Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

Face Blindness

Prosopagnosia.  It is a big word.  Worse than trying to spell it –  is trying to understand what it means when you have never experienced it.

People ask, “If you never remember a face, are you truly seeing it the first time?”  Yes, I see your face the first time, and every time, the correct way.  It will all appear as it is supposed to appear.  You have two eyes, a centered nose and directly below that, a beautiful smile on your lips.  However, when I look away, I won’t see it again.  Each time I see your face it is as if I am looking at a person I have never met before.  Even my own.  Often, I am a stranger in the mirror.

I saw and remembered faces before my stroke.  I know that these faces are the same.  I see new faces after the stroke, and I will never remember seeing them again.  Ah, but it is not all that bad.  I figure that everyone now has at least a thousand chances to make a first impression with me!

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Comments on: "Face Blindness" (5)

  1. I just found another blog that has an amazing academic discussion regarding Face Blind. It is very well written and very informative.
    I encourage you to check out this link:
    http://touch2touch.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/face-blind/

  2. Oh wow, amazing; and I have so many questions. Do you want to hear them?

    • I would love to hear your questions! 🙂

      • Okay, here goes:

        * You don’t recognize your own face, and you don’t recognize the faces of new people; do you recognize the faces of your family members? If not, how do your kids reconcile that? (They are very young, right?)
        * Do you remember people that you meet post-stroke? You won’t remember them by face, but if you begin talking to them, do you remember them by voice, and then remember that you know who they are, and things about them?
        * What coping strategies do you use (or perhaps a better way to ask is “what helpful strategies do you employ?”) to help you address this whole issue?

        I can’t even imagine what that might be like; I’m very curious to learn more about your experience. Wow.

        • Great questions! 🙂 I will give you a long answer to these questions on Monday. I want to take the time to answer them. So much of this is now second nature it is hard to answer properly.

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