Danny Bowman, 19, was spending so much time taking selfies with his iPhone that he dropped out of school and eventually tried to overdose on pills.
“I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t I wanted to die. I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life,” Bowman told the Daily Mirror. “The only thing I cared about was having my phone with me so I could satisfy the urge to capture a picture of myself at any time of the day.”
Bowman was taking up to 200 photos a day because he suffers from OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
“Danny’s case is particularly extreme,” said Dr. David Veal, who treated Bowman for his addiction. “But this is a serious problem. It’s not a vanity issue. It’s a mental health one which has an extremely high suicide rate.”
It’s been seven months since Bowman took a selfie.
“I finally realized I was never going to take a picture that made the craving go away and that was when I hit rock bottom,” Bowman said. “People don’t realize when they post a picture of themselves on Facebook or Twitter it can so quickly spiral out of control. It becomes a mission to get approval and it can destroy anyone. It’s a real problem like drugs, alcohol or gambling. I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through.”
Selfie was named the word of the year of the Oxford English Dictionary last year.