Signs You Have Selfie Dysmorphia
Just what is Selfie Dysmorphic Disorder and why are people talking about it? Chances are, if you have a smartphone, you’ve taken at least one selfie — and likely with one of the filters many photo sharing apps feature. But Selfie Dysmorphia takes this mostly harmless pastime to a degree that is detrimental — even dangerous. Read on to see if you recognize any of the symptoms.
DISCLAIMER: This advice is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. Always seek medical advice that is specific to you and your situation.
Why are people talking about Selfie Dysmorphia now?Getting that airbrushed look was once only relegated to supermodels grazing popular magazine covers. Today though, apps that smoothen your complexion, enlarge your eyes, thin your nose and waist, and even lighten your skin aren’t difficult to find.
In the selfie era, many users have gotten so used to relying on these apps to remove any perceived blemishes, that a worrisome trend is emerging at the expense of self-love.
RELATED: How to be body-positive in the modern age.
Exactly what is Selfie Dysmorphia?Selfie Dysmorphic Disorder is sometimes dubbed Snapchat Dysmorphia because the popular photo- and video-sharing platform popularized the augmenting filters. It reflects the growing dependence on these filters and the unrealistic beauty standards users are placing on themselves (and each other).
Many are even going under the knife, requesting cosmetic procedures that would recreate some of the filter effects in real life (poutier lips, smaller waists, and yes — even bigger eyes).
RELATED: 29 stars who regret the work they've had done.
Defining the disorderThe phenomenon was coined by a UK-based cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Tijion Esho, and describes a type of body image disorder that reflects this need to heavily edit one’s own digital image, coupled with an intense unhappiness with one’s own actual appearance after using digital filters.
RELATED: The most honest celebrity quotes about body image issues.
Part of a larger issueWhile it has yet to be classified as an official diagnosis in the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders referenced by mental health professionals), the term is gaining traction as more and more cosmetic specialists see patients request procedures linked to selfie filters. Selfie Dysmorphia is currently part of a broader mental health issue and linked to Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
If you see yourself in these symptoms, it is a good idea to seek out professional support.
The Symptom: Preoccupation with your appearance to an extremeAre you preoccupied (even feel consumed) by your appearance? Do you specifically fixate on a perceived flaw others can’t notice or think of as minor? Do you constantly feel unattractive and feel this flaw makes you deformed?
Often this fixation centres on:
- Face, such as nose, complexion, wrinkles, acne and other blemishes
-Hair, such as appearance, thinning and baldness
- Skin and vein appearance
- Breast size
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Positive affirmations to start your day.
The Symptom: Preoccupation that others are also taking notice of your perceived flawDo you feel like your flaw is something others will take special notice of or even mock you, or that it’s the first thing they’ll notice about you?
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 12 natural remedies to help relieve anxiety.
The Symptom: Seeking to “fix” or hide the perceived flawDo you constantly behave in ways aimed at fixing or hiding this perceived flaw?
Are these behaviours difficult to resist or control (such as constantly checking the mirror or even taking selfies to validate your appearance)?
Do you seek to “erase” or hide this flaw with styling, makeup, clothes, — or in the era of Selfie Dysmorphia — with various photo filters in an extreme way?
Do you have a growing dependence on these filters to feel attractive and acceptable to others and yourself?
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 10 signs you’re heading for a burnout diagnosis and what to do to rectify the situation.
The Symptom: Comparing yourselfAre you constantly comparing your appearance with others (in real life or over social media) or with idealized and edited versions of yourself?
Are you constantly seeking to be reassured about your appearance from others and have perfectionist tendencies?
Do you seek out frequent cosmetic procedures but are not satisfied with the results?
RELATED: 21 celebrities share their self-care and mental wellness tips.
The Symptom: Interference with normal functioningDo these feelings prevent you from spending time with others or force you to avoid social situations altogether?
Are you so preoccupied with your appearance and these feelings that it’s negatively affecting your social life, work, school or other key areas of your life?
This type of disorder does not resolve on its own, so it’s important to seek treatment as it may worsen over time. It can lead to depression, anxiety, extensive medical bills, and worse. If you see yourself in these descriptions, speak to your doctor and seek support. You are not alone.
RELATED: 10 ways hormones can affect your mental health.
Some good news: The #NoFilter movementIt would be simplistic to assume that someone experiencing Selfie Dysmorphia or Body Dysmorphic Disorder can wade through the thicket of these issues on their own. But the pendulum of public opinion is beginning to swing the other way too. One sign of this backlash against the pressures of such unhealthy beauty extremes is the #NoFilter movement.
While it can be difficult to control all the messaging we are bombarded with on a day-to-day basis, we do have some measure of control in what images we seek out. Rest assured that there is a growing push to embrace natural beauty, in all its lovely variations.
RELATED: 23 celebrities who embrace their natural beauty.