With the increase of the popularity of selfies, a lot of scientists have been doing different research and according to some of them, taking selfies may be associated with several mental health problems.
Namely, as noted on King Demic, Dr. David Veale, a psychiatrist, asserts that 2 out of 3 people with BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder), with who he has been working from the beginning of the era of camera phones constantly take selfies and share them on social media.
Nowadays, when undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy, the goal is to teach the patients how to acknowledge the underlying reasons of such obsessive and destructive behaviour.
“Selfie Addict” Is a Real Thing
Believe it or not, selfie addiction is a real thing and Danny Bowman is living proof of it. He is the first person who has been diagnosed with selfie addiction in the UK.
At the age of 19, he started taking selfies all the time and sometimes, due to “not being able to take the ideal selfie”; he would spend up to 10 hours a day taking photos. As a result of this behavior, he dropped out of school, did not leave the house for six months, and lost almost 30 pounds. The addiction was so strong that every morning when he woke up, he took 10 selfies before getting out of bed.
One day, due to being disappointed because of the inability to take the perfect photo, he decided to take his own life. Luckily, his mother found him and saved him. From then on, he has been attending therapy at the Maudsley Hospital in London trying to treat his compulsive behavior, as well as his BDD and OCD.
His phone was taken away from him on 10-minute intervals and the duration was gradually increased to half an hour and then an hour. Bawman explains that his path recovery has been very challenging and not easy, but he is aware that it is important so that he can move on with his life.
The Negative Sides of Digital Narcissism
According to Pamela Rutledge, selfies are often a sign of attention-seeking behaviour, narcissism, and low self-esteem. Internet narcissism is just a subconscious attempt to make up for low self-esteem and when others on social networks approve such attempts; they are actually nourishing the person’s problem even more.
Panpimol Wipulakorn, a doctor at the Thai Mental Health Department explains that the number of people who are constantly refreshing their news feed and controlling who sees their stories, photos, posts, etc. with the hope to get a “like” is exponentially growing. He believes that the digital age may be more harmful to young people than thought.