Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I Am Prosopagnosic

Public becomes personal. Since I have decided to allow a photojournalist to print my story in the New York Times, I have decided this is a good time to go public with at least one of my disorders, Prosopagnosia. Here is the note I sent to my friends and acquaintances, directing them to the story, and more importantly, the video on the NYTimes web site. Its like sitting at the top of the first and tallest roller coaster ride hill, poised to pour downward into what you know will be series of ups and downs. Its freeing and scry to tlk about this. Here we go . . .

 Link at bottom of page. Check out the video especially. My dog and boy
 are in it.

 For those of you that do not already know, here it is in the NYTimes
 today, Tuesday. For as long as I have known you, I have had
 Prosopagnosia and Topographical Agnosia, or Topographic Disorientation
(you'll have to look that up, too much too explain). This may explain
 some awkward situations during our interactions, but most likely not.
 I have spent most of my life lying and denying to hide these deficits.
My online support group (we would never meet face-to-face in a
 physical support group) has convinced me that all Prosopagnosic's
lives would be easier if more people knew about it. I have always been
reluctant to bring it up, preferring to make excuses and pretend I
 know people.

 I do have very good coping skills, so I can often figure people out.
 Contrary to the article in nytimes linked to my article, I have
extremely good voice recognition skills. I also use physical stature,
body movements, gait, etc. to identify people. I have had a lot of
 practice, and if all else fails, I just act like I know you, and fake
my way though the conversation.

 The preferable situation is that I "come out" in this fashion, tell
people my problem, and they identify themselves when they see the
blank look on my face. You have to look quick though:)

For those of you who have trouble remembering names, you are in good
company. 80% of Americans report trouble remembering names. I, on the
 other hand, am great at it - a coping skill I guess. The researchers
 estimate 2% of the population have Prosopagnosia. I could go on and on
about this, but there is more info links and articles on my blog

 Please feel free to forward this link to others. The more people that
 know about this, the better. Also, feel free to ask all the questions
 you want. It is hard for me to bring up this subject, but I could talk
 all day about it to interested people. It is fascinating and strange,
 even to me, even after all these years.


 Here's the nytimes link:

 The video link is on the same page, and is more in depth on me and
 living with Prosopagnosia or PA as we say.