The Farce of Selfitis: Taking selfies is not a mental disorder


Social networks have recently spread false information: APA, it was said, included a disorder called “Selfitis” which referred to the obsession with taking selfies with the cell phone. While it is true that there are people who are too obsessed with wanting to show a good image of themselves on social media, the truth is that by the American Psychiatric Association, there has been no mention of this suspected disorder.

In order to be able to do some pedagogy on this issue, we have compiled the article “lie” which has received so much attention and controversy.

Have you ever started to think what is your profile picture Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? What sense does it make to upload all these self-portraits to your social networks on a daily basis?

From people with normal lives to celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Kelly Brooks, King Wool and Kim Kardashian upload daily photos and self-portraits of their daily lives. Many will think these selfies don’t make sense, but according to the American Psychiatric Association (better known by its acronym APA) at its annual meeting, held in Chicago in 2014, people who compulsively take selfies may suffer from a mental disorder called “Selfitis”, and according to the APA, this compulsive act of taking self-portraits is due to this lack of self-esteem and to filling a void in intimacy.

Self-site research

In 2013, Nadav Hochman, Lev Manovich and Jay Chow analyzed two million photos from the social network Instagram, which were collected in five different cities around the world. Analysis of these photos revealed relevant information, such as that women aged 23 to 25 take the most selfies. Another curious fact is that women in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo are the ones who smile the most and turn their heads an average of 16.9 degrees when taking a self-portrait, while the average for all countries does not exceed 12 degrees. As can be seen, this was an almost absurdly exhaustive study.

But that doesn’t mean that men are exempt from suffering from this disorder, as there is a good percentage of men who compulsively take this type of self-portrait.

A survey by psychologists released more revealing data about Selfitis. For example, we knew that the more selfies a person takes and spreads on social media, the more they tend to see their relationship with their friends on social media. Therefore, we can conclude that people who believe that taking dozens and dozens of selfies and uploading them to social media will bring them more popularity and friendships, they are wrong.

How to identify a person with selfitis?

To diagnose a person with Selfitis, it is not only considered that a person is taking a selfie. Taking a self-portrait from time to time is not a sign that you have a pathology. In order for us to be able to talk about Selfitis, the amount of selfies must be significant during the day, pbre also takes into account the constraint of sharing these photos on their social networks.

A person with Selfitis can take more than three selfies per day and share the same photo more than twice on different social networks like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It is also identifying the disorder that he manages to copy poses of people who have had a great social impact in their photos, and may even exhibit anxiety and depression if his selfie did not get them. expected tastes.

The phases of Selfitis

According to the APA, there are 3 stages or phases of Selfitis which are as follows:

  • Selfitis limit: The person can only take a minimum of three selfies per day, but without sharing them on social networks.
  • Acute selfitis: Subject takes self-portraits at least three times a day, then shares each one on social media.
  • Chronic selfitis: Occurs when the person feels an uncontrollable urge to take selfies all day, as well as to share those photos on social media more than six times a day.

Selfie obsession treatment

At the APA’s annual meeting, it was concluded that the best possible treatment for self-infection is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

A problem that should make us think

The underlying problem we’re seeing with obsessing over selfies isn’t exactly smartphone fever, but the image culture. What tells us that a teenager spends hours taking photos and then showing them off on social media? In many cases, this can indicate low self-esteem and the need to feel accepted by others.

In this sense, Selfitis is the tip of the iceberg of a problem which is not strictly psychopathological but relates to the values ​​that prevail in our society, a society in which aesthetics and personal relationships acquire a central role in self-image of adolescents. . Taking selfies doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a psychological issue behind itBut in some cases, it can be an unequivocal symptom that something is wrong.

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