Most of us, at some point in our lives, have stalked someone or been stalked by someone. It could be someone we like or a famous person we fancy, and it is just typical to like someone, to somehow wish to be someone or be with someone. At some point, we have all experienced stalking.
What Is Stalking?
Stalking is a behavior where a person has an excessive and obsessive desire or attention towards a particular person. A stalker spends time and effort to know everything about the person he is stalking.
Is Stalking A Mental Illness?
“Believe it or not, many stalkers, due to mental health or personality disorders, are impaired and lack the ability to reason and engage appropriately with others. For the most part, individuals who would be labeled a stalker often suffer from a lack of social skills and finds communicating with others challenging,” according to Támara Hill, MS, LPC.
Most of the stalkers have severe mental issues like depression, substance abuse, schizophrenia, and other personality disorders. It is a little bit scary because some of these conditions act or perform stalking based on their reality which can be delusional.
When a person has schizophrenia, he loses his understanding of reality. He has his own belief which he believes to be the truth. People with schizophrenia are most likely to develop a particular desire and obsession towards someone. It can be in his reality that the person he is stalking feels the same way.
Signs You Are Stalking:
Nowadays, almost all of us can have access to the internet, and it is easy to learn about someone just by searching them up on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Sometimes, we are unaware that we are already stalking someone by always checking on their status and updates on social media.
- “I’m not a stalker.” It is what you tell yourself when you notice your obsessive behavior towards someone. You are immediately in defense and denial.
- You create duplicate accounts on social media just to cyberstalk.
- You befriend his family and friends. Somehow, you feel a certain level of closeness to that person when you talk to someone close to him like his best friend even though deep inside you find him annoying.
- You pay close attention to his activities and whereabouts in the hope of seeing and interacting with him in person.
- You make an effort to know his phone number and would try and ring him once in a while. You call him just to hear his voice without really talking to him.
Signs You Are Being Stalked:
- Someone is lurking around wherever you go.
- Someone watches you but doesn’t talk to you.
- Someone asks about you repeatedly.
- Someone keeps on ringing your phone, but when you answer it, nobody speaks.
- Someone always likes your posts on social media, sometimes even comments even though you are not close.
- When you feel and think someone gives creepy attention and obsession to you, trust your instinct because it is most likely the case.
“The data suggest a substantial proportion of adolescents are victims of stalking and are likewise at risk for a number of deleterious health outcomes,” according to Dennis E. Reidy, Ph.D. “As such, this population merits further attention by prevention researchers and practitioners.” He speaks about a study he has done where teenagers are more likely to be stalked.
Rising Stars Who Were Tragically Killed By Stalkers:
Christina Grimme was only 22 when she was shot dead by his stalker fan Kevin James Loibl, 27. He was stalking her long before the night he decided to end the life of the singer, Youtuber, and The Voice finalist. Investigations revealed that the killer was at the back of the crowd watching Grimme at her concert in Florida. Little did everyone know that he was already planning on making that concert her last one. He immediately shot himself right after killing Grimme.
Rebecca Schaeffer was a 21-year old Hollywood movie star at that time when she was gunned down by an obsessed fan, Robert John Bardo. Reports showed that he stalked Schaeffer for three years before finally succeeding in his evil plan of putting her down in her Los Angeles home. Her tragic death resulted in passing a law prohibiting employees to reveal addresses of celebrities prone to these situations.
There were many other celebrities killed by fans who were close to them that’s why nobody thought that they would suffer such fate. They were most likely stalking, waiting for the right moment to do their evil act. Whether the stalker intends to murder his stalkee, any action that poses a threat to that person’s well-being, whether emotional or physical, it is crucial that the person being stalked act accordingly or tell the authorities about it. It can be paranoia, or maybe not. But there’s no harm in taking precautions especially when our life is involved.
“Please don’t try to handle this on your own. You’ve never been in a situation like this before so, of course, you don’t know what to do. But the police and crisis teams do have experience to draw on. Talk to people who can offer you the protection and practical help you need. Do consider staying somewhere safe while you work this situation through,” says Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker.