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10 Surprising Ways to Lose Your Mind


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Visiting Jerusalem
View of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground silverjohn/iStock/Thinkstock
View of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground silverjohn/iStock/Thinkstock

Unlike Paris syndrome, which is brought on by rudeness, Jerusalem syndrome involves visitors being overcome by the historic, political and religious importance of the holy city.

Christian, Muslim and Jewish pilgrims flock to Jerusalem each year to be closer to their faith. For many, the trip can be overwhelming and, depending on religion or inclination, can include visits to the sacred sites of the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, among others.

A few visitors become delusional, thinking they are the Messiah or that their presence will bring about the resurrection of Christ. Others will wear clothing as if they were living in biblical times. On average, about 100 tourists are afflicted with the condition each year, with nearly half needing hospitalization. Interestingly, not all of the affected individuals have a history of mental illness. Sometimes people become so delusional that they become violent, preaching a "true religion" and attacking others because they are perceived to be pagans and barbarians [source: Montross].


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