Paris Syndrome: What is it and how does it occur?

Recently, an American traveler experienced severe disappointment when France failed to deliver the travel experience of her dreams.

Angela, a beret-wearing blogger from San Francisco, tearfully expressed her distress on TikTok, saying she felt “isolated” because she didn't speak her native language while visiting the French city of Lyon in the New Year. did.

“I think it's stupid to come here and spend money,” she said, adding: “I'm here to learn and explore, and the experience is just…I don't really like it.”

The video, which has been viewed more than 6.8 million times since it was posted last week with the caption “France made me cry,” has polarized public opinion on cultural etiquette when traveling abroad.

Surprisingly, Angela isn't the only one experiencing culture shock on a city break. This is especially true when it comes to France.

Tourists who don't have an ideal image of French cities, especially the capital, the rich, glamorous metropolis full of romance that we've seen on our screens for so long, will find Paris a filthy, noisy and overcrowded Paris. It will be interesting to note how the underground shopping mall of They either didn't feel very welcome or were really shocked.

When shock is complete and visible symptoms appear, it is known as Paris syndrome.

What is Paris syndrome?

Paris syndrome is often defined as a “state of severe culture shock.”

Physical and psychological symptoms of Paris not meeting expectations are known to include hallucinations, increased heart rate, dizziness, and nausea.

When did it first appear?

This late 20th century disorder was named by psychiatrist Hiroaki Ota in the 1980s.

A combination of factors is thought to explain why this syndrome almost exclusively affects Japanese people. Paris' image of perfection in Japanese pop culture, unwieldy language barriers, and stark cultural contrasts, to name just a few.

Since the early 2000s, several Japanese tourists have been admitted to psychiatric clinics for treatment of extreme cases.


Yes, although it's rare.

Approximately 20 Japanese tourists are affected by this disease every year. Unconfirmed reports even claim that the Japanese embassy in Paris has a 24-hour emergency hotline for people suffering from true shock symptoms related to travel trauma.

Is it limited to Paris?

Tourists visiting Jerusalem are known to experience similar mental symptoms. Triggered by proximity to holy sites, tourists and pilgrims within the city can enter a psychotic state of paranoia, which is often associated with intense religious experiences.

Elsewhere, in Florence, vacationers overwhelmed by the Italian city's art and architecture may experience Stendhal syndrome, paranoia and palpitations brought on by the historical significance and beauty of what's in front of them. not.

How to avoid Paris syndrome?

Remember that Paris has the same flaws as most cities (including London). Taking off the rose-colored glasses to accept the reality of overcrowded tourist destinations and the aloof attitude of local residents may help combat potential disappointment.

Check out our Paris travel guide to find out when to go on a French city break and what to know.

For those who can't let go of their on-screen dreams, here's a guide on how to make the French capital: emily in pariswhether your budget is champagne or “champere.”

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