Are people who post selfies on social media sites narcissistic, psychopathic or self-objectifying?

DO you take a lot of selfies? You may suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) — two thirds of patients with BDD obsessively take photos of themselves.

A psychologist from The Priory, a private hospital at North London which specialises in the treatment of mental health problems, says taking selfies is not an addiction but a symptom of BDD.

BDD is a body-image disorder characterised by persistent and intrusive preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance.

People with BDD can dislike any part of their body. They often find fault with their hair, skin, nose, chest or stomach.

In reality, a perceived defect may be only a slight imperfection or even non-existent.

But for someone with BDD, the flaw is prominent, often causing severe emotional distress and difficulties in daily functioning.

One Boston-based psychologist thinks taking selfies is an indicator that someone lacks confidence. Another expert says it’s a symptom that involves checking one’s appearance.

The Adobo Chronicles (March 2014) broke the story regarding the American Psychiatric Association officially classifying selfie-taking as a mental disorder.

(The Adobo Chronicles is the source of up-to-date, unbelievable news.)

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has not confirmed it.

On Adobo Chronicles, the disorder is called selfitis, and is defined as the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for a lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy. It also said there are three levels of the disorder:
BORDERLINE SELFITIS: Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media;
ACUTE SELFITIS: Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media; and,
CHRONIC SELFITIS: The uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day.

It further said there is no cure for the disorder, but temporary treatment is available through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

This therapy is often used to help patients moderate their obsessive behaviour relating to their appearance, given that BDD sufferers spend hours trying to take pictures that do not show any defects or flaws in their appearance, which they are very aware of but which may be unnoticeable to others.

Are people who post selfies on social media sites narcissistic, psychopathic or self-objectifying?

They are a bit narcissistic and psychopathic. They are self-centred and have a grandiose view of oneself.

Narcissists have an excessive need to be admired and have a sense of entitlement. They are likely to agree with statements like: “I’m more capable than most people” and “I will usually show off if I get the chance”.

Psychopaths are impulsive and lack empathy. They are likely to agree with statements like: “Payback needs to be quick and nasty.”

Self-objectifying is a tendency to view one’s body as an object based on its sexual worth. Those who do so base their self-worth on their appearance.

AZIZI AHMAD, Kuala Lumpur

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