Yes, that’s Lima Syndrome.
Lima Syndrome takes its name from a hostage situation in Peru where the abductor developed sympathy for the hostage in a 1996 terrorist takedown at the Japanese embassy. The abductors ended up releasing the hostages after only a few hours. One perpetrator even referred to a hostage as “my friend” in the process.
It makes sense that in the highly charged situation of hostage-taking, the perpetrators might develop some emotional baggage. Their hearts gallop. Hair bristles on their arms.
They are probably in this situation of taking a hostage because they feel out of control and are trying to regain a sense of agency. And this is exactly what the hostage feels – out of control.
No matter what judgments one might make about a criminal act, it’s most easily defined as the behavior of a human being in crisis. Emotions are at their peak and the criminal’s in a vulnerable state. It makes sense, then, that the hostage taker may start empathizing with their hostages, who are also incredibly vulnerable.
Messed up, but totally true.
The Green Demon: Mad Delusional Jealousy Syndrome
Othello Syndrome, also known as Delusional Jealousy Syndrome, takes infidelity paranoia to the extreme.
In Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello, themes of jealousy swirl around dramatic characters until tragic consequences spill like blood onstage. But in Othello Syndrome, this isn’t mere fiction and can result in very real and often bloody consequences.
The afflicted evolve from mere accusations to then isolating, interrogating, and even physically harming their lover. That happens with absolutely zero evidence of their partner’s infidelity. Those with the disorder are completely obsessed with the idea of their love cheating and can’t let go of this belief no matter what is actually happening.
Clearly this syndrome involves more than just typical jealousy. But luckily, because it usually results from frontal lobe lesions, it’s unlikely to happen with your bae.
3 Times When a Vacation Blows Your Mind (No, Really!)
This set of syndromes stands apart because on the surface it seems sort of normal. We have all had an experience that doesn’t live up to our expectations. But these three are especially intriguing because they represent extreme examples of three seriously disturbing ways this disappointment can manifest itself.
The Wailing Wanderer: Jerusalem Syndrome
Jerusalem Syndrome happens most often with religiously motivated travelers to the holy city.
We’ve all heard the comedic trope of the guy who thinks he’s Jesus.… Or maybe a woman who suddenly believes she’s the Virgin Mary while traipsing Jaffa Road in short shorts and high heels. Well, those guys likely have a serious case of Jerusalem Syndrome.
Jerusalem syndrome can be any form of psychotic state manifested by a visitor to the holy city.
The research on this syndrome notes that it’s most common among zealots from ultra-religious families, but sometimes it happens to regular tourists with no history of mental illness or religious fervor.
When it was much more common, about 50 years ago, there was an entire psychiatric hospital in Jerusalem designated specifically for tourists who became afflicted with this syndrome.
Stand-up comedian and actor, Marc Maron used The Jerusalem Syndrome for his first book title. Unfortunately, he regrets the title. Since not many people know about this syndrome, people assumed it was a religious book. Thus it sold fewer copies than if he’d chosen a pithier, secular title.
Fantasy in Florence: Stendhal Syndrome
Stendhal Syndrome, also known as Florence Syndrome, involves an overwhelming feeling sparked by art appreciation gone horribly awry.
As the name indicates, this syndrome often overcomes tourists in Florence, Italy, which is packed with remarkable art. Many who fall under the spell of Stendhal may faint or feel like they are flying simply because they viewed a religious painting or sculpture. Their hearts race, they sweat and get stomach cramps, and they may experience the highs of euphoria or the lows of deep depressive states. Some think they are invincible while others feel they are a persecuted victim.