‘Selfitis’ is a genuine mental disorder

Psychologists have created a behaviour test to decide whether those who post pictures on social media need help, so how do YOU score?

  • Term was first coined in 2014 as part of a spoof article claiming selfitis was to be deemed a mental disorder
  • Now researchers from the UK and India have confirmed that ‘selfitis’ does exist
  • There are three categories – borderline, acute and chronic, they say

Selfitis’ – or the obsessive taking of selfies – appears to be a genuine mental condition, research has suggested.

And now psychologists have devised a test which you can take to see where you fit on the ‘selfitis’ scale.

The term was first coined in 2014 as part of a spoof news article claiming selfitis was to be deemed a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.

Following this, researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai, India, investigated whether there was any truth in the phenomenon.

After confirming that ‘selfitis’ does indeed exist, they tested out a framework for assessing its severity on volunteers. They say there are three categories – ‘borderline’, ‘acute’ and ‘chronic’.

Borderline selfitis occurs when people take selfies at least three times a day, but do not post them on social media.

Someone is classed as acute if as many are taken and the pictures are actually posted online.

You are a chronic selfie-taker if you feel an uncontrollable urge to take photos of yourself around the clock, posting them to Facebook and Instagram more than six times a day.

Scroll down to take the test 

How the research was carried out 

The scale, which runs from one to 100, was compiled after tests on focus groups with 200 participants that looked at at what factors drove the condition of selfitis.

Then, the team tested out the scale by carrying out a survey on 400 participants.

The research, which was published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, took part in India, the country that has the most Facebook users,

India has had the highest number of selfie-related deaths, where a person dies while trying to take a picture of themselves, according to research published in July.

The study, which looked at figures from March 2014 and September 2016, discovered the country accounted for 60 per cent of all such mortalities.

The physiologists found that typical ‘selfitis’ sufferers were attention seekers and often lacked self confidence. They constantly post images of themselves in the hope that they boost their social credentials and to feel part of a group.

The paper authors wrote: ‘As with internet addiction, the concepts of selfitis and selfie addiction started as a hoax, but recent research including the present paper has begun to empirically validate its existence.’

This article was originally published in the Daily Mail UK on 15th December 2017