Fibromyalgia Prosopagnosia: Who Else Suffers Facial Amnesia?

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Prospanagnosia is the inability to recognize faces of people, such as friends, family or co-workers. It is a symptom commonly linked to people with fibromyalgia. This facial amnesia seems more prevelant when we see people out of their usual setting, such

Fibromyalgia prosopagnosia is characterized by our failure to recognize faces. The condition is considered a neurological disorder that is either genetic or results from an injury or disease. Sometimes prosopagnosia presents with birth. So, the idea is that facial amnesia is not exclusive to people with fibromyalgia syndrome. Instead, it is often a consequence of fibro.

How does Fibromyalgia Prosopagnosia Affect our Quality of Life?

Severity, frequency and duration of fibro symptoms are experienced by each of us in a different manner. But, all of us share certain commonalities. For instance, the majority of us isolate as the syndrome progresses, due to enhanced pain, fibro fog, chronic fatigue and a whole laundry list of other reasons.

When prosopagnosia is added to the mix, we may feel socially defective. More especially when we fail to recognize the faces of our family, friends and co-workers. The facial amnesia seems to escalate when we see people out of context.

Has something similar happened to you - at church our usual bank teller approaches with a big smile and "hello". She might as well be a rhinoceros!   

It's also a common experience among people with fibromyalgia to get TV characters all muddled up. For example, if several of the women actresses are brunettes, forget about it. We can't discern one from another.

Finally, we get tired of explaining and sick of embarrassment and simply stay at home. Our quality of social life deteriorates.

Can the Cause of Inability to Recognize Faces be Pin-pointed?

As you may know, the temporal lobe in our brain is responsible for auditory and visual processing. The hippocampus, which is contained in the temporal lobe, is responsible for storing long-term memory.

According to a study in The Clinical Journal of Pain, the hippocampus is "disturbed" in the brain of fibromyalgia patients. Further, this is the suspect area where Alzheimer's disease begins.

We are already aware that physical abnormalities in the temporal lobe are responsible for our fibro fog. Due to fibro fog, we have challenges in retrieving words and our memories aren't restored overnight.

It makes sense that facial blindness is connected to the never-ending circle of fibromyalgia consequences. Our disturbed temporal lobes are mal-functioning.

Bottom Line: Who Else Suffers Facial Amnesia?

Prosopagnosia, lack of facial recognition, facial blindness, facial amnesia or whatever we chose to call this symptom of Fibromyalgia, is frustrating and annoying.

Some of us try to make up the deficiency by voice recognition, which isn't guaranteed successful. Apparently, when people change their hair, we fail to recognize them. We can't discern between TV or movie characters. We isolate.

The point is – this is a real, not imagined concern. When we don't know their face, we can take minimal comfort by realizing they know who they are! All we have to do is ask!


Roberta Baxter
Posted on Apr 18, 2012
john doe
Posted on Apr 18, 2012
Roberta Baxter
Posted on Apr 17, 2012