Medical News Today – “Narcissistic personality disorder, also known as NPD, is a personality disorder in which the individual has a distorted self image, unstable and intense emotions, is overly preoccupied with vanity, prestige, power and personal adequacy, lacks empathy, and has an exaggerated sense of superiority. NPD is closely associated with egocentrism – a personality characteristic in which people see themselves and their interests and opinions as the only ones that really matter.
People with narcissistic personality disorder are not interested in the feelings of others – they lack empathy; they are unable to feel or appreciate feelings which are not their own.”
Most baby boomers may have observed that the current generation of youth is increasingly self focused. Aided by self-indulging technological aids like smartphones and the virtual world of the internet, social skills are gradually being eroded. Their interaction leans towards a world of virtual reality and strangers that they need not relate to emotionally. They can hide beneath the veil of a virtual world and feel free to let their emotional and mental faculties run amok with little inhibition. Many became possessed and totally consumed by this personal virtual world. It is common now to see them walking around like zombies oblivious of the world the swirls around. They smile, smirked and make faces of themselves, as if they are in a world of their own.
This addiction to self is a growing cause of concern. Notably, the selfie-culture has been singled out by medical observers as a chronic narcissistic mental disorder.
According to psychiatrist Dr David Veal: “Two out of three of all the patients who come to see me with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since the rise of camera phones have a compulsion to repeatedly take selfies.
“Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to help a patient to recognise the reasons for his or her compulsive behaviour and then to learn how to moderate it,” he told the Sunday Mirror.
19-year-old Danny Bowman’s selfie addiction spiralled out of control, spending ten hours a day taking up to 200 snaps of himself on his iPhone.
The Obama selfie taken with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt during the memorial Tuesday for former South African President Nelson Mandela caused quite a sensational stir in the international media. The event should have been treated with some dignity and decorum. Instead, the action of world leaders disregarded protocol and degraded the event into a circus fanfare. Is that being “cool” or is it really a manifestation of a mental narcissistic disorder?
In a more extreme case of perverted exhibitionist behaviour, controversial NUS Law student and ASEAN scholar Alvin Tan posted photos and videos of them making love online. After a public out roar, they posted another video (watch video here) expressing pride in what they did. It is not fair to generalise the behaviour of such people as being representative of the state of mental health of this young generation. Nonetheless, the selfish-me-syndrome, if not checked, is surely a cause of concern.
1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.