because of the short distance between turns.  So, you really have to pay attention to what is going on with your GPS voice-guided instructions.  Now, I got to my niece's home with no problems.  I was still sweating bullets just as I knew I would.  But, when I left her house, I somehow missed a turn.  I was led right into a cul-de-sac.  So, I started to panic.  I was thinking of calling her to help me out or even call 911 for help.  I was lost...for about 30 seconds.  But, the GPS immediately corrected itself and intricately led me out of that maze of a neighborhood.  I was never so glad to be out of a place as I was then, I think.

I don't plan on going back anytime soon.  Even with a GPS, I am still fearful of being lost.  What would happen if the GPS just stopped working?  I don't know what I would do.  I might pass out.  I thought I was going to pass out when I made that wrong turn last Saturday.  But, my fear of being lost is something I have never seen much discussion about.  It may be because it is so rare or maybe because I'm alone in this fear.  That's another phobia I probably have as well!



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