Scientists Say Selfie is Linked to Addiction, Narcissism, Mental Illness
There is a growing trend of taking selfie with webcam or smartphone. This action is connected to mental health conditions and is focused on a person’s obsession with looks.
According Dr. David Veal,a psychiatrist: ” Since the rise of camera phones two out of three of all the patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have a compulsion to take and post selfies over and over again on social media sites.”
“We use cognitive behavioral therapy actually to help a patient to recognize the reasons for his or her compulsive behavior. Then the purpose is to learn how to moderate it”, he says.
After a failure to take the perfect selfie, a British male teenager unfortunately tried to commit suicide.
The 19-year-old teenager was in fact very obsessed with taking the perfect shot. He was taking up to 200 selfies in a period of 10 hours only in one day!
Danny Bowman dropped out of school. He lost nearly 30 pounds and did not leave the house for entire 6 months only to get the right picture. Immediately after waking up, he would take at least 10 pictures. Frustrated at his attempts to take the one picture he wanted, by overdosing Bowman eventually tried to take his own life. Luckily his mom saved him.
“All the time I was in search of taking the perfect selfie.
I simply wanted to die when I realized I couldn’t. I lost my education, all my friends and almost my life”.
This teenager is the UK’s first selfie addict. He has had therapy to treat his Body Dysmorphic Disorder and technology addiction. Part of his treatment included taking away his phone for intervals of 10 minutes, then 30 minutes and an hour at the end. ” If I wanted to go on living, I knew I had to do it “, he says.
UK Public health officials announced that addiction to social media like Twitter and as Facebook is an illness. They have more than 100 patients’ treatment every year.
The big problem with the attention-seeking and the rise of digital narcissism is that it puts enormous pressure on people to achieve their expectations and goals. The desire to be Jay Z, Beyoncé or a famous model is hard enough. But when a person is not prepared to work hard to achieve it, he or she is just lowering the aspirations.
The online narcissism is little more than a self-presentational strategy to actually compensate for a fragile and very low self-esteem. Yet when others reward and reinforce these efforts, they consolidate narcissistic delusions and perpetuate the distortion of reality.
The doctors believe that in the future these behaviors could generate big brain problems. It will happen especially with those related to lack of confidence.
the Oxford English Dictionary elected the word “selfie” as a “Word of the Year 2013”. The definition of this term is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a webcam or smartphone and uploaded to a social media website.”