I am 21 years old and I have always had a ridiculously bad sense of direction to the point where it affects my life. I literally get lost doing any small thing. I still get lost in my hometown and I've lived there my entire life. I can barely remember the exact route to get anywhere even if I've been there a million times. Its to the point where my family and friends don't want me to drive anywhere cause they know i'll get lost going to the most simple place, even if I've been there before. I get lost in any building that is bigger than a shoe box. I don't have dyslexia or any other disorder. In fact, I am an English major in college and am a decent student. It is only when it comes to my sense of direction that I feel like I have a real disorder. Everyone who knows me even says that this is a serious problem for me. Is this any sort of disorder and is there some sort of medicine or thing that I can do to help with this. Please help me!!!!
Welcome to the site.
I am Dr. Kaushik and I believe I can help you with your problem.
Kindly please answer a few queries.
1) Apart from your tendency of loosing sense of direction do you also tend to forget instructions given to you or leave tasks at hand incomplete ?
2) Has there been any history of head injury , high grade fever or any poisoning in the past ?
3) Have you been ever evaluated and treated so far ?
I will get back to you once you reply to my queries.
1. I don't have problems following directions or leaving tasks incomplete. Sometimes I can be a little forgetful in that i'll loose my keys or leave my umbrella somewhere, but nothing to the point where it is a problem.
2. I don't have any history with head injuries, high grade fever, or poisoning.
3. I've never been evaluated for this before.
Thanks for the valuable inputs.
Well you see with chief complaints restricted to loss of sense of direction there are 3 main differential diagnoses which can be considered such as --
1) Attention Deficit Disorder ( ADD), quite possibly of mild to moderate variety since only loss of sense of direction is effected.
2) Topographical Disorientation which is described as a condition where in the individual looses sense of his surroundings which often result in difficulties in finding paths / routes and often getting lost. But this disorder is usually associated with localized organic brain damage which is not the case as per your own admission.So this disorder is most likely ruled out as the underlying cause of your problem.
3) Dementia but this disorder has other significant features as well such as forgetfulness, poor recall and language problem, etc which you do not have plus this disorder is mostly associated with middle to old age people, so this disorder too gets ruled out as the cause.
So you see out of 3 plausible disorders only 1 disorder that is ADD seems to be the most appropriate for justifying your condition, so I reckon that you get yourself evaluated for ADD from a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist and get this disorder confirmed or ruled out , any which way you will get a direction to move in at the end of evaluation. If you do not have ADD then you can just consider this as a result of your callousness and absent minded personality which can be dealt with by using meditation therapy.
But if ADD comes out to be the culprit, even then should not panic as this condition too is treatable with the help of drug. Ritalin at dose of 5-60 mg / day in two divided doses or Adderall xr 10-30 mg / day as a single dose can be used to manage your ADD.
So first things first kindly get yourself evaluated by a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist for ADD. Also investigations such as EEG and CT scan brain may be carried out by discussing it with your primary doctor to rule out any organic pathology that may be contributing to your condition which can only be an early sign for us to take note of an inevitable future severe condition.
If no organic pathology is found after doing EEG and CT scan brain and if ADD comes out to be the reason behind all of this then you shall ask your doctor to start you on any one of the above mentioned psycho-stimulant drugs which will take care of your current problem.
I hope this helps.
Wish you all the best.
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Are you sure there is no pill for memory or some other disorder that specifically is about bad sense of direction. Maybe like spatial dyslexia or something? Please, this is a real problem area for me.
Well I can understand your concern and I am taking your complaint very seriously but you got to understand that this needs to be evaluated thoroughly via live one to one sessions with a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist along with the two mentioned investigations which are essential to rule out any organic cause so that by exclusion we can reach to a conclusive definitive diagnosis.
I have mentioned to you two drug names which are psycho-stimulants, any one of which can be started to improve your memory , concentration and focus, so kindly discuss and try one of them.
In visuo-spaitial dysliexia the person is unable to recognize group of letters and reproduce them in words and phrases in speech. Plus the reading and writing are also effected.