‘Stockholm syndrome’: psychiatric diagnosis or urban myth?

  title={‘Stockholm syndrome’: psychiatric diagnosis or urban myth?},
  author={Mary Namnyak and Nicola Tufton and Robert Szekely and Margaret Toal and Sarah Worboys and Elizabeth L. Sampson},
  journal={Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica},
Objective:  ‘Stockholm syndrome’ is a term used to describe the positive bond some kidnap victims develop with their captor. High‐profile cases are reported by the media although the diagnosis is not described in any international classification system. Here we review the evidence base on ‘Stockholm syndrome’. 

Stockholm Syndrome as Vernacular Resource

First coined in 1973 to describe a pathological response on the part of individuals involved in kidnapping or hostage-taking situations, the label “Stockholm syndrome” has since been used in a much

El Síndrome de Estocolmo: una Revisión Sistemática

It could be considered that the expansion of the term to different cases or groups is an important indicator that it is a universal instinctive response of survival, although the lack of empirical studies could lead to the conclusion that many of the characteristics of the terms are due to an information bias.

The “Short Step” from Love to Hypnosis: A Reconsideration of the Stockholm Syndrome

This article discusses key work on the development of the Stockholm syndrome as a psychological explanation for the development of a bond between hostage‐taker and hostage in hijack and siege

El síndrome psicológico : ¿herramienta analítica o psicologización de la realidad social? ; The psychological syndrome : analytical tool or psychologizing social reality?

How the syndromes are been used to give common sense explanations of different problems by resorting to the processes of anchoring and objectifying described by Sergei Moscovici in his theory of social representations is shown.

The numinous experience in the context of psychopathology and traumatic stress studies

The psychological phenomenon of a suddenly appearing, extremely enigmatic, and at the same time fascinating state in which one feels influenced by higher powers was described as a “numinous

Interrelations between neurotic syndromes and defense mechanisms

The article presents a new view on manifestations of neurotic syndromes and their relations to defense mechanisms. The authors consider interrelations between four syndromes – Marilyn syndrome,

Recognising Narcissistic Abuse and the Implications for Mental Health Nursing Practice

  • V. Howard
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Issues in mental health nursing
  • 2019
It is argued that the language and formulation of narcissistic abuse should be at the forefront of the multidisciplinary teams’, and in particular mental health nurses’ knowledge in order that victims can be directly supported or signposted to support to enable timely interventions and in-depth understanding.

Mechanisms of developing post-traumatic stress disorder: new targets for drug development and other potential interventions.

  • S. Wimalawansa
  • Psychology, Biology
    CNS & neurological disorders drug targets
  • 2014
Among other pathological and biochemical abnormalities, hormonal aberrations are most likely key mechanisms initiating and the maintenance of the PTSD, and neuroendocrine system needs to be considered as a key target for new drug development for prevention and treatment of PTSD.

Caring for the Child Soldiers of Guantanamo

Confronted with language barriers, the Afghani child soldiers at Guantanamo responded to the supportive, therapeutic group and individual interactions in a manner similar to that of American adolescent males in similar restricted settings.

Editorial: A magical mystery tour into a world of anxiety, shame, sensitivity and contradictions, taking in Western Australia and a brief stopover in Stockholm

DSM 5 has justifiably celebrated its first birthday – an extraordinary and admirable amount of time and energy was expended in its conception and delivery – the time has now come to consider how it



[The Stockholm syndrome (attempt at study of its criteria)].

  • N. Skurnik
  • Psychology
    Annales medico-psychologiques
  • 1988
This paper explains the mechanism of what is usually called Stockholm Syndrome, in which victims of violent and long hostage-taking sometime agree with offenders and become efficient propagandists.

Stockholm Syndrome and Child Sexual Abuse

It is identified that the emotional bond between survivors of child sexual abuse and the people who perpetrated the abuse against them is similar to that of the powerful bi-directional relationship central to Stockholm Syndrome.

The effects of trauma among kidnap victims in Sardinia, Italy

There is no significant connection between PTSD and the Stockholm syndrome, but they are associated with different aspects of the traumatic experience and the presence of both syndromes appears to have a detrimental effect on physical health.

Traumatic stress disorders: a classification with implications for prevention and management.

  • J. Pearn
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Military medicine
  • 2000
Diagnostic features, a summary of the nosological evolution, and key points of differential treatment options are presented for 5 acute operational stress disorders and for 11 post-traumatic disorders, including classic post- traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, Gulf War syndrome, peacekeeper's stress syndrome, survivor's guilt syndrome, and the syndrome of lifestyle and cultural change.

A Scale for Identifying “Stockholm Syndrome” Reactions in Young Dating Women: Factor Structure, Reliability, and Validity

The factor structure, reliability, and validity of a 49-item scale designed to measure Stockholm Syndrome (also referred to as “traumatic bonding” and “terror bonding”), that is, bonding with an

Interpersonal impacts and adjustment to the stress of simulated captivity : an empirical test of the Stockholm syndrome

The Stockholm Syndrome refers to the paradoxical development of reciprocal positive feelings between hostages and their terrorist captors, which is said to enhance the hostages' ability to cope with

Captive Continent: The Stockholm Syndrome in European-Soviet Relations

This book discusses the development of Soviet policy in the 1980s through the prism of the Cold War and its consequences for Europe and the Middle East.

The anatomy of a hostage situation

The authors have attempted to exemplify the social-psychological interplay between hostage and hostage taker and to dissect the impact of this type of event by focusing on one hostage-taking

Terrorism as an Academic Subject after 9/11: Searching the Internet Reveals a Stockholm Syndrome Trend

The 11 September 2001 event was a turning point in the assessment of terrorism as a phenomenon and added a new dimension to the evaluation of terrorism as an academic subject. New academic courses

An Evil Cradling

Brian Keenan went to Beirut in 1985 for a change of scene from his native Belfast. He became headline news when he was kidnapped by fundamentalist Shi'ite militiamen and held in the suburbs of Beirut