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Author: Justin Mckibben
What kind of selfie do you usually snap? Is it one with an obscene amount of editing to look glamorous? Is it one of you and the family at dinner or out in some exotic location on vacation? Or is it a pic of you and a volunteer crew at a charity event? When you hashtag and share it, what does that selfie say about you? What is the message you are trying to send?
Before we have talked about the dangers of obsessive selfie taking, and I have personally related to how the ‘selfie society’ of today could be risky for those struggling with addiction or mental health concerns, presenting issues with narcissism or relating to depression when correlated an obsession with social media. So what kind of selfies contribute to these issues?
Well, that much might be said about all of them, depending on who you ask. The one question that might hit closer to home is- what kind of selfie taker are you?
Recent a group of BYU communications master’s students, feeling themselves surrounded by the selfie-saturated culture that is social media, decided to ask the question: what is the method to the selfie madness? This has proven to not just be a millennial problem, because your uncle and aunt do it, just like your bosses and teachers. Grandma might not be all that good at it, but she takes plenty of selfies anyway.
So why do people of all ages, cultures, genders and religions take and share selfies?
Are We All Narcissists?
Some people would say that ‘this generation’ is so self-absorbed, but again; it isn’t just one group. The answer, at least one we hear so often, is simply narcissism. But are we all narcissists?
Naaaaaaah, can’t be.
Actually, in a study recently published in Visual Communication Quarterly, those same five BYU student researchers took a closer look. In their data they show that individuals’ motives often range far past self-obsession. Sometimes our selfies are actually taken with purpose, whether we notice or not.
Steven Holiday, who completed his master’s in 2015 and is now pursuing a Ph.D. at Texas Tech, is one of the co-authors. Of this latest topic Holiday states,
“It’s important to recognize that not everyone is a narcissist,”
So to be clear on the idea of true narcissism and the connection we often misguidedly make to selfies, we should look at the definition. To refresh your memory:
- Narcissism is defined as the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride.
- Narcissistic personality disorder(NPD) – is a condition that is estimated to affect only 1% of the population.
After analyzing survey results and interviews, researchers say they can identify three categories of selfie-takers:
These are individuals who take selfies primarily to engage with others for some reason. They don’t just do it for their face on a cause, but to draw followers into a conversation. One of the survey’s co-authors and current student Maureen “Mo” Elinzano states,
“They’re all about two-way communication,”
So it isn’t about the spotlight on them, it’s about shining to give others a reason to shine.
An example of this is when the election season came around and everyone, including celebrities, took an “I voted” selfie to plaster on Instagram. These photos aren’t (always) meant to brag about the individual, they are about calling others to action. People talk a lot about opinions on social media, so some people take a selfie as an opportunity to inspire action.
This type of selfie taker uses the art of the selfie as a tool to record key events in their lives. This autobiography isn’t necessarily to show off to their followers, but to try and preserve significant memories for themselves and their loved ones.
This group of selfie takers does also want others to see their photos and enjoy them, but they aren’t necessarily doing it for the feedback. They are cataloging their lives for their own benefit, not for the engagement that the Communicators are.
For example, plenty of people will have entire albums on Facebook dedicated to specific trips or events. They don’t (always) organize these specifically for likes as much as they do for their trips down memory lane.
This infamous category is the one everyone typically assumes a selfie taker falls into, but it is actually the smallest of the three groups. These are the ones who are closely linked to more narcissistic characteristics.
The coauthor Harper Anderson states the self-publicists “are the people who love documenting their entire lives,”
Harper Anderson, who is also now pursuing a Ph.D. at Texas Tech, went on to say that in recording and sharing their entire lives, these selfie takers are hoping to present their narrative in a trendy and desirable light.
Think the Kardashians. Without any real sustenance, these selfies are just for the sake of “look at me everyone” without actually having a connection to a cause.
Personally, I present the idea of a collage style world where sometimes we blur these lines a bit. Some people may read these three types and say “I do all of these” and I get that. Perhaps we are all likely to have varied traits, but perhaps we can admit that one of these styles is our dominant selfie taking self. In this event, we can more closely examine if we are impacting our mental health; maybe even that of others.
Holiday went on to describe that identifying and categorizing the three groups is valuable in part because-
“…it’s a different kind of photography than we’ve ever experienced before…I can go on Facebook or Instagram and see that people have a desire to participate in a conversation. It’s an opportunity for them to express themselves and get some kind of return on that expression.”
Another co-author Matt Lewis states
“…years from now, our society’s visual history is going to be largely comprised of selfies. To find out why people do it, that contributes a lot to the discussion on selfies and visual communication in general.”
Our world isn’t just one picture at a time. Every moment is a collage of events happens simultaneously. We exchange the currency of our stories through an ever-expanding network of social media sites and while at times we may seem obsessive or impulsive, at least we are trying to use our new tools to connect.
It may seem strange, but I do think that regardless of whether you’re climbing a mountain in Africa, raising awareness for people struggling somewhere, or simply showing off your new hair-cut, we all have something to offer.
