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Hollywood legend Brad Pitt – best known for his starring roles in countless blockbuster movies, including Fight Club, Troy and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, to name a few – has opened up about suffering with a little-known condition called prosopagnosia, also called "face blindness".
According to the NHS, prosopagnosia prevents the sufferer from recognising people's faces. "Face blindness often affects people from birth and is usually a problem a person has for most or all of their life," the NHS website notes.
"It can have a severe impact on everyday life," the NHS explains. "Many people with prosopagnosia are not able to recognise family members, partners or friends.They may cope by using alternative strategies to recognise people, such as remembering the way they walk or their hairstyle, voice or clothing. But these types of strategies do not always work – for example, when a person with prosopagnosia meets someone in an unfamiliar location."
Speaking to GQ about the condition and the impact it has had on his confidence, particularly when it comes to social situations, Pitt revealed that he struggles to remember new people or recognise their faces, which has triggered a fear that people assume he is: 'aloof, inaccessible, self-absorbed.'
In fact, suffering with prosopagnosia has left the 58-year-old actor feeling ashamed, and although he has never been officially diagnosed with the condition, he is pretty sure that he has it. "Nobody believes me!" he says when discussing his condition, adding that he wants to "meet another" person who has it when the GQ writer exclaims they think that their husband suffers with it as well.
Elsewhere in the article, Pitt revealed he'd previously dealt with a bout of depression. "I think I spent years with a low-grade depression, and it’s not until coming to terms with that, trying to embrace all sides of self — the beauty and the ugly — that I’ve been able to catch those moments of joy," he said, later adding that he attended Alcoholics Anonymous for a year and a half whilst on his sobriety journey (that started in 2016 following his divorce from Angelina Jolie). "I had a really cool men’s group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe," he recalled.
Read Brad Pitt's full interview with GQ magazine here.
For information, support and advice about mental health and where to get support, visit Mind’s website at www.mind.org.uk or call Mind’s Infoline on 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 6.00pm).
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