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    Mar 21, 2016

    She relies on hairstyles to pinpoint identities

    MICHELLE*, a 39-year-old Singaporean civil servant, first became aware of her condition when she was 19.

    She had trouble recognising people unless she saw and interacted with them daily for longer than six months.

    "It's highly stressful whenever I'm in situations that demand my automatic identification of a person, such as a colleague with whom I'm expected to have become very familiar with already," she said.

    She smiles at "everyone just in case I'm supposed to have known them already", and feels that the condition is "highly stressful" as it is not visible to others.

    "It is especially stressful socially because it may appear very rude and insincere when I repeatedly do not recognise someone I work with," said Michelle, who relies on hairstyles to keep track of people.

    She added that it limits her job options, and even left a profession to avoid making home visits in the evening hours on her own.

    She once mistook a friendly stranger as one of her customers and followed him to his car.

    As Michelle finds the condition one that is not commonly known to people, she has told only her family and her closer friends.