Traveling to Paris soon and are worried about Paris Syndrome that has recently made waves in the world of psychological disorders?
It’s bizarre as hell, but it’s completely true – some tourists simply cannot handle the REAL Paris; their disappointment giving way to serious physical as well as psychological symptoms that makes them want to take the next flight back home.
So if want to know what Paris Syndrome is all about and who is most vulnerable and hence more at risk, here’s some information to answer all your questions.
Decoding Paris Syndrome
No…Paris Syndrome doesn’t define the unreasonable behavior of some women who are snooty, elitists and behave like Paris Hilton…LOL! In fact, Paris Syndrome is actually more serious. It’s a very unusual disorder that came to light in 1980s, when first-time tourists traveling to Paris, ‘The City of Lights’, started to show unpleasant and troublesome symptoms brought about by the cultural shock they experienced.
It is a city that comes with a glitzy romantic reputation, which is why many first-time tourists who visit Paris with strong per-conceived notions find it hard to deal with their disappointment when they realize the city they idolize is not at all like how they imagined it to be.
The media image created of Paris doesn’t help much either. No, the city doesn’t smell of Chanel No. 5 and pigeons don’t flock to parks and surround happy tourists.
Paris is a harsh city – there is a major language barrier for those who don’t speak French as most Parisians don’t speak English, the city has its own share of social problems like crime and inequality, and what makes things worse is that the locals are unaccommodating and downright unfriendly towards foreigners.
So why do Japanese tourists fall susceptible to this syndrome?
Japan is a country where being polite to guests is ingrained in to their culture, while the Parisian lifestyle is nothing short of rude, blunt and direct. Additionally, even the hospitality industry in Paris isn’t overtly hospitable towards foreigners!
Symptoms of Paris Syndrome
This strange disorder is very real, and can be quite disturbing. The only treatment is taking the first flight back home, where everything feels familiar and safe.
But what are the symptoms? Should you be worried only because you feel ‘uneasy’ about digesting the harsh reality that Paris really is? The symptoms, as defined by medical experts, include:
- A sense of paranoia that comes from finding it hard to deal with rejection.
- Feelings of persecution.
- For some people, the physical symptoms include dizziness, delusions and profuse sweating.
- It’s rare, but some patients also start hallucinating.
What should you know about Paris Syndrome?
For most people, visiting Paris is a ‘dream come true’. They walk out of the airport all full of expectations and hopes of falling deeply, madly in love with the Parisian lifestyle, and the stress caused by realizing that the Paris of their dreams and the Real Paris are not the same is too much to handle.
Add to that the stress any foreigner undergoes when removed from a familiar environment where the social norms are radically different. Don’t forget, traveling is always stressful. And when you add to that the burden of your expectations from Paris and all it promises to represent, sometimes the very force of your disappointment can drive you to behave in an unhealthy, unexpected way.
But if you are willing to look beyond these, you will eventually see the Paris of your dreams; the Paris that is for sure the most beautiful and breathtaking city in the world.