The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has designated a new psychiatric disorder called Paris Syndrome, named for socialite and Reality TV star Paris Hilton.
Paris Syndrome is characterized by an acute sense of empathy towards Paris Hilton, particularly during times of public scandal and embarrassment.
According to Dr. Owen Spielvogel, chair of APA’s gossip- and media-focused Loud Family Institute, “It’s natural to feel a sense of guilt and shame at the pleasure one derives from the travails of Ms. Hilton. She’s a larger-than-life figure, the subject of mockery and contempt. Paris Syndrome is different than mere guilt, something closer to Stockholm Syndrome. It occurs when the individual’s superego overrides the giddy pleasure at Ms. Hilton’s failures and the individual begins to identify with her. ‘What if my personal life got splashed across the internet? What if people openly wished for my death?’ goes the thinking. At that point, Paris Syndrome has set in and psychiatric consultation may be the answer.”
The APA estimates that thousands of Americans, most of whom work in the media or as bloggers (web-loggers), may be afflicted with Paris Syndrome. There is no suggested course of treatment for Paris Syndrome at this time, but according to Dr. Spielvogel, “It passes eventually and the so-called ‘normal’ feelings of Paris Hilton hatred return.” He also notes that a related disorder—Paris Hilton Fatigue, first designated by the APA two years ago—often cancels out Paris Syndrome. “Once the individual grows indifferent to Ms. Hilton and her assorted sex tapes, utterances of racial slurs, bruises, and hacked personal communication devices. It’s likely that Paris Syndrome has passed.”
The APA is the nation’s oldest national medical specialty society with more than 35,000 members, all of whom hate Paris Hilton.