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InternationalTourists who want to visit India warned about possible mental problems

Tourists who want to visit India warned about possible mental problems

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

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Tourists traveling in India may change their mentality and emotional state

Some tourists who travel for a long time in India may find themselves with strange psychological and behavioral changes. Regis Airault, a French psychologist, first warned about the possible problems of visiting the country, writes The Guardian.

In 1985 Herault came to work at the French Consulate in Mumbai. The doctor spoke with many compatriots traveling around the country and began to identify a strange condition in them, which he described as “Indian syndrome” – tourists were “lost”, were confused and were in a manic or psychotic state. “When they came to India, they were absolutely normal, but after a month I saw that their condition was completely unstable,” the psychologist described his observations.

Initially, the bizarre changes were attributed to drug use, but many travelers also exhibited symptoms such as depression and isolation, brought on by feelings of disorientation in an unfamiliar country and culture. In rare cases, tourists were diagnosed with acute psychosis, delirium and delirium – in the most severe manifestations, the Indian syndrome could lead to a complete detachment from reality. Over the next decade, Herault researched the subject extensively, culminating in Mad About India in 2000. In it, the author tried to answer the question of whether India itself changes people, or whether they themselves want to change by coming here on purpose.

According to Herault, India, more than any other country, stimulates the imagination and awakens strong human emotions. As an example, he cited the actions of his patients: one of them burned his passport and spent two months in prison, another wandered around the states for five years, despite the fact that the traveler’s parents considered him dead, the third believed that the goddess Kali hears his dreams and talking to him. Many of the cases were more harmless, but tourists who had recently experienced an emotional or traumatic story were more likely to experience a nervous breakdown.

It is noted that the syndrome is not officially recognized as a disease, however, many insurance companies include clauses that cancel it in the contract if a tourist traveling to India has mental problems or experience of drug use. Among other things, several foreign embassies and consulates of the country have full-time psychiatrists who treat their citizens in distress.

Earlier in January, a business class passenger mixed sleeping pills and alcohol during a flight, lost his temper and attacked the flight attendants. It was noted that the crew members tried to calm the man, but he had a fit of rage – out of anger, the tourist pulled his T-shirt over the head of one of the stewardesses.

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