Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes developed by an abducted hostage, in which the victim shows signs of loyalty towards the hostage-taker, regardless of the dangerous situation in which they have been placed.
This term is also used in situations with a similar tension to that of an abduction, such as a kidnapping, icluding the kidnapping of brides, rape cases, war scenery, survivers of concentration camps, people who are submitted to house arrest by relatives and also victims of personal abuse, such as women and children subject to domestic abuse.
The Stockholm Syndrome was named after the famous Kreditbanken robbery in Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm, in August, 1973, that lasted for six days. In this robbery, the victims who were held hostage continued to defend their capturer, even after the six days of physical prision were over and showed a reticent behaviour during the trial that followed. The term, which was later to enrich clinical vocabulary, was used for the first time by criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who helped the police during the robbery and refered to the syndrome during a news broadcast.
The symptoms associated to this syndrome are a consequence of the extreme physical and emotional stress the victims are subject to and occur without the victim knowing it, working, the affectionate and emotional identification with the abductor, as a way of emotional distancing themselves from the dangerous and violent reality the person is in. Simultaneously, the victim, who isn't totally oblivious to his situation, remains alert to danger and it's that alertness that allows most of the victims to try, at one point, to escape from his abductor, even in cases of prolonged captivity.
One of the most well-known and common cases of this disease is that of Patricia Hearst, who, in 1974, developed the disease after being kidnapped by the militar and political organization "Symbionese Liberation Army".
The reverse condition of the Stockholm Syndrom is called the Lima Syndrome. It can be developed under the same conditions as the former, with the abductors developing a bond with the victims, instead and it was named after the Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Lima, Peru, in December, 1996.
like us on facebook