Mental disorders like
Alzheimer's, narcissistic personality syndrome and double personality syndrome
are all examples how the human mind can be altered, by disease or otherwise.
Stockholm syndrome is a
psychological disorder, usually seen in people who may have gone through some
form of trauma or distress such as kidnapping, rape
etc. People suffering
from this disorder experience a feeling of empathy, attachment and 'slavery'
towards the captor, even years after the traumatic experience.
Also sometimes known as the Helsinki
syndrome, this disorder can prove to be extremely dangerous, given that the
victim is at the risk of being seriously injured or maimed at the hands of the
, to whom he/she submits to willingly.
When a person goes through a traumatic phase, whether
emotional, physical or both, he / she desperately looks for a way to escape the
ordeal. In such traumatic conditions such as kidnapping, when the victim is
seriously stressed, a mere absence of violence or a slight gesture of care and
comfort can cause the mind to sink into submission, and makes the victim
develop attachment and empathy towards the source. This is thought to be the
reason behind the condition.
There is an interesting story behind the origin of the
name given to this syndrome. Several bank employees were held hostage
between the 23rd to 28th August 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden
It was later observed that these employees developed a feeling of attachment
for their captors and even rejected assistance from some government officials.