Addicted to selfies

By Kirstin Buick
31 March 2014

A British teen spent up to 10 hours a day trying to take the perfect selfie. His addiction became so all-consuming that he dropped out of school and even tried to commit suicide.

A young British teen was so obsessed with taking the perfect selfie that when he failed to do so, he tried to commit suicide.

Danny Bowman (19) was only 15 when his selfie-obsession began. He would spend about 10 hours a day taking more than 200 selfies with his iPhone. As his addiction deepened, he dropped out of school and lost more than 12 kg. He didn’t leave his house for six months.

“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realised I couldn’t, I wanted to die,” Brown told a UK newspaper. “I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life. The only thing I cared about was having my phone with me so I could satisfy the urge to capture a picture of myself at any time of the day.”

When he failed to take the perfect photo, he tried to kill himself by taking an overdose. His mother Penny saved him.

He’s undergone therapy for his technology addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dimorphic disorder (an extreme anxiety about personal appearance). “Danny’s case is particularly extreme,” said Dr David Veal, who helped Brown overcome his addiction. “But this is a serious problem. It’s not a vanity issue. It’s a mental health one which has an extremely high suicide rate.”

Brown says he hasn’t taken a single selfie in seven months. “It sounds trivial and harmless but that’s the very thing that makes it so dangerous. It almost took my life, but I survived and I am determined never to get into that position again.”


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