Fact Check

American Psychiatric Association Classifies Taking of 'Selfies' as a Mental Disorder

Rumor: The American Psychiatric Association has classified the taking of 'selfies' as a mental disorder.

Published Apr 17, 2014


Claim:   The American Psychiatric Association has classified the taking of 'selfies' as a mental disorder.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2014]

Is it true that taking selfies is a mental disorder? Lots of articles going around saying it is and/or that it can lead to narcissism and SUICIDE.


Origins:   On 31 March 2014, the Adobo Chronicles published an article positing that the American Psychiatric Association had classified the taking of 'selfies' (i.e., self-portrait photographs shared via social media) as a mental disorder:

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has officially confirmed what many people thought all along: taking 'selfies' is a mental disorder.

The APA made this classification during its annual board of directors meeting in Chicago. The disorder is called selfitis, and is defined as the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one's self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy.

Soon afterwards links and excerpts referencing that article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news report. However, the article was just a fictional spoof from the Adobo Chronicles ("Your source of up-to-date unbelievable news"), a Philippine-based web site whose "About" page notes that the nature of their content is creative writing, not news:

THE ADOBO CHRONICLES is your source of up-to-date, unbelievable news. Everything you read on this site is based on fact, except for the lies.

We abide by the highest standards of creative writing and intend to make this site as respectable as possible to the extent allowed by our fertile mind.

Last updated:   15 June 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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