Jerusalem syndrome or paranoid schizophrenia? Academic Article uri icon


  • To the Editor: We were intrigued to read the case report by Dr. Fastovsky and her colleagues in the August 2000 issue (1). As the authors of several articles on Jerusalem syndrome, we would like to add our comments. Contrary to the opening statements in Dr. Fastovsky's letter, attempts to present the so-called Jerusalem syndrome as a distinct clinical entity have been severely criticized (2). In our view, Jerusalem syndrome should perhaps be regarded as a unique cultural phenomenon because of its overwhelming theatrical characteristics (3). Dramatic cases have been reported by various biographers since the establishment of pilgrimages to the Holy City and tourism (4), and such cases are appealing to today's media.Our accumulated data indicate that Jerusalem should not be regarded as a pathogenic factor, because the morbid ideation of the affected travelers started elsewhere …

publication date

  • January 1, 2000