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Customer Discussions > Health forum

I have NO sense of direction AT ALL

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Showing 1-25 of 349 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 29, 2011 8:46:02 AM PDT
_nevermind_ says:
I am a 20 year old college student and have been plagued with what I can only describe as 'spatial problems'. I am not dyslexic. I can read with no problems. In fact, English is my best subject. However, I have major issues with direction. If I get turned around in a building, I don't know which way I came from. One time, I got turned around in a large McDonald's and couldn't find the exit. It was embarassing. Also, I have problems with left/right navigation. I don't think its normal for a 20 year old to have to use the left handed "L" trick to remember which way is right. I am moderately bad at math if that has anything to do with it. I can only have one destination somewhere. For example, if I want to go to Starbuck's I take the same streets every time. Short cuts will get me lost. I am useless without my GPS. When I play video games, I always use inverted controls or I will aim down when I meant to aim up. I can't play games that don't have mini maps or I will get hopelessly lost and have to start it over. Is there something wrong with me? Is there a form of dyslexia that doesn't effect reading and writing. My other medical conditions are asthma and migraines. I have brought this issue up to a few doctors and they basically told me that I'm stupid. Does anyone else have a similar problem?

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 8:48:22 AM PDT
_nevermind_ says:
Wow, I just re-read my post for errors. Look what I found, "I don't think its normal for a 20 year old to have to use the left handed "L" trick to remember which way is right." That is exactly what I'm talking about. I typed the word 'right', but I meant to type 'left.'

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 9:16:33 AM PDT
Chris C Wood says:
I read an article a few months ago written by someone with the same problem. I don't remember many details, but the article was probably in a magazine called The Week if you want to try to track it down. It would have been in a section at the end called "The Last Word".

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 9:50:59 AM PDT
Treehugger© says:
When I go to a new place to hike in the woods, many times I willl copy the map onto another piece of paper so I engrain it somewhat into memory. You could try that? Try to remember, as an example: take second right, first left, second left etc. Talk the directions aloud and try that diferent route. I used to be afraid to negotiate the many trails across the street from where I grew up but over time I kept at it and got good at it. Look at maps a lot.

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 7:32:29 PM PDT
Yep, your brain is elsewhere when your body is in motion - so it is not able to discern landmarks. Way back when I knew a guy who was in his high school marching band and no amount of practice ever got him in the right place when he was supposed to be there nor could he march in step. The band director finally had to have him stand in one place and worked out routines around that.
It was during the years when the U.S. still had a draft so he enlisted in the Naval Air Force when still in college ---- he got through it and even reenlisted at some point so somehow he must have finally worked out the problem.
Wish I knew how, I'd share the info with you.

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 7:53:07 PM PDT
JWB says:
Your hippocampus has to do with spatial memory and navigation.
It atrophies after post traumatic stress disorder or periods of prolonged stress or depression. If you have difficulty remembering things and a bad sense of direction, maybe this can explain it a little?

Posted on Jul 30, 2011 2:41:17 AM PDT
Treehugger© says:
map reading and navigation is simply a skill like any other skill. I know many people that are bad at it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2011 8:10:23 PM PDT
OldAmazonian says:
I though it was those tiny particles of magnetite in our brains that oriented us to the earth's magnetic poles. How much more wrong could I have been?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2011 9:45:35 PM PDT
traveler33 says:
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Posted on Jul 31, 2011 12:54:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2011 12:55:41 AM PDT
Zax Neon says:
This is a real condition. I have it also. Google "Directional Dyslexia". I was so relieved when I found other people with the same problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2011 1:32:37 AM PDT
_nevermind_ says:
My friends always give me a hard time about this. If it's normal to get lost in mcdonalds, then I'm relieved. I'm not a hypochondriac ; I was just wondering if anyone had the same problem with getting lost that I do.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 2:00:14 AM PDT
Treehugger© says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 8:52:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2011 9:15:49 AM PDT
Rather than give in and give up, Force yourself to use the video game in the proper manner for 21 Days (the approx time to break a habit).
To ingraine a technique or body movement in say,.... something like Karate, 3000 repetitions)

Get a bearing of where you park your car before you enter The Mall (sometimes word association becomes a game and will imprint) Then notice which store you see first when you enter The Mall
(then no matter what happens, You can use the Mall's Store Map, When your ready to escape.

You probably had trouble with Algebra because your Black and White Logic would not allow Letters to Somehow become Number Equations.

