​Moscow offers hotline for ‘selfie-addicts’

Reuters / Stoyan Nenov
Those feeling unable to satisfy their urge for a perfect “selfie” can now seek aid via Moscow’s 24/7 psychological dependency hotline. Psychiatrists hope that the service may reduce the number of severe and sometimes fatal incidents among young people.

Moscow has a 24 hour service for those who are suffering from various dependencies. It is run by the Research and Practical Centre for Narcology. But in modern times, from the narcologists’ point of view, the service could also be useful for people who love taking selfies too much.

“We have created a round-the-clock emergency psychological aid service by MRPC Narcology, precisely for such enthusiasts,” said Yevgeny Bryun, Russia’s chief addiction psychiatrist. “If you feel that you cannot live a day without a selfie, call our service – you will get consultation and support.”

With the modern-age “dependency” becoming more and more widespread, especially among youth, Bryun is sure that selfie-addiction could be a serious problem resulting in an increasing number of accidents. From his point of view, the more Muscovites know about the psychological service, the fewer accidents will occur.

READ MORE: ‘Selfie safety’: Interior Ministry launches major education campaign after fatal incidents

On Tuesday Russian police presented a memo with a set of rules for shooting a “safe selfie.” Police warns that it is dangerous to take selfies on a railroad track, on a roof, or posing with firearms and animals.

These seemingly comic pieces of advice originate from real life accidents which occurred because of the lack of caution taken by unfortunate photographers.

One example saw a teenager from central Russia’s Ryazan region was electrocuted while taking a selfie on top of a train. Another 21-year-old woman in Moscow accidentally shot herself in the head when posing with a loaded rubber-bullet pistol. Another girl slid and fell down an elevator shaft after a selfie-session on a roof with her friends.

READ MORE: 21yo woman dies in fall from Moscow bridge while taking selfie

The current attention to the problem of selfies in Russia has been ignited by the latest accident in Moscow. A 21-year-old student fell to her death from a bridge while trying to take a photo of herself against the Moscow-City Business Center towers.

Over 100 people have been injured and at least 10 died while taking selfies in Russia recently, according to police data.

Earlier this year Russian public movement ‘For Security’ proposed to have extracurricular lessons of “safe selfies” in schools, while health officials warned that taking collective selfies can raise the risk of spreading head lice.