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Have you ever arrived somewhere and been so utterly disappointed with what was waiting for you; dirty streets, unwelcoming locals, terrible weather and rude waiters? Sometime a city just doesn’t live up to your expectations but no need to fear, there is now a medical condition related to this destination disappointment; introducing Paris Syndrome or Syndrome de Paris
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Paris Syndrome occurs when an experience in a new city becomes too stressful or too disappointing for a tourist and they consequently suffer a psychiatric breakdown. For some, the shock of their dream city turning into a nightmare destination is enough to push them over the edge.
Typical patients of Paris Syndrome are Japanese women in their 30’s. They arrive in the French capital expecting an Amelie Poulain type experience where they want to see beautiful French high-society women, cobbled streets lined with quaint houses and experience art and life in one of Paris’s many museums. Instead what they come across are streets littered with dog poo, unaccommodating and rude locals, dirty streets, tramps on every corner and an inability to communicate in French.
According to this (obviously highly reliable Wikipedia source) Paris Syndrome is characterized by a number of symptoms such as acute delusional states, hallucinations, feelings of persecution (perceptions of being a victim of prejudice, aggression, or hostility from others), derealization, depersonalization, anxiety, and also psychosomatic manifestations such as dizziness, tachycardia or sweating. On average 20 cases a year are diagnosed.
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What do you think? It is a load of bull? Or have you ever been devastatingly disappointed when taking a long awaited trip? Whatever it’s medial credibility I sure hope I don’t start suffering from Berlin Syndrome when I take my much awaited trip to the German capital next month.
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lorna stokes This post was written by Lorna Stokes, part of the travelettes team from 2009 to 2013. Originally from the UK but currently based in Brussels after stints in Canada, Peru, Italy and a job for the French military, she’s always had an unquenchable thirst for exploring new places! She’s still travelling the world with her family so catch up with her adventures on Instagram & Twitter.
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