Selfitis: People who take lots of selfies may have a mental disorder, new study finds

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Are you one of those people who continually takes selfies and posts them to social media?

If you are, you may have something known as selfitis according to a report in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

The study initially began to see if the condition really existed after a hoax story was published in 2014.

Much to the surprise of experts, it seems that the condition could indeed exist in those people who posted excessive images of themselves.

This is not the first time that new technology has been questioned.

In 1995, Mark D. Griffiths introduced a paper suggesting that the internet was addictive and this was again published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

“A few years ago, stories appeared in the media claiming that the condition of selfitis was to be classed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association,” said Dr Mark Griffiths, Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction in Nottingham Trent University’s Psychology Department

“Whilst the story was revealed to be a hoax, it didn’t mean that the condition of selfitis didn’t exist. We have now appeared to confirm its existence and developed the world’s first Selfitis Behaviour Scale to assess the condition.”

The latest study was conducted on 600 students from universities in India.

When the researchers started their study, they took six factors into account to determine the existence of selfitis.

These factors were, social competition, environmental enhancement, attention seeking, self-confidence, mood modification, and social conformity.

The researchers assessed the students through a behaviour scale but at this stage concluded that more studies were required.

As the study progressed, they introduced a Selfitis Behaviour Scale (SBS) which took the original 6 factors into consideration to access firstly if someone has selfitis and secondly, how seriously it affected them.

The conclusion was that selfitis did exist and it was an addiction although the results and the factors were said to differ greatly in their intensity.

The researchers involved in the study recognised that “Selfitis is a new construct in which future researchers may investigate further in relation to selfitis addiction and/or compulsion.”

They also recommended further research into the acquisition, development, and maintenance of the selfitis.

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