Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness....
Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”
Have you ever bonded with someone who bullied you?
Maybe as a child did you become a "friend" with a bully and try to diffuse hostile situations with him/her? Were your parents emotionally manipulative, malicious and controlling? Were you ever in an abusive relationship?
What happened? How did you handle these situations, and what/how do you feel about them now?
Please. Everyone, including OP....thoughtfully consider this link. It might change your life.
I have just mentally gotten myself out of a situation involving a person who doesn't have empathy (my former therapist) manipulating me emotionally and mentally and I ended up without sleep for days, psychotic, and wandering the streets. I literally could have been hit by a car and killed. Luckily, the police picked me up and took me to the hospital.
I am not exaggerating for effect. I am dead serious. PROTECT YOURSELVES. Inform yourself.
Save your mind. Save your heart. Save them for yourselves and for people who will appreciate you, because they are out there.
This is EXACTLY how I feel when I drive with my dad in the car (or anytime I'm alone with him, actually). Forced conversation. and it's so awkward. He almost feels like a stranger to me. LIke I'm in the car with someone I don't know.
Posted by GroupHug
on 02 September 2013 - 01:56 PM
It isn't exactly DP, but it's something many of us have felt and it can intensify that feeling of emptiness and disconnection.
I haven't had trouble with DP or anxiety, but I've noticed myself falling into a slump lately. I couldn't think again, felt disconnected, and empty in general. I remembered that being more outwardly focused (accomplishing goals, mindfulness, meaningful socialising) cured me of that feeling before.
So, I started with the simplest first, and in between washing the dishes, eating lunch, and taking out the trash (you personally don't need to constantly do it this often/long) I tried focusing on my surroundings, especially sound and touch, and observing my thoughts while letting them float.
Within only an hour or so I had extremely noticeable differences in thought and clarity. I felt more myself. It was like forgetting to eat for a long time and then eating a hearty steak dinner. I was reminded how nourshing it was, but mostly how essential mindfulness is in my life. It's only been a couple days and I'm not 100%, but that's alright with me because I know exactly how my mind will react in the days following.
To a fault I'm introverted, and if I give into it, perpetual inward thinking consumes me. It seriously negatively affects my relationships, my ability to study/work, and to deeply enjoy and be present in life. It isn't something to just help me unwind after a stress, it's something I need to use on a regular basis to function correctly.
I used to read about mindfulness like an obese person reading about the benefits of diet and excercise, thinks it's something they ought to get around to doing sometime, and who later in the day visits McDonald's and eats a 4,000 calorie meal. I knew it was very good for me, but I'd give into habit. I love analysing life, and it's very tempting to just spend the whole day contemplating or at least withdrawn, but constant analysis breaks down over time.
I'm not saying I have a cure for anyone; this is just a personal experience that I'd like to share.
It lowers stress -- literally. Research published just last month in the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it's also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
It can make your grades better. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, found that college students who were trained in mindfulness performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory. "Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with widereaching consequences," the researchers wrote in the Psychological Science study.
It changes the brain in a protective way. University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training -- which is a meditation technique -- can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.
It helps us even when we're not actively practicing it. You don't have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain's emotional processing. That's the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region's response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn't actively meditating.
It makes you a better person. Sure, we love all the things meditation does for us. But it could also benefit people we interact with, by making us more compassionate, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities found that meditation is linked with more virtuous, "do-good" behavior.
It helps you sleep better. We saved the best for last! A University of Utah study found that mindfulness training can not only help us better control our emotions and moods, but it can also help us sleep better at night. “People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress," study researcher Holly Rau said in a statement.
All people I know to have made progress in overcoming DP have in some way practiced mindfulness or another meditation. It's during quiet times that we can most easily get perspective over our state and our thoughts. In this way you can understand that most of what you think of DP(and life) is illusionary and that there is no DP, there is only you and how you handle your environment, thoughts and emotions. Once you have a clearer understading of that, you will stop trying to "cure DP" and will start to uncover the real causes of your anxiety, from there on you will know what to do.
recovering from DP will necessarily take that you look closer at yourself and your life, and practicing meditation is the best way to begin with in my opinion.
