Stockholm Syndrome


““Stockholm Syndrome”” by Julius.jaa is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Allen Chhu, Journalist

What Is Stockholm Syndrome?

Stockholm syndrome is when a hostage feels affection to their captors. It is a phycological response to being threatened and makes the hostage empathize for their captors but it isn’t recognized as a mental illness. Victims of Stockholm syndrome can also even try to aid their captors or think of them as nice people.

There have been many cases of Stockholm syndrome but most famous of all is when a man by the name of Jan-Erik robbed a Swedish bank in Stockholm and held four people hostage for six days. A hostage reported that she thanked their captor as he told her that he wasn’t going to kill her but just shoot her in the leg. The captors also once told the hostages that they were going to get shot but the hostages didn’t seem to mind.

Other Information

Stockholm syndrome can occur in other places to like sports coaching. Rough coaching can sometimes be abusive but many students of the coach might just think that it is for their own good and that the coach is making them do this for themselves.

Stockholm syndrome is also a coping method as thinking like this is the only way to make it through a rough situation. Many victims also report that there is nothing wrong with them and that it’s right for them to feel this way despite many victims being abused and threatened. It’s also often that victims of Stockholm syndrome become reliant of their captors for basic things like food, water, shelter, and hygiene.