Obsessed with taking selfies?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Debra Lui MSc CBP, Adv Dip Couns, MBACP
21st December, 2017
We may all present with some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). I know mine used to be checking if doors are locked (yes, therapists can displays OCD behaviours too!). Some may find themselves constantly checking their reflection a little more than usual, or eating in a ritualistic way.
What about the obsessive disorder explored in the following article:
“Selfitis”. A disorder described as an obsessive taking of selfies. Psychologists and researchers have discovered the darker side to taking these photos. They indicate that a desire to take these photos may reveal signs of a “serious psychological complex”.
It is clear in this day and age that professionals are acknowledging that mental health stresses and anxieties are not only caused by work, life and relationship issues. There is also a surge of technologically influenced mental health issues, such as a term coined as “nomophobia” - the fear of not having your mobile phone to hand.
This year, psychologists in Nottingham Trent University are pioneers in creating the first psychological assessment scale in selfie obsession. The “selfitis behaviour scale”.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, looks at what researchers uncovered and how “selfitis” disorder displays similar features to other addictive behaviours. Some believe selfie taking is related to narcissistic traits, especially when there are apps which allow the user to alter and change the effects of the photo.
Now researchers are looking into what exactly causes selfitis and what can be done to help those affected. Being aware of healthy/unhealthy or helpful/unhelpful behaviours may enable us to gain a better understanding of ourselves, our emotional and psychological needs.
About the author
Debra Lui - Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and Person-centred Counsellor
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