What Is Paris Syndrome

Japanese embassy in Paris has a 24-hour hotline for those suffering from severe culture shock
Eiffel Tower and river Seine at sunset in Paris. Photo credits Shutterstock
Eiffel Tower and river Seine at sunset in Paris. Photo credits Shutterstock

Un d&icircner romantique pr&egraves de la tour Eiffel (A romantic dinner near Eiffel Tower) is how most people romanticize their Paris getaway. For a large part, Hollywood romcoms might be to blame. Despite the fact that not everyone can be an Emily in Paris, the age-old romantic notions of the city might be hard to shake off. It remains a prominent case study of how popular culture can influence and change the very destiny of a city and those residing within it. While the city still carries some unique charms, the expected aromas of quaint bakeries and coffee shops are lost amidst overcrowding and over-tourism.
Paris may be renowned as the city of love and light, but it&rsquos also associated with a unique syndrome. Termed the &ldquoParis syndrome&rdquo by Japanese psychiatrist Hiroaki Ota, the condition is genuine with observable symptoms. While it may seem like satire, the Paris syndrome is a real psychopathological disorder related to travel, according to Youcef Mahmoudia, a physician at the H&ocirctel-Dieu de Paris hospital. Mahmoudia believes that the excitement of visiting Paris causes a rapid heart rate, leading to giddiness, shortness of breath, and ultimately hallucinations.

How to avoid Paris Syndrome
The syndrome is not limited to the Japanese and can easily strike travellers from across the world. The discussion that started in early 2000 is very much alive to date. In her novel of the same name, Author Lucy Sweeney Byrne outlines sharp experiences in cities such as Paris that end up disappointing. Chornobyl is another example.

A large part of these problems emerges from overcrowding. Naturally, these problems can be solved with a hand from the government. Sustainable tourism practices and offbeat tourism promotions can help disperse the crowd that is circling limited destinations.

On an individual level, here are a few tips to combat Paris fatigue

Research beforehand
By research, we don&rsquot recommend coursing through vintage big-screen classics. Instead, consult offbeat (and even off-season) travel itineraries and information on rush hours. For example, you can plan to walk around Montmartre, which is relatively quiet than the rest of the city.

Beware of scam artists
The city might be a great place to meet wonderful people from around the world, but it is also notorious for its scams. Despite a good trip, even a trifle of a scam can leave a bad aftertaste. One of the most popular scams in Paris remains the bracelet scam, where a stranger ties a bracelet around your wrist and expects you to pay up. Hint It is usually a big amount.

Keep emergency numbers on the speed dial
Paris syndrome or not, overcrowding can lead to sensory overload. In fact, Chelsea Fagan from The Atlantic writes that accordion music is a big problem on the Paris subway. In this case, having emergency numbers on your pocket dial can help you retain a sense of security while you travel. The emergency numbers in France are as follows
SAMU (Ambulance) 15 · Police 17 · Fire 18 · General Emergency 112 (operators speak English)

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