Fear of Not Being in Control

I would not call this a fear of not being in control phobia as much as being unable to cope with or accept a situation. For many years I thought I suffered from agoraphobia, because I was often very uneasy in crowded situations, but I also was uneasy in smaller groups, like being one of several passengers in a van.

I was finally able to find a common denominator for all the situations that bothered me: I had no control over them. I was okay in a movie theater, but not in an auditorium where the doors were closed and nobody was allowed to leave once the speaker began. I was fine driving a carload of people, but not so if someone else was driving. I believe this even explained my fear of flying; it was not the flying I feared, it was the fact that I was not the pilot. I was able to rationalize this one, given that I was not a pilot and thus could never be in control in that situation.

I believe my phobia developed as a result of my suffering from occasional bouts of Chron's disease. I became overly concerned about being unable to get to a toilet and this resulted in my doing whatever I could to avoid being placed in such a situation. I can remember showing up for presentations too late to get in and missing trips where I was one of a group scheduled to take a van.

It might also be related to my severe stage fright, although I have been unable to make the connection. I can say that the stage fright is so severe that I passed two opportunities for promotion during my working career because accepting them would have meant having to address large groups of people on a regular basis, and my fear of doing that outweighed the financial benefits that I would have received.

I thought I had gotten over my phobia, but, now that I think about it, I still avoid situations where I would not be able to leave on my own.

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