Is this a disorder or am I simply crazy?

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SplinterStar
Deinonychus
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21 Aug 2009, 4:04 pm

After I got off work yesterday, I met up with somebody that is ‘friends’ with me, had late lunch, went to their place for a coffee after, and even got a ride home. I have never remembered her name longer than 24 hours, her age, or her face for that matter. I faked the entire evening flawlessly. I somehow remember she had a child named Chad (he has a birthmark on his face that looks like a pear, unforgettable thing that mark was), and she somehow knows I have a brother in Alberta (Canada if you didn’t know). We get along splendidly but every time I see her it’s like meeting her for the first time to me. I just draw on information from old conversations with her to keep up with the act. I have been working with this mystery woman for two years.

How is it I memorized every ring on Saturn, the entire periodic table, every episode of family guy, and every page of my favourite dog breed encyclopaedia, but I can’t remember any of my family member’s faces and very identities of coworkers I have been with for many months? What is wrong with me? My memory is excellent but I simply can’t place a human face.

I wake up some days and don’t even recognize my own face, or what year/month it is. I’ve been told what a dime/nickel/penny is for my whole life, but change smaller than a quarter and I’m completely lost. I’m that annoying woman that gives you a five dollar bill for something only worth $1.38. What the hell is the matter with my brain?

I have diagnosed Aspergers, and recognized math dyslexia (can't remember the proper term).



Jaydee
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21 Aug 2009, 4:07 pm

Perhaps you suffer from prosopagnosia? This is one definition:
"Prosopagnosia (sometimes known as face blindness) is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact. The term originally referred to a condition following acute brain damage, but recently a congenital form of the disorder has been identified, which is inherited by about 2.5% of the population. The specific brain area usually associated with prosopagnosia is the fusiform gyrus." (Wikipedia)
The Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria, suffers from this. She's unable to recognize faces.



mgran
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21 Aug 2009, 4:24 pm

Well, I remember my son's face. I'd recognise my Dad in a crowd.

I don't really know what I look like, partly because I can't stand mirrors, and I don't have photos of myself in view, but also because... well, why would I need to look at myself? It's not like I'm ever going to have to pick myself out of a police line up.

If I had to meet my brother, I'd struggle to recognise him. I love him dearly, but I simply never do recognise him. He is beginning to be offended about this, I think. I remember standing on a bench at the train station, anxiously scanning the crowd for him one time... he was standing next to me, irritated and tapping his foot till the penny dropped.

I mean, this is someone I grew up with.

I have no friends from any of my schools. Any time I'm in towns where I went to school, I have people walking up to me saying, "hi... I remember you, you're M... from (such and such a school) I sat behind you in maths/science/english/french..."

Everyone remembers me (usually as the Irish geek) but I don't remember any of them.

There's definitely something wrong with my brain.



buryuntime
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21 Aug 2009, 4:44 pm

I'd also agree with face blindness. The math dyslexia would account for your math problem. The other social difficulties accounted for by Asperger's.

Also, I think craziness would be some kind of disorder... lol



SplinterStar
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21 Aug 2009, 5:06 pm

Well. I'll go hunting on the internet like I always do for new information I wasn't previously aware of. I guess I'm face blind to boot too. Must research face-blindness... *twitch* :P



Aoi
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21 Aug 2009, 5:47 pm

No craziness here. Even non-Aspies can have extreme trouble with faces.

I have trouble with faces, though I have memorized vast quantities of data on a variety of subjects. The brain has "dedicated circuitry" primarily in the occipital lobe for facial recognition. Damage to that circuitry (from a stroke, for instance) can produce face blindness in otherwise healthy people.

Just think of it as a neurological condition. I use a trick to help: I fix in my memory particular facial details, such as ear shape, and associate that with a person's name. Then I can recall the person even if I've not seen him/her for months or longer.