Monday, 15 February 2016

Selfie addiction-- -Article in Times of india


Selfie addiction courts danger at every step--Anandi Mishra | TNN | Feb 15, 2016, 10.23 AM IST


 Pune: Fatalities triggered by selfies are rising, yet young people continue to court danger on the road, in water, in front of trains and in other dangerous places. For many, the trend to click and post photographs online overrides the repercussions.

Two young HSC students, who went to a reservoir in Nashik on Saturday, drowned in the waters, while taking a selfie. Two weeks ago a 16-year-old student died while trying to take a selfie with a speeding train in the background just outside Chennai.

The number of people losing their lives or getting into some dangerous situation because of selfie-fever is still lower than the ones who have already lost their sanity over the trend, with psychiatrists cautioning against the trend.

A first-year commerce student in Fergusson College thinks her Instagram feed isn't too full of '#FoodPorn' hence she needs to eat out more and take mouth-watering selfies with the food in front of her to make her online followers 'heart' those photos and post comments like 'drool-worthy' and 'I so wanna have that!!'

"I don't think it's vanity. I have fun taking these pictures and it satiates my creative desires. Moreover, I only let people I know follow me not just any random person and my account is private," she said.

Popular hangouts on Fergusson College Road, Koregaon Park and every nook and corner where young people gather are full of selfie clicking sprees. People from all age groups seem to be enslaved to the lure of these self-portraits. Many become so addicted that they click, delete, re-click, shuffle poses almost everywhere.

Be it a social gathering or at home, even warming up to the room heater, selfies have become a virtual diary to every minute of an individual's daily life. "I click a photo of myself whenever I buy a new dress or when I am stepping out with friends. It is something I do out of sheer love for myself and I don't think this is a problem," a medical student in the city said.

Form of OCD

While some call it a mere documentation of their day-to-day lives, but psychiatrists are sceptical.

Sagar Mundada, president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, said last June the American Psychiatric Association had officially classified taking selfies as a mental disorder called 'selfitis'.

"It is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to take one's own pictures and post them on social media. It is a mechanism used by people to make up for low self-esteem," he said.

The disorder is of three types. Borderline is when one takes at least three pictures of oneself but does not post it on social media, acute- when one takes at least three pictures of oneself and post it on social media and chronic- when one takes at least six pictures of oneself and posting it on social media, every day.

The problem is most common among teenage girls, Mundada said. He is treating two patients who suffered from anxiety when they do not take at least five selfies every day. "I started them on medicines and behavioural therapy and after two months, the level has presently reduced to two selfies a day," he said.

Bulked up phone memories and fast-filling computer hard drives are another problem stemming out of this trend. "I have around 80 GB of photos from just one year. I socialize a lot and take loads of photos of which 70% are selfies. However, my computer hard disk is filling up fast and it is a problem I don't have a solution to," another first year commerce student from the city said.

'Attention seeking'

The selfie trend has also led to the constant shuffling of WhatsApp display pictures among people. Since people click so many photographs on their phones, they make it a point to showcase these photos as their WhatsApp display pictures or uploads on social media.



Psychiatrist Rohan Jahagirdar said, "Social media or the virtual world has become our second existence leading to internet addiction. People have developed antics only to get more likes and comments. In this race to capture a moment with oneself, attention seeking people take selfies at all odd places, from a murder spot to a historical monument. It is the new way of getting attention."

'Low self-esteem'

This, he attributes to growing insensitivity in people and the lack of attention and self-esteem in real life. "These people don't have social recognition in their lives," he said.   Jahagirdar is also treating a couple of such patients. One has developed the knack of clicking selfies with street animals while another likes taking nude selfies of his reflection in the mirror, he said.

People should realise they are in trouble when they spend more time in the virtual world than the real world. "The number of likes they get is a disease that needs to be addressed. Social media is made for you, you are not made for it," he added.

Stop before it consumes you

People should realise that they are in trouble when they are spending more time in the virtual world than in the real world

These patients fall mainly in the 17-40 age bracket, most of them being below 25 years of age


The reason for most of them being below 25 is that they get more exposure to social media from an early time in their lives because of which they end up getting more influenced by social trendsDeath by selfie


Out of the global 27 who died taking selfies in 2015 more than half were from India. Three were college students attempting the perfect selfie in front of a speeding train in Kosikala in January 2015. In March, seven youngsters were celebrating a friend's birthday and drowned after the boat capsized when they were trying to get the perfect pose. A Japanese tourist in Agra died after succumbing to injuries that he had sustained after falling from the Taj Mahal's stairs. An engineering student in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, died after the rock he was standing on while taking a selfie came loose and he fell into a 60-foot ravine. Two drowned in the Narmada canal in Sundernagar near Rajkot while trying to take selfies.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

pune mirror interview-dr rohan

DR ROHAN JAHAGIRDAR
City-based psychiatrist

Beheading someone is not easy to actually accomplish. It might be simple to imagine, but it is not possible for any average person to do this. An act requiring such physical strength is triggered either by very strong emotion or mental instability. The man in this incident needs detailed psychological profiling, but from what can be seen in very basic information about the case, there definitely seems to be mental instability at work. He clearly had anger management issues — I think he had a lot of other undiagnosed issues as well. From what limited information we have, it sounds like paranoid schizophrenia, a characteristic of which is the unshakable delusion of one's partner's instabilities, irrespective of age or sex. The fact that he allegedly suspected his wife of having an affair with their son-in-law sounds quite bizarre, disregarding more plausible options. It definitely sounds like paranoia.

Paranoid schizophrenia is an illness, not an episode. It is caused by dopamine imbalance in the brain, manifesting in the form of suspicion, aggression, neglecting or selfharm, hearing voices and — in certain cases — delusion. It is not age-specific, but is usually seen between the ages of 16 and 25 in males and 25 and 35 in females.

If a person is found to be mentally unstable to this degree, I am quite sure he would have been suffering for a very long time. These things take time to fester and grow. Maybe, he imagined voices telling him about the alleged affair. And, over time, it led him to believe everything as proof of it. I am pretty sure he would have voiced his suspicions to someone, but was either ignored or the situation was mishandled. That he went on to chop off his wife's head and limbs and then went to a police station also points to the fact that he is possibly mentally unstable. Any other person would try to hide his or her crime.

Also, it must be noted that nearly 90 per cent of violence — in any form — is committed under the influence of substance abuse. We still don't know the details in this case.

Violence is very common in psychiatry. I handled a case once, in which the husband thought his wife's face had been replaced by a ghost's and wanted to cut just her face off. The woman survived, but with some 50-52 stitches. That man was schizophrenic.

Beheadings have a socio-religious history in our country. Sometimes, it's for an honour killing, sometimes, to send a message and, at other times, a punishment. But, at an individual level, the expression of violence is becoming stronger and more brutal globally. Emphasis should be laid on adequate venting and timely diagnosis.

(As told to Suktara Ghosh)