Paradise Syndrome

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This article is about the psychological condition. For the Star Trek episode, see The Paradise Syndrome.

Paradise Syndrome, while not officially recognized by psychologists as a mental condition, is a term used by some to refer to a condition in which a person suffers a feeling of dissatisfaction despite having achieved all their dreams. The term may have been coined by Dave Stewart.[1] It is often applied to individuals of such great wealth and success that they feel they no longer have anything left in life to accomplish. It is common with people who assign great value to their career and, although they have achieved much, do not feel satisfied.[2]

The phrase may also refer to an episode of Star Trek, "The Paradise Syndrome", and in this instance, deals with being overworked and needing a break, rather than a feeling of dissatisfaction related to achieving one's dreams.

In popular culture[edit]

The titular character in the Simon and Garfunkel song "Richard Cory" (based on the Edward Arlington Robinson poem of the same title) epitomises Paradise Syndrome.

A major character in the television series Psychoville named Oscar Lomax suffers from Paradise Syndrome. The only way for him to be 'cured' usually involves a topsy-turvy game of cat and mouse with a stuffed 'commodity' (children's toy) which he finds and then deliberately loses.

In Night Train (1997) by Martin Amis, Paradise Syndrome is proffered as a possible explanation for the suicide of Jennifer Rockwell, a young woman who seemingly had everything: beauty, intelligence, health, a devoted lover and a stimulating career. The investigation of her suicide reveals clues to another explanation that the central character, detective Mike Hoolihan, suspects Jennifer herself may have left as an elaborate decoy.


  1. ^ Easy on the rose petals, my man. I'm suffering from Paradise Syndrome. Dom Joly. November 2004.
  2. ^ "When too much is never enough". Television New Zealand. AAP. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2011.