And if you ever get married and "Your Wife says Turn Here", Just do it and Bite Your Lip.
(you might hurt your lip, But you'll Save Face)

Yes, I am willing to tell you this from self experience. ;>)

Now if we can only get grocery stores, to "Quit Moving Things Around".

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 11:50:53 AM PDT
traveler 33 is obviously an uniformed bully. I've had directional dyslexia since I was a little girl. My father also had it. Take heart...things get easier as time goes by. We learn survival techniques and coping strategies to help us get where we are going. For instance...if it is difficult to follow a map, perhaps writting out the directions, step by step would be more helpful. Use mnemonics. Make up little rhymes or a funny sentence using the first letter of the different street names going in order. Study a map of your block, your town, your city. For the longest time I didn't understand the whole North, South, East, West thing. My grade school teacher just told me that North was always "up". Well, that threw me for a loop right there. Also, streets and avenues are layed out it specific ways, and odd and even numbers are on different sides of the street. Now, I know this all seems very obvious to most people, but for those of us who suffer from this condition, we have to learn these things. Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 12:51:57 PM PDT
_nevermind_ says:
Thank you Kathy and Conan. I will use those techniques. It's good to know that other people have problems with directions. I do have black and white logic. It's a gift because I have more common sense and better grammar than most. It's a curse because I struggle with abstract thinking. I appreciate your suggestions :)

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 2:21:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2011 3:06:31 PM PDT
Treehugger© says:
the worst thing you can do when you get lost is panic. That goes for going to a state of anxiety as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 2:48:31 PM PDT
_nevermind_ says:
Sorry, RMM. I was skimming this forum and missed your input. Your advice is good. I do need to pay more attention to my surroundings.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 3:06:14 PM PDT
Treehugger© says:
You are welcome

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 3:30:57 PM PDT
B. Kaufman says:
@PFulton: Marching is not a required skill in the navy after boot camp. All you have to do is fake it for 6-9 weeks and forget it. If you get the opportunity, look at the PO3 and 2 manual (the generic manual, not the specialist manual , as in BM3 and 2, or MM3 and 2). Nowhere in there is a requirement that you learn to march, or even be able to tell north from east. You only need to know forward from aft, port from starboard, and that is usually so you can find your bunk. (If you find yourself in some other guys bunk often, it may be a problem.)

If you are a navigator, however, a good sense of spatial direction is a plus.

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 4:18:58 PM PDT
Treehugger© says:
Navigation is a learned skill. Like anything in life, if you enjoy it you can spend more time at it and get better at it.

If you look at the ground when you walk around, guess what? you will either get lost or lose your sense of direction.

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 4:20:59 PM PDT
Treehugger© says:
If you walk into the woods in a straight line and are afraid of getting lost, the best thing is to keep looking BACK often as you go further in.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 6:57:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2011 7:03:21 PM PDT
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Posted on Aug 2, 2011 7:44:51 AM PDT
Robin K says:
I have the same problem with direction. Mine is because of ADD. I have found life so much easier since GPS! One thing that helps me is when I go shopping, I always try to park in the same area, the same row, if possible. If I park in an unfamiliar place, I will write down where I park. Just writing it down is usually enough to plant it in my memory. When I go into a mall, I say out loud, 'I came in the the door by the shoes'. I can identify with you and I hope you find tricks to help because it is likely to be a lifelong issue. Good luck

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2011 7:56:39 AM PDT
If you think of it as sort of being a funny quirk about yourself, You'll handle it admirably.
Every one excells in different areas, So focus on your talents and don't worry about it.
(I won't be Guiding any camping trips and I'm used to the idea)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2011 9:43:58 AM PDT
Mjddon says:
you are wrong about directional dyslexia. there are other symptom:
Directional confusion may take a number of forms, from being uncertain of which is left and right to being unable to read a map accurately, says Dr. Beve Hornsby in her book Overcoming Dyslexia. A child should know his left and right by the age of five, and be able to distinguish someone else's by the age of seven. Directional confusion affects other concepts such as up and down, top and bottom, compass directions, keeping one's place when playing games, being able to copy the gym teacher's movements when he is facing you, and so on. As many as eight out of ten severely dyslexic children have directional confusion. The percentage is lower for those with a mild condition, she says.
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Discussion in:  Health forum
Participants:  87
Total posts:  349
Initial post:  Jul 29, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 22, 2016

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