Selfies have started to become a huge trend on social media and a number of mental health workers and psychiatrists have begun to link this trend to mental health conditions particularly associated with narcissism which is a person’s obsession with the way he/she looks.
According to a psychiatrist, a majority of the patients who come to him with a Body Dysmorphic Disorder have a compulsion of taking selfies for social media websites. He states that for such patients, cognitive behavioral therapy is a way for them to understand why they have this compulsive behavior and how they can moderate it.
Extreme cases are not very uncommon these days with a number of individuals not feeling happy with the way they look and attempting to take their life. While it may sound extreme for an individual to take his life based on such an instance, such thoughts are often what go through the minds of a number of younger and even older individuals while they take pictures of themselves for social media. A lot of people tend to see pictures uploaded by others and the attention they get and compare it to how others react to their own selfies. With time, an obsession may build up causing looks to become an increasingly important factor.
According to Pamela Rutledge, selfies tend to trigger an attention seeking social dependence behavior which causes the ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ spectrum to arise of either low self esteem or narcissism.
Narcissism is associated with an obsession with being recognized and attaining gratification with the way one looks. Vanity and an obsession with it in an egotistical manner has become one of the main problems of this digital age. Unfortunately, the education system is also not seen to be addressing such issues which is very much affecting the youth of today. This issue is one which clearly affects the personal development of a number of individuals which shouldn’t be taken very lightly.
Health professionals in Thailand too have become alarmed with the addiction people now have to selfies. Individuals have begun to pay a lot of attention to the photos others publish, to see who likes and comments on them and to reach a large number of ‘likes’; all of which are seen to be some of the symptoms associated with how selfies could be causing a major problem. According to a doctor in Thailand, additional behaviors such as these could even lead to further mental issues in the future, particularly those which may be associated with a lack of confidence.
The next time you decide to take a selfie and post it online, think about how much of your decision is being impacted by the way you look, what you think others will think of you when they see your picture and how you may be using your looks to feel good about yourself for a short period of time. It is from here that you can then work on accepting every part of yourself and seeing yourself as perfect without needing to look towards others for love and acceptance.
Infographic Source: http://www.theonespy.com/selfie-culture-among-generations/