The act of stalking someone can be a terrifying situation and the victim will end up living in fear when dealing with an obsessive stalker. It is important to understand what is happening psychologically when someone has the tendency to be obsessive and stalk others. Their mental health is often in a very damaged state with issues of depression, substance abuse or personality disorders.
Impact of Stalking on Mental Health
Stalking can take the form of following a victim, giving them unwanted attention and it can ultimately escalate to harassment and violation of privacy. Someone with a stalker will be frightened of them and fear for their lives but very few understand what causes them to behave the way that they do. Many mistakenly believe that stalkers suffer from hallucinations or delusions but this is seldom the case.
Many stalkers are motivated by a feeling of rejection and a need for revenge on someone that ended a relationship. Others may have issues with social isolation and a lack of social competence that lead them to seek intimacy often from complete strangers. Some may be operating under the delusion that the person they are stalking reciprocates their feelings while others may continue pursuing them in spite of their obvious rejection of them.
Stalkers who are socially isolated and are seeking intimacy will want a relationship with the victim. Those who are seeking revenge may want to harm the victim because they have had damaging relationships in the past and are reliving their pain. Many stalkers have experienced abuse and neglect in their family life and are seeking a way to resolve those childhood feelings through their victim.
Need to Focus in the Treatment
In treatment, stalkers often need to focus on improving their social skills and others may need to work through their feelings of anger and rejection that drive them to act obsessively.