Selfies Linked to Mental Illness and Addiction

“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 behavioral 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.

A teenager from the UK tried to commit suicide after he was unable to take the perfect selfie. Danny Bowman became so obsessed with capturing the perfect photo 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 photo. He would take 10 pictures right after waking up. He became so frustrated to take the perfect image, he tried to commit suicide by overdosing. Fortunately, his mother saved his life.

It is believed the teenager became the first selfie addict and has had therapy to treat his addiction, as well as OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Selfie Shutterstock

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 addiction to selfies has also concerned physicians 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 behaviors could generate brain problems in the future, especially those related to lack of confidence. Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.