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    Mar 21, 2016

    'I didn't know person in the mirror was me'

    SHARIFAH* first realised she had face-blindness when she was 11. "I'd look in the mirror and think that the person I was looking at looked nice, but didn't even know it was me," said the 22-year-old student.

    She recognises people by their dressing and postures and "barely knows" any of her friends' faces.

    Sharifah, who says she does not recognise her own face or, on occasion, her brother's, said some people she has told about her condition find it "cool that it's a legitimate thing".

    But others do not believe her or think that she is weird.

    "Some, especially close friends, are sad that I actually identify them by their favourite jacket and that they can never be more than these objects in my eyes," she said.

    She turns to drawing as a coping mechanism, as it helps her break down a person's facial features and gives her time to "really absorb faces so I can memorise things like what makes a face attractive or what makes my friend's face different from another friend's".

    Sharifah, who feels there is not much awareness of face-blindness, said having the condition has helped her value a person's character more than looks, as "it really doesn't make much of a difference how they look".