Are you addicted to selfies?

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

We hear the word “selfie” all the time. Sure, taking a picture of yourself can be fun every once in a while – especially if you have a great background that you want to share with the social media world. But, for many people, selfies have turned into a dangerous obsession. Selfie addiction is more common for people that are living with other psychological disorders. 

For example, a recent teenager who had been diagnosed body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder was living with a selfie addiction.  After taking 200 pictures of himself, he could not capture an image that he believed was good enough. Because of this, he became suicidal.  While this is an extreme example, addiction to selfies can become a serious problem for some people. It isn’t just an issue of body image, but it has become now, an issue of mental health. Selfie addiction is part of addiction to technology and social media. People that are addicted to Twitter or Facebook likely have a greater increase of selfie addiction. A recent study out of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor showed that college students and middle-aged adults post more frequently on social media sites score higher for certain narcissistic traits. (1) 

Body image is a huge part of young people’s lives today. How other people view them can often dictate how they feel about themselves and if they can’t convey a perfect image on social media, these individuals can become depressed and disengage from their friends and loved ones. Industry expert Dr. Pamela Rutledge was quoted in Psychology Today saying that taking selfies is indicative of self-indulgent, attention-seeking behavior. (2) 

If you struggle with social media addiction, especially in the area of selfies, contact a professional immediately. This type of addiction is very real and can have devastating consequences. 

 

  1. “Selfie Addiction is No Laughing Matter, Psychiatrists Say (VIDEO).” The Huffington Post. Published online March 25, 2014. Accessed online May 26, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/25/selfie-addiction-mental-illness_n_5022090.html
  2.  “Expert: Selfie Addiction May Cause Mental Illness.” CBS Atlanta. April 9, 2014. Accessed online May 26, 2014. http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/04/09/expert-selfie-addiction-may-cause-mental-illness/

 

 


By Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan MD PhD