Brad Pitt has detailed his struggle with a rare case of “face blindness” – admitting that “nobody believes him” when he talks about it.
The 58-year-old actor is believed to suffer from prosopagnosia, an inability to recognize faces that usually affects a person for most or all of their lives.
Many people with this condition are not even able to recognize family members, partners, or friends and adapt using alternative ways of recognizing people, such as remembering the way they walk, their hair, their voice, or their clothes.
While Brad has not been formally diagnosed with the condition, he has long believed he was suffering and admitted he was concerned that it had led to people thinking he was distant or withdrawn around people.
He told GQ magazine: Nobody believes me! I want to meet another [person with the prosopagnosia]”.
Struggles: Brad Pitt detailed his struggle with a rare case of ‘facial blindness’ – admitting that ‘nobody believes him’ when he talks about it
Brad previously spoke about his battle with the condition in 2013, telling Esquire: Lots of people hate me because they think I don’t respect them.
Every now and then, someone will give me context, and I’ll say, “Thank you for helping me.” But I lose more people.
He continued, “You get this thing, like, ‘You’re cocky. You’re cocky.” But it’s a mystery to me, man.
I can’t understand a face, however I come from a design/aesthetic point of view. I will test it.
In 2017, a study found that babies who were underweight at birth have poorer facial recognition as they get older.
Researchers believe that low birth weight is linked to impairments in the way parts of the brain develop, including those areas that process visual information.
Alone: Brad (pictured in 2016) has always thought he was suffering and admitted he was worried that it led to people thinking he was distant or withdrawn around people
What is a face recognition uncle?
Prosopagnosia, or prosopagnosia, is a disorder of facial perception in which the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact.
The term originally referred to a condition after acute brain damage.
About 2% of the population suffers from some form of facial blindness
So far, few successful treatments have been developed for affected people, although individuals often learn to use “partial” or “feature-by-feature” recognition strategies.
This may include secondary clues such as clothing, gait, hair color, body shape, and voice.
Because the face appears to function as an important identifying feature in memory, it can also be difficult for people with this condition to keep track of information about people and to socialize normally with others.
About 2.5 percent of the population is believed to have been affected to some degree, with comedian Stephen Fry and former health minister Patricia Hewitt among those admitting to suffering from facial blindness.
Elsewhere in his GQ interview, Brad gave a grim assessment of the human condition as he transitions from the breakdown of his five-year marriage to actress Angelina Jolie.
The Hollywood star embraced a life of abstinence that began shortly after their divorce began in 2016, and he explained that his newfound positivity tempered the belief that we all suffer from agonizing heartache at some point in our lives.
“I think all of our hearts are broken,” he said. I’ve always felt very lonely in my life, alone when growing up as a kid, alone even on the outside, and it wasn’t until recently that I got a bigger cuddle with my friends and family.
“What that line was, it was either Rilke or Einstein, believe it or not, but it was something about a time when you can walk with contradiction, when you carry real pain and real joy simultaneously, that’s maturity, that’s growth.”
Despite the prevailing feeling of isolation, he admitted to creating community and friendship through his decision to give up alcohol in 2016.
Newly divorced, the actor spent 18 months attending regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings while espousing the group’s core principles of abstaining from all mind-altering substances.
“I had a really great group of guys here who were really private and eclectic, so it was safe,” he explained. “Because I’ve seen other people’s things that were taped while they shed their guts, which is horrible to me.”
Exes: Elsewhere in his GQ interview, Brad gave a grim assessment of the human condition as he transitions from the breakdown of his five-year marriage to actress Angelina Jolie (pictured in 2007)
Brad, who smokes for life, also made the decision to cut cigarettes out of his life, opting instead to replace tobacco with nicotine-flavored gum.
“I don’t have that ability to do just one or two a day,” he said of his past smoking habit. Not in my makeup. I’m all. I will drive my car to the ground. I lost my privileges.
However, the sense of impending doom is always present, and Pete admits that he is often tortured by the same recurring dream, in which he was brutally stabbed.
“For four or five strong years there, the most common dream I would live was to jump and be stabbed,” he explained in an email to GQ.
‘And I would wake up in terror.’ I didn’t understand why/they wanted to hurt me. This only stopped a year or two ago when I started going straight back to the dream and simply asking why?
Do you suffer from blindness in the face? Take the test to see the result
The following statements inquire about your abilities to recognize faces.
For each item, determine how much you agree or disagree by choosing the appropriate numbered response on a scale of one to five.
One represents that you strongly agree while five represents that you strongly disagree.
Read each item carefully before responding and answer as honestly as possible.
1. My ability to recognize faces is worse than most people
2. I always had a bad memory of faces
3. I find it significantly easier to recognize people with distinctive facial features
4. I often mistake people I’ve met before are strangers
5. When I was in school I had a hard time getting to know my classmates
6. When people change their hairstyle, or wear hats, I find it hard to recognize them
7. Sometimes I have to warn new people I meet that I am “bad in the faces”
8. I find it easy to imagine individual faces in my mind
9. I’m better than most people at putting a “name on a face”
10. Without hearing people’s voices I find it difficult to recognize them
11. Anxiety about facial recognition made me avoid social or professional situations
12. I have to do my best more than others to save faces
13. I am very confident in my ability to recognize myself in photographs
14. Sometimes I find it difficult to follow the movies because of the difficulties in getting to know the characters
15. My friends and family think I have bad face recognition or bad face memory
16. I feel like I often offend people by not knowing who they are
17. It is easy for me to identify people in situations that require people to wear similar clothes (such as suits, uniforms, swimwear)
18. At family gatherings sometimes I confuse family members
19. I find it easy to identify celebrities in their “before they were famous” photos, even if they have changed dramatically
20. It is difficult to recognize familiar people when I meet them out of context (for example, meeting a co-worker unexpectedly while shopping
For each question, other than below, you get 1 point from 1 to 5 (with 1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree)
Points 8, 9, 13, 17 and 19 should be reversed. That is, 5 = 1; 4 = 2; 3 = 3; 2 = 4; 1 = 5 2.
Put the numbered responses together to calculate a score from 20 (undistorted face recognition) to 100 (severely impaired face recognition)
Source: Medical Research Center
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