How to Relate Stockholm Syndrome and PTSD

Stockholm Syndrome is when the victim of kidnap sympathizes with their captors. It relates to PTSD and results from supporting the goals of a kidnaper.

RWK Clark provides a perfect example of Stockholm Syndrome in Requiem for the Caged. In the book, Andrea’s mother does not care about her. On top of this, men used and abused her. As a result, memories of her past experiences could not allow her to fall for any other man easily. But Jason captures and locks her away. Over time, Andrea starts to relate to Jason. 

As such, Stockholm Syndrome is about relating to their beliefs and behaviors. It develops when one becomes a captive.

The victim forms a psychological connection with those holding them captives. The abused starts to grow a strong relationship with the criminal. Experts say the relationship that develops is a psychological coping mechanism that helps them survive their days, weeks, or months of hostage and abuse.

A person affected by this condition will show symptoms like positive feedback towards their abusers. They may also sympathize with the behaviors or beliefs of their captors. At the same time, they can show negativity towards police and other parties who’re trying to help.

Stockholm Syndrome will also manifest through anxiety, agitation, and irritation. They will rarely concentrate, relax or enjoy what they used to like before the capture. Besides, victims experience endless flashbacks from their experiences.

Does Stockholm Syndrome Relate to PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of the worst experiences that trauma survivors go through after a terrifying experience. A person gets nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts, and severe anxiety regarding a symptom they witnessed or experienced.


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One of the challenges that PTSD victims experience is difficulties as they try to adjust and cope. In ‘Requiem for the Caged’, Jason was a war prisoner. His torture in the war is one of the reasons that Jason feels lonely when he returns home to bury his mother. If one can get good self-care therapy and make an effort to recover, it is possible to recover from PTSD. However, the condition comes after months or years of inability to function as required. 

It is also vital to note that PTSD comes with avoidance, disturbing memories, negative changes in mood and thinking. Emotional and physical changes can also occur to the victim. They will easily get fearful and stay alert as if danger is coming. Besides, they will not keep calm or sleep well. The victims of PTSD can engage in self-destructive behaviors like excessive drinking, feeling guilt, and aggression.

It’s interesting to understand whether the Stockholm Syndrome relates to PTSD.

Although the Stockholm Syndrome may develop during the capture, it can show after one gets their freedom. In the course of sympathizing and developing positive relationships with the captors, a victim can have flashbacks of the abuse. As a result, they can become depressed and anxious, leading to post-traumatic stress as an end result.

This shows a close link between Stockholm Syndrome and PTSD, where the former can escalate to a dangerous mental condition when left untreated.

Kidnapping Effects on Victims

Kidnapping is an experience that nobody would wish for their loved ones. Kidnapers do not look at age, race, or gender as long as they will achieve a specific goal through their actions.

After the kidnapping, actors can brainwash or abuse their victims physically. The abduction of a family member is usually the most common form of kidnapping. Survivors of kidnap or hostage experiences feel stressed, shocked, and in denial because of what they went through. They may also become numb, guilty, and anxious with anger and depression.


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Therefore, kidnapping affects a person from three angles: thinking, interactions, and emotions.

Thinking effects include denial, confusion, fear that an event can happen again, and being more careful. In terms of emotions, one can become numb, shocked, and angry, while interactions effects include avoidance.

Like PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome relates to kidnapping. R.W.K. Clark brings out this from Andrea, where her kidnapping leads to Stockholm Syndrome. During the capture, Andrea comes to relate to Jason and his goals. Despite the fear she had when Jason held her captive. 

When one is under the hands of the kidnapper, they can try to cope with the situation. An example is how Andrea understands and relates to the goals and actions of Jason, her oppressor. As a result, they may end up sympathizing and believing that the kidnapper’s actions are justifiable.

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