Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Shattered Expectations of 'Paris Syndrome'

(image credit: zenra/flickr)
An interesting report was published by about a psychiatric disorder called 'Paris Syndrome' that affects Japanese tourists after reality shatters their expectations upon visiting the city. After this culture shock a dozen or more Japanese tourists yearly want to go back home.

The report says the stress comes mostly from experiencing a bad-mannered taxi driver or a Parisian waiter who addresses a customer loudly that cannot speak fluent French. The Japanese culture is based on politeness with a society that is accommodating where the people rarely raise their voice. Being in Paris shatters their dreams. The experience becomes a nightmare causing a stressful breakdown.

The Japanese Embassy in Paris had to send four tourists back to Japan after going through the experience. Others had to be accompanied by a doctor or a nurse on the plane to assist them with getting over the shock. The embassy has a hotline available to Japanese people visiting Paris who suffer major culture shock.

The syndrome, diagnosed 20 years ago by a Japanese psychiatrist, can cause the hallucinations, feelings of persecution and anxiety. The disorder can be experienced by people from other visiting countries but the Japanese are the common people who fall victim. Another report indicates the same thing does not happen when visiting New York because the expectation there is vastly different as fast-paced and tough so visitors are psychologically prepared compared to romantic images of Paris.

(image credit: andreasnilsson1976/flickr)


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