Stockholm Syndrome-sympathy for captors

Patty Hearst, during the April 1974 Hibernia b...
Patty Hearst, during the April 1974 Hibernia bank robbery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stockholm syndrome – it is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage develops signs of sympathy for the captor, regardless of the risk in which the hostage has been placed.
Fact : The syndrome was first observed after a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage in the bank’s vaults from August 23 to August 28 in 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal, refusing to testify against them. Later, after the gang was arrested and sentenced to jail, one of them married a woman who had been his hostage.The term “Stockholm syndrome” was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, using the term in a news broadcast. It was originally defined by psychiatrist Frank Ochberg to aid the management of hostage situations.

A famous example of Stockholm syndrome : story of Patty Hearst, a millionaire’s daughter who was kidnapped in 1974, seemed to develop sympathy with her captors, and later took part in a robbery they were orchestrating.

Many Hollywood and bollywood movies have also been written on the basis of this syndrome. This includes :Stockholm Syndrome, The Chase, Bandits, Kidnap(where the end shows that Sanjay Dutt‘s family understands Imraan khan and his decision of abducting MInisha Lamba). The movie ‘Tathastu’ starring Sanjay Dutt also shows some similar syndrome in the hostages when they know that Sanjay Dutt has abducted them to save his son who requires a heart transplant surgery.

Reason : sometimes hostages empathize with the cause & purpose behind their abduction and captivation and gets moved by their problems.The constant thought to their problems during captivation (during which their mind is in constant stress, anxiety & fear and has nothing to do else) becomes vulnerable to such thoughts and incorporate sympathy for their captors.



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