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Paris syndrome: causes, symptoms, treatment

Few people experience this condition, but it is quite real — it can come to hallucinations, but why does this happen?

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Paris, the capital of France, is full of attractions; here are the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, the most visited museum in the world. Nevertheless, despite the wealth of culture, architectural delights and excellent restaurants (currently there are more than 90 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city), some tourists cannot enjoy a trip to Paris.

A small percentage of those who travel to this city experience the “Paris syndrome”, a psychological condition with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, hallucinations and palpitations. But why does it arise?

Causes of Paris syndrome

The Paris syndrome is recognized by many experts as a real, albeit rare, phenomenon. According to Mathieu Deflem, professor of sociology at University of South Carolina, Paris syndrome is most common among Japanese tourists. What are the Japanese so susceptible to?

According to scientists, this condition should be considered as an extreme form of cultural shock. According to the University of the Pacific in California, culture shock can, in particularly severe cases, lead to people feeling disoriented, depressed, irritable and physically ill.

The symptoms associated with culture shock are similar to those experienced by a person with anxiety. According to Calm Clinic, when a person experiences anxiety, the body sends signals to the stomach that are associated with the “hit-and-run” reaction. As a result, “the signals alter the way the stomach and intestines process and digest food, causing nausea.” In particularly extreme cases of anxiety — as in cultural shock — this nausea can lead to vomiting, disorientation and a host of other physical reactions.


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