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Effects of kidnapping: damaged psyche
Anyone can become a victim of kidnapping, but children are especially exposed to such terrible thing. Mainly it is because they are usually defenseless and naïve. And unlike adults, children are still in their active development. Therefore, any shocking event can damage their psyche horrendously and leave a mark that can absolutely change their future life. Let’s see what the psychological effects of abductions are, according to different experts:
- Posttraumatic syndrome (PTSD). Due to the fact that children don’t have the developed psychological defense mechanisms that could help them coop with the trauma, they usually get PTSD, which manifests itself in the following symptoms: nightmares, flashbacks, repetitive mimicking of the trauma, avoidance of the trauma triggers, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. These symptoms are persistent and need to be clinically treated.
- Unconscious breakdown. Any child’s unconscious is extremely vulnerable and fragile. Often times, children’s underdeveloped defense (consciousness) is incapable of dealing with something like kidnapping. It would try to deny the fact something as horrible did happen. This results in impaired memory, denial, decreased concentration, confusion or fear of some events, things, or patterns.
- The shift in perception. Many recent studies show unthinkable tendency: victims of kidnapping often develop some sort of a bond to their abductors and start having compassion for them. This is especially true for children. Such strange reaction is called Stockholm syndrome. The characteristics of the syndrome may include insomnia, difficulty trusting other people, anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty socializing, etc.