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Blind??

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  • niffmarie
    Hey everyone, I m new to this group, and have recently discovered that I have a REALLY hard time recognizing faces. I remember people by their gait, and the
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 13, 2004
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      Hey everyone,

      I'm new to this group, and have recently discovered that I have a
      REALLY hard time recognizing faces. I remember people by their gait,
      and the outline of their faces or their bodies, I never see faces.

      That said, I've also realized that I'm REALLY oblivious to a lot of
      things. I often can't distinguish between hispanic and black, or
      remember whether someone is what. I don't remember or see buildings
      that I pass everyday on the way to work unless there's some reason
      for me to do so. My dad purchased a new painting and I didn't notice
      it for six months.

      I've never not recognized a family member, however I can never
      remember who is in my class, and it's embarrassing because someone
      will ask me a question, and I think I've never seen them before, but
      they sit right behind me everyday!

      I feel as though I go through life "seeing" through "intuition". I'm
      not a very mystical perosn or anything like that, but I follow my
      instincts more than my sight, and seem lost in my thoughts, and
      unable to remember what I visually perceive.

      Any ideas? It's a little frustrating at this point...

      Thanks!

      Jen
    • mary zeiler
      hi jen, welcome to the group. i hope you find it a warm and supportive group. your constellation of problems is not unique to you and i hope you find
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 13, 2004
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        hi jen,

        welcome to the group. i hope you find it a warm and
        supportive group.

        your "constellation" of problems is not unique to you
        and i hope you find consolation in that. i also hope
        you find it reassuring that your "glitches" are
        recognized medical problems. that was validating to me
        and many others on this list. before i isolated the
        cause of my occassional inability to recognize people,
        i believed that if i only "paid more attention" to
        people i would remember them. i never imagined how
        much i was relying on non-face cues. unlike you, i do
        see faces, but i had the visual memory of a rabbit.

        it's my personal belief that because people here have
        coped so well with being face blind well before they
        knew they were faceblind, that they have developed
        other strengths. i don't know what yours are, but iam
        sure you have them.

        you speak of seeing inuitively. there is much that we
        "see" without realizing we are seeing it. like you, i
        am not a mystical person, but our "instinctive"
        reactions are often correct. someone who understands
        it might explain "blindsight" to you. people with
        visual field deficits often seem to have some
        knowledge of things they cannot see. but you will need
        roz or brad to explain it.

        there are small things you can do to help yourself. my
        friend, who seems to share many of your problems,
        finds it difficult to remember where she parked her
        car. she now saves a text message to herself to remind
        her where the car is, and finds that she "now spends
        less time walking the groceries than the dog." i
        know it doesn't always seem like a funny problem, but
        i think humor is critical for dealing with life,
        especially our problems.

        when i first realized the extent of my problem with
        faces, i was upset. but i couldn't stay upset for long
        because there really is liberation in knowing what the
        problem is. i hope you find that sense of validation
        and liberation.

        mary








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      • niffmarie
        ... Who would I consult for this kind of medical evaluation? ... That s probably a better description for me, too. I can t remember anything I see, unless I
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 13, 2004
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          --- In faceblind@yahoogroups.com, mary zeiler <aiw4us@y...> wrote:
          > hi jen,
          >
          > welcome to the group. i hope you find it a warm and
          > supportive group.
          >
          > your "constellation" of problems is not unique to you
          > and i hope you find consolation in that. i also hope
          > you find it reassuring that your "glitches" are
          > recognized medical problems.

          Who would I consult for this kind of medical evaluation?

          > that was validating to me
          > and many others on this list. before i isolated the
          > cause of my occassional inability to recognize people,
          > i believed that if i only "paid more attention" to
          > people i would remember them. i never imagined how
          > much i was relying on non-face cues. unlike you, i do
          > see faces, but i had the visual memory of a rabbit.

          That's probably a better description for me, too. I can't remember
          anything I see, unless I CONSCIOUSLY make an effort to do so. "She
          has an upturned nose. I'll remember her that way."
          >
          > it's my personal belief that because people here have
          > coped so well with being face blind well before they
          > knew they were faceblind, that they have developed
          > other strengths. i don't know what yours are, but iam
          > sure you have them.
          >
          > you speak of seeing inuitively. there is much that we
          > "see" without realizing we are seeing it. like you, i
          > am not a mystical person, but our "instinctive"
          > reactions are often correct. someone who understands
          > it might explain "blindsight" to you. people with
          > visual field deficits often seem to have some
          > knowledge of things they cannot see. but you will need
          > roz or brad to explain it.

          That sounds fascinating, and I would appreciate hearing more about
          it.
          >
          > there are small things you can do to help yourself. my
          > friend, who seems to share many of your problems,
          > finds it difficult to remember where she parked her
          > car. she now saves a text message to herself to remind
          > her where the car is, and finds that she "now spends
          > less time walking the groceries than the dog." i
          > know it doesn't always seem like a funny problem, but
          > i think humor is critical for dealing with life,
          > especially our problems.

