Stockholm syndrome

GC: n

S: BBC – (last access: 8 December 2016); (last access: 9 December 2016).

N: 1. The term takes its name from a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 1973. The robber took four employees of the bank into the vault with him and kept them hostage for 131 hours. After the employees were finally released, they appeared to have formed a paradoxical emotional bond with their captor; they told reporters that they saw the police as their enemy rather than the bank robber and that they had positive feelings toward the criminal. The syndrome was first named (1978) by Nils Bejerot (1921 – 1988), who served as a psychiatric consultant to the Swedish police during the standoff at the bank.
2. The term is a geographical toponym, as the name of the place in which the phenomenon was first observed precedes a generic name.
3. It is a phenomenon in which a hostage begins to identify with and grow sympathetic to their captor(s).
4. Most experts agree that Stockholm syndrome has three central characteristics:

  1. The hostages have negative feelings towards the police or other authorities.
  2. The hostages have positive feelings towards their captor(s).
  3. The captors develop positive feelings towards the hostages.

5. The inverse of Stockholm syndrome is Lima syndrome, in which abductors develop sympathy for their hostages. The name is a toponym deriving from the capital of Peru, where, in 1996, hundreds of people were taken hostages at the official residence of the Japanese ambassador, but then suddenly released.
(Spanish equivalent: síndrome de Lima; French equivalent: syndrome de Lima).
6. The Stockholm Syndrome works both ways. Hostages identify with their captors, but just as often captors identify with their hostages. … “It is a mutual safety valve that frequently prevents violence.” … sometimes the hostages get into such a secure position that they fail to act on wide-open opportunities to bring the hostage-taking to an end
7. Cultural Interrelation:

  • Literature: In The Phantom of the Opera (original title: Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, published in volume in 1910), a novel by the French writer Gaston Leroux, Christine falls in love with Erik after he kidnaps her, drugs her, and locks her in his house for 2 weeks. Furthermore, the ending of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four reveals how thoroughly its main character has been brainwashed by Big Brother.
  • Music: We can mention the song called Stockholm Syndrome by the band MUSE released in 2003 on their third album, Absolution.

S: 1. MEDICALDICT – (last access: 8 December 2016). 2. TSOME – (last access: 8 December 2016). 3. MN – (last access: 8 December 2016). 4. MEDICALDICT – (last access: 8 December 2016). 5. PT – (last access: 6 December 2016). 6. TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 9 December 2016). 7. TvTr – (last access: 8 December 2016).

SYN: transference, survival identification.

S: TERMIUM PLUS – (last access: 9 December 2016)

CR: concentration camp, hostage, prisoner of war, violence.