9 Strange Geographical Syndrome

9 Unbelievable Geographical Syndrome

1. Lima Syndrome

Lima syndrome is the exact opposite of Stockholm Syndrome, the captor feels sympathy toward his / her victim. The term was first coined during the Japanese Embassy hostage crisis of 1996 in Peru when members of a militant movement took hundreds of people hostage in the official residence of Japan's ambassador. Within a few days, they set most of the hostages free, including those they deemed most valuable. Those who were supposed to kill the hostages in the event of an assault could not bring themselves to do it.

2. India Syndrome

Death on the Path to Enlightenment: Inside the Rise of India Syndrome
Jonathan Spollen, a 28-year-old Irishman with long brown hair and a delicate brogue, was at a crossroads in his life. He'd embarked on a career as an overseas journalist, working first as a reporter at the Daily Star Egypt in Cairo and then as a foreign editor at The National in Abu Dhabi. But now he was a copy editor for the International Herald Tribune in Hong Kong, approaching 30, and wondering if he liked where his life was going. In October 2011, following a split with his girlfriend, he bought some trekking gear, sent his laptop home to Dublin, and booked a flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. From there, Spollen made his way to India. He had visited before, spending time with an octogenarian yogi named Prahlad Jani—who claims his mastery of the ancient arts has allowed him to live without food for 70 years—and had come away entranced with the country. This time, Spollen roamed the subcontinent for several months, visiting the holy city of Varanasi, India's oldest inhabited settlement. In early February, Spollen called his mother, Lynda, to tell her he planned to spend two or three weeks hiking in the Himalayas near the pilgrimage site of Rishikesh, the yogaphilic city on the Ganges where the Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. She reportedly asked him not to go alone, but he told her that was the whole point. "It's a spiritual thing," he explained.

He was never heard from again.

A little over three weeks after that conversation, his parents were worried enough to post to IndiaMike.com, a forum for Western travelers to the subcontinent. Their message contained a picture of Spollen, the details of his last known sighting, and a plea: "Please, all of you, keep in regular contact with your families. Even if they don't say it, they care for you and worry about you!" A few days later, Spollen's father, David, flew to Rishikesh to organize a search party. In mid-March, local authorities found Spollen's passport, rucksack, bedroll, and cash beside a waterfall near the village of Patna, a few miles outside Rishikesh. From there, however, the trail went cold. Members of the IndiaMike community circulated missing-person posters that travelers hung along the Banana Pancake trail, a network of backpacker routes that stretches from Goa to Hanoi, but there were no new leads.

3. Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome is a Real Life phenomenon in which kidnap victims can develop loyalty, sympathy, or affection (sometimes even sexual attraction) for a captor. Especially if said captor provided them with a Pet the Dog moment that the captive, under extreme stress, exaggerates as a genuine sign of affection.

This can develop in kidnapping victims, political prisoners, and prisoners of war, or in hostage situations when there is a long standoff with police (like the ever popular bank robbery situation). Or in very unhealthy marriages. It has even been known to happen in prisons. It's named after a robbery that took place in Stockholm -- employees at a bank were held hostage for six days, and some of them ended up defending the robbers afterwards.

4. London Syndrome

London syndrome A phenomenon which is the opposite of the Stockholm syndrome, a psychological phenomenon wherein hostages form bonds of empathy and sympathy with their captors to an extreme degree and may even defend their captors’ actions. In the London syndrome, one or more hostages respond to their captors with belligerence, non-co-operation and arguments.

The name comes from the 1980 Arab separatist take-over of the Iranian embassy in London with 26 hostages inside. The British SAS stormed the embassy on Day 6 and freed all.

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5. Uppgivenhetssyndrom

While this disorder isn't named after a particular place, it occurs in only one specific area of the world. Several hundred children and adolescents literally "check out" for months or years. One day, they just go to bed and don't get up. They're unable to move, eat, drink, speak or respond. All of the victims have one thing in common—they are seeking asylum after a traumatic migration, mostly from former Soviet and Yugoslav states. And all of them live in Sweden. They go into these vegetative-like states when their families are threatened with deportation. The only known cure is residency, which allows them to stay in Sweden. Even if family members read the approved residency permit in the nonresponsive child's presence, the message gets through, and they slowly start to wake up.

6. Paris Syndrome

Paris Syndrome is a psychological condition experienced almost exclusively by Japanese tourists who are disappointed when the city of lights does not live up to their romantic expectations. The syndrome, considered an extreme case of culture shock, causes symptoms such as an acute delusional state, hallucinations, anxiety, dizziness, and sweating, has been documented by medical journals.

So why does Paris make Japanese visitors sick? The French psychiatric journal Nervure cites the disappointment many visitors feel is caused by the over-romanticised expectations of Paris as a city of love, fashion, and glamorous people. The city is a popular tourist destination due to Japan’s fascination with all things French; cities such as Tokyo are filled with French patisseries and luxury French fashion outlets such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
Around six million Japanese people visit France each year.

