I’m really worried. I’ve always had problems remembering names and faces but tonight really scared me. I was watching Narcos with C, a historical fiction show about some drug dealers in Columbia, and I couldn’t tell any of the women apart. C seemed to have no trouble telling who was who but I just couldn’t tell. They all had long black hair, big brown eyes, and pretty much the exact same shade of skin. I realize this makes me sound racist as hell but I have the same problem with white people too sometimes. There were three red headed guys in my International Marketing class. It took me to the end of the semester to rule out one of them as not Rob. There was Rob (who I was working on a group project with. It was almost all email so we really only ever saw each other in class), not Rob (I still think he looked exactly like Rob but there were some subtle differences), and definitely not Rob who was the one that I managed to be able to easily identify by the last three weeks of class.
I used to get freaked out because I thought I saw people I knew everywhere around me. I thought I saw a French professor that I had seen around my university campus at baggage claim in Phoenix. There was one girl on campus that I thought looked so much like my friend K that I didn’t greet K when she came for a surprise visit because I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me again. That has mainly passed but it was really bad for a while. It was like being in the matrix.
TV is the worst though. Unless the actors or actresses have some very distinguishing characteristic (like one of the detectives had severe acne scars and the other was pretty much the only white guy) I have a really hard time telling. I put it down to being forgetful or absent minded (and I am) but I’m starting to wonder if that really cuts it any more.
I am a white girl from the middle of the US, but I had a period where all the movies and television I was watching was Chinese or Japanese. There was a point in all that where I had the same problem with other white people, though East Asians looked very different and distinct to me. I think it’s mainly what you’re used to; the more familiar you are with certain patterns, the better you are able to recognize variations.
I sometimes have this problem when first starting a new TV show, mainly with actresses, not actors, but once half way through the season I know who is know. It might help you to look up the series on imdb if you are really having problems and then train yourself to know who is who. My main problem is determining their names and not distinguishing them by appearance alone, but I recently had that problem between two actresses in a show I had just started watching, so it happens. They’re all cookie cutter cut outs, in the words of my voices.
My advice would be not to label yourself with some condition and just find ways to work around this issue you have. You might also benefit from computer based brain training exercises that deal with visual cognition.
You could benefit from the type of cognitive training where you see a flash of one photo/picture and then another flash of one similar or identical and you have to determine whether they’re different or not. I know of a fluid intelligence based exercise online that incorporates that, but it is kind of simplistic. Here is the link: 1https://www.brainturk.com/pics Remove the 1 from the beginning of the URL. I have a restricted account.