People take "selfies" in front of a wall with messages left by anti-government protesters in their encampment in central Bangkok February 25, 2014. An explosion and gunfire rang out near the sprawling anti-government protest site in the Thai capital early on Tuesday after the protesters' leader warned that government supporters were planning to bring armed militants to Bangkok. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) March 15, 2014
A 19-year-old Briton from Newscastle upon Tyne has become so obsessed with his selfie that he spent an average of 10 hours taking about 200 photos of himself using his iPhone. However, when he couldn't find the perfect picture, Danny Bowman attempted to commit suicide, the Daily Mirror reports.
Prior to his try to take his own life, Mr Bowman had dropped out of school and stayed home most of the time in the past six months.
Frustrated by failing to take the perfect selfie, the youth overdosed on pills. Fortunately, his mother Penny, a mental health nurse, found out about his attempt and sought help.
Mr Bowman said, quoted by the Daily Mirror, "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."
He is attempting to return to normal life after Mr Bowman received intensive hospital therapy to treat his OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is excessive anxiety over personal appearance.
While Dr David Veal, his physician, said that Mr Bowman's case is extreme, it is not a vanity issue but a mental health problem with an extremely high suicide rate.
On a hindsight, Mr Bowman told Daily Mirror, "People don't realise 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."
The search for the perfect picture was the result of a selfie taken when he was 15 and posted on Facebook. But the photo received criticisms such as a friend telling Mr Bowman his nose was too big, while another made a bad remark about his skin.
It was worsened when he tried to apply as a model in 2011 by joining a casting call, but he was mortified when rejected because his body was the wrong shape and his skin was imperfect.
"When I got home that night I stood in front of the mirror and took a photo of myself. I didn't like it so I took another. The before I knew it I had taken about 30, discarding each one, Mr Bowman recalled.
The 30 became 50 and he would use all opportunities to take more selfies, sneaking out from classes thrice an hour to picture himself in the school toilet. He also ate less to became thinner and achieve the perfect body.
He shared, "It's a real problem like drugs, alcohol or gambling. I don't want anyone to go through what I've been through."