Is Stockholm Syndrome An Act Of Self Preservation?

Decent Essays

Many people are perplexed by the unwillingness of victims in abusive relationships to abandon the tumultuous environment, even when given an opportunity to escape. Outside of personal, subjective experience friends and family can learn why and how this helpless mentality develops and most importantly, ways in which they can help. Why would women and men with the seemingly complete freedom submit to ongoing physical and psychological battering? How could they continue loving someone who will not treat them lovingly in return? Why would anyone let children be subjected to such a toxic environment? Part of the answer is that remaining in such a relationship is, in itself, an act of self-preservation. The most all-encompassing term for this complicated problem is Stockholm Syndrome. This simple phrase is an explanation for a decidedly complex problem. Drawing out the individual dynamics of such convoluted interpersonal relationships is beyond the scope of brief conversation or a single article, but this is a breakdown of the most important elements. A victim’s mind does not enter into an abusive relationship the same as it, hopefully escapes. Most people are familiar with the honeymoon stage of a new relationship, the excitement, infatuation and methodical self-disclosure that most, if not all people experience and engage in. The gradualism of an abusive relationship is one critical piece of a frightening puzzle. Abusive and controlling individuals do not readily expose their

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