In popular culture, Paris is associated with romantic films and believed to be the setting for fairy tales, cobblestoned streets, worlds best monuments and museums. As the reality of the contemporary city of Paris begins to take hold, including its notoriously unfriendly services and confusing public transportation certain tourists are unable to endure having their expectations dispelled. In addition to exhaustion, cultural and language barriers, homesickness and cultural shock can create severe psychological stress, and anxiety. In such situation, immediate assistance from mental health professional, online counsellors can be of great help.
What is Paris Syndrome?
Paris Syndrome is the name of a phenomenon which is seen by a small proportion of people who visit Paris who experience a completely different from what they expect or have come to expect. It is considered to be an extreme type of culture shock. It can manifest in a variety of psychosomatic and mental symptoms such as delusional states as well as hallucinations, fears of repulsion, derealization dizziness, depersonalization, anxiety, sweating and vomiting.
The term was used by a Japanese psychiatrist, Hiroaki Ota, in the late 1980s. Since then, the disease has been mostly related to Japanese travellers. However, people from different countries have been reported to be affected. This syndrome effect travellers who feels disappointed when their city of lights doesn’t meet what they imagined in their fantasies. The French mental health journal Nervure mentions the discontent of many tourists is due to the romanticized perception that portray Paris being portrayed as the city full of fashion, love and glamorous people.
How To Avoid Paris Syndrome
Here are some tips to make yourself sure that you don’t get disappointed particularly if you’re planning your first trip to Paris.
1. Know that Paris isn’t always glamorous, it can be gritty, even dirty
There’s a wealth of media which portray Paris as a glamorous destination, complete with gorgeous monuments, and handsome men and beautiful women. It’s true to a degree. There are of course beautiful places and glamorous inhabitants in Paris. However, this will not be the experience you get everywhere in the city. Alongside the luxury, there are also shabby structures, streets and a lot of people wearing normal clothing (and an enormous amount of homeless). It is a good idea to review your expectations of the amount of glitter and glamour you’ll find in Paris.
2. Paris may not be always Romantic – It Can Also Be Noisy and Irritating
A lot of romantic tales revolve around the idea of a romantic rendezvous or engagement in Paris. A stunning look at the table in an eatery… strolling with a partner down cobbled streets with accordion music playing in a certain place… getting a kiss at the top of the Eiffel tower… This kind of thoughts are part of our cultural notion of Paris.
The truth is that Paris is a charming city but it is also a bustling city brimming with cars, noise and people. Paris is a bustling city with millions of people working and living within the City. And only a few of them have any interest in your love affair. Therefore, be ready for traffic jams, noisy night-time crowds as well as all the other non-romantic things you’d expect to find in any major city.
3. Paris Is a Big City And Attractions Are Spread Out
It’s a pleasure to stroll through Paris. But, Paris is a big city, and its sights are scattered around the city. If you had to walk to all destinations in one day that would take approximately hours just for walking! Of course should you wish to visit some of the not-central Paris places but for these excursions you need transportation.
4. Paris Is Busy, Thronging With Tourists
Perhaps you envision arriving in Paris and walking through the Louvre and perhaps even climbing at the top of Eiffel Tower. You can perform all of those things but imagine all of them with lines. Long queues. Paris is very popular! 35 million visitors visit Paris every year. During the summer months, from June to August, there could be a huge demand for the top tourist attractions of the city. This creates large crowds and long lines. The queues to The Eiffel tower can last up to two hours during the peak hours. Even in Paris during the winter months, there are long lines for the most popular destinations!
You can reduce the time spent waiting when you visit Paris during the off season and making reservations for tickets at the time of beginning or ending the day. In general, however, anticipate having to purchase timed entry tickets ahead of time.
What is the best way to seek assistance?
The reality of the contemporary city of Paris is set in, with its notoriously rude services and confusing public transportation, certain tourists are unable to cope with the disappointment of their expectations. In addition to fatigue, language barriers and cultural differences, homesickness and shock to the culture can lead to severe psychological stress. Although it is not listed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Paris syndrome is acknowledged by a variety of specialists as an actual but rare, condition. Seeking help from online therapist can help you to manage the distress of Paris syndrome.
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