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The famous Oscar selfie. AP
Recently a story doing the rounds on social media and other news websites said the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had declared taking a selfie a mental disorder.
While some of us might feel that our friends who are always taking a selfie — be it in the loo or in the kitchen — are in need of some psychiatric help, the truth is that the story doing the rounds is a hoax.
According to Social News Daily, the story which began with a link to an article in The Adobo Chronicles which claimed that the APA had declared selfie-taking a mental disorder during its annual board of directors meeting in Chicago. The story on Adobo Chronicles also pointed out that the APA had named the condition ‘selfitis’, with the definition “an obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy.” In hindsight, selfitis does sound a silly name for a mental disorder.
The report also said that there were three levels for the disease: borderline selfitis, acute selfitis, and chronic selfitis.
According to Social News Daily (SND), the story is pretty much a hoax, since the APA meets five times a year, and not annually, and also points out Adobo Chronicle’s disclaimer on the site. Adobo’s About page reads, “your source of up-to-date, unbelievable news. Everything you read on this site is based on fact, except for the lies.” A search on the AP website didn’t reveal any mention of selfitis either.
So there you have it folks: You or your selfie-obsessed friends aren’t suffering from selfitis, just regular old narcissism perhaps.