Paris Syndrome: Is It Real?

You feel that you have worked very hard throughout the year and deserve a great vacation. Instead of a destination in your country, you decide to reward yourself by going to Paris: One of the most popular cities in the world, city of lights, capital of fashion and manifestation of love. In other words, you are ready to step into Paris with high expectations that come from films you have seen and magazines or novels you have read.

What will happen first when you step outside the Charles de Gaulle Airport?  Immigrants begging on the famous avenue of Champs-Elysees, thousands of homeless wandering around or sleeping on each and every corner, gray clouds, impolite taxi drivers, Parisians resisting to answer your questions in English, pollution, urine smells coming from at entrances to the buildings or subways, overcrowded metros at peak hours…. and if you are tall enough, you will have your metro trip against armpits of some other people and so fort…

Remember Stephen Clarke’s book “One Year in the Merde” about an Englishman’s first stay in Paris. The writer make a story of funny and annoying things that happen to the main character, Paul West. Actually, he portrays his frustrations with Parisian, Frenchman and life-style hiccups in Paris.

Although it seems like exaggeration, it is a reflection of Paris for some tourist, well Japanese tourists. It seems to causing a psychological issue: Paris Syndrome

What is Paris Syndrome?

Paris Syndrome is “a psychological situation of Japanese tourists who went to Paris and were disappointed due to Paris not meeting their romantic expectations.

Paris syndrome is a concept first introduced 30 years ago by Hiroaki Ota, a Japanese psychiatrist working in France. The syndrome is called as “Pari shōkōgun” inJapanese.

Later, works of Youcef Mahmoudia at the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris Hospital revealed that Paris syndrome is actually a psychological state of mind due to journey not tourist.
Japanese tourists have long-distance flight, jet lags, business trips with heavy workloads, language and cultural barriers faced at the first second of their visit to Paris and because of this, they suffer from Paris syndrome.

The best treatment for Japanese tourists with Paris syndrome  is that  they need to return Japan and get normal life routines as soon as possible. The Japanese Embassy in Paris provides support for its citizens on 7/24 basis.

Documentary on Paris Syndrome


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