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Taking selfies, sign of mental disorder- Expert

by Church Times

A lifestyle expert, Mr. Sunday Clement has described those who are obsessed with taking selfies as exhibiting a state of mental disorder which may not necessary be harmful at its early stage

He however warned that taking selfies could lead to a more damaging mental disorder if it progresses to the chronic stage.

Clement said on an internet radio interview that the Selfie syndrome is clearly a state of mental disorder. He said, “It’s been on debate that selfie is something that is not normal. The world we live now is a social media world. Everybody wants to belong to social media. It’s a new wave. Whether we like it or not, social media is affecting the way we behave. It is having overbearing effect on the way we live”.

While insisting that an average person is abnormally normal he stated, “ We can’t say we are 100 percent sane. Taking selfie is an indication to say “I am not normal”. Before now people don’t take pictures of themselves. When they go parties they ask people to take them. But now, people take pictures of themselves.”

He explained that selfie syndrome has three stages. The first stage according to him is the border-line stage which according to him is when people take selfies but don’t post them on social media. At this stage the person only takes the selfies for the fun of it. But then, the base line stage graduates to the acute stage. This according to him is when people take pictures of themselves at least three times in a day and post such pictures on the social media. The acute stage according to him progresses to the chronic stage. He said, “the chronic stage is when you take pictures of yourself and post them on the social media like six times a day”.

He observed further in the interview that “social media has changed the life of many people. Social media has made people live a false life. Some can’t be normal if their phones is taking away from them just for one day.”

He reasoned that those who take selfies should ask the question, for what purpose. “The objective is very key. Is it for your self-esteem? It is obsessive compulsive disorder. Why will somebody keep posting pictures of self when nothing has changed? It is not that your head is bigger or smaller.”

A new study published in Journal of Early Adolescents informs that “teens who post more selfies online tend to have an increased awareness of their own appearance — and that awareness is linked to an increased risk of negative body image”

Nancy S. Molitor, PhD, the clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, says the outcome of the study makes some sense.

She says, “These kids are looking for validation in terms of their physical appearance. So, they may already be predisposed to negative self-image issues before they ever go online to share those photos,” she tells Healthline an online journal.

When it comes to social media, the current generation of teens is navigating a landscape unlike anything their predecessors ever had to deal with before. And it’s starting at an early age.“It’s concerning, obviously,” Molitor says.

She reasons further, “there is a lot of research being done. But I think what we’re ultimately going to find is that there aren’t too many effects for kids who are only mild users. But for the heavy utilizers of social media, at any age really, I think we’re going to find there are a lot of vulnerabilities there.”

Danny Bowman is a classic example of how social media could distort a person’s life. The young man tried to commit suicide in 2014 because he could not get perfect selfie after trying for 10 hours a day. He took an average of 200 selfies a day.

The 19 year old teenager who dropped out of school lost two phones in an attempt to capture the perfect self-portrait. He later became so depressed that he took a drug overdose but was discovered by his mother and rushed to the hospital where he had to undergo rehabilitation

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