Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness

Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness

The growing trend of taking smartphone selfies is linked to mental health conditions that focus on a person’s obsession with looks.

According to psychiatrist Dr David Veal: “Two out of three of all the patients who come to see me with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since the rise of camera phones have a compulsion to repeatedly take and post selfies on social media sites.”

“Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to help a patient to recognise the reasons for his or her compulsive behaviour and then to learn how to moderate it,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

A British male teenager tried to commit suicide after he failed to take the perfect selfie. Danny Bowman became so obsessed with capturing the perfect shot that he spent 10 hours a day taking up to 200 selfies. The 19-year-old lost nearly 30 pounds, dropped out of school and did not leave the house for six months in his quest to get the right picture. He would take 10 pictures immediately after waking up. Frustrated at his attempts to take the one image he wanted, Bowman eventually tried to take his own life by overdosing, but was saved by his mom.

“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 told The Mirror.

The teenager is believed to be the UK’s first selfie addict and has had therapy to treat his technology addiction as well as OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Part of his treatment at the Maudsley Hospital in London included taking away his iPhone for intervals of 10 minutes, which increased 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,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

Public health officials in the UK announced that addiction to social media such as Facebook and Twitter is an illness and more than 100 patients sought treatment every 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,” said Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today.

The big problem with the rise of digital narcissism is that it puts enormous pressure on people to achieve unfeasible goals, without making them hungrier. Wanting to be Beyoncé, Jay Z or a model is hard enough already, but when you are not prepared to work hard to achieve it, you are better off just lowering your aspirations. Few things are more self-destructive than a combination of high entitlement and a lazy work ethic. Ultimately, online manifestations of narcissism may be little more than a self-presentational strategy to compensate for a very low and fragile self-esteem. Yet when these efforts are reinforced and rewarded by others, they perpetuate the distortion of reality and consolidate narcissistic delusions.

The addiction to selfies has also alarmed health professionals in Thailand. “To pay close attention to published photos, controlling who sees or who likes or comments them, hoping to reach the greatest number of likes is a symptom that ‘selfies’ are causing problems,” said Panpimol Wipulakorn, of the Thai Mental Health Department.

The doctor believed that behaviours could generate brain problems in the future, especially those related to lack of confidence.

The word “selfie” was elected “Word of the Year 2013″ by the Oxford English Dictionary. It is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”.

1. The Gym Selfie (Because the checkin isn’t enough.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Gym Selfie (Because the checkin isn’t enough.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Gym Selfie (Because the checkin isn’t enough.)

2. The Pet Selfie (If you want to post a picture of your pet, post a picture of your pet.)
Unless this happens, then it’s ok:
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Pet Selfie (If you want to post a picture of your pet, post a picture of your pet.)

3. The Car Selfie AKA The Seatbelt Selfie (You LITERALLY got in the car and thought, “I look so good today, I better let everyone know before I put this thing in drive and head to my shift at the Olive Garden.”)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Car Selfie AKA The Seatbelt Selfie (You LITERALLY got in the car and thought, “I look so good today, I better let everyone know before I put this thing in drive and head to my shift at the Olive Garden
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Car Selfie AKA The Seatbelt Selfie (You LITERALLY got in the car and thought, “I look so good today, I better let everyone know before I put this thing in drive and head to my shift at the Olive Garden

If you can combine the Seatbelt Selfie with the beloved Shirtless Selfie like this unattractive fella below, you..are…GOLD.
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - If you can combine the Seatbelt Selfie with the beloved Shirtless Selfie like this unattractive fella below, you..are…GOLD.

4. The Blurry Selfie (Why?)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Blurry Selfie (Why?)

5. The Just Woke Up Selfie
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Just Woke Up Selfie
Yeah right you just woke up.

6. Or even worse, the Pretending to Be Asleep Selfie. (We know you’re not asleep, asshole. You took the damn picture.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - Or even worse, the Pretending to Be Asleep Selfie. (We know you’re not asleep, asshole. You took the damn picture.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness

7. The Add a Kid Selfie (Extra points for a C-section scar.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Add a Kid Selfie (Extra points for a C-section scar.)

8. The Hospital Selfie (A rare gem. The more tubes you have hooked up to you, the better.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Hospital Selfie (A rare gem. The more tubes you have hooked up to you, the better.)

9. The “I’m On Drugs” Selfie (This looker below also qualifies as theLook At My New Haircut Selfie.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The “I’m On Drugs” Selfie (This looker below also qualifies as theLook At My New Haircut Selfie.)

