Other Prosopagnosia - face blindness

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I have had problems all my life recognizing people. Most times I am alright with people I know very well. But people that I know casually and see in a different setting I am just lost about. It has caused me much embarrassment. I wonder at times if it has to do with the number of moves I had during the first 2 years in foster care. I feel like it is definitely a developmental thing. Anyone else have issues with this? I would appreciate any other experiences if anyone has any. Thank you.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
For the first 50 or so years of my life, I had issues with remembering what people looked like. Different from what you describe here, but similar, I think. For example, when I used to think about my mom, I couldn't picture her face-in my mind's eye, it looked almost pixelated, like they do on TV sometimes.

That was the case with everybody. Gradually, it got better over the years, so now I can "see" faces.

I did not have trouble recognizing people face-to-face, though. I wonder if it has something to do with the inability or (unconscious) unwillingness to connect with others - maybe due to lack of trust? I don't know...
 

Friday

Moderator
@Kintsugi has talked about this, although possibly only in chat? May still be worth a thread search. She’s not on regularly, but still around from time to time.

I wonder at times if it has to do with the number of moves I had during the first 2 years in foster care.
I would doubt a causal relationship, to simply moving; as it’s not more common amongst military brats, diplomats kids, or other early/often travelers than the general population. If anything, at least anecdotally, the opposite tends to be true; where early exposure to thousands of faces & dozens of caretakers seems to heighten rapid recognition & recall of individual characteristics amongst my cohorts.

I would suspect any correlation is probably far more related to either the developmental trauma, or to dissociative coping mechanisms to deal with developmental trauma, or both.
 

Givrali

MyPTSD Pro
The only thing about it is that prosopagnosia isn't rare amongst autistic but it's not a diagnostic criteria and you don't have to be autistic to suffer of it.
Since I'm autistic I never look closer to identify why I have way more trouble recognizing people than general population.
Fir me it always has be this way and it'll always be like that but people around me are nice and forgive me it easily.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I have a hard time recognizing people outside of their usual context too. So did Oliver Sacks. And, apparently, a lot of other people.

In my case, I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that I also have "aphantasia", which is the inability to voluntarily form actual mental images. For years, I thought "visualizing" was a figure of speech. Turns out some people actually CAN close their eyes and "see" an image of Aunt Maude. Who knew? (Well I didn't, until it came up in therapy. LOL)

From what I know, both of these things are just some kind of neurological quirks. They are areas of research interest but more questions than answers.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
I remember doing some research on this quite a while back (not in direct relation to myself - I was curious about someone on TV who had spoken about her experience with this!)

I was surprised to discover that it’s a pretty common thing - studies have indicated that as many as 1 in 50 people may have developmental prosopagnosia (largely people who have had it since birth as their brains just didn’t develop this ability to recognise faces, rather than having acquired it later eg after a brain trauma) That stat equates to about 1.5 million people in the UK alone, which is a pretty significant number. I don’t know whether it works on a spectrum so some people would experience it more severely than others?

I think there’s also widely considered to be a genetic component, with it often running in families.

So, from what I read before, I think yes it is often a developmental thing, but I don’t think it seems likely that moving a lot in your first couple of years ‘caused’ it. I don’t know for sure though, and it’s certainly a fascinating area.
 

Tinyflame

MyPTSD Pro
Yes that is my problem also, and sometimes if someone has changed their appearance (even hair in a pony tail), I'm really thrown off. Or even they feel like strangers- they often look like strangers.

the inability to voluntarily form actual mental images. For years, I thought "visualizing" was a figure of speech. Turns out some people actually CAN close their eyes and "see" an image of Aunt Maude. Who knew? (
Wow this is me exactly. Like if someone said, picture a bike, I kind of 'draw' 2 wheels and a bike in my head. I might be able to 'see' the bike hanging on the garage wall for a split second (where it is now), but in no other context do I see the/ a bike.

Somewhere I learned however that even a split second image counts as visualization. For me, I suppose it has to be associated with a certain memory (any memory). Which might explain why negative images/ peoples' faces/ memories I can see easily and prolonged, though I don't want to and they are intrusive. Even if they aren't negative people, but the people were experiencing something terrible.

I don't think mine is developmental though.

Yes I think there is a thread somewhere about this.
 

Miyu38

Learning
Hi I'm new on this site and I was gonna post about this but I saw a thread all ready.
I can't remember people's faces even my face is hard to recognize. I can be looking at a video and think that person is me but then it's not or it is me but I have to look to know it is me. Family members I know because of their walk or the little details they always have. If people change their clothes to something they don't wear normally or it changes I have a hard time. I can say hi to strangers and think I know them but I don't. Then people I use to always talk to I will walk right buy them. It's been hard.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I feel like it is definitely a developmental thing. Anyone else have issues with this? I would appreciate any other experiences if anyone has any. Thank you.

Prosopagnosia can result for two reasons: one is congenital/developmental and the other is acquired. I have acquired prosopagnosia and visual agnosia due to a brain injury of my occipital lobe that results in partial cortical blindness (my eyes physically work, but the information in my brain gets scrambled).

When I was first injured I struggled to even be in my apartment && understand where I was. I didn't recognize myself in the mirror && I do not recognize my mom's face or anyone else's face. I have to identify others based on their clothing and vocal patterns, which often results in mistakes.

Sometimes like when I am at the store I will fall beside a total stranger && start talking to them because I thought they were my mom. The visual agnosia impacts my iconic memory processing && I cannot formulate images in my mind either. This impacts my sequential processing, proprioception (where my limbs are in space & where they will be) and ability to do math, as well as my spatial reasoning.
 
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