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Thursday, November 1 12:00 AM ET

Doctors Notice Increase in Facebook Status Syndrome

By Brian Briggs

Los Angeles, CA - A recent survey of doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center shows an increase in a disease labeled as Facebook Status Syndrome (FSS).

Dr. Harold Blowcik, who headed the survey, explained FSS, "People with FSS verbalize every move they make, every breath they take.  It's a continuation from the online world into reality, and it can be debilitating as well as quite annoying."

Many times FSS goes unnoticed, because most victims have no social interaction outside Facebook or other online social networks.  It's only when these people journey out in public, when it becomes noticeable.

An increase in online tools, like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, for people to announce to the world what they are doing is the leading cause of the increase in FSS.  Teens and young adults are the most common victims.  Blowcik said that parents should watch their kids closely. "If suddenly your child starts telling you where they are going and what they are doing, that's abnormal and could be a sign of FSS."

Effective treatments do exist for the disease giving many sufferers hope.  "Counseling, low dosages of Prozac, and firm slaps across the face seem to be most effective," said Blowcik.

Most of the time the sufferers don't even know what they are doing, but that doesn't make them any less annoying.  Delores McFadden related an encounter she had with a victim of FSS. "I got stuck behind someone suffering from FSS in the checkout line at the grocery store. 'I'm putting a can of beans on the belt. I'm putting a bag of Doritos on the belt. I'm looking for my credit card.'  I felt sorry for her, but I still wanted to punch her in the face."

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The disease can be devastating to its victims. "At first, I would just mention I was going outside," said one sufferer who wished to remain anonymous. "Then as the disease progressed, it became nonstop.  I couldn't take a breath without talking about it. I'm better now and only have relapses occasionally. Talking to reporter about my disease."

Blowcik explained that it can be troubling mentally as well as physically. "Online these people can imagine that their 'friends' are enthralled with their every move, but when reality strikes in the real world it can be tough to cope with."  He suggested sufferers call a hotline set up to help sufferers at 1-877-WE-GIVE-A-SHIT.

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