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‘Selfie Addiction’ Is No Laughing Matter, Psychiatrists Say

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“Selfie” may be the 2013 word of the year, but for certain at-risk people, taking selfies just may be dangerous.

It seems that some people simply can’t stop turning the camera their way for that perfect social media photo, and now psychologists say taking selfies can turn into an addiction for people already affected by certain psychological disorders.

That certainly seems to apply to Danny Bowman. The 19-year-old Englishman, who had been diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, developed a selfie addiction in which he took up to 200 photos of himself a day, Mirror News reported. He even became suicidal. Watch Bowman explain his addiction in the video above.

“Danny’s case is particularly extreme,” Psychiatrist Dr. David Veale, whose clinic helped treat the teenager, told Mirror News. “But this is a serious problem. It’s not a vanity issue. It’s a mental health one which has an extremely high suicide rate.”

Selfie addiction may not be so surprising since addiction to forms of social media, such as Facebook, has been known to exist. Researchers even have developed a psychological scale based on six basic criteria to measure risk for Facebook addiction.

And researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found in 2013 that college-aged and middle-aged adults who scored higher for certain narcissistic traits posted more frequently on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

“With modern technology, it can actually be quite severe,” Bowman says in the video above. “This kind of thing can happen to anyone.”

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