'Selfies' and Psychological Disorders: Where it Turns into Narcissistic Addiction

First Posted: Apr 10, 2014 03:23 PM EDT

For many, selfies can be a fun way to share cute or interesting looks throughout the media world. Yet for those obsessing over these small pictures, it can be a sign of mental illness.

Danny Bowman, who was diagnosed with a body dysmorphic disorder, explained that he grew suicidal due to his addiction taking pictures of himself. Bowman shared how he would shoot 200 pictures a day to get just the right look. In fact, the 19-year-old Englishman said that he might spend as much as 10 hours a day just taking selfies, according to CBS.

"Danny's case is particularly extreme," said psychiatrist Dr. David Veale, whose clinic helped treat the teenager, according to Mirror News. "But this is a serious problem. It's not a vanity issue. It's a mental health one which has an extremely high suicide rate."

In an article from Psychology Today, doctor Pamela Rutledge discusses how the need to overly indulge in selfies may also be related to narcissism, low self-esteem and other attention-seeking, destructive behaviors.

However, many fear that the idea that taking selfies may also be instigating a variety of troubling mental health issues is not likely to be of concern by a technological society that's so self-obssessed.

Dr. Rutledge notes, via the news organization, to "put aside your anxieties over rampant narcissism and moral decline of the digital generation and exhale ... like every trend, the behavior will recede when the excitement and newness wears off..."

Let's certainly hope so. 

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