Does anyone else here have an inability to recognize faces (Prosopagnosia)?


#1

During my first go at ADHD diagnosis years ago, I discovered that my visual memory ranked in the 7th percentile. I knew that I always had a difficulty recognizing people, but this confirmed it. I didn’t realize that I was so awful compared to other people. I know that I rely heavily on variable things (hair, glasses, clothing, and especially context). For instance, if I see someone who I know well, in a city 500 km away, they’ll ‘remind’ me of that person, but I won’t know for sure. The odds of that person being here are so low. However any normal person would just instantly recognize that person.

If someone I know changes their hair, wears contacts (instead of normal glasses), or other changes - I’ll struggle. I’ll think that I’m right, but I don’t always feel confident enough to say yes, that’s the same person.

Edit: Apparently someone pretty much wrote my post for me already 6 years ago - http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116521


Hello Brainz!
#2

Wow… That’s a new one to me.

Who know’s if I have that too? Although I probably don’t.
But then I didn’t think I had ADHD a month ago…

I do have problems with faces sometimes, especially in a group of people. I might meet somebody, and then constantly confuse them with somebody else, especially when they have similar features.

At work, everybody wears the same uniform, with a helmet and safety glasses. Going to the wet mess for a beer after work, half the time I don’t recognise the guy I spent an hour talking with that morning, because they’re not wearing the hard hat or glasses.

Rarely have that problem with women, mostly men. There just aren’t as many women at work as there are men for one thing. And the heterosexual male brain processes the sight of a woman differently to that of a man I guess.

The context is the thing, like you say. If I bump into someone in civilian clothes from work when I’m back in my home city, I can walk right past them and never notice.

I can’t say that I have the same thing as you, but you’ve made me think. So thanks!


#3

Yeah, i have to meet someone a few times before i can remember their face. And even then, if its a different place, i cant guarantee i will… i had many problems by this.


#4

Sounds like it to me. The problem for things like this (and ADHD) is not knowing what ‘normal’ is. To us with any mental difference, normal is how we are.


#5

You probably also have had this experience:

Q: Isn’t that the guy/girl from ___________ (movie/show)?
A: Uhhhhh


#6

Yes… I often thought that I was the normal one and everybody else was strange.


#7

I don’t usually have too many problems with actors, but quite often actors become successful because they have distinctive features that set them apart.

And they have plenty of marketing and promotion, which the average punter on the street doesn’t get very often.


#8

I’ve been thinking for quite a while that I might have a mild case of this. I mostly identify people by anything but their faces - their clothes, hair, facial expressions, posture and movements. The face may or may not play a part, I’m not sure. If a not-too-close friend changes their look completely, I think I can figure it out but it takes some work. (I htink I’m good with close friends unless they bring their siblings along.)

I do know that I have a hard time recognizing even some of my favorite actors from magazine covers, especially the good-looking ones who don’t stand out among other good-looking ones. It’s just that they don’t have any of their mannerisms on a photograph. Also, magazine covers are often doctored.


#9

Posture and movement, yes! And voice, if i can. Names? Not so much :smiley:


#10

Voices? Not me. I’m almost completely lost on voices. Just record them a little differently and I’m out.


#11

I also have problem with names and connecting it to faces, so… yeah. Happens :smiley:


#12

I do not have trouble recognizing faces, but I think it is very interesting to read about. I am very good at facial recognition, however, it is usually that I can’t remember their name. I might remember it was a person I spent hours talking to or that they had an interesting story but don’t remember more specific details like their name or where they are from.


#13

I’m actually decent with names, details, voices. I tell people that I’m not good with names & faces, but it’s really the faces to names that I have trouble with.


#14

I am terrible with faces! It is very embarrassing. Never thought this was an adhd thing, but there are a lot of yeses here…!


#15

I have it too. My case is not very severe, but enough to be quite annoying. Wikipedia says about it:

“There are many developmental disorders associated with an increased likelihood that the person will have difficulties in face perception, of which the person may or may not be aware. The mechanism by which these perceptual deficits take place is largely unknown. A partial list of some disorders that often have prosopagnosiac components would include nonverbal learning disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism in general. However, these types of disorders are very complicated, so arbitrary assumptions should be avoided.”

It makes sense to me that many of us have that issue.

Edit: an interesting read: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3858904/


#16

It rarely happens but when it does it scares me to death like this one time I came from the bathroom and my mom was sitting on the bed I walked passed her while looking at her wondering who is this person when she said my name I got into an awkward fighting position and after looking at her for a while I relaxed and belly flopped into the bed heaving a sigh of frustration I literally thought I was gonna die


#17

That’s what it’s like for me. I’m very visual, so recognizing things I’ve seen before, like faces, is easy. But don’t ask me their name or where I know them from. Recently I met one of my son’s teachers from 2 years ago. I knew I knew her, and she knew me, even remembered my son’s name, but I could not remember her name OR where I knew her from. I always feel so dumb when that happens.

I met a woman in a grocery store recently that I went to highschool with. She remembered me and my name. I remembered her face and that she was from Highschool, but had completely forgotten that she was a really close friend for 2 years or what her name was. I’m sure she must have been hurt that I forgot her. I feel bad that I did too.


#18

I have a similar issue. I rarely forget names of faces but associating the two can be much harder. It was embarrassing at first but I learned to just ask. Renewing a contact can be rewarding + at the very least I can have an honest conversation!


#19

I think I recognize faces quite well, even from decades ago, but am not able to have a mental Image of them. Or anything else. unable to remember how my partner dressed today. Or recognize what changes have been done to her hair, or to the living room after tidying up.


#20

I guess some of that is normal. When I was a kid, grade five or so, the teacher would send one kid out of the classroom and then ask us what kind of clothes he wore. Nobody could tell.

I’ve also wondered about not having a mental image of faces myself, though. No idea if NT brains do that.