Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stockholm Syndrome

After remaining captive for 8 years, Austrian citizen Natascha Kampusch finally managed to flee the place where she lived since she was abducted by an engineer named Wolfgang Prikopil.
8 years... could be a whole life. The world is not the same after such time. How can anybody hold captive another person for eight years?
I'm not a psychologist, and my knowledge about mental medicine is very limited, but I can tell that a person that lived under such conditions for a long time obviously suffers traumas for the rest of their life. And Stockholm Syndrome is one of the effects that can be immediately noticed, as Kampusch has showed lately. She actually let know that she felt sympathy for her raptor, as she stated that he was "part of his life" after he commited suicide.
But what exactly is the Stockholm Syndrome? It is a psychological phenomenon in which a a hostage, a kidnapped individual, or any other kind of victim shows loyalty and even afectiveness for their captor, instead of showing fear. The origin of its name is a robbery committed in August, 1973, in a city named Norrmalmstorg, Sweden. The robbers held some employees of the bank captive during 5 days, and during that time, the hostages showed sympathy for their captors. They even defended them after being freed.
But Kampusch's case is not the only recent case related to this syndrome. We could also remember cases of abducted girls like Elizabeth Smart.
Do you have any deep knowledge about this strange mental state? Share it, write a message! Thanks!


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