Jerusalem Syndrome

City Of JerusalemThe Jerusalem Syndrome is a mysterious condition that seems to affect deeply religious people who come to the Holy City of Jerusalem for a visit. The condition is characterized by a seemingly sudden change in otherwise healthy and normal people that display sudden psychotic behavior such as random street preaching or singing, going around in nothing but a garb of bed sheets and other abnormal displays, most of them usually stemming from religious fervor.

Jerusalem Syndrome History

The condition was first observed and diagnosed by Dr. Heinz Herman during the 1930’s. As a psychiatrist, he observed some of the more noticeable behaviors suddenly exhibited by visitors to Jerusalem. Symptoms of such conditions have already been observed as early as the Middle Ages. The Jerusalem Syndrome is said to be not just unique in the said city as there are also other similar conditions that are noted in other places of cultural and religious importance such as Mecca, Rome and Paris.

Noted Effects

Jerusalem Syndrome is basically considered as benign. But there are times that people affected by the condition will likely cause trouble and disturbance around the city. There was an instance where an Australian tourist by the name of Dennis Rohan caused a serious incident in the city.

Claiming to be on a mission from God, the 1969 visit of Dennis Rohan caused quite a furor when he attempted to set fire on the Al-Aqsa Mosque located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The act cause widespread riots in the city. From then on, authorities in Jerusalem have looked into cases of Jerusalem Syndrome with caution.

Puzzling Condition

Just as the year 2000 approached and with many rumors of the coming apocalypse began to escalate, there was also an increase seen in tourists being affected with Jerusalem Syndrome. What is puzzling with the said condition is that it seems not only to affect people with present psychotic symptoms but also those who are considered normal such as visiting businessmen, teachers and professionals.

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