According to a research, India has the maximum number of selfie deaths in the world. People go to any length to capture that perfect selfie even if it means endangering their own lives. In the last few weeks, there have been four selfie-related deaths in Karnataka alone. Three of them were crushed to death while posing for selfies on a railway track. In yet another case, a python bit a man during a “groupie” with the large reptile. A British teen became so obsessed with selfies that he took almost 200 of them every single day, spending close to half a day doing just that. His obsession even made him attempt suicide and he dropped out of school and stayed put in his house for nearly six months in a bid to make himself “selfie worthy”! In an era where social ratification defines people ‘s sense of self-perception, the selfie craze is here to stay. While for some, an occasional selfie here and there is more for the sake of fun, for the rest for whom a day does not pass without clicking and uploading multiple selfies clearly defines a mental disorder needing professional help.
“Selfitis”, as it is now called, is a mental disorder. It is kind of an OCD – obsessive compulsory disorder which results in a person developing an abnormal need to click selfies. Overindulgence in clicking selfies signals mental health problems. If you take more than six selfies a day and put them up on any social networking site, then you certainly are in the danger zone. An urge for social endorsement as well as getting maximum likes and positive comments on a selfie are the driving factors. This happens largely to people who suffer low self-esteem and seek approval of others or at the other end of the spectrum, are signs of a highly narcissistic person whose aim is to show-off. Cognitive behavioural therapy is often used to recognise and address such disorders. Experts opine that taking abnormally high number of selfies everyday is a symptom of Body Dysmorphic Disorder which constantly makes a person check out his/her appearance. Taking cognitive behavioural therapy helps in getting over this disorder. Narcissistic behavior can be arrested more effectively with psychotherapy than with medication.
In the digital era that we live in, where we are constantly exposed to “happy and beautiful” pictures of other people, it may be a good idea to pause, look, and admire the beauty around us and soak in its entirety. Weaning off cell phones and most certainly selfies will help us appreciate and love our own selves and life better. An occasional selfie does not hurt but let the mania not possess you so as to destroy your very existence.