Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness

Almost all of us has stopped in the middle of our day to take a “selfie.”  Whether in front of something really cool, or with a best friend, or just because we wanted someone, somewhere, to be jealous of what we were doing.  Yeah, you’ve done it.  I have, too.

What is really a healthy limit of taking selfies, though?  Is just one or two a day something that we should be kicking ourselves for?  Or are is it more about how we’re taking them, and what we’re taking them for?

Doctors and scientists have been debating this exact question ever since the epic rise in selfie-taking began a few years ago.  With incidents of Body Dysmorphic Disorder becoming more prevalent, there has been a correlation that some doctors say is directly linked to selfies, and the ways in which social media has changed the way we perceive ourselves.  A 19 year old Londoner was actually hospitalized after becoming Obsessive Compulsive over taking selfies, losing over 30 pounds, and dropping out of school in order to get the “perfect photo.”  He got lost in his own perceptions of what he should look like, and how others should see him, making him the first reported link in the UK between OCD, Body-Dysmorphia, and selfies.

With the rise of access to self-portraits and perfected photos, especially to those produced by big name stars, people seem to be seeking more and more validation from their peers in order to get someone to care about them.  By constantly indulging in behavior that could be considered narcissistic and masking low self-esteem, people who are constantly in front of their own cameras have turned to getting assurance from the internet rather than themselves.  When this sort of behavior becomes rewarded, there is only a perpetuation of the problem, and we find ourselves constantly having to seek further and further validation until we become mentally very unwell.

Treatment for the over-taking of selfies includes a gradual reduction of the exposure to the internet, as well as the use of a cell phone.  We could all probably use some time off of the web, so if you believe your selfie-taking may be a bit out of control, try to reduce your exposure to your internet devices as well.  Hopefully, with a bit of patience and luck, you’ll be taking a healthy amount of self-portraits again soon.

This article was inspired by this one here.

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