In Japanese popular culture Paris is associated with romantic films such as Amelie and is thought to be the stuff of fairytales, cobble-stoned streets and all. When the reality of the modern city of Paris sets in, with its notoriously rude service and confusing public transport, some tourists simply cannot cope with their expectations being dashed. Combined with exhaustion, language barriers, and culture barriers, homesickness and culture shock can cause serious psychological distress. The Japanese embassy in Paris repatriates up to 20 tourists a year, sending them home with a doctor or nurse to ensure they recover from the shock.

The embassy also runs a 24-hour helpline for expatriates experiencing the syndrome. The problem appears to be growing worse instead of improving, as there have been reports of Chinese tourists, part of the country's emerging middle class travelling abroad for the first time, experiencing the syndrome. While lowered expectations may prevent the shock, Professor Hiroaki Ota who first identified the syndrome over 25 years ago, says there is only one cure. The permanent fix is board a flight home and never return to Paris.

7. Florence Syndrome

Stendhal Syndrome: Overdosing On Beautiful Art
Imagine that you’re in Florence, looking at awe-inspiring, breathtaking works of art. If you suddenly start to feel that you literally cannot breathe, you may be experiencing Stendhal Syndrome. A psychosomatic disorder, Stendhal Syndrome causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, disorientation, fainting, and confusion when someone is looking at artwork with which he or she deeply emotionally connects.

Also called Florence Syndrome, Stendhal Syndrome is similar to Paris Syndrome, in which tourists who visit Paris for the first time experience anxiety, dizziness, tachycardia, hallucinations, or delusions after they realize that Paris is drastically different from the idealized city they thought it would be. Another extreme form of culture shock is Jerusalem Syndrome, in which tourists suffer from obsessive religious thoughts and delusions in the holy city of Jerusalem.

8. Jerusalem Syndrome

While Type 3 patients have no history of mental illness, the majority of Jerusalem Syndrome sufferers do in fact have a history of psychiatric disorder (Type 1) or some kind of previous obsession with Jerusalem (Type 2).

Jerusalem Syndrome Types 1 and Type 2 account for about 80 percent of cases. From 1980 to 1993, for example, 1,200 tourists were taken to Kfar Shaul Mental Hospital after demonstrating signs of Jerusalem Syndrome. Of the 470 admitted, only 42 were Type 3 sufferers.

Type 1 Jerusalem Syndrome patients — defined by a prior history with illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder — often identify as a specific character from the Bible. Type 1 also involves having fantastical ideas about Jerusalem’s healing properties or its ability to cure sickness through magic. These patients have typically already isolated themselves by the time they get to Jerusalem, and are thus traveling alone.

Type 2 Jerusalem Syndrome is defined by a patient history of non-psychotic mental disorders, such as personality disorders that leave patients obsessed with a fixed idea. Type 2 sufferers sometimes come to Jerusalem alone, but most often than not come with groups of people.

As Bar-El could not confirm that the patients he diagnosed with Type 2 and 3 of the syndrome had no pre-existing conditions past preliminary questioning, neither Type 2 or 3 Jerusalem Syndrome is considered to be a medically valid diagnosis. Instead, experts understand the affliction as an extension of pre-existing psychotic issues such as schizophrenia.

So why the religiosity of it all? According to Dr. Mark Serper, a psychologist at Hofstra University, it has to do with upbringing and self-selection.

“When I was at Bellevue, we had patients come from California, and it was like why, why did you take the bus — these were patients with schizophrenia with very little resources but they took the bus across the country to come to Bellevue,” Serper told ATI. “They said ‘Well, I’m sick so I wanted to come to Bellevue, that’s the place you want to be if you have a mental illness.'”

“[Jerusalem Syndrome] reminds me of that. If you feel particular urges, or a particular sense of religiousness that you’re going to want to be Jerusalem if that affects part of your culture — that’s like your mecca. Just like Bellevue was the mecca of psychiatric hospitals in folklore. People would come to it from distant parts of the country because they figured that was the place to go. It kinda reminds me of that in a secular way, that people in our society would do that.”

9. The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is history's most startling mental disorder

In the 1870s, something very strange happened to the French-Canadians working as lumberjacks in Northern Maine. When startled, they would jump in the air, imitate those around them, and even obey random commands. This was the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine disorder.

The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine may not be the weirdest mental disorder ever — there are way too many contenders for that title — but it's definitely got the weirdest name. The stories surrounding it are strange enough that it might well still have attained infamy even without such a bizarre moniker attached, but the name definitely doesn't hurt. We'll get to some of the most fascinating stories in a moment, but first let's take a look at just what this disorder is.

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