Monday, March 19, 2012

Watch a special on face blindness

This past weekend 60 Minutes aired a segment onprosopagnosia, which is face blindness, which I definitely struggle with. Prosopagnosia can manifest in different degrees. Some people don't recognize their own faces in a mirror or photograph.

For me, it means I don't recognize people easily. It can take weeks or months for me to memorize a new face, depending on how often I see the new acquaintance or co-worker. I've introduced myself more than once to the same person at a party. I've failed to recognize people I work with every day. I've started telling people upon meeting them, "I have prosopagnosia which is face blindness and it means I do not remember faces. So if I see you at the supermarket tomorrow and I totally ignore you, please don't be offended. It's just that I'll have no memory of what you look like."

People have usually never heard of this brain dysfunction, but they're nice about it, lucky for me. If I see a face over and over again, it eventually sinks in, but it can take a quite a while. There are countless people I've seen only once who I'll never remember.

The 60 Minutes segment was very well done and was about half an hour long. I’m very grateful for this show because the more people know about face blindness, the easier my life is. My dream is that one day people will have this information in mind every time someone appears to snub them. I want them to think, “Why didn’t she say hello? Did I make her mad? Doesn’t she like me? Or does she have face blindness?”

That would be so helpful for people like me!


FLameFL said...

Thanks so much for your blog. At the tender age of 66 I'm realizing that I've had this condition all of my life and haven't been able to put a finger on it. Have been embarrassed many time by not recognizing people I've met before and have re-introduced myself only to be told that they met me (yesterday, last week, last month)...whichever. So, finally I've begun to tell people that I have face blindness and I get blank stares and then after the explanation of what it is, they are okay with it.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

FlameFL - I think being open about it is the best way to go with prosopagnosia. Thanks for your comment.