Stockholm syndrome: friend of my kidnapper
Today we talk about the Stockholm syndrome . As we commented in the article "The ten worst mental disorders", the Stockholm Syndrome is a disorder that affects some people who have been victims of a kidnapping and can develop some kind of positive feeling towards their captors.
What is the Stockholm Syndrome?
The term refers to the theft of a bank that occurred in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 1973. The thief kidnapped 4 people (three women and one man) for 131 hours. When the hostages were released, they had established emotional ties with the kidnapper . As they sympathized with him, they explained to the reporters that they saw the police as enemies and felt positive feelings towards the criminal.
The syndrome was mentioned for the first time Nils Bejerot , a medical professor who specialized in addiction research and worked as a psychiatrist for the Swedish police in the case of bank robbery.
The experts do not coincide
The Stockholm Syndrome is considered a defense mechanism, a reaction that our body manifests in a traumatic situation that happened, and experts do not completely agree on the factors that make a person more vulnerable when suffering from this syndrome. . There are two causes of this disagreement. First, it would be unethical to test theories about this syndrome through experimentation. The data that has been obtained so far by the victims differ considerably.
The second cause refers to the relationship that this syndrome has with other types of abusive relationships. Many researchers think that the Stockholm Syndrome helps to explain some behaviors of the survivors of the concentration camps of the World War II , the reactions of the members of the sects, the permissiveness of battered women and the psychic or emotional abuse of children.
Javier Urra , Doctor in Psychology and Nursing, explains in the ABC newspaper: "What is surprising is that the kidnapped person seems to be on the side of the kidnapper and not the rescuers, who will give him freedom. Possibly it happens because his captor has been very close and has not killed him, although he could have done it, fed him and made him a brain Wash . The hostage arrives at a certain pact of non-aggression, but deep down, without knowing it, he seeks to save his life "
Despite the discrepancies that exist among the experts, most agree on three characteristics of the Stockholm Syndrome:
- The hostages have negative feelings towards the police and the authorities
- The abductees have positive feelings towards the captor
- The captor develops positive feelings towards the kidnapped
Who develops the Stockholm Syndrome?
The Stockholm Syndrome does not affect all hostages or hostages . In fact, an FBI study of 4,700 kidnap victims concluded that 27% of the abductees developed this disorder . Later, the FBI conducted interviews with flight employees of several airlines that had been taken hostage in different kidnappings. The data revealed that there are three factors necessary to develop this syndrome:
- The kidnapping lasts several days or longer periods (weeks, months)
- The kidnappers are still in contact with the hostages, that is, they are not isolated in a separate room
- The captors are kind to the hostages or the kidnapped and do not hurt them