5-speed listening (Brad Pitt - Level 6)

Brad Pitt says he suffers from facial blindness



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Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt has revealed he suffers from facial blindness. This is a neurological disorder that causes people to find it difficult to recognize people's faces. In more serious cases, sufferers can draw a blank when seeing the face of a family member or even one's own face. The condition is called prosopagnosia. It is a little-known ailment that afflicts about 1 in 40 people. It often triggers anxiety as people feel embarrassed in social situations when they struggle to remember who people are. Sufferers tend to avoid situations in which they will meet people, and as a result become withdrawn. In extreme cases, they will be reluctant to leave their home.

Brad Pitt, 58, says he has not been officially diagnosed with prosopagnosia. He first spoke about it in 2013. He said nobody believed him when he could not recall their name. He worried that people thought he was being "aloof, inaccessible and self-absorbed". He said: "People hate me because they think I'm disrespecting them." He said he has used many strategies to get around his lack of recall. He asked acquaintances where he had met them before, but said that made the situation worse. He explained: "People were more offended.…You get this thing, like, 'You're being egotistical. You're being conceited.'" He hopes speaking about facial blindness will raise awareness of it.

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