The Stockholm Syndrome is about relationships which develop between captors and their hostages, such as in kidnapping situations or where people are held as ransom.
When victims are held against their will in a threatening situation it would seem highly unlikely that any victim would develop positive regard, let alone feelings of “love” towards their captor. However this is precisely what seems to happen in many cases of abuse.
If you are in an abusive relationship with an addict, or are a drug addict yourself – looking at the Stockholm Syndrome can provide some addict help.
There are probably two aspects of the Stockholm Syndrome when the victims appear to have fallen in love with their captor.
The first is a primitive defense mechanism – we don’t have much control over that. When we are forced by another person to be compliant to their wishes, and they back up their demand with force, we tend to be compliant in order to survive. We “identify” with the aggressor – we try to predict what we need to do to keep them satisfied. It can look like “love” when we act in ways that appear to please the aggressor. In fact our actions are based on fear.
It is never real love in a forced situation – it is just a question of compliance to get best terms for survival from a powerless, threatened position. After the event people can be shocked at their “compliant’ behavior and willingness to do what the captors wanted – what serves best in times of crisis is not a normal healthy response.
The second aspect of the Stockholm Syndrome that makes victims have feelings of ”love” is that they are forcefully exposed to the captors way of thinking. Victims might get an insight into the feelings that drive the captors – see their emotional needs and vulnerability – this can evoke sympathy, empathy and feelings of love. Sexual attraction can be intense – in forced situations sex is about power – and not an expression of love.
An abusive relationship is intense, overwhelming and close. Sometimes all that seems important is to focus on the situation and look for ways to improve it. People locked into an abusive relationship don’t think in terms of escape, only in terms of survival.
Whether your abusive relationship is with a drug of addiction, or with an addicted user – addict help is available to get you out of the situation. People might feel “love” for the drug culture and what it offers in terms of relationship, and love a partner who is an addict who abuses them. When the negative aspects of a forced relationship start to wear you down it is time to seek addict help.
The difference between traditional methods of addict help and holistic programs for recovery is that holistic methods don’t force you to deny the reality of your positive feelings and “love”.
When people feel sympathy for bank robbers, still love a hopeless addict, or want to keep using drugs – there will be some validity in their feelings. Holistic methods for detox and rehab to overcome addiction acknowledge that even toxic relationships offer positive rewards.
Holistic treatments for drug addiction, co-dependence and incestuous “love” give addicts help not only to leave the relationship, but to develop more healthy ways to find reward and satisfy feelings of love.
Holistic addict help enables you to deal fully with all the emotions that abusive relationships create, sort out your emotions so you can move on with your life.
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