What can I do if I have MS and have trouble recognizing people's faces?

There are many ways to handle a situation if you have multiple sclerosis (MS) and are having difficulty recognizing people’s faces (recognition difficulties):
  • Know your recognition limits and understand that recognition loss is unpredictable. Don’t waste mental energy by concerning yourself with what “might” happen next, since it may not.
  • Seek a professional opinion from a neuropsychologist who can confirm the impairment and MS link.
  • Talk ahead of time to close family and friends so they will understand your need for a “minute” to sort out your thoughts. The pause may also relieve unnecessary pressure to struggle for a connection.
  • Also, tell the people you care about, and who care about you, that you are having difficulties in thinking and focusing so that they can understand and support you. Before grasping at cognitive disconnections, seek out a safety person who can back you up during those events
  • Give significant others permission to softly remind you of the moment and give them a hug for caring.
  • Laughter brings people together and is a survival path through MS. Use it often and perhaps learn to laugh first and enjoy your life.
  • See your doctors and therapists regularly to discuss the effectiveness of your therapies and whether any changes are needed.
  • Take solace in knowing that nothing has been lost, but with patience, new routes to familiarity may be learned. By accepting that you may be enduring MS thinking difficulties, you will better understand the challenges, leading to successful coping techniques and not surrendering to them.
Whatever path you chose for yourself, always include time for those extra hugs. It will reinforce a relationship and buy you a few seconds more to gather your thoughts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.