Social interactions can be a little daunting for some people. Not only are you expected to leave your house looking presentable so as not to deter other humans, but you are also expected to remember the names of the people you meet. Most people struggle with this to some degree, but others just never seem to remember people’s names, let alone recognize their faces. Brad Pitt happens to be one of these people, but he claims it is due to a neurological disorder. Something many people wish they could blame for their lack of memory.
No one believes Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt is one of the most well-known actors in the world. His infamous marriage to Angelina Jolie, their many adopted children, and his many roles have kept him an icon of interest in thousands of people’s minds. People worldwide would give anything to meet Brad Pitt, but he is making no promises that he will remember them. Some have called him arrogant or self-centered. But Brad says he suffers from a neurological disorder called prosopagnosia. This is a rare condition that makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recognize people’s faces.
In June, Brad Pitt opened up about his struggles with this socially debilitating condition in an interview with GQ. Apparently, most people do not believe him when he says he has prosopagnosia. “Nobody believes me!” said Pitt, 58. “I wanna meet another person with it.”
Brad Pitt would try asking people he couldn’t recognize where they met to trigger his memory, but this would only worsen matters. They all just assumed he wasn’t interested in anyone else but himself.
“So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them,” Brad said. “You get this thing, like, ‘You’re being egotistical. You’re being conceited.’ But it’s a mystery to me, man. I can’t grasp a face and yet I come from such a design/aesthetic point of view.” He added: “You meet so many damned people,” he added. “And then you meet ’em again.”
Expert’s words on Brad Pitt’s affliction
A assistant professor of neurology at Temple University Hospital called, Dr. Leah Croll, interviewed with Good Morning America. She spoke about people dealing with prosopagnosia. “For some people, it may be just some minor difficulties in remembering people’s names and keeping strangers straight,” she said. “And for other people, it may be more severe such that they have issues with recognizing their own friends and family or even issues recognizing their own reflection.”
Croll then went off to talk about Brad’s particular prosopagnosia. She was pretty adamant that she had not diagnosed Brad herself. “I think that Brad Pitt is experiencing something that many patients experience which is this funny feeling that something is off, but they’re not quite sure what it is or where to go for help. So someone thinking that Brad Pitt’s story sounds familiar to them or that they’re having similar symptoms, I would recommend they go see a neurologist and get formally tested and evaluated.”
More about prosopagnosia
Many people would love to have a reason for not recognizing someone. A disability gives you an excuse not to feel embarrassed. But, those with prosopagnosia are not exempt from embarrassment. In fact, they face it daily. According to Cleveland Clinic, some with this neurological infliction can’t even tell their family members apart, let alone recognize their sister from their best friend.
Most of the time, prosopagnosia forms as a result of brain injury. However, 2.5% of the cases have it from birth. Moreover, some people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease end up with prosopagnosia, among other factors.
Children growing up with prosopagnosia will get frustrated when they watch live-action movies. This is because they can’t recognize the different characters, so the plot is hard to follow. However, because cartoons are drawn with blatant exaggeration on their features, they are easier to distinguish. Moreover, they tend to wear the same clothes in every scene, so they use that as a reminder.
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