“Selfitis” may sound like a fake illness, and you could be forgiven for thinking it sounded phony. It was a term originally coined as part of a fake news story back in 2014. Now a group of researchers have confirmed it as a recognized mental disorder that leads to obsessive levels of selfie-taking.
A report has been published in the International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, submitted by researchers from Nottingham Trent University, U.K., and Thiagarajar School of Management, India. Those who suffer selfitis are said to use the act of taking selfies as a means of boosting their confidence or mood, as well as being motivated to do it by the pressure of social competition.
Selfie-taking is listed as an addictive behavior that illustrates such mental health issues as low self-confidence and esteem. Inspired by the hoax story from several years ago, the research group set out to see if there could in fact be some truth in the theory. The researchers studied 200 people, selecting individuals from the country with the highest selfie-related death rate: India.
The study showed 34 percent of participants were diagnosed with borderline selfitis, 40.5 percent acute, and 25.5 percent chronic selfitis. Males were the worst for it at 57.5 percent, as were the 16–20 age bracket. Nine percent of participants took more than eight selfies a day, while a quarter posted three or more per day.
Speaking to the New York Post, Dr. Janarthanan Balakrishnan explained:
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 behaviors. 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 behavior and what can be done to help people who are the most affected.
Read the report in greater depth on Springer Link.
Lead image by Stokpic via Pexels.
[via Digital Trends]