Need another reason not to obsessively stare at your ex's Facebook page? If you're like one Italian teen, it could give you asthma attacks!
According to Jane Allen of ABC, the eighteen-year-old's first mistake was friending his ex under a fake name after she unfriended him. He saw that she had friended "many new young men." This obviously stressed him out, as he began hyperventilating every time he saw her page, "which happened repeatedly" (presumably because the poor kid was spending all day refreshing her profile with the quasi-masturbatory obsession of the recently dumped). Allen says "doctors advised the patient's worried Italian mama to have him measure his lung capacity before and after logging into Facebook." Result: "'post-Facebook' values were reduced, with a variability of more than 20 percent." Explains Dr. Gennaro D'Amato, a respiratory and allergy specialist who wrote a paper on the case, "Facebook, and social networks in general, could be a new source of psychological stress, representing a triggering factor for exacerbations in depressed asthmatic individuals."
This may be the first documented case of Facebook asthma, but it's no surprise that Facebook-stalking your ex can produce extreme stress. Dr. D'Amato says seeing his onetime girlfriend in the street might also have triggered an asthma attack in the teen, but at least when you run into your ex unexpectedly it's usually over quickly. On Facebook, it's all too easy to go down a rabbit-hole of intense profile examination and attendant self-loathing — and unlike, say, following the girl around in real life, Facebook-stalking doesn't run up against legal or social barriers. You're limited only by your appetite for self-punishment — and, in this guy's case, by lung capacity. And the addictive nature of Facebook can make you forget, at least momentarily, that what you're doing is actually making you miserable. Inspired by the jilted teen, asthma expert Dr. Karen Warman offers this advice that's useful for us all: "If things create stress for you and they're avoidable, then you should avoid them."
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