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Stockholm syndrome

Stockholm syndrome has been defined as a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during captivity. Stockholm syndrome has never been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM, the standard tool for diagnostic of psychiatric illnesses and disorders, mainly due to the lack of a consistent body of academic research. This term was first used by the media in when four hostages were taken during a bank robbery in Stockholm , Sweden. The hostages defended their captors after being released and would not agree to testify in court against them. Stockholm syndrome is paradoxical because the sympathetic sentiments that captives feel towards their captors are the opposite of the fear and disdain which an onlooker might feel towards the captors. Stockholm syndrome is a "contested illness" due to doubt about the legitimacy of the condition. Actions and attitudes similar to those suffering from Stockholm syndrome have also been found in victims of sexual abuse, human trafficking, terror, and political and religious oppression. In , Jan-Erik Olsson , a convict on parole, took four employees three women and one man of Kreditbanken , one of the largest banks in Stockholm, Sweden , hostage during a failed bank robbery. He negotiated the release from prison of his friend Clark Olofsson to assist him. They held the hostages captive for six days 23—28 August in one of the bank's vaults.
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Stockholm syndrome , psychological response wherein a captive begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands. The name of the syndrome is derived from a botched bank robbery in Stockholm , Sweden. During the standoff, a seemingly incongruous bond developed between captive and captor. One hostage, during a telephone call with Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme , stated that she fully trusted her captors but feared that she would die in a police assault on the building. The most infamous example of Stockholm syndrome may be that involving kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. In , some 10 weeks after being taken hostage by the Symbionese Liberation Army , Hearst helped her kidnappers rob a California bank. But it was during the hostage crisis in Iran —81 that the Stockholm syndrome worked its way into the public imagination. The syndrome was also cited after the hijacking of TWA flight Although passengers underwent a hostage ordeal that lasted more than two weeks, upon their release some were openly sympathetic to the demands of their kidnappers. Another example involved Westerners kidnapped by Islamist militants in Lebanon.
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If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to reset your password. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. The hostages were rescued 5 days later and despite threats and abuse, including being strapped with dynamite, they were surprisingly supportive of their captors. Amazingly, one woman later became engaged to one of the hostage takers and another developed a legal defense fund to assist their captors. In hostage negotiation it is defined as the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor. Although there is no DSM or ICD diagnosis for either Stockholm Syndrome or Trauma Bonding it appears to be an unconscious emotional response to the terror of being captive and that protection is entirely in the hands of the captor or abuser. This puts the aggressor right where they want to be; in complete control. Law enforcement personnel have long recognized this syndrome with battered women who fail to press charges, bail their battering partner out of jail, and even physically attack police officers when they arrive to rescue them. The subject of Stockholm Syndrome gets far too much attention in the domain of hostage negotiation. I have been asked more questions about this phenomenon than any other element of negotiation and it received less than a page of my page doctoral dissertation on crisis hostage negotiation Logan
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After wounding a policeman who had responded to a silent alarm, the robber took four bank employees hostage. The unfolding drama captured headlines around the world and played out on television screens across Sweden. The public flooded police headquarters with suggestions for ending the standoff that ranged from a concert of religious tunes by a Salvation Army band to sending in a swarm of angry bees to sting the perpetrators into submission.

Press photographers and police snipers lie side by side on a roof opposite the bank where hostages were being held on August 24, Holed up inside a cramped bank vault, the captives quickly forged a strange bond with their abductors. Olsson draped a wool jacket over the shoulders of hostage Kristin Enmark when she began to shiver, soothed her when she had a bad dream and gave her a bullet from his gun as a keepsake.

By the second day, the hostages were on a first-name basis with their captors, and they started to fear the police more than their abductors. On the contrary, they have been very nice. But, you know, Olof, what I am scared of is that the police will attack and cause us to die. Even when threatened with physical harm, the hostages still saw compassion in their abductors. Police officers wearing gas masks escort 32 year old prison escapee Jan-Erik Olsson from the bank.

Ultimately, the convicts did no physical harm to the hostages, and on the night of August 28, after more than hours, the police pumped teargas into the vault, and the perpetrators quickly surrendered. The police called for the hostages to come out first, but the four captives, protecting their abductors to the very end, refused.

In the doorway of the vault, the convicts and hostages embraced, kissed and shook hands. The captives were confused, too. Psychiatrists compared the behavior to the wartime shell shock exhibited by soldiers and explained that the hostages became emotionally indebted to their abductors, and not the police, for being spared death.

Even after Olofsson and Olsson returned to prison, the hostages made jailhouse visits to their former captors. Once freed, he married one of the many women who sent him admiring letters while incarcerated, moved to Thailand and in released his autobiography, entitled Stockholm Syndrome. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.

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