Originally Posted by Paul L
Its the Stockdale Syndrome
Or Man's Search for Meaning (by Viktor Frankl...Jewish psychiatrist prisoner in a Nazi camp who wrote about the factors relating to who survived...who didn't) or many other accounts through history
. Escaping from the physical terror is bad enough...then the survivor's guilt/shame sets in (then attack from land-pirates in the case of the Salvadoran).
"Frankl identifies three psychological reactions experienced by all inmates to one degree or another: (1) shock during the initial admission phase to the camp, (2) apathy after becoming accustomed to camp existence, in which the inmate values only that which helps himself and his friends survive, and (3) reactions of depersonalization
, moral deformity, bitterness, and disillusionment if he survives and is liberated.
Frankl concludes that the meaning of life
is found in every moment of living; life never ceases to have meaning, even in suffering and death. In a group therapy
session during a mass fast inflicted on the camp's inmates trying to protect an anonymous fellow inmate from fatal retribution by authorities, Frankl offered the thought that for everyone in a dire condition there is someone looking down, a friend, family member
, or even God, who would expect not to be disappointed. Frankl concludes from his experience that a prisoner's psychological reactions are not solely the result of the conditions of his life, but also from the freedom of choice
he always has even in severe suffering. The inner hold a prisoner has on his spiritual self relies on having a hope in the future, and that once a prisoner loses that hope, he is doomed."