Stop Confusing Shared Trauma For Compatibility

Shared pain draws people together. Described as a “social glue,” trauma sometimes acts as a way for people to relate to others in social settings, forging connections between survivors known as trauma-bonds.

One example of this is Stockholm Syndrome, defined as the distorted relationship between kidnappers and their victims turned defenders. Outsiders may find this dynamic hard to understand, Stockholm Syndrome sufferers provide a mental escape for victims by re-shaping the mind to find comfort in its captivity.

Unit Cohesion, a common trauma-bond phenomenon that usually occurs in first responders depicts the effectiveness of shared trauma in high-stress situations. A study by the Society of Occupational Medicine took a close look at participants who reported higher levels of cooperation and group morale, increased communication skills, and improved operational performance, especially following a traumatic event.

Findings show that Unit Cohesion improved soldier mental wellness and increased mission success overall, it had little to no