We all have something worth sharing.
Take that selfie. Post it. Let the “double tap” fall where it may.
The selfie is like a socially accepted addiction, and while mental health has been a close conversation to it, we hope that we can continue to learn from our compulsions and be able to help others. Mental health issues and drug or alcohol abuse frequently co-exist. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
There is a phrase often thrown around that is used to quite colorfully describe many addicts and alcoholics by some of our more self-aware character flaws. Being an Egomaniac with an Inferiority Complex is a special type of personality based on practically opposite perspectives of the ego often associated with alcoholics and addicts. First, let’s look at what those two separate terms mean.
- Egomanic- known as someone suffering from an obsessive preoccupation with one’s self, and applies to someone who follows their own ungoverned impulses and is possessed by delusions of personal greatness and feels a lack of appreciation.
- Inferiority Complex– an unrealistic feeling of general inadequacy caused by actual or supposed inferiority in one sphere, sometimes marked by aggressive behavior in compensation.
So basically, an egomaniac with an inferiority complex is someone who is obsessively preoccupied with their own unrealistic feeling of inadequacy, and it’s safe to assume they behave aggressively and impulsively to over compensate with delusions of personal greatness to mask insecurity.
Now that we can better understand the idea of the egomaniac with an inferiority complex, we can examine some of the indicating attributes that can typically be credited to this specific style of substance abuser or addict.
Often time’s people who have a tendency to exaggerate details and events do so for reasons closely associated with egomania and inferiority. They may be trying to overemphasize themselves to others to promote their worth and image, while secretly fighting the feeling of ‘less than’.
Those who openly and frequently ridicule others and put down everyone around them in ways ranging from minor insults to extreme aggressive judgment can be showing signs of being an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. By behaving this way they are trying to expose the defects in others to draw the attention off of whatever personal defect they are avoiding at the time, and doing so in a way that they feel will seem attractive to others.
- Fishing for Compliments
Egomaniacs love compliments, and people with an inferiority complex usually find it pretty easy to belittle themselves. So when someone with both wants to get their best results, they may talk down about themselves to others to get a little extra attention and admiration. When you say how ugly you are just so people tell you you’re pretty, you are feeding the self-pity, and at the same time inviting praise that you secretly crave.
- Hyper Sensitive
People who seem too tense or sensitive to the opinions of others also exhibit signs of egomania and an inferiority complex. If you find yourself taking everything said about you too seriously and obsessing over what someone may have pointed out as a flaw, then you are perpetuating the critical self-image. At the same time, you are being absorbed by the thought of yourself and how you can possibly appear to be better to others.
- You Hate Losing
To an egomaniac with an inferiority complex losing means you ARE a loser! It makes you feel that you are less than, and it exposes your weakness or faults to others to judge you. You hate losing because it tarnishes the reputation you want people to see, and it hurts you deeper to know that you are a failure. But losing is not failing, it’s learning.
- Problems with Paying Attention
Those who have a hard time really listening to people at all and holding conversations can be showing signs of being an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. Either they are not interested enough in what it is you have to say because it’s not about them, or they are having an internal dialog obsessing about how they should respond, what their response will say about them, or what they look like while listening. Instead of being in the present they are worried or focused on themselves. Instead of listening, they just wait for their turn to talk.
The false conception of being inferior, the obsession of the negative ego, or the combination of both can be symptoms of the types of toxic behavior and character defects that make up the disease of addiction or alcoholism. Learning to understand the personality traits and how to grow out of them is a huge part of the recovery process. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Mental Illness and Addiction Treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl is a healthy and productive start to treating patients who suffer from a dual diagnosis. Mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl is an effective and evolving program in the field of substance abuse and addiction recovery. For a period of time those people who were suffering from the symptoms of a mental health disorder were treated separately from those who were being treated for issues concerning substance abuse or addiction. Such mental health disorders that are now treated through mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl include:
- Anxiety attacks
- Depressive episodes
- Delusional behavior
- Mood swings
When these conditions coincided with drug and alcohol abuse or addiction, clients were often denied treatment for any existing mental health problems until they were considered clean and sober. Unfortunately people with a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental health disorders never received the proper treatment in the past, because the methods used did not address the fact that substance abuse is often driven by an underlying psychiatric disorder.
Mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl has greatly improved the recovery of dual diagnosis. Mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl combines the most successful elements of mental health care, medical detox, and substance abuse treatment and therapy.
Mental Illness and Addiction Treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl: Designating Dual Diagnosis
Mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl effectively treats mental health disorders that co-exist with addiction including:
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Personality disorder
Mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl includes helping with addictive disorders such as:
- Drug addiction
- Gambling addiction
- Sex addiction
- Another behavioral addiction
Mental Illness and Addiction Treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl: Necessary Criteria for Effective Recovery
- Simultaneous and supportive treatment plans for your mental health and substance abuse disorders by the members of a highly trained clinical and medical staff
- Acknowledgement of the importance of therapeutic medications, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, in the treatment of co-occurring disorders
- Supportive and educated approach to therapy that reinforces self-esteem and self-confidence
- Comprehensive plan of action that includess partners, spouses, children and other close relationships in the process for individual counseling, group meetings or education
Mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl does not segregate the need for psychiatric health from the practice of address addiction, and instead these areas are treated as part of a specific field in their own as co-existing disorders.
