Taking selfies is an obsession that has taken over the entire world. Scientists also link it with many mental conditions that focus on the obsession with the way that a person looks.
Dr. David Veal is a psychiatrist and he says that two out of three patients that come to visit him, have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This happens because of the rise of popularity of the camera phones, which makes people have a compulsion to take their phones, make large amounts of photos and then later post them on social media sites.
He also adds that a patient can recognize the reasons for her/his compulsive behavior with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy, and they will later learn how to moderate it.
Can it be that taking too many selfies, is associated with mental illness, addiction, and narcissism? There are a number of psychologists that claim that it can, and they warn their parents to be cautious and always control (to a degree) what their children do online.
There is a true story about a 19-year old British teenager Danny Bowman, and it shocked the world. He was obsessed with taking selfies, so there were cases where he was spending more than 10 hours a day, taking pictures of himself. He later tried to commit suicide, because he was unable to take the perfect selfie.
He lost nearly 30 pounds, then dropped out of school and he stayed at home for 6 months, in an attempt to get the right picture. When he got out of bed in the mornings, he was taking pictures of himself, and one morning he was so frustrated because he was unable to get the results that he was hoping to get. This made him try to commit suicide by overdosing, but luckily, his mother was there and she was able to save him.
He told The Mirror that he one day realized that he could not take the perfect selfie, and he just wanted to die. At this point, he lost all of his friends, his health, his education and it almost cost him his life.
Danny Bowman is considered to be the first person that was addicted to selfies in the United Kingdom, and right now, he is treating his disease, along with his Body Dysmorphic Disorder and OCD. The treatment included taking his phone for 10 minutes at first, and then that time increased to half an hour, then an hour etc.
He said that this was an excruciating experience for him, but he knew that he had to do it if he wanted to continue living a normal life.
The UK public health officials say that there are about 100 patients that seek medical treatment, in hope to treat their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook addictedness, every year.
According to Pamela Rutledge, selfies can often time trigger perceptions of attention-seeking or self-indulgence on social media, which can lead to a specter of very low self-esteem or narcissism.