Skip to Content

Scientists Have Linked Selfies To Narcissism, ‪Addiction And Mental Illness

In today’s modern era, everyone is obsessed with selfies.

In times of old, self-portraits and grand painting were commissioned to fulfill one’s need for self-indulgence.

Today, all of that is just a pose and the click of a phone camera away.

Unfortunately, it seems that this trend has detrimental effects on the mental health of the world’s population.

Dr. David Veal, a psychiatrist, states that a whopping 2/3 of the patients that he sees for body dysmorphic disorder display a certain eerie symptom: they compulsively take selfies and post them on different social media accounts.

This often requires cognitive behavioral therapy in order to help the patient in question recognize the root of their harmful behavior so that they can stop performing it.


Psychologists have been warning parents about the dangers of an obsession with taking selfies, gaining fame on social media, and other similar issues.

As with all other things, they have to be done in moderation.

Some experts also believe that this dangerous obsession could lead to the development of narcissistic personality disorder.


Danny Bowman is believed to be the United Kingdom’s first ever case of selfie addiction.

At the age of 19, he spent more than 10 hours every day in a quest to take the perfect picture, which amounted to almost 200 selfies daily.

During this time, he dropped out of his school, lost almost 30 pounds in weight, and refused to leave the house for a shocking 6 months.

Every morning, as soon as he awoke, his first thing to do would be to take 10 selfies.

But Bowman could never find the right selfie and became distraught over never looking quite how he wanted to in these pictures.

He eventually attempted to commit suicide through an overdose of pills, but his mother was able to save him just in time.

Unfortunately, in the process, his health, education, and social life had all been lost.


He has since gone through treatment for body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and technology addiction.

This included an increment-based system where his iPhone was taken away from him for 10 minutes, then 30, and then 60.

This was a very difficult process for him, but he wanted to get better.


According to UK health officials, social media addiction is now classified as an illness that affects over 100 people annually.

It is believed that the act of taking selfies can trigger attention-seeking or self-indulgent behaviors that hinge on social dependence entirely, leading to a cyclical catch-22 situation.

Patients who stop posting selfies feel the fallout of low self-esteem due to a lack of social approval. Meanwhile, those who do post selfies develop narcissistic tendencies.

Narcissism is far from a new phenomenon, but it is ever-present in today’s smartphone-obsessed society.

One of the largest issues with narcissism in the digital age is that there are a lot of unattainable images on social media that are ripe with filters and Photoshop, leading to an unhealthy belief of what is normal, natural, or desirable.


What do you think about the “selfie age” we live in?

Do you think it contributes to narcissism or is it all just yet another outlet for the low self-esteem issues that have plagued mankind for decades?