How Did the Illness Stockholm Syndrome Arise?

Stockholm syndrome which is also known as Helsinki syndrome is mental illness developed by the hostages to cope up with the situation. The mental condition or the feelings actually arises because of the bond that develops between the hostage and the captor while performing intimate actions. In simple words we can say that Stockholm syndrome is the emotion that develops among two people where one person physically and mentally harasses the other one.

How Did the Illness Stockholm Syndrome Arise?

How Did the Illness Stockholm Syndrome Arise?

The term Stockholm syndrome was first coined by a psychiatrist and criminologist Nils Bejerot of Swedish origin. The name was coined when a Stockholm police asked Nils for help to analyze and understand bank robbery victim’s reaction who was made hostage for quite some time. At that time also the concept of brainwashing was not new, hence; Nils claims that Stockholm syndrome is also a form of brainwashing done by the captors to their hostages.

As such there are many components that lead to Stockholm syndrome, but the top four components include:

  • In due course of time hostage starts developing positive attitude and feelings towards the captor.
  • There is no captor and hostage relation in the past
  • Hostage suddenly refuses to co-operate with the police
  • Hostage develop a sense of humanity towards the captor

In many parts of the world Stockholm syndrome is referred to as contested illness but many legal authorities consider it as fake mental condition.

Some of the common symptoms of stockholm syndrome are as follows:

  • Hostage develop sympathy towards the captors
  • They develop positive attitude towards the goal and causes of captors
  • They develop negative attitude towards the police and other legal authorities
  • They suddenly show withdrawal symptoms towards police.

Stockholm syndrome arises because of survival instincts. Hostages survive in a very hard situation which ultimately results in the development of survival instincts. Hostages who are in the condition of survival often develop an emotional bond between hostage and captor, which acts as a defense mechanism between the two.

In the beginning the emotions may be just for show but in due course of time the hostages often develop a fear that in case their fake emotions are cot then their life may be danger. Hence, instead of showing fake emotions they eventually develop genuine feelings.

Stockholm Syndrome is Not limited to Hostages

The illness of Stockholm syndrome is not limited to only victims who are kidnapped or who are made hostages. Instead, there are many other people who can suffer from this problem. The problem is immensely seen in people undergoing domestic violence or child abuse. In addition, people who have been prisoners, prostitutes and slaves are some of the people who may also suffer from the same problem in the long run. Although, the ratio of Stockholm syndrome patient may vary with the situation but still one thing cannot be ignored that even though hostages are the key people suffering from this problem but other people may also get effected considering the situation and condition.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 28, 2017

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