Although the 58-year-old has never been formally diagnosed with the condition – called prosopagnosia – he told GQ magazine that he struggles to recognize and remember faces and it’s gotten him into some trouble in the past.
Prosopagnosia is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult or impossible for a person to recognizes faces they’ve seen before. And while it might seem like a rare condition, Faceblind.org estimates that approximately two per cent of the population are affected.
Pitt told GQ that he has a lot of trouble recognizing faces and it’s led to others thinking he’s self-absorbed or aloof.
“Nobody believes me!” he told the outlet for next month’s cover story, adding that he’d like to meet and speak to another face blind person.
It’s not the first time the actor has said he feels bad about his inability to remember faces.
New yoga program helps those living with brain injuries in Nova Scotia
In 2013 he told Esquire that, in the past, he’d ask people to remind him of where or when they met, but “people were more offended.”
“So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them,” Pitt said at the time. “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.”
According to Psychology Today, prosopagnosia can either appear in childhood, stemming from genetics, or can be acquired after a brain abnormality or damage.
It’s difficult to diagnose, as brains tend to process faces in a very complex way.
While there is no cure, people with face blindness can often figure out compensatory skills like looking for unique physical characteristics of a person, or listening to their voice.
However, prosopagnosia can be an isolating condition where people feel like they have to avoid social situations and interactions. People may also experience symptoms of anxiety or depression.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.