What is Stockholm Syndrome and what are its symptoms

Stockholm syndrome image

What is Stockholm Syndrome:

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological feeling disorder which can develop the feeling of love to hostages towards their kidnappers. This feeling can develop during the time spent together between the kidnapper and the hostage.

Stockholm Syndrome Story:

In 1973 at the city of Stockholm in Sweden, some thieves after stealing a bank, kidnapped the workers of it. They kept them for a long time as their hostages, but also took care for them, by giving them proper food and water. As a result, a feeling of love developed in the hostages, which after they were released, they refused to give information about their kidnappers to the police.


The victims of Stockholm syndrome develop the feeling of love towards their kidnappers and can start hating the police or other authorities.

Popular Cases:

  • Stockholm Bank Robbery - Mentioned above 
  • Patty Hearst - The daughter of publisher William Hearst was kidnapped by an urban guerrilla group. She later denounced the police and also her family under her name. Also she was found working with the group who kidnapped her by helping them to rob banks. 
  • Yvonne Ridley - Sunday express reporter was kidnapped by Afghan Taliban group in 2001. Later on she was found frequenting mosques and practising Islamic rituals, however she refuses that she suffers from Stockholm syndrome by saying that it was her choice to convert to Islam.

Lima Syndrome:

Lima syndrome is similar to Stockholm syndrome, but in this case, the kidnapper develop love toward the hostage.


As a conclusion, this syndrome is mostly found in cases of kidnapping. The times that the hostages pass with their kidnappers impacts in developing love to them. After someone is diagnosed with Stockholm syndrome, he will refuse to give information about their kidnappers, and also can develop hate towards the police. The popular cases that are mentioned give a lot of evidence to the researchers.

Read also about How to treat people with Tourette syndrome


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