Jerusalem syndrome. Symptoms, course and cultural context
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Psychiatr Pol 2011;45(2):289-296
The Jerusalem syndrome is an acute psychotic state observed in tourists and pilgrims who visit Jerusalem. The main symptom of this disorder is identification with a character from the Bible and exhibiting behaviours which seems to be typical for this character. The article presents an overview of cultural and demographic factors associated with the appearance of the Jerusalem syndrome. Three main categories of the syndrome were identified with special focus on the category unconjoined to previous psychopathology which can be described as the 'pure' form of the Jerusalem syndrome. The main diagnostic criteria for the 'pure' type and the sequence of seven clinical stages of the Jerusalem syndrome were described. The article contains a review of the hypothesis about the causes of Jerusalem syndrome with special attention given to the role of places of particular meaning for religious tradition.
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