Danny Bowman, 23, was obsessed with uploading selfies on social media when he was a teenager.
“I wanted to fit in and I thought the best way to do that was to be good looking,” he says.
He would take selfies and analyse them for flaws – which he says he always found – and the process became a “vicious cycle”.
“Round and round it went, spending ten hours a day in the mirror taking these photos, day in, day out.”
When he was 16 years old, Danny tried to take his own life.
He went to rehab where he was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder and he believes social media played a big part.
Danny is now at university and also works to help young people with mental health problems.
“I remember lying on my bed and thinking ‘how am I going to get out of this?’ I felt like there was no way out.
“The pictures I post on Instagram now are not selfies, they’re pictures of me talking to people or doing speeches.
“That’s a lot more fulfilling for me than posting selfies and begging and hoping that I get a number of likes.”
The Royal Society for Public Health is calling on the government and social media platforms to introduce pop-up warnings on your phone after spending two hours online, following research into how social media effects young people.
“Seven out of ten teenagers told us they received support from social media in challenging times,” says RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer.
“But we also know that depression and anxiety are fuelled by social media.”
– Bela Shah
Read more: Addicted to Selfies
Photo source – Flickr.com