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Jerusalem syndrome

  • Yair Bar-El (a1), Rimona Durst (a1), Gregory Katz (a1), Josef Zislin (a1), Ziva Strauss (a1) and Haim Y. Knobler (a1)...
Extract
Background

Jerusalem's psychiatrists expect to encounter, as the millennium approaches, an ever-increasing number of tourists who, upon arriving in Jerusalem, may suffer psychotic decompensation.

Aims

To describe the Jerusalem syndrome as a unique acute psychotic state.

Method

This analysis is based on accumulated clinical experience and phenomenological data consisting of cultural and religious perspectives.

Results

Three main categories of the syndrome are identified and described, with special focus on the category pertaining to spontaneous manifestations, unconfounded by previous psychotic history or psychopathology.

Conclusions

The discrete form of the Jerusalem syndrome is related to religious excitement induced by proximity to the holy places of Jerusalem, and is indicated by seven characteristic sequential stages.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Rimona Durst, Kfar Shaul Mental Health Centre, Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, Israel 91060. Tel: +972-2-6551550; Fax: +972-2-6512274
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Bar-El, I., Witztum, E., Kalian, M., et al (1991a) Psychiatric hospitalization of tourists in Jerusalem. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 32, 238244.
Bar-El, I., Kalian, M. & Eisenberg, B. (1991b) Tourists and psychiatric hospitalization with reference to ethical aspects concerning management and treatment. Psychiatry, 10, 487492.
Cohen, E. (1979) A phenomenology of tourist experiences. Sociology, 13, 179201.
Flinn, D. B. (1962) Transient psychotic reactions during travel. American Journal of Psychiatry, 119, 173174.
Freud, S. (1936) A disturbance of memory on the Acropolis. Reprinted (1953–1974) in the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (trans. and ed. J. Strachey), vol. 22, p. 239. London: Hogarth Press.
Magherini, G. (1992) Syndrome di Stendhal. Milan: Fettrinelli.
Nabokov, V. (1971) Gogol. Reprinted in Hebrew (1997) (trans. D. Frenz). Tel Aviv: Yedioth Ahronoth.
Shapiro, S. (1982) Airport wandering as a psychotic symptom. Psychiatria Clinica, 15, 173176.
Singh, H. A. (1961) A case of psychosis precipitated by confinement in long distance travel by train. American Journal of Psychiatry, 117, 936937.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Jerusalem syndrome

  • Yair Bar-El (a1), Rimona Durst (a1), Gregory Katz (a1), Josef Zislin (a1), Ziva Strauss (a1) and Haim Y. Knobler (a1)...
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