I agree, and DP aside, I'd recommend regular mindfulness practice to anyone. It's a very simple but very powerful thing.
It makes me think clearer and better and become calmer and happier.
Very interesting post. I had a similar phase with the whole gay thing. I knew for a fact I wasn't in any way gay and never have felt that way at all, but if I looked into my male friends' eyes for too long I'd automatically and inexplicably think "Crap, he's gonna find out I'm gay and attracted to him!" - even though I wasn't at all. It was like a stupid little voice talking over my own thoughts and replacing them with this nonsense.
Also similar to you is an obsession I've had about me being on the edge of becoming a serial killer. I look at people walking past and I'm bizarrely adamant that I was ridiculously close to battering them to death. That's made me paranoid that I do have this darker side in me and it scares me, it really does. Could I just snap like that? That's what I'm being told. I don't know. It's crazy. I don't get the gay one anymore but I'm always getting the murderous obsession feeling. Even today, I just felt this darkness in my eye sockets (difficult to explain but they feel deep and...evil?) that is almost trying to tease me into doing something horrific or at least thinking about it. I don't want to do it but it's making me think that I will!
I've felt that a lot of times too. I was always afraid I'd be creeping a guy out and worried he'd be picking up "gay vibes". Funny thing is, when you visibly get uncomfortable it makes other people uncomfortable, just not for the reason you're worried about. Unfortunately, that usually makes you feel validated in your false projection.
I once heard a comedian named Maria Bamford, who had intrusive and disturbing sexual/violent thoughts since she was a child, say that the people obsessed and terrified of being violent were the least likely to be. She compared it to how a person who feels filthy and is obsessed with washing their hands 100 times a day is the least likely to be dirty.
The first and longest lasting was sparked when I was a very young kid. Around 5-10 years old a rumor started that I was gay and the kids in the neighbourhood would sometimes tease me. Now, I didn't even hit puberty and I don't think I could even grasp the definition of the word at the time, but everyone around me said it was bad and I felt bad.
When I was 12 I started noticing the girls and had little crushes. I found Google image searches of Anna Nicole Smith strangely interesting. At the same time I began this obsession about my sexuality. "What if I'm gay?". "What if my family finds out I'm gay?". "Do I look or act gay?". It never had to do with me actually wrestling with my attraction to boys or denying it like a gay person who's in the closet or denial would, but this obsession still went on for years. I'd get TERRIFIED anytime someone brought up homosexuality or said something homophobic.
I've since learned that this is called HOCD (homosexual ocd) and I'm not the only one whose had it.
Another one actually had me confessing to a crime I didn't commit because I had all these intrusive thoughts convincing me I was some insane criminal. I felt so guilty for things I'd never even done and would never ever do.
The more disturbing obsessions (and just a warning, these are pretty disturbing) I've had were me convincing myself (on seperate occasions) I was a sociopath, a pedophile, a murderer, and a rapist. I used to feel so uncomfortable around kids because I would question and say to myself: "What if I'm a pedophile?". "Everyone thinks I'm a pedophile.". Again, it had nothing to do with wrestling with attraction, but was all about obsessing over "what ifs" and what other people may think. I'd have all sorts of these kind of disturbing thoughts and think I was such a terrible person.
A year or so ago I thought, "what if on the way home I blacked out and raped and killed someone without even knowing it?". "I'm going crazy and I'm a psychopath!". I thought I'd be in jail for the rest of my life and seriously contemplated suicide.
Now I feel like I've overcome these obsessions and I don't believe they'll ever bother me again.
it's tough to pick who to talk to. trust your gut with people that you want to try and open up to. and when people are cruel to you be confident, remember what you just said in this topic because i find the second someone is mean to me even slightly i forget every thing i ever told myself.
no one can make you feel anything without you giving them permission too
I noticed that too. Whenever I get overwhelmed by insecurity it's like I lose who I am. All the things I believe in and learned are either forgotten or disregarded because I'm focusing all my energy on questioning and beating myself up and I'm afraid to trust myself.
