Taking Selfies: An Act that Scientists Have Linked to Mental Illness, Addiction, & Narcissism


The act of taking selfies has been linked to mental health conditions that reflect an obsession with looks. Numerous of psychologists have come forward and have warned parents to pay close attention to what their children do online, as taking selfies can causes suicide, narcissism, illness, and addiction.

Just recently, a male teenager from Britain named Danny Bowman tried to kill himself for failing at taking the perfect selfie. This young man was very obsessed in capturing the perfect shot that he spent ten hours a day taking about 200 selfies. In his quest to attain the ideal photo, this 19-year-old teen dropped out of school, did not leave the house for six months, and lost nearly thirty pounds. Immediately after waking up, he would take ten photos. Frustrated for not being able to take the perfect selfie, he tried to take his life with an overdose. Thankfully, he was saved by his mother.


In an interview with The Mirror, Mr. Bowman said that he was in constant search of taking the perfect selfie and when he realized he couldn’t, he wanted to die. He went on to further say that he lost his health, education and friends. This teen is considered to be the first selfie addict in the United Kingdom. He has already had therapy at the Maudsley Hospital in London to treat his selfie addiction, as well as to treat Body Dysmorphic Disorder and OCD. His iPhone was taking away from him in intervals of ten minutes, which increased to thirty minutes and then an hour.

UK public health officials have stated that social media addiction is an illness. Selfies constantly trigger perceptions of attention-seeking dependence or self-indulgence.


Narcissism manifestations on the Internet might be more than a self-presentational strategy to compensate for a fragile and very low self-esteem. When these efforts are rewarded and reinforced by others, they consolidate narcissistic delusions and thus perpetuate the distortion of reality.




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