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Take loads of selfies? You might have ‘Selfitis’

Apparently it’s a serious psychological complex

We all love selfies, the IG likes, that sense of validation in the cold dark of night from randoms you went to school with and Russian bots double-tapping on your face. Now your love of taking photos of your face has been cast as a supposedly serious psychological complex called Selfitis. No really, not kidding.

The study carried out by Dr Mark Griffiths and Janarthanan Balakrishnan, researchers at the American Psychiatric Association, took a sample of 100 people in India and looked into whether or not the action of taking a selfie is actually addictive. The study was carried out in India partly due to the country having the most Facebook users in the world, and mainly because they have the highest rate of deaths caused by selfie-taking in dangerous places.

This isn’t the first time selfies have made headlines. Earlier this year we reported how a woman destroyed over $200k worth of art in an attempt to get the perfect selfie and another $800k piece of Japanese art was destroyed again for the same reason. That’s literally art worth enough to buy a few houses, for the sake of a picture.

The study also provided a scale to help diagnose the levels of Selfitis. Here’s how to decipher your level of vanity:

Borderline = Three selfies a day but not posted

Acute = Those who take the three selfies a day AND post them

Chronic = Takes selfies constantly throughout the day and posts more than 6 a day

The term Selfitis first came about in 2014 in a spoof article that claimed it was defined as a disorder by American Psychiatric Association. Researchers at APA though have looked into the phenomenon, as well as other issues such as “nomophobia” – the phobia of not having your mobile phone nearby.

Researcher Dr Janarthanan Balakrishnan told the Independent: “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.

“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.”