Selfie-obsessed teenage boy warns about addiction after trying to commit suicide

We all love a selfie, right? Facebook and Twitter are awash with them, #makeupfree selfies have bizarrely raised millions for cancer research and the most retweeted tweet ever is that star-studded selfie taken at the Oscars.

So it was only a matter of time before the vain pastime took an ugly turn.

Psychologists and parents alike have been worrying about what effect the increasingly appearance-obsessed world of social media is having on young people's self esteem. And one boy's experience could be a warning that we need to stop selfying.

Teenager Danny Bowman has revealed how he became so addicted to taking selfies, and so desperate to get the perfect shot, that he dropped out of school and even tried to take his own life.

[#nomakeupselfie: Are we missing the point?]
[Are we becoming selfie-obsessed?]

Both his parents are mental health nurses and recognised something was up. But when they tried to confiscate Danny's mobile phone he became uncharacteristically agressive.

Danny was eventually diagnosed with Body Dismorphia and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and has been receiving psychiatric treatment.

The 19-year-old is an aspiring model and his obsessive selfie taking began after a modelling agency told him he didn't have the 'model looks' required.

Desperate to capture the perfect image he became more and more reclusive, spending hours a day taking selfies. He lost two stone and dropped out of school.

"It was 10 hours a day, 200 selfies," Danny explained in an interview in Daybreak. "This wouldn't happen if it wasn't a new media age. This is a very new thing - selfies - the fact with modern technology it can actually be quite severe."

Consultant Psychiatrist In Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at The Priory, Dr David Veale warned that there could be many more young people at risk of falling into the same obsessive behavior patterns as Danny.

"The common treatment is where a patient gradually learns to go for longer periods of time without satisfying the urge to take a photograph, along with therapy to address the root cause of the problem.

"This can be anything from low self esteem to problems with bullying in the past."

Is your selfie-taking getting out of hand? Step away from the phone...

 

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