Prosopagnosia also known as face blindness is a disease that may be more common than we know. Studies suggest that between 1-2% of the population may be affected. It is estimated that 1 in 50 people have a form of prosopagnosia.
According to Wikipedia face blindness, is a cognitive disorder of face perception in which the ability to recognize familiar faces, including one's own face (self-recognition), is impaired, while other aspects of visual processing (e.g., object discrimination) and intellectual functioning (e.g., decision-making) remain intact.
People with this disease find it very difficult to recognize faces including theirs. Can you imagine looking at yourself in the mirror and wondering who's staring at you?
Prosopagnosia can be caused by trauma involving head injuries or one can be born with it (congenital). Most times its origin is a mystery, as it can't be traced to any singular clear factor.
Some famous persons have revealed the difficulty they experienced with recognizing faces. Princess Victoria the crowned princess of Sweden, the popular Hollywood movie star Brad Pitt, and Dr. Oliver Sacks, a famous and reputable British neurologist have also revealed they suffer this medical condition.
Let's see what Bradd Pitt said when he had an interview with Esquire in 2013;
Pitt thinks he might be suffering from face blindness though no test has ascertained his suspicion. Pitt reveals " I can't grasp a face, and yet I come from such a design point of view. I am going to get it tested" Pitt expressed his displeasure at fans and colleagues who get mad when he says he doesn't recognize them. " people think I'm vain".
People suffering from Prosopagnosia may tell if someone is smiling or frowning but they can't tell his identity. Persons suffering from this condition don't recognize classmates, colleagues at work, neighbors, family members, and sometimes themselves.
A young Lady called Lisa who suffers from this condition has this to say;
"There's nothing wrong with my vision. I can see clearly but when it comes to conjuring what they look like in my mind, I can't just make out their faces".
It is interesting to note that Lisa who is an American didn't know about the existence of this condition until she got into the university, and heard about it in a lecture.
Now let's get a proper understanding of what they see. When faces are upside down, it's difficult to recognize them through all the features that are present. When this same image is reversed to normal, they become recognizable.
They don't see inverted images but this gives us a clue of what they see. They see people without a full perception of who they are.
People like these use cues to recognize people like their hair, dress, and if they wore glasses or something.
There is no known generally accepted treatment for Prosopagnosia. Miracles are real, and some people miraculously get cured while others cope with it all through their lives.
Stop blaming friends and family members for not greeting you on the streets, friends walking pass you, or people saying sorry I can't remember you. They may be suffering from this disease.
There are suspicions that many people in Nigeria suffer from this disease but because these sets of people never got tested, they never knew of this. A little awareness may help someone.
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