Science Links Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction, And Mental Problems

Recent studies show that the rising and ravaging fashion of taking selfies with smartphones is directly linked to a failing condition of the mental health, which focuses the on an obsession with the person’s appearance.

According to the psychiatrist David Veale, 2 out of 3 people who come for a consultation have major psychological disorders, triggered by an addition to selfies and smartphones. Namely, these people compulsively develop the need to regularly take pictures of themselves. Then, they have the need to share them on social networks. Behavioral therapies are put in place to help the patients recognize his/her compulsive need so that he/she can then correct it.

There’s the example of a British teenager, Danny Bowman, who attempted to commit a suicide after failing to capture the ‘perfect selfie’.

The young Bowman was so obsessed with his ‘project’ to take the perfect shot that he was spending approximately 10 hours a day taking pictures. His daily average of selfies was about 200. The 19-year-old boy was kicked out of school and he lost almost 15 kilos. Also, he didn’t leave his home for nearly 6 months, all to get the perfect shot.

Frustrated by all his failed attempts, the young Bowman tried to end his life. Fortunately, he was saved in extremis by his mother.

The boy later said that he was constantly looking for the perfect selfie. And, when he realized that he could never do it, he wanted to die. He lost his friends, ruined his school year, his health, and almost his life.

The teenager Danny Bowman is considered to be the first English addict to selfies. He was actually prescribed a therapy to overcome his major psychological disorders.

Part of the prescribed treatment was separating the young men from his smartphone at intervals of 10 minutes. Then the intervals increased to 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.

Selfies Linked To Narcissism, Addiction, And Mental Problems

Public health organizations in Britain have announced that addiction to social networks is a mental illness. According to the numbers, more than 100 patients are submitted with symptoms each year.

The big problem with the increase in digital narcissism is that it puts tremendous pressure on people. Especially to those who are trying to achieve unrealistic goals, which obsesses them.

Wanting to be a superstar promoted by the media is not within the reach of the first comer. It requires a minimum of talent and a lot of work.


Online narcissism events are a strategy to compensate for reality and a very low self-esteem. And when these efforts are reinforced and rewarded with comments and likes from other people, they accentuate the distortion of reality and consolidate the narcissistic disillusionment by locking the individual into this kind of lifestyle and relationship with others.

Doctors are convinced that this kind of behavior can only lead to mental problems and major psychological dysfunctions, especially among the younger, lacking in confidence.

The term selfie has been voted as ‘Word of the Year for 2013’ by the Oxford Dictionaries. It’s defined as a photograph that a person takes of himself/herself with a webcam or a smartphone, which is then published on social networks.

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