Even if the person being cruel has some some truth to what they say, and that's when it's easiest to become insecure, that doesn't make them justified in being cruel and that shouldn't give you a reason to stop respecting and being confident in yourself.
Lets say I was just learning how to play the guitar. Someone hears me practicing, laughs, and tells me I'm horrible, I have no talent, I'll never have it, and I should just give up. I know I'm not very good and what he said has some truth to it. I begin to question myself. I could either say to myself, "Yeah, I know I'm not very good, but I just started. I need to practice more, then I can get better." or "I'm so embarrased. I give up. I'm awful. He's completely right.".
Saying the latter is so easy when you're used to saying things like that to yourself, and especially during that initial overwhelmed feeling that the shock of an insult can give you, but you can always work to be better at flipping negative thoughts to positive ones. It can eventually just be a habit to think that way.
Criticism isn't always constructive and people can be cruel. Putting yourself out there and being told "No." is going to happen again and again. It's going to be harsher than "No.", too.
Just kind of dealing with the truth of this right now. Wondering just how and who to be open with, what battles to pick, and how much I can take.
There's always someone who's going to enjoy trying to bring you down to their level or make you feel less than you are to make them feel better about themselves and because of how their past influenced them and that's how they chose to deal with it. There's always going to be someone with an opinion and a desire to inflict what's likely to have been inflicted on them.
I don't know what I'll do or who I'll turn into when I face real wickedness, but for now, surrounding myself with decency and embracing it is what feels right.
My mood is low, but I'm not discouraged.
The thought that makes my resolve strong is that I don't have to become like them.
Suppressed emotions are definitely a contributing factor. It's possible that when you overcome these negative unprocessed emotions the feelings of unreality, usually, go away because they are no longer troubling you.
I'm starting to realize this statement has so much truth to it. Facing your past, processing it, being OK with it finally, and moving on helps you understand your present and it brings about the ability to move on with the future emotionally.
In therapy I've been kind of a robot....understanding things on kind of a superficial intellectual level. Really letting myself feel things when thinking about past events (including family issues and traumatic events) was scary and it makes me feel vulnerable....and it still is something new to me. I recognize now that when I start to feel better is when I start letting myself feel things again and when I learn to really accept myself and intellectually along with emotionally process the past/accept the present enough to move on.
It's rocky and unsettling at times to do this (at least for me), but ultimately it's so rewarding and instinctively it feels like I'm following the right path to getting better, and that I am already better for it.
I have trouble sleeping. I've had trouble sleeping for years. This is exactly how I feel and have felt. I've always chalked it up to a bipolar diagnosis (take the meds I didn't need, tranqualize, shut up.) that is now coming into serious question (my psych is rethinking things majorly as well...it isn't just me) and DP disorder in general, and I've never really thought much about it. Bipolars have trouble sleeping - it's a given. DP is most likely mostly caused by the major anxiety I have.
It's dawned on me. It's sleep. I need sleep. Dear God I need some good sleep.
My father has major insomnia and has over the years, and now I've recognized that in me. It's lowered the quality of my life so much. It can cause more anxiety in me, alter my mood negatively, make me perform terribly day to day, both in terms of cognition and other things...in short - it impacts almost all facets of my life. Now I know and can take measures against it.
I've tried a lot of things, simple things that people usually. For most people you just need better sleep hygiene. Find ways to relax before bed. Turn off that computer an hour or two before, have a cup of Chamomile tea....maybe take a sleep aid once in a while. I've tried that, I've tried it all (at least it seems). I'm going to call to make an appointment with a doctor tomorrow and see if I can see a sleep specialist...or something.
I don't feel like I can take control of this alone anymore.