Stockholm syndrome :
noun Psychiatry .
an emotional attachment to a captor formed by a hostage as a result of continuous stress, dependence, and a need to cooperate for survival.
Origin: after an incident in Stockholm in 1973, during which a bank employee became romantically attached to a robber who held her hostage
Hola people of awesome. I’ve just finished up a chaotic move into my new apartment and now that the dust has settled I want to make up for some lost blogging time with some bite-sized bloggy goodness. Let’s talk about Stockholm Syndrome and you.
This is something that I’ve been contemplating for years now. So according to the definition above much of Stockholm Syndrome is based on the co-dependence of the captor and captive. I would argue even that the deeper levels of the human psyche are designed to need and desire affection and love, and in a situation where the captive is completely lacking in the usual love and care of friends and family there is nowhere else for the psyche to turn for a fix than on the captor. And again if the captor is methodical and predictable I would even say the false sense of security from the routine can cause the captor to cling mentally in an attempt for some kind of structure. So being a game designer these types of psychological syndromes and instances fascinate me but I absolutely recognize the tragedy of these things as well. But there’s something that has been bothering me about this syndrome…
Is our relationship with our pets a form of Stockholm Syndrome? Now before you break out the pitchforks and torches you should know that I have a beautiful hound dog that I love very much, but I can’t help but recognize the similarities to the syndrome. Our pets generally don’t have a choice in who they end up with, and we force them into captivity. We care for them and discipline them (some people more than others sadly) and they sometimes obey purely out of fear of the consequence. They are dependent on us for survival and learn to need what we give them since they usually don’t have experience fending for themselves. They’re not completely helpless of course as their primal instincts give them a leg-up on life, but they are conditioned to need us. The relationship between a pet and his owner can be a wonderful one and I feel most people who have pets want to give them love and care, but the comparison holds water. Just think about it next time you walk by a pet-store.