Your symptoms might be related to your dissociative disorder. Memory issues and dissociative disorders often go hand-in-hand. It could be a memory issue and not necessarily anything psychological.
You might be good at visualization, but how good are you at recounting specific facial features? Generally speaking, most people are not very good at this. In fact, even people who’ve been married for decades often cannot accurately describe a single feature of their spouses face.
Research suggests that police composites are only about 20 percent accurate. It’s not because police sketch artists are not good at their job; it’s that most people don’t recall specific facial features very well and often wait too long before contacting the police.
An another example of the inability of people to recognize faces, is false eyewitness identification. To date, 337 people have been proven innocent by DNA in the United States. Misidentifying the perpetrator was a factor in 70 percent of those cases. People who thought they were accurately identifying perpetrators were, in fact, wrong the majority of the time. Poor visibility, faulty memory, unconscious biases, among other things, account for why eyewitness identification is highly fallible.
Some people experience prosopagnosia. Prosopagnosia is essentially face blindness. People with the condition have trouble recognizing the faces of people they know including friends and family members. In extreme cases, a person cannot recognize his or her own face.
It seems that generally, the average person is not good at reading faces or even remembering those faces very well. Maybe your recollection skills are on par with that of the average person. If this problem is causing you distress or if you suspect a possible medical condition, consult a doctor for an evaluation. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle