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Selfies Are Linked To Mental Disorders


You’ve seen it thousands of times on Facebook and other social media outlets, there is even a song on the radio about it! Selfies have become a huge trend in social media and psychiatrists and mental health workers are linking them to mental health conditions related to narcissism and a person’s obsession with their 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 recognize the reasons for his or her compulsive behaviour and then to learn how to moderate it,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

I’ve personally seen this with some of my own friends. They might take several selfies over and over again until they find the right one. Picking out details about their eyebrows, skin, noses, smiles, teeth, hair and so forth, all in an attempt to find the perfect angle to make the perfect picture. Even looking at how most of us choose our profile pictures on Facebook and other social media sites is a huge process. Believe it or not, as harmless as these acts all seem, they build up over time to create and create great forms of self consciousness and false sense of confidence. Instead of being okay with who we are no matter what, we strive to find the right picture with all the perfect details. The more likes we get on social media sites the happier we feel. Is this sustainable? Basing our happiness on our profile picture or selfie picture performance?

How far can the selfie obsession go? A British male teenager went to the extent of  trying to commit suicide after he was unable to take what he felt was the perfect selfie. Danny Bowman became so obsessed with capturing the perfect shot that he would spend roughly 10 hours per day taking up to 200 selfies trying to get the perfect shot. As things got more and more intense for Danny, he lost nearly 30 pounds, dropped out of school and did not leave the house for six months as he kept trying for the perfect picture. During his suicide attempt, Bowman was saved by his mother.

“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.



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