10. The Duck Face Selfie (Hey girls. This doesn’t make you prettier. It makes you look stupid and desperate. If that’s what you’re going for, carry on.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Duck Face Selfie (Hey girls. This doesn’t make you prettier. It makes you look stupid and desperate. If that’s what you’re going for, carry on.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Duck Face Selfie (Hey girls. This doesn’t make you prettier. It makes you look stupid and desperate. If that’s what you’re going for, carry on.)

11. The Pregnant Belly Selfie (Send this to your family and friends, not the entire Internet.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Pregnant Belly Selfie (Send this to your family and friends, not the entire Internet.)
And yes, that’s a pregnant belly duck face selfie. It’s the unicorn of awful selfies.

12. The “I’m a Gigantic Whore” Selfie
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The “I’m a Gigantic Whore” Selfie
Nice phone case, by the way.

13. The “I Have Enough Money to Fly On an Airplane” Selfie (AND I own earbuds.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The “I Have Enough Money to Fly On an Airplane” Selfie (AND I own earbuds.)

14. The 3D Selfie. (It takes talent…along with class.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The 3D Selfie. (It takes talent…along with class.)

15. The Say Something That Has Nothing To Do With Anything Selfie(You had a great night? Oh.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The Say Something That Has Nothing To Do With Anything Selfie(You had a great night? Oh.)

16. The “I Live In Filth” Selfie (We all make messes, but if you’re going to post your living quarters on the World Wide Web, pick up your damn room.)
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness - The “I Live In Filth” Selfie (We all make messes, but if you’re going to post your living quarters on the World Wide Web, pick up your damn room.)

Source: Disclose.tv via Why Don't You Try This

Related:
Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness Reviewed by Katerina Pap on 4:33 PM Rating: 5

7 comments

  1. good article but i am perplexed by this bit....

    "Wanting to be Beyoncé, Jay Z or a model is hard enough already, but when you are not prepared to work hard to achieve it, you are better off just lowering your aspirations. Few things are more self-destructive than a combination of high entitlement and a lazy work ethic"

    ....so you're saying that to look like a model it takes working hard? and if you can't do that you have a lazy work ethic?? i guess if you mean regarding muscle mass and tone or something.. just a very strange thing to say in the middle of what seems to be an article tackling issues around self esteem.

    also the use of the term "i'm a gigantic whore selfie" really isn't doing any favours to support that this is an article written with true concern for these people and these behaviours.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Because it's not an article written out of concern..It's an article written out of spite and jealousy largely. An article written by people who came from a time when they felt they had to work 25+ years just to get a ribbon or plaque, let alone 15 minutes of fame in any regard. So now they're just mad someone can just be themselves, take a pic, and be accepted, liked, and recognized for who they are. Also this whole bit about sprinkling in some science to try to add to the legitimacy of the opinion is just silly. I have a science degree and I can tell you a lot of science out there is done not as some shining bastion of truth and objectivity. No, most of it is done with a preconceived result already in mind. You can basically make up whatever you like, perform a "study" and then claim your belief is scientifically validated. Funny thing is the public eats it up as truth and dogma.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The funny thing is mate, as long as u were in those selfies then they were all just perfect.... u just didnt realise it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How about some primary sources? And the causality here seems to be flipped in the scheme you've presented. Mental illness isn't something to be taken lightly. In the case of selfies and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), selfies do not cause BDD, people with BDD are more inclined to take selfies. Those without BDD will not magically acquire BDD by taking selfies. There's a wealth of medical literature to consult, not just doctors from the Sunday Mirror or the ambiguous "public health officials" you cited. Stop spreading disinformation, there's already too much bullshit on the internet. I'm cringing with a case of ARE YOU KIDDING ME.

    Then, you go on to make fun of people for their selfies... seriously? If, as you imply, they probably have BDD, how is SHOWCASING and DEGRADING them on the internet helpful? Shame on you for shaming people FOR NO BETTER REASON than to try to bring traffic to your site.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This belongs to the group of articles that make me question whether I should continue visiting this site.
    The article's comments on the photos at the bottom may be amusing, but they're far from humane.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Because no one wants to see pictures of you but you, and by the way, it's self-indulgent, narcissistic behavior, not ADDICTIVE. Yu are not famous you are just one of 6 billion people on the planet, now go to work.

    ReplyDelete

Don't show again. Close

Like us on Facebook?