Stalking is a form of maladaptive behavior wherein someone incessantly badgers the victim with unwanted and unsolicited attention. Although everyone knows that stalking is insidious and scary, still, a lot of men and women fixate and stalk another person, causing inconvenience and annoyance. According to the 2011 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six women and one in 19 men are stalked in their life. In a majority of cases, the stalker was someone known to the person.
While most stalkers are considered psychopaths, with a malicious intent to harm and harass the victim, it may not be true in certain cases. It has been observed that mental disorders like schizophrenia, personality disorders, depression and substance use disorders might drive a person to show stalking behavior. A majority of