2015-06-17 - 2:15 p.m.
Today I want to talk about face blindness, or the scientific name for it: Prosopagnosia. I have this. I am certain of it. Recently, I had an incident where I didn't recognize someone I should have and it prompted me to do a google search and see if this is a thing, or if I'm just nutty in yet another peculiar way. I didn't know the correct name for it so I just googled something like "I forget faces". I found a bunch of info on Prosopagnosia and I realize from having almost every sign of it that I'm one of these people. One article I read said that these people sometimes suspect other people of being imposters. This is amazing to me because when I was little, I used to accuse my mother of being an imposter all the time! I also did not recognize my father when he came back from a military deployment that lasted a year. I asked him if he was really my daddy because he didn't look like the same guy. I remember asking my mother at the breakfast table if she was an imposter (on numerous occasions). That was the exact word I used. Imposter. Funny, since I was only about 7 at the time. I often thought about these kinds of things as a child. Too much Scooby Doo maybe... I had forgotten about the imposter fixation, more or less and was surprised to see it on a list of signs that you may have face recognition problems.
Here are some of the other signs that I have:
1.) You have failed to recognize a friend or family member, especially when you weren’t expecting to see them.
Many times I have run into co-workers and had no clue who they were. I always try to play this off like I know who they are. This is very embarrassing when it happens.
2) You have trouble following films or television shows that have more than a few distinctive characters.
Yep. I get characters confused sometimes. I also get real people confused. I went through high school thinking these 2 different guys were actually one person. One day I saw them both at the same time and it blew my mind.
3) You have difficulty recognizing neighbors, friends, coworkers, clients, schoolmates (etc.) out of context.
Definitely. I need the context to know who it is. I once ran into my long term female massage therapist whom I saw every other week and did not know who she was. She hugged me and I obviously had no clue who she was. One of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Like, top 5 most embarrassing. She totally knew I didn't recognize her and we had been friends for a long ass time.
Despite these stories... I don't think I have a severe case of face blindness. Some people are socially debilitated because of this. I am just occasionally embarrassed by not recognizing people I should recognize and inconvenienced by not being able to visualize things. Some of these face blind people don't even recognize their own face in a mirror! I didn't recognize myself 1 time, but I won't go into that right now.
I also have difficulty following descriptions that require me to visualize floor plans and things like that. I just cannot follow it. I can start the process ok, but I lose the visual as details are added. I just generally have trouble visualizing things. I bet this is related to the facial recognition problem.
I was in a very serious car accident once upon a time and sustained a serious head injury (the scar is under my hair and not visible unless you're looking for it, thank God) but that head injury isn't the reason for this, since I was already not recognizing people and accusing my parents of being imposters long before that. Hah! I did fall out of a moving car as a baby and got stitches to the back of my head right in the occipital area that is the area of injury related to this disorder, come to think of it!
I think the obvious conclusion here is that I would not make a cute bald person because my scalp has too many scars.
Also, I forget faces. I remember the most important faces, like my immediate family, my kid, my corey. But friends, co-workers, acquaintances... I sometimes need the context in order to place the face.
ACK!! Gotta go!
I had a salon appointment for this afternoon and forgot. I was like 10 minutes late. All of a sudden I knew I was screwed and had to take off without proof reading or even finishing. I went into the salon saying "What had happened wuzzzz..."