- Treatment specialists who work in mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl receive a variety of training and certifications in the treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders as well as substance abuse treatment.
- Facilities offer recovery services that are personalized for clients with a Dual Diagnosis.
- A specific treatment plan is designed for individual clients based on their own detailed history of substance abuse and mental health disorders.
When thoughts and perceptions are diluted by the symptoms of a mental health disorder it’s easy to neglect your own care, or be in denial of the severity of your condition. Depression can make people feel that life isn’t worth the effort to get treatment. Anxiety disorders may drive people away from others, or cause them to over-think and fear the treatment process. The symptoms of mental illness can even become so disturbing that alcohol or drug abuse may seem like the only way for an individual to cope with the disorder and make life manageable.
The outstanding resources of mental illness and addiction treatment in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl can make all the difference in the rehabilitation process. These treatment facilities make the recovery program much easier and more consistent with help from a clinical, therapeutic, and medical staff providing excellent care, and putting in the great effort to understand and treat patients with dual diagnosis. Acknowledging mental health can have an effect on recovery from drugs and alcohol, if you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
‘Selfie’ Collage By Author
This next piece is one that some might relate to, even though many may not admit it. I have been given the opportunity to discuss something that is relevant to our culture today, my own personal development, and relevant to many people in the recovery community- addiction and narcissism- but first, let me take a selfie! The ‘Selfie’ itself is now being looked at as an addiction and could be considered a personality disorder trait. While I adjust the angle and pick a good filter, here’s some back ground. It has already been determined that we addicts and alcoholics are a special kind of selfish. The general population itself these days is becoming the ‘Selfie Society’ and now that the phenomenon of craving a good ‘default pic’ has become a new addiction, let us take a look at some things that show how closely the symptoms of narcissism relate to us as addicts and alcoholics.
Narcissism is defined as the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) – is a condition that is estimated to affect one percent of the population. It is suggested that narcissists typically display most of the following traits, which I have included as they relate to the topic of Addiction. I’ll be using one of my personal hero’s and TV narcissist Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) to help me out. I’m still trying to get the best angle for this profile picture.
Obvious Self-Focus in Relationships
I know for myself in active addiction my wants and ‘needs’ came before anyone else. If I could see it or not at the time, I had a motive for getting what I wanted out of anyone at any given time. My focus, even when I wanted to pretend I did things for others, was never to give more than I could take. #MyOwnMCM
Problems in Sustaining Satisfying Relationships
When I was involved in any kind of relationship, especially an intimate one, it was next to impossible to sustain it. The few relationships that lasted were never healthy and never happy while I was actively using drugs and drinking. Addicts and Narcissists seem to have a very hard time with this, and a lot of times they do their best not to care. #NoNewFriends
Lack of Psychological Awareness
Being in active addiction, we are usually oblivious to the state our mind is in and how our thinking process effects us or others. Sure there are periods we feel desperate and bewildered, but more often than not we don’t attach emotional value to it, or we think in ways that we cannot justify or explain and act upon those thoughts without a second guess. My mind works just fine, for a junkie, now hold on while I post this pic. #NoFilter
Hypersensitivity To Any Insults (real or imagined)
I know in my addiction I was sensitive to nearly any accusation thrown my way. Even if nobody was inquiring about my addiction or insulting me personally, all bets were off and everything was a threat if I suspected others were ‘attacking me’. I know if you don’t ‘like’ my pic you’re probably a hater! #HatersGonnaHate
Detesting Those Who Do Not Admire You
As an addict we are sometimes so selfish that we believe others need to look up to us for how much we use, how often we drink, and how we get away with so much. Meanwhile we are typically falling apart at the seams. We KNOW we are better than most anyone has ever been at anything, or at least other addicts, so they should at least thank us for gracing them with our presence, duh! #GetLikeMe
Denial of Remorse or Gratitude
In addiction I did a lot of things I was not proud of, and there were even more things I should have been grateful for. However, being that I was so selfish, I denied acknowledging remorse or gratitude in any area of my life. I did not feel bad for people I robbed, and I was not truly grateful to people who helped me, because after all I can take my own picture and that’s what is important. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat
Using Other People Without Consideration
This one is probably an easy one to relate to, if you’re in recovery don’t be afraid to admit it if you can recall this kind of narcissistic behavior. Any addict or alcoholic who says they have not done this is probably more of a narcissist than they care to believe. I know I used people for rides around town, for money, and especially for drugs. The narcissists and the addict can closely relate to using and abusing others to fill any need physical or personal, and sometimes we take pride in the manipulation. They should be happy you LET them be used by you! Now I know your phones gonna die, but I need a full-body shot. You can use it as your screen-saver if you want! #TurnDownForWhat
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135