The Stockholm Syndrome occurs in some people subjected to a threat of violence by others. The name came from an event in Stockholm in which a number of employees were held hostage by bank robbers.


Synonym: Norrmalmstorg Syndrome


Features of the Stockholm Syndrome:

(1) A person is subjected to a threat of violence or actual violence by someone. This may take the form of being taken hostage or physically abused.

(2) The victim over time starts to identify with the perpetruator.

(3) In the fully developed syndrome the victim will aid, support and defend the perpetrator.



(1) intentional brainwashing or indoctrination

(2) pre-existing beliefs in line with perpetrators actions


One theory is that this occurs as an adeaptive response to a highly stressful situation and overlaps with ego defense and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


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