Scientists Link ‪Selfies‬ To Narcissism, ‪Addiction‬ & Mental Illness

The trend of taking excessive selfies is associated with mental health conditions that focus on a person’s obsession with looks!

The psychiatrist Dr. David Veal explains that two out of three of all the patients who come to see him have a compulsion to take and post selfies on social media sites repeatedly. These patients all suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder since the rise of camera phones. But cognitive behavioral therapy can help a patient to recognize the reasons for his or her compulsive behavior, then to learn how to moderate it.

Selfies Cause Mental Illness And Narcissism

Many psychologists agree that selfies can cause psychological harm. They warn parents to pay attention to what kids do online to avoid future problems like what happened to Bowman.

A British male teenager attempted to commit suicide after he could not take the perfect selfie. Danny Bowman became obsessed about selfies that he would spend 10 hours a day taking up to 200 selfies. The 19-year-old lost almost 30 pounds, left school and did not leave his home for six months in his quest because he wanted the right picture. He used to take ten pictures after waking up, every morning. Frustrated at his efforts to take the one image he wanted, Bowman ended up trying to take his own life by overdosing, but fortunately, he was saved by his mom.

He had this to say:

“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie, and when I realized I couldn’t, I wanted to die. I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life,” he stated to The Sunday Mirror.

The young man is considered the UK’s first selfie addict and had therapy to treat his technology addiction, his OCD, and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

His treatment at the Maudsley Hospital in London involved taking away his iPhone for intervals of 10 minutes, increasing to 30 minutes and then an hour.

“It was excruciating, to begin with, but I knew I had to do it if I wanted to go on living,” Danny said to The Sunday Mirror.

Public health officials in the UK declared that addiction to social media such as Twitter and Facebook is a mental disorder and more than 100 patients attempt treatment each year.

“Selfies frequently trigger perceptions of self-indulgence or attention-seeking social dependence that raises the damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t spectre of either narcissism or very low self-esteem,” explained Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today.

The main problem with the increase of digital narcissism is that it puts a lot of pressure on people to achieve unachievable goals. It’s already hard enough when you want to be a celebrity. Not many things are more self-destructive than a mixture of high entitlement and a lazy work ethic.

Online displays of narcissism may be little more than a self-presentational strategy to compensate for a very low and fragile self-esteem. And when these efforts are strengthened and rewarded by others, they continue the distortion of reality and consolidate narcissistic delusions.

Check the infographic below for all the details, which comes courtesy of The Best Computer Science Schools.


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