Clicking ‘selfies’ — mental disorder, requires medical treatments, says study

New Delhi: The rising trend of clicking selfies has taken the internet by storm for the past few years and now according to a new study conducted in India clicking those selfies is likely a mental disorder which definitely needs medical treatment.

Clicking selfies and then uploading the pictures on social media for the world to see, the study called as ‘Selfitis’, has said this obsession for taking selfies could possibly be a real mental disorder which will require medical attention.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK and the Thiagarajar School of Management (TSM) in Tamil Nadu had begun researching the phenomenon after a hoax story of American Psychiatric Association terming this ‘selfitis’ as mental disorder appeared on social media.

‘Selfitis Behaviour Scale’ is the test developed to test its severity. The scale was developed using a large number of focus groups with 200 participants and the scale was tested via a survey of 400 participants based in India since India has the most number of FB accounts, as well as tops in deaths in attempts to clicking selfies in dangerous locations.

The findings to the research were published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction which have confirmed three levels of selfitis.

Six factors were identified in the tests which shows selfitis sufferers are attention
seekers, typically seeking to boost their self confidence, their mood, to increase their conformity within the social group, increase their social competency along with making records of their memories.

According to the researchers the three levels of selfitis are –Borderline, Acute selfitis and the chronic selfitis.

Borderline selfitis is defined as clicking selfies at least thrice a day but not posting them on social media.

Acute selfitis is taking selfies at least thrice a day along with posting them on social media whereas Chronic selfitis is the uncontrollable urge to click photos round the clock and uploading them on social media more than six times a day.

Mark Griffiths, from Nottingham Trent University said, “A few years ago, stories appeared in
the media claiming that the condition of selfitis was to be classed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.”

“While the story was revealed to be a hoax, it did not mean that the condition of selfitis did not exist,” Griffiths said.

“We have now appeared to confirm its existence and developed the world’s first Selfitis Behaviour Scale to assess the condition,” he said reports Zee News.

“Typically, those with the condition suffer from a lack of self-confidence and are seeking to ‘fit in’ with those around them, and may display symptoms similar to other potentially addictive behaviours,” said Janarthanan Balakrishnan, assistant professor at TSM.

“Now the existence of the condition appears to have been confirmed, it is hoped that further research will be carried out to understand more about how and why people develop this potentially obsessive behaviour, and what can be done to help people who are the most affected,” he said.