Selfitis is a Thing, and it Could be a Serious Health Problem

Do you have selfitis? Take the test and find out.


Selfities has become a genuine medical condition

The term selfities,was first coined in a fake-news story in 2014. It inspired an actual study conducted by psychologists  Dr Janarthanan Balakrishnan and Dr Mark D. Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University.

The study looked at the concept of selfies, collecting data from 625 university students to test out the supposed state. The doctors broke down the condition into three levels. Borderline, acute, and chronic. They then created the Selfities Behaviour Scale.

Levels broken down

First there’s Borderline. This is when people who take  selfies three times a day but do no post them on social media. Acute sufferers actually post the selfies they take. Meanwhile, Chronic sufferers feel compelled to take selfies all the time and post pictures online more than six times a day.

“Typically, those with the condition suffer from a lack of self-confidence and are seeking to ‘fit in’ with those around them, and may display symptoms similar to other potentially addictive behaviors,” Balakrishnan said.

“Now that the existence of the condition appears to have been confirmed, it is hoped that further research will be carried out to understand more about how and why people develop this potentially obsessive behavior, and what can be done to help people who are the most affected.”

An academic selfie

A professor of  Psychological Medicine at King’s College London Sir Simon Wessely has poo-pooed the study, calling the research paper itself an “academic selfie”.

“The research suggests that people take selfies to improve their mood, draw attention to themselves, increase their self-confidence and connect with their environment,” he said. Spokesman for the Royal College of Psychiatrists Dr Mark Salter echoed Wessely’s skepticism. “There is a tendency to try and label a whole range of complicated and complex human behaviors with a single word,” he said. “But that is dangerous because it can give something reality where it really has none.”


The Selfitis Behaviour Scale

Do you have selfities? Let’s find out. Complete the test below:

Using the statements below, rate them 1 to 5, where 5 is strongly agree, and 1 is strongly disagree.

The higher the score, the greater likelihood of selfitis.

1. Taking selfies gives me a good feeling to better enjoy my environment

2. Sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues

3. I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media

4. I am able to reduce my stress level by taking selfies

5. I feel confident when I take a selfie

6. I gain more acceptance among my peer group when I take selfie and share it on social


7. I am able to express myself more in my environment through selfies

8. Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status

9. I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media

10. Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy

11. I become more positive about myself when I take selfies

12. I become a strong member of my peer group through selfie postings

13. Taking selfies provides better memories about the occasion and the experience

14. I post frequent selfies to get more ‘likes’ and comments on social media

15. By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me

16. Taking selfies instantly modifies my mood

17. I take more selfies and look at them privately to increase my confidence

18. When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group

19. I take selfies as trophies for future memories

20. I use photo editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others

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