Selfies linked to narcissism, addiction and mental illness

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Selfies linked to narcissism, addiction and mental illness


selfieThe 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 selfies.

“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.

19-year-old Danny Bowman’s selfie addiction spiralled out of control, spending ten hours a day taking up to 200 snaps of himself on his iPhone.

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 low self-esteem,” said Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today.

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”.

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8 Comments on “Selfies linked to narcissism, addiction and mental illness”

  1. “Selfies” almost destroyed my marraige & we are still going through the very difficult & painful process of relapse & repair because my husband is literally addicted to facebook & addicted to sending pics of himself. Please be forewarned that this “trend”can spiral out of control and take you down a path that you never intended to go down. How do you know if you might be headed down a slippery slope?

    1) Do you have an instagram account? Then you might be headed down a slippery slope.
    2) Do you post OOTD (Outfit of the day)? Then you might be headed down a slippery slope.
    3) Do you feel like you are compelled to let “friends” a.k.a. people you don’t talk to in”real life”, know whats going on in your life? Then you might be headed down a slippery slope.
    4) Do you feel like if you don’t get on your facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube,etc. then you might have “missed” something? Then you might be headed down a slippery slope.
    5) Do you feel like your “fans”/ “friends” would be mad at you if you didn’t post videos (reviews, updates, OOTD, instagram pics, etc)? Then you are DEFINANTLY headed down a slippery slope.

    Please please people repent of your “self idolization” and go to God and ask for forgiveness. Ask him to send help for this destructive behavior. Thanks once again Ex Team.

    1. Wow Mrs. Anderson you hit it on the nose! This is why I do not have Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. I am too busy with life in itself. My motto is if I can’t sit to read the word of God then I cannot give time to social media, point blank period. My daughter has been asking me for FB and instagram and I refuse. When she is older and can make her own decisions that is up to her but for now social media is banned in my house, to God be the glory!!

  2. I agree. Society today has grown to be socially disconnected as well. It breeds self absorption that flips on an insecurity switch that seems difficult to turn off and more discontenment. The generation today is definitely more concerned with the outer self-ie vs. the inner self-ie. It creates a disgusting personality under the likes of Lucifer….I, myself, all about Me spirit, while the majority who is not taking selfies condones by watching, commenting, or “liking” almost giving a silent approval as if silence remains to mean ‘agreement’. This is interesting how far it has gone to be validated. Interestingly enough, it says that the person really cares in a world that claims not to care but still participates in this selfie ritual. Simply–in general, how did we get here?
    Is like the person who got new shoes in school that kept getting up to sharpen their pencil ALL day until someone complimented their shoes, except it’s their face in this day in time. The link to this behavior points out that there is more underneath the surface of the imaged individual–clearly it goes deeper… But how deep? They is what we witness in the age of selfies.

  3. This is the epitome of self-idolatry. Galatians 5:20. How sad that we live in a society so self absorbed when Jesus cleary teaches us to think on the needs of others.

  4. I read a book called “Just Listen” and the author described narcissists accurately by stating, “narcissists are mental masturbators” stroking their own egos. The relationship ends once the narcissists realizes who they really are….or are not.hmmmm

  5. I have younger cousins and siblings who put a lot of pictures of themselves on Facebook. One cousin constantly takes pictures of herself in the bathroom. It is coming to the point where I wonder if she lives in the bathroom. I thought it was odd because they would never put family pictures up like most people. It is interesting because I have pictures of them when they were younger and I might post them to my Facebook but they would want me to take them down. The only pictures they wanted were of themselves with perfect hair and make-up. I thought it was just a generational thing. But this makes a lot of sense.

  6. Seriously? “Selfie addiction”?!? It’s sad to me that we as people can get so caught up in ourselves that we get addicted to what others think of us to the point to where we are ready to commit suicide. God’s Word does say that in the last days, men will be lovers of themselves, and this MORE than proves that reality!

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