Woman who has a perfect memory says she's been through hell
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A Californian woman named Jill Price has a condition which allows her to remember every day of her life in vivid details, but she wouldn't call this a blessing.
In 2000, researchers at the University of California-Irvine began studying Price, who would later be diagnosed with the first case of hyperthymesia syndrome, a term coined specifically for her.
In interviews, Price confirmed she could recall all details of her life from age 14 onwards, including the dates on which these occurred and the wider world events happening at the time, as long as she was aware of them at the time.
The Los Angeles woman can breeze through awkward first dates and happy memories as easily as she can dwell on less fun events, including childhood trauma, dramatic arguments and losses.
"I've been through hell in my life," she told HQBrain in 2008.
She finds it particularly hard to shake her complicated relationship with her mother, a former member of the June Taylor Dancers who Price claimed pressured her into an unhealthy relationship with food and weight.
"If you eat anything bad, I'm going to die," Price claimed her mum would tell her.
According to Price, one of the triggers for her conditions may have been moving to Los Angeles from New Jersey when she was eight.
"I really loved my life there," she said of New Jersey.
"I should have been born, lived and died in the same house. That's how much I don’t like change."
Price's syndrome challenges the assumption that human memory tends to rework past events, with recollection being altered by the passing of time and the emotional impact said events may have had on us.
Ironically, her spontaneous, personal memorisation only applies to her own life, while she struggle with reciting poems and completing other memory exercises.
"When I first went to the doctors, they were like, 'Oh, you must have been really good in school,'" Price explained.
"I went, 'Nope.' In fact, I hated school. School was very painful for me."
Price revealed that keeping a journal helped her 'relax' when she felt her spontaneous recollection was out of control.
"It's all swirling and kind of in the front of my head because it's not written down," she said of her memory.
"As soon as I write it down, it kind of relaxes everything."
After writing a memoir titled The Woman Who Can't Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science in 2008, Price has remained private.
One of her most recent interviews dates back to 2012. At the time, she appeared on Channel 4 documentary The Boy Who Can't Forget, providing insights into living with hyperthymestic syndrome.