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In the News: Selfies Linked to Addiction and Mental Illness

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The rising development of taking smartphone selfies is connected to mental health conditions that center on a person’s fixation with looks. “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 selfies,” states psychiatrist Dr David Veal. “Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help a patient to recognize the explanations for his or her compulsive behavior and then to learn how to moderate it,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

19-year-old Danny Bowman’s selfie addiction spiraled out of control, spending ten hours a day taking up to 200 pictures of himself on his iPhone. The teenager is assumed to be the UK’s first selfie addict and has had psychotherapy to treat his technology addiction as well as OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Part of his treatment at the Maudsley Hospital in London involved taking away his iPhone for 10 minute intervals, which enlarged to 30 minutes and then an hour.

“It was excruciating to begin with but I knew I had to do it if I wanted to go on living,” he stated to the Sunday Mirror. Public health officials in the UK broadcasted that addiction to social media such as Twitter and Facebook is a sickness and more than 100 patients pursued treatment every year. “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 low self-esteem,” stated Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today.

The addiction to selfies has also startled health professionals 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,” stated Panpimol Wipulakorn, of the Thai Mental Health Department.

The doctor understood that behaviors could produce brain complications in the future, particularly those linked to lack of confidence. The word “selfie” was chosen as “Word of the Year 2013” by the Oxford English Dictionary. It is described as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”.

It seems that the addiction of selfies is a disease just like any other. I honestly believe that as a recovering addict myself, I can get addicted to anything. I have a huge tendency to go a little over-the-top with most of the things I do in my life; it’s all a part of my obsessive compulsive tendencies. It’s a good thing that there are therapy options for anything you are dealing with now-a-days and usually there are 12-step anonymous fellowships for all kinds of different addictions.

In my opinion, a 12-step fellowship can help anyone whether they have issues with addiction or not. Learning to live life in the way it is outlined in the steps is a beautiful process that anyone could benefit from. I’m glad that they are taking action on helping people who have addiction issues with selfies and hope they end up recovering from their addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

Source:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/selfies-linked-narcissism-addiction-mental-illness-say-scientists-1441480

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