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Is Stalking A Mental Illness?

Stalking is defined as repeated and persistent unwanted communication or approaches that produces fear n the victim. Stalking is a behavior and not a mental disorder. It is important to understand that stalkers struggle with mental health or personality disorders that motivates this problematic behavior.

Is Stalking A Mental Illness?

Common behaviours os stalking

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Stalking is a behavior and not a mental disorder
  2. About 80% of women are victims of stalkers
  3. Stalkers are intelligent and carefully plan their stalking behaviour.
Stalking is defined as repeated and persistent unwanted communication or approaches that produces fear in the victim. Stalking is a behavior and not a mental disorder. It is important to understand that stalkers struggle with mental health or personality disorders that motivates this problematic behavior. Many stalkers, due to mental health or personality disorders, are impaired and lack the ability to reason and socialize with others. For the most part, individuals who would be labeled a stalker often suffer from the lack of social skills and find communicating with others challenging. In reality, most stalkers do not suffer from hallucinations or delusions, although many do suffer from other forms of mental illness including depression, substance abuse, and personality disorders.

Men are the stalkers, but women can also become stalkers as well. About 80% of women are victims of stalkers. Some common characteristics of stalkers are discussed below.  

Obsessed: This type of individual constantly thinks about the person they idolize. Stalking is about obsession. It is clear that when people fixate and stalk another individual they are psychologically unstable. These stalkers are relatively common and tend to be a casual acquaintance or isolated 'loner'.

Rejected: These perpetrators have been in a previous relationship usually abusing and controlling in nature. Many stalkers have a history of challenging relationships and find difficult to communicate with others. They have a feeling of rejection within them and often keep an eye on their partners.

Incompetent: These stalkers would-be suitors seeking a partner. Given their ignorance or indifference to the usual courting rituals, they use methods that are, at best, counterproductive and, at worst, terrifying. The stalking provides an approximation of finding a partner.

Intelligent: Usually stalkers are intelligent and carefully plan their stalking behavior. Someone who falls into this category could meet criteria for sociopathy. Sociopaths are adept at planning their "attack" and controlling others with charm or acting with glib.

 Motivated: Most stalkers believe that their object of desire is the only person they could ever love and tend to be motivated to pursue based on this type of thinking.

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