World Mental Health Day: The selfie obsession

  • Misbaah Mansuri, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2015 01:05 IST
A woman taking a selfie . (Picture for representation) (AP)

Three months ago, psychiatrist Dr Sagar Mundada counselled a 20-year-old girl at his clinic after her parents found her addicted to clicking selfies.

The college student would take more than 20 selfies on a daily basis and her habit alarmed her parents.

“She was constantly clicking selfies and uploading them on social networking sites everyday. Her parents brought her to the hospital as they were worried about the change in her behavior,” said Dr Mundada from GT Hospital.

Clicking numerous selfies has been recognised as a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.

In fact, city doctors said that clicking selfies is also a form of gadget addiction.

“The main cause of clicking a number of selfies is low self-esteem because of which people are trying to find a way to boost themselves,” said Dr Mundada, adding that once a person starts getting addicted to it, he becomes irritable and impatient if somebody deters them from doing so.

Echoing the view, psychiatrist Dr Dayal Mirchandani said, “People clicking too many selfies could be attributed to the neglect they face from family members. It is a mechanism to gain attention from the community. Most people are buying selfie sticks and you can see that the cultural phenomenon is hampering this behavior.”

Doctors explain that the disorder can have many psychological effects such as depression and addiction.

The obsession is also most common among girls in the age-group between 18 and 25 years.

People who click selfies round the clock and have the urge to post them on social media are said to have chronic selfitis, according to the classification by the American Psychiatric Association.

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