People Who Take Tons Of Selfies May Have A Mental Disorder

Photo: Kosim Shukurov / Shutterstock
woman taking selfie

You wake up, and before your eyes even adjust to the brightness of the day, you take a selfie. Then, you roll out of bed and take one in the bathroom. And then you take one for your outfit of the day and so on. Then you take about a million more to send to Josh from math class.

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Your day won't officially start until you've taken a picture of your breakfast, of you on the treadmill, and your outfit of the day. And that's all before noon.

You've posted all your selfies to Instagram, Facebook, and even managed to get a few SnapChats. Maybe it's time for a Twitter one too. Send one to your mom, or even the family group chat. Maybe grandma needs an update on your outfit, just like the rest of the world.

The American Psychiatric Association has classified addiction to selfies as a mental disorder called selfitis, 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 the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy."

You're beginning to panic that you're going insane, even as you reach for your phone to document your anxiety.

Before you completely break down, you should know that there is no selfitis, and it was all a hoax. While there are no mental disorders linked to how many selfies you take, it's still a good thing to stop and smell the roses whenever you can. Recognize that you can't live all of life through a phone lens.

Why were so many people freaking out about their constant selfie-taking? The culprit to this widespread, self-portrait panic was a fake news article that was published in the Adobo Chronicles (The Philippines version of The Onion).

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People read the article, failed to pick up on the satire, and shared it. No one seemed to question the validity of the information, and suddenly selfie addiction was a class-A mental illness.

Is too much selfie-taking obnoxious? Yes. Is an over-abundance of selfie-taking narcissistic? Definitely.

Should you always be aware of your surroundings so you don't get yourself hurt or killed when trying to get the perfect shot? Absolutely. Remember, look both ways before you cross the street, even if you have a phone in your hand. Especially when you have a phone in your hand.

This isn't to say that selfie addiction may not someday become classified as a mental disorder, but as of now, it isn't one. Let the false diagnosis of selfitis be a wake-up call, and from now on, take and share your selfies responsibly.

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Remember: even the Kardashians aren't that fascinating. You can keep some things to yourself.

Christine Schoenwald is a writer, performer, and astrology lover. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day.