          Very interesting. I used to lose my car all the time, but then I
          began consciously picking up clues and now I intuitively remember
          where it is. "It was to the left of that store." I can't see markers,
          though, if that makes any sense, and won't remember based on sight,
          but on instinct.
          >
          > when i first realized the extent of my problem with
          > faces, i was upset. but i couldn't stay upset for long
          > because there really is liberation in knowing what the
          > problem is. i hope you find that sense of validation
          > and liberation.

          At this point it's more just curiousity for me. I've been able to
          cope so far. Being fairly introverted helps :-) I'm married and my
          husband and I don't really go out much - we're big time home-bodies,
          so I didn't realize the extent of my problem until I started law
          school recently.

          Oh, something said I should say a few words about myself for
          introduction...

          I'm Jennifer... Jen for short. I'm 24 years old and in law school. I
          actually did a lot of research in neuroscience as an undergrad at
          University of Florida - studying anxiety in rats. I live in South
          Florida now.

          Thanks again for your info -- I definitely look forward to hearing
          more...

          Jen
        • mary zeiler
          good morning jenn, ... I ... why don t you contact the people you worked with as an undergad, they can probably refer you to someone who is interested in the
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 14, 2004
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            good morning jenn,

            >
            > Who would I consult for this kind of medical
            > evaluation?

            I
            > actually did a lot of research in neuroscience as an
            > undergrad at
            > University of Florida - studying anxiety in rats. I
            > live in South
            > Florida now.

            why don't you contact the people you worked with as an
            undergad, they can probably refer you to someone who
            is interested in the "agnosias". you could try your
            family doc and see about a referral to a neurologist,
            who would then refer you to a neuropsychologist. i'm
            not sure how interested insurance would be in paying
            for this though. my insurance is not very good. oliver
            sacks, nonwithstanding, i don't think most doctors are
            very familiar with PA. it never crossed my mind to try
            using my health plan. i went the university route and
            i am very, very happy that i did. lots of people
            aren't concerned about a diagnosis. i was more
            interested in what sort of research was going on in
            the field and i happen to live very close to a great
            university.

            if the inability to "see" or recognize faces was a
            sudden development you should immediately see a
            neurologist. but this sounds like business as usual
            for you.

            I
            > can't see markers,
            > though, if that makes any sense, and won't remember
            > based on sight,
            > but on instinct.
            > >

            that makes sense, even though that's not my personal
            experience. i think you have more than prosopagnosia -
            that you have other "agnosias" or visual processing
            glitches. in my case i can remember where things are
            very easily, but i can't explain it to other people. i
            seem to have some sort of verbal-navigational glitch.
            my navigational ability is very strong, but
            articulating that knowledge is difficult. i have
            always assumed navigation is a kinesthetic sort of
            thing and verbalizing it certainly slows down the
            process.


            you can try googling "blindsight" as one word, but i
            have a feeling there are easier places to start. if
            one of the neuro pros doesn't answer the question i
            will try to put together something about blindsight. i
            haven't saved references to it. it's just something i
            have come across occassionally in my reaading. and
            it's so interesting that i remembered it, but not the
            details.

            "She
            > has an upturned nose. I'll remember her that way."

            my son's soccer coach said when he first met me he
            thought i was one of those people who didn't like
            latinos. ouch!!!!! i'm really sorry i came across
            that way to him. my usual way of dealing with the
            world is to be very friendly to everyone. and i
            thought i had been friendly. i will admit it was a
            little confusing dealing with the team at first. my
            spanish is almost nonexistant and 95% of the team
            business is in spanish. entire families attended
            games, including grandparents and aunts and uncles,
            siblings, cousins. it was a lot of new people to take
            in at one time. but i am happy to say that i am now
            the team manager.

            Being fairly introverted helps :-) I'm
            > married and my
            > husband and I don't really go out much - we're big
            > time home-bodies,
            > so I didn't realize the extent of my problem until I
            > started law
            > school recently.

            long live the introverts! i love the family
            introverts! i'd be lost without them. my husband finds
            solo backpacking a relaxing activity. i can't quite
            understand that, but i certainly respect it. my
            daughter and i are the extroverts. she is an
            astonishng wizard when it comes to faces, ie. i think
            she is a high "normal" '-) i have two sons as well.
            they are both quieter and more intorverted than my
            daughter.

            > At this point it's more just curiousity for me. I've
            > been able to
            > cope so far.

            i'm 48 and did just fine not knowing i had a problem
            with faces. but there were these niggling mistakes,
            times i hadn't recognized people i ought to have
            known... so it's great to know what is happening.

            good luck with law school. that should keep you very
            busy. do you know what sort of law you are going to
            study?

            mary










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