1. Danny Bowman says that his obsession with selfies and his own self-image grew so out of control that he ended up attempting suicide.
Danny Bowman, from Newcastle Upon Tyne, started taking selfies when he was 15, to get girls interested in him. Later, he had ambitions to become a model. But when a model agency turned him down, he obsessively lost weight and began to constantly photograph himself, chasing that “perfect” shot.
2. He lost 28lbs to improve his appearance, and started skipping classes so that he could take selfies uninterrupted. Eventually he stopped going to school altogether.
Danny says that one particular day, desperately unhappy with the 200 selfies he’d taken that day, he took an overdose. Luckily his mother, Penny, found him, and Danny began treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphia disorder (BDD) at the Maudsley Hospital in London.
Now 19, Danny hasn’t taken a selfie for seven months.
3. “Our self-esteem is tied up in our selfies,” a psychologist told BuzzFeed.
According to psychologist and author Linda Papadopoulos, self-image issues are not unusual in today’s visually-orientated world.
“With each selfie we a) compare ourselves to professionally photo-edited images and b) run the risk of micro-analysing our appearance in the way only a photo editor would. Very quickly the thought ‘I hate my legs’ can turn into ‘I hate myself’, because our identities become hung up on how many likes we get, rather than what sort of people we are.”
4. Help is out there for people who worry excessively about their appearance.
“Your GP is a wonderful first port of call,” advises Linda Papadopoulos. Dr David Veale, who treated Danny, also told BuzzFeed that anyone suffering should seek guidance from the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation.
As he told ITV’s Daybreak, Danny is now working with the young people’s charity, Fixers, to spread awareness of body image issues, and to help people suffering with these sorts of anxieties to seek help.