Selfitis is now a real medical condition

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Constant need for external appreciation and approval can lead to depression in the longer term

New Delhi, 21 December 2017: As per a recent study, clicking selfies is actually a medical condition that may require treatment. The condition is being called Selfitis. Researchers have also developed something called the ‘Selfitis Behavior Scale’ that can help determine the severity of one’s addiction. Statistics indicate that India ranks number one in accidents related to selfies. About 60% of the total selfie accidents that happen throughout the world occur in India.

Selfitis has been classified at three levels: borderline, which involves clicking at least three selfies a day but not posting on social media; acute, which involves clicking at least three selfies a day but posting it on social media; chronic, where there is a constant urge to click selfies and posting at least six on social media.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Today’s generation is constantly looking for external appreciation and approval. Youngsters want to show to the world that they have achieved a milestone that none or only a few others have achieved. The more daring a selfie, the more appreciation one gets. Such selfies help them in getting instant approval from their peers. We live in an age where mobile phones have penetrated our lives and actual human interaction is almost non-existent. Although technology has made life easier for everyone, there is a severe limitation of actual human empathetic interactions. We have begun to place more importance on what others think of us and how they perceive us. All of this can lead to anxiety and depression in the longer term.”

Those suffering from this condition typically seek to increase their self-confidence, seek attention, improve their mood, connect with the environment around them (to create a record of memories), increase their conformity with the social group around them, as well as being socially competitive.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “n this digital era, the key to good health should be moderation – moderate use of technology. A lot of us have become slaves to devices that were really meant to free us and give us more time to experience life and be with people. Unless precautionary measures are taken at the earliest, this addiction can prove detrimental to one’s health in the longer term.”

Some tips for preventing problems caused due to overuse of mobile phones are as follows.

  • Electronic curfew means not using any electronic gadgets 30 minutes before sleep.
  • Facebook holiday: Take a Facebook holiday for 7 days every three months.
  • Social media fast: Avoid use of social media once in a week for the entire day.
  • Use your mobile phone only when mobile.
  • Do not use computer for more than three hours in a day.
  • Limit your mobile talk time to more than two hours in a day.
  • Do not recharge your mobile battery more than once in a day.
  • Mobile can also be a source of infection in the hospital setup; therefore, it is disinfected every day.