Ladies and Gentlemen, Ambassador O’Hanrahan, Mr Prime Minister, Esteemed members of the Nobel Committee, I thank you all for coming to my lecture today and I would like to begin by asking you a question – Have you ever encountered the condition Paris Syndrome? For those of you who haven’t, please allow me to explain.
Predominately affecting Japanese tourists, Paris Syndrome is a condition resultant of a person’s realisation that the capital city of France is not the idealised ‘city of love’ that they had conjured up in their minds from all the portrayals of it they had seen through the years. This particular category of culture-shock can apparently reach a level of such severity that it elicits physiological symptoms in those who suffer from it. These have been known to include dizziness, sweating, vomiting and hallucinations.
The reason I mention the above-described syndrome is due to the fact that it draws many parallels with that syndrome which we are most concerned with in this lecture today – The Dublin Syndrome. While not confined to the defined region of the Irish Capital, the affliction is named after the native origin of Patient Zero who presented in a Dublin clinic upon his return home from a short break in a European capital city.
Described as an acute disassociation from one’s own affinity with their original place of origin upon repatriation from a short and enjoyable spell spent abroad, Dublin Syndrome can be brought about by many underlying factors. One prevailing aspect of each patient who presented was their inclination to over-romanticise their place of origin. This romanticisation was noted as being compounded by many factors including the consumption of positively-biased social media pertaining to their place of origin and indulgence in local customs, patient zero being noted as a regular participant in the Irish phenomenon known as ‘the craic’.
Dublin Syndrome has been identified as occurring sometime between when a person returns from a short holiday and close to when the sufferer begins to throw their own internal romanticisation of their hometown into doubt. In each case, this doubt was the result of the patient having juxtaposed aspects of their hometown against those which are more favourable in the place they have recently visited. These include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, alcohol pricing, bar and club opening hours, cuisine, etc, etc.
Ultimately this leaves the patient questioning their previously perceived status quo, commonly the patient will, unfruitfully, seek to re-evaluate their connection to their hometown. Physiological effects similar to Paris Syndrome such as dizziness, sweating, vomiting and hallucinations have been recorded but leading researchers have not been able to isolate these from symptoms commonly found in patients suffering from The Fear, a separate condition in itself – which many sufferers of Dublin Syndrome also simultaneously presented with.
Following innumerable vaccine trials and inestimable hours of research, leading researchers have discovered an effective treatment for sufferers of Dublin Syndrome. The treatment, which also is said to be effective in fighting The Fear, was discovered in a manner befitting the discovery of penicillin, given the serendipity involved.
It was one particular evening when upon my way home in Dublin, that I happened upon Patient Zero as he passed from Pearse Street to Westland Row. Noticing that he was beleaguered with symptoms at the time I took the opportunity to candidly observe the patient in the wild lieu of approaching him. As he reached the top of the street, the patient stopped at Kennedy’s public house and after a moment of contemplation, he entered. Being in the dark wooden environs of the pub and having stepped upon the tiled flooring the patient appeared to experience an improvement in their symptoms as they ordered a drink.
Awaiting this drink, the patient was noted to have observed portraits of writers which hung about the walls of the pub. In later interviews, he would come to explain the calming effect brought about in realising that ‘Beckett, Behan and Joyce would’ve drank here themselves’. The patient even goes as far as to say that it is at this early stage when he first begins to experience the return of, what he described as, “pangs” of older romanticised “notions”.
The patient is then noted to have observed nearby Joycean relic – Sweny’s pharmacy through one of the many large windows in the pub as he set about ingesting the first portion of the alcoholic beverage he had previously purchased. The analgesic effect of this is observed as having occurred faster than expected with the patient appearing more comfortable than at any time since having presented. This comfort is perceived to subside somewhat as the patient reads the figure, which is later clarified as €5.50, on a receipt which had been issued to him with the beverage. This is then countenanced when the subject medicates himself further with the beverage he had bought.
I continue to observe the patient as he self-medicates, increasing his dosage as he goes. As he begins to risk overmedication, I note that he has begun to interact with control subjects. It is at this point that the subject begins to drink whiskey and puts themselves at risk of overmedication. As he begins to sing a folk song about a triangle I decide to interject and return the patient back to the test facility for evaluation. His reaction to this is made in a positive tone as he enquires whether we are going to “a session”.
In the weeks following the trial, the patient is observed on a semi-regular basis and is deemed to have made a near-full recovery. He continues to bemoan the grievances such as the price of the pint, closing hours, and local climate on a smaller scale. But researchers cannot rule out the possibility that such behaviour did not predate the patient’s contraction of The Dublin Syndrome.