Stockholm Syndrome: my kidnapper’s friend

Today we talk about it Stockholm Syndrome. As we discussed in the article “The Ten Worst Mental Disorders”, Stockholm Syndrome is a disorder that affects some people who have been abducted and can develop a kind of positive feeling towards their captors.

What is Stockholm Syndrome?

The term refers to the bank robbery that took place in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 1973. The thief kidnapped 4 people (three women and one man) for 131 hours. When the abductees have been released, they had established emotional ties with the kidnapper. As they sympathized with him, they told reporters that they saw the police as enemies and had positive feelings towards the criminal.

The syndrome was first mentioned by Nils Bejerot, A professor of medicine specializing in addiction research and worked as a psychiatrist for the Swedish police in the event of a bank robbery.

Experts disagree

Stockholm syndrome is considered to be a defense mechanism, a reaction our body manifests to a traumatic situation that has occurred, and experts do not fully agree on the factors that make a person more vulnerable to the weather. suffer from this syndrome. There are two causes for this disagreement. First, it would be unethical to test the theories about this syndrome through experimentation. The data obtained so far by the victims differs considerably.

The second cause refers to the relationship this syndrome has with other types of abusive relationships. Many researchers believe that Stockholm syndrome helps explain certain behaviors of concentration camp survivors in the World War II, The reactions of members of sects, the permissiveness of abused women and the psychic or emotional abuse of children.

Javier urra, A doctor of psychology and nursing, told ABC newspaper: “The surprising thing is that the kidnapped person appears to be on the kidnapper’s side and not the rescuers, who will give him freedom. Perhaps because his captor has been very close and did not kill him, although he could have, fed him and made him a brainwashing. The hostage arrives at a certain non-aggression pact, but deep down, without knowing it, what he is looking for is to save his life. “

Despite the differences among experts, most agree on three characteristics of Stockholm syndrome:

  • Kidnapped people have negative feelings towards police and authorities
  • Kidnapped people have positive feelings towards the kidnapper
  • The abductor develops positive feelings towards the abductees

Who develops Stockholm syndrome?

Stockholm Syndrome it does not affect all hostages or hostages. In fact, an FBI study that conducted 4,700 kidnapping victims found that 27% of abductees developed this disorder. The FBI then conducted interviews with flight attendants from various airlines who had been taken hostage in various kidnappings. The data revealed that three factors are necessary to develop this syndrome:

  • Removal lasts several days or longer periods (weeks, months)
  • The kidnappers stay in contact with the kidnapped, that is, they do not isolate them in a separate room
  • Kidnappers are kind to hostages or kidnapped and do not harm them

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