Medical Questions > Relationships > Troubled and Abusive Relationships Forum

Stockholm Syndrome

I was wondering if anyone else suffers from "stockholm syndrome"? For ppl who don't know ...

What is stockholm syndrome?

The term "stockholm syndrome" was first coined by professor nils bejerot to explain the phenomenon of hostages bonding with their captors. In stockholm, sweden in 1973, two bank robbers held four people hostages for six days. The norrmalmstorg bank robbery received wide publicity because the hostages came to care about their captors and perceive them as protecting them against the police.

There is no precise, universally accepted definition of stockholm syndrome. It generally refers to a cluster of symptoms often observed in hostages, cult members, battered women and victims of sexual and physical abuse. These symptoms include:

emotional bonding with the captor/abuser
seeking favor and approval from the perpetrator
depending on the perpetrator for security and purpose of existence
befriending and caring for the captor
resenting police and proper authorities for their rescue attempts
losing one's own identify in order to identify with the captor/abuser
seeing things from the perspective of the perpetrator
valuing every small gesture of kindness, such as letting them live
refusing to seek freedom even given the opportunity

Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper amoot

replied August 10th, 2006
Stockham Syndrome.
I think people need to be more aware of the condition.
Maybe you could ask the doctor to explain to people on this forum in more detail about stockham syndrome. Cos alot might not be aware that they hav the condition or not.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 2nd, 2008
Thought the other night!
Ive lived my life in two very abusive for 4years and the other for 14years....and I'm late thirties and come from a background of horrid abuse by many abusers,most strangers as a child!

I'm still in the 14year one,although a little while ago I realized how abusive the relationship was as it was like I almost forgot the beatings and torcher........I wondered why an intelligent strong,attractive young woman would endure all this?
I began to want to help my abuser,offer him happiness and love....all for approval as the abuser made me feel so powerless and I guess that was a way of empowering me.....stockeholme syndrome did come to mind in a mild form!
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied August 21st, 2009
What do you do to get through this awful recovery period?
I know I am coming out of an abusive relationship and I feel as if I am experiencing Stockholm Syndrome.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 24th, 2009
Only speculating here, no research...but I don't think being stuck in a bad relationship would be "Stockholm Syndrome". My thought here is that Stockholm Syndrome occurs when your are forced into captivity initially. The difference being that in your relationship you enter into it freely (sometimes reluctantly, but still freely).

I think what someone feels in terms of empathy or sympathy towards their partner when things go bad is a recognition of old feelings or old desires that are hard to drop even when abuse is taking place...that in addition to outright fear of not only staying in the relationship but fear of leaving it.

I do agree many of the thought processes are likely the same but the origin of the relationship I think is a big factor. In respect to abuse I think it's worse than Stockholm Syndrome in that you begin from the origin of trust and caring that I think would make the relationship harder to get past.

Don't know...interesting thought jumping off a cliff or getting pushed; the results are same, same terror in falling, etc. but there's a distinction just because at some point your chose to leap which seems to make the end result worse...please note I'm NOT saying nor do I believe that anyone chooses to be abused or anyone who is abused is to blame in any way.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 11th, 2010
Stockholm syndrome? or just pathetic?
I'm in a relationship that is controlling and manipulating. my boyfriend cant see it but everyone else does. im falling out with family and friends all the time because i do everything he says to avoid 'trouble'. he isnt physically abusive, but he constantly threatens that its over for good if i go out. he excuses his behaviour by saying he is looking after me because i am mentally unstable and he is tryin to help. he doesnt understand his manipulating is making me ill. i love him with all i have, life isnt worth much without him. he makes me think he is right and that i am to unstable to do anything... what do i do?
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 4th, 2010
What you are talking about is very much like Stockholm syndrome. The sort of person that gets this hold on you over time uses tactics on you that in essence turn you into a captive. Even though you may physically be unrestrained, they have gained control of you in just as real a way. Manipulative, controlling, un-emotional, the things they learn about you give them the tools they need to systematically destroy your ability to remove yourself from a situation that is hurting you. You assume that like you they have a conscience. The first step is to understand that you cannot change them, and it is not your fault. Their best method of controlling you is to weaken your defences, and make you doubt yourself. They may utilise the people around you to assist in this process. Get someone that has had experience with this kind of relationship before to help you if you can, it's difficult to do it all on your own.
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 11th, 2010
I have suffered from it by 2 really abusive relationships - its extremely hard to break the bond. I have broken free from my last abusive relationship and now i am rebuilding my life. Anyone in an abusive relationship suffers from it - its also called traumatic bonding and its that bond that is stronger than a love bond. Its very hard to break. But it can be done!
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 28th, 2011
Emotional Abuse?
I'm not sure if what I am in is considered an abusive relationship. Everyone around me tells me that it is and that it shouldn't be like this and he shouldn't treat me like this if he loves me. But I keep convincing myself that he does love me and that it will change he just has trust issues and is insecure. Could he change? We use to be so happy and inlove I don't know what changed. He is constantly blaming me for everything, and he is always saying horrible things to me, telling me to STFU everytime I try to stand up for myself. He calls me a stupid b*tch, he called me a [tramp], and my mom a [tramp]. He says even worse things like go put a dick in your mouth and shut up. He always tells me I am retarded or stupid, I can't do anything right and I'm lazy and says I am pathetic and weak when I cry. He won't let me go out, says he will leave me if I hang out with any of my friends and he threatens to leave me if I go out with even my family because he gets so paranoid and jealous and is always thinking im cheating on him. He goes through everything, my phone my computer my facebook. He even makes me take pictures and videos of everything so he knows where I am and who I am with. I got really sick the other day and he said I was lying and said I wasn't in the hospital that I was really out with some guy. I get to the point where he puts me down so much I begin to believe him and I even got so depressed from the things he said to me once that I attempted suicide. But than theres times when he is so amazing, and so sweet and says the perfect things and shows me so much love. Those are the moments that keep me going. Only they don't last long and its right back to this. I love him so much, but I am at the point where he is destroying me and I can't do this anymore, but I also can't make myself leave. I keep convincing myself he does love me. There's no use talking to him about any of it either I have tried. Can he change? Is it just lack of trust and insecurities? Sorry it's so long...
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 4th, 2011
How is it done? I need help. They say time heals all. It's been more than a year and I am still in tears. Why is it like this?
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 4th, 2012
I have been read about that horrible psychical disease at stockholm syndrome site about..
and i still do not get, how someone can be so stupid to hide all horrible activities of their captors?
So many families had a nearly same problem but on media is so low info about this syndrome...but why...they must say to all woman about this and about to stop hide captors, they must ask someone to help...

I read a lot about this psycho condition, and my first impression was that victim knows that is not normal condition with their brain, but with more studying i think that's more about unconsciously view from victim nad they need medical help.
A lot of abusive relationships are based on terror and agression and their children suffer and the's the worst situation. Child with agression in child time becomes Agressor!

advide in here:
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 1st, 2013
hey chlobo2, you are experiencing emotional abuse. Emotional abusers are incredibly manipulative. I suggest you do a little research about emotional abuse in order to see what it is, exactly, and to see what your options are. My sister is going through this. I suggest you get outside counseling for just you, too. Please talk about it. Don't let anyone else take control of your life.
Did you find this post helpful?