Anonymous said: Every so often, this person will say to me things like, "it must be so cool to have prosopagnosia," and it makes me so uncomfortable. I care about them, but how do I tell them to stop saying that? I tried explaining that having prosopagnosia has made my life harder in a lot of ways, and all the frustrations I deal with on a daily basis. i will think they understand, but then they say that again.
Jeesh, that’s awful that they keep saying that. If anything, my friends and family members only poke fun at me but never envy what can be a debilitating disorder. One of the things I’d recommend is being up front the next time they say that and kind of go off on them. If they have repeatedly said it, even after you’ve explained how prosopagnosia is not something of which to envy, then they really need to be told straight out to not say that to you. It may also help to have another friend talk to them and tell them that they need to stop saying that; you need an ally at times.
It reminds me of how, when I was a teenager, my mother would constantly comment on my acne. One day, when she was making me upset about it, I kind of exploded at her and told her that I never want to hear her comment on it again and that I demanded that she never bring up the subject because I was well aware of my own acne and did not need her to constantly remind me. My step-dad talked to her afterwards to help stress the point that she was being needlessly mean to me, which I think really helped. The whole experience was firm and involved tears, but it worked (and several years on, she still doesn’t say anything).
dimestore-duchess said: Hiya! I wanted to pose this question to my fellow prosopagnosics: do any of y'all also have motor tics of any kind? I have a tic that showed up when I was a baby and has stuck around (I'm 31), although fortunately people think it's cute: when I'm very happy or excited, I rub the side of my nose with my knuckle. I'm interested to see if it's common for faceblind folks have other unusual neurological things going on, especially, but of course not limited to this.
I haven’t heard of motor ticks being associated with prosopagnosia, but I’ll put this up to my followers to see if anyone else has had a similar experience.
xeniawarriorprincesa said: Aside from the self loathing, I always wonder if the way we perceive beauty is different from how other people do. I know I will usually point out a person to someone and say I think they are attractive only to have that person point out the flaws and tell me they actually aren't as attractive as I make them out to be. But I notice myself being drawn to people who look different like girls with pixie cuts or freckles. Or if they remind me of someone i know or a character.
I think that we become the type of people who become attracted to certain aesthetics more than physical looks. For me, I like to find unique features on someone, and I also memorise their wardrobes. My best-friend calls me “clothing-sexual” because of this, because I find myself judging people’s levels of attractiveness based solely on what they’re wearing.
xeniawarriorprincesa said: Quotes like "Once you meet someone, you never truly forget them" really upset me and cause a lot of self loathing because this has never been true for me. I forget them all the time. I had only been graduated for half a year and could not tell if the girl standing in the supermarket next to me was the same girl I spent 4 years with in class. I hate that quote. I really do. I just want to cry and scream and make it never be said again. I hate my prosopagnosia so much. I just want to be normal.
I feel ya; it can be really tough. For the longest time, I thought that I must be really self-absorbed or a bad person because I couldn’t tell who was who. I hope that things get easier for you—that you find some easy ways to tell folks apart or get a good group of friends who are supportive. Best of luck!
Anonymous said: Hii, so I know this guy since almost six years and I've liked him since. But all this time, when he's not around, I can't picture his face in my head. I can picture anyones face who I just met yesterday or someone I haven't met in years but this person whom I see every once in a while won't show up in my head. Is this something related to prosopagnosia?
I’m not certain if this would have anything to do with prosopagnosia because of its selectivity. Prosopagnosia is a disorder of the fusiform gyrus, which controls facial recognition, so it tends to be all or nothing. When there is variation in recognition, it usually refers to people having varying skill at facial recognition rather than being able to remember one person but not another.
The way it sounds with there being some kind of selective nature in not being able to recall one particular face, you may be encountering something psycho-somatic or possibly a problem with memory retrieval.
Anyone else want to add in?
self-esteem-deprivation-clinic said: Hi friend (I don't yet know your name). I'm Katrina and I've been on tumblr for about 2 years. Anyway I just searched for prosopagnosia and found your blog and omg I'm sure you understand how elated I am to know there's someone else with face blindness. I'll be submitting stories occasionally if that's ok. Just wanted to introduce myself. Take care, xoxo -k
Aw, I’m glad that you found the blog! There are quite a few of us out there, and though we aren’t the biggest group on Tumblr, it’s still fun that people will occassionally share stories. Feel free to submit stories any time. :)
I have a good story that happened to me last weekend. I was at a party and there was a huge 3x3 ft picture above the tv of a guy with his hair in a bun on his head and a colorful sweater or something. The whole night I was looking at it thinking “wow that person looks really familiar” but I didn’t want to ask someone because I figured it had to be someone really obvious if I was getting such a strong feeling that I should know him. The next day I was asking my boyfriend about this guy I met at the party and how well the host knew him and my boyfriend replied “they’re best friends, didn’t you see the huge picture of him above the tv”. The guy in the picture had been sitting no more than 5ft away from the picture for a significant portion of the night and I was sitting across from him and never made the connection! In my defense he has short hair now though.
