Cause And Symptoms Of Stockholm Syndrome

750 words - 3 pages

Stockholm syndrome or what some people call “capture bonding” is a psychological phenomenon where victims show positive feelings or emotional bonding with their captors. Sympathy and empathy are the common feelings expressed by these hostages. These feelings may last even after they are free from their captors. It is important to note that stockholm syndrome is not a disorder but a “survival mechanism” victims unconsciously use as an act of self-preservation. Stockholm syndrome is in some ways similar to the battered person syndrome.
Evolutionary psychologists explain that the stockholm syndrome can be linked back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. They stated that women in those societies often faced the problem of being captured by another tribe. These women often had their children killed and they were put in several situations where their lives were at risk. By developing a bond to that tribe, they would ensure their survival. Because of the frequency of these abductions, capture-bonding developed into one of the adaptive traits in the human population. Evolutionary psychologists also believe that abductions and wars played a role in this.
The term stockholm syndrome originates from the incident at Kreditbanken bank in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1973. Two robbers broke into the bank, killed the police, and took four hostages. During the next six days, the hostages were trapped in a bank vault (often at gunpoint) and was strapped with bombs. However, what surprised the police was when they tried to rescue them, the hostages fended them off and defended their captors instead. Even after they’ve been freed, one of the hostages helped supported those robbers financially and thus, the term “Stockholm Syndrome” was created.
There are four main causes to Stockholm syndrome. The first cause is the hostage’s belief that their life is in danger. Their captors may threaten to harm or even kill the hostage, their friend, or family member if they do not cooperate with the captors. The captors may also have a record of violence that causes the victims to believe that they could become the next target.Witnessing their captors act violently against other victims or even objects produces similar outcomes. Captors may even tell stories of what they did to scare...

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