Written by Dr Filippo Passetti for Doctify

Is our collective selfie addiction creating a generation of narcissists?

We all remember Christmas 2014, when that suspicious-looking oblong package sticking out of our stocking inevitably turned out to be a selfie stick. We should have seen it coming, what with ‘selfie’ being added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.

But could this form of photography actually be damaging to our mental health? We asked leading psychiatrist Dr Filippo Passetti whether our camera habits are really a symptom of clinical narcissism.

What actually is narcissism?

“In the original myth, Narcissus was, in a manner of speaking, taking photos of himself: he fell in love with his own reflection and stared at it endlessly,” says Dr Passetti. “However, the Narcissus image is there to exemplify the core feature of narcissistic personalities. These are a pervasive sense of superiority and self importance, leading to arrogance and lack of empathy.”

Does this mean we’re all becoming too self-absorbed?

“People may take selfies for all manner of reasons and grandiosity is unlikely to be the main or the most common one. For all the irritation that selfie takers seem to cause to some, they are not really harmful to anyone and a blanket accusation of narcissism would be really unfair on them.”

Medical Myth: False


 

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