lennat said: I don't picture characters' faces at all. I picture their movements, their size, their colors of skin and clothes, and especially their hair. If there are too many characters in a book (i.e. ASOIF), I can easily lose track of them, though I don't know if that is because of my prosopagnosia or not.
I think that may be the case for most people reading ASOIF, actually (or at least it certainly was in my case). But yeah, I often don’t even picture a face whilst reading because it would just take too much effort to design a face in my head and then immediately not know what that face looks like.
dimestore-duchess said: Most of the time, my prosopagnosia is an inconvenience at worst and a great icebreaker at best. But... I just had a man come to my door and ask if I wanted to take a walk. It took me a few minutes of talking to this guy before I realized that I didn't already know him, he was just some dude. It felt so, so vulnerable. Friend, or creeper? By the time I've determined this, I've already engaged with this person. This is the scariest/worst part of faceblindness for me.
Ah man, that’s actually pretty terrifying. I’ve never quite had something like this happen to me, though I have followed the wrong families out of stores. I even followed this woman on a cruise ship up three flights of stairs before I realised that she wasn’t my mother.
dimestore-duchess said: Hi there! Still new to Tumblr but hoping I'm using the right format to comment to you. I have moderate prosopagnosia and definitely appreciate the community I've found here. So I have a question to pose to anybody else who'd like to share their experience: how do you visualizes characters in books? In my head, whole groups of characters might dimly resemble whoever I might know IRL whose face I can "grasp" best. And boy, do I get 'em mixed up.
Hi and welcome to Tumblr!
I know what you mean about having trouble with book characters and visualisations for them. I try not to imagine characters as someone I know because I’m afraid I’ll apply characteristics from that person onto the character. Instead, I have to draw out how I imagine them or else fall into this trap of reusing the same face in my head for every character. This means that pretty much every woman and every man look identical save for having different hair or skin tones or what have you. It’s very difficult for me to attach a visualisation to the name while reading and is also a challenge when writing. I write fiction ad tend to have very diverse characters when it comes to ethnicity, race, hair, etc., but I have to do a lot of research in describing their face. I google image all kinds of facial features and break them down into shapes so that I can describe them to the reader. Then I immediately forget that the character looked like that because their face is really just a blob in my head anyway. Either way, it’s difficult.
What does everyone else do for book characters? Send a message here.
I can recognise a famous model whose picture is often posted on tumblr because of her distinctive eyebrow shape, and it makes me feel super human. Or, like, normal human.
point-d said: For me the hardest thing to deal with is movies. Forget recognizing actors- I have trouble keeping the characters separate (I though Leonardo di Caprio and Brad Pitt were the same person during the Oscars). My family loves to tease me about this, but it's extremely embarrassing to have to keep asking "Is he the guy from the last scene, or is he the bad guy?", only to find out that they're one and the same. Any tips?
Oh man, I feel ya. Films are so difficult because they give you less cues for telling differences amongst characters. I’ve tried memorising hair and eyebrow shape in the past, but that doesn’t work the best. I’m still getting people confused or thinking that two characters are the same person the entire film. The best recommendation is to watch things around people who are understanding and will help you. My friends will laugh at times when I ask who is who, but for the most part, they quickly tell me the information that I need without any question. They’ve come to understand that I honestly need the help, so it’s no longer a big deal.
Anonymous said: First off, I'm glad that this blog exist and that you feel open to educating the public on a matter that is still not full understood. I do not have prosopagnosia but I am very curious about. I understand that individuals tend to difficulty recognizing faces but not objects. In your personal experience, have you ever noticed any difficult recognizing multiple faces if it were to be drawn in-front of you so that you can identify each component of a face as they emerged to make a whole face?
If the faces were side by side, I would still be able to detect differences, regardless of whether they were drawn in front of me. But just seeing something created in front of me doesn’t seem like the most helpful. I’d probably go right back to my usual identification techniques of breaking the face down into shapes to see if anything was recognisable. Chances are, you could draw famous portraits or people I know, and I’d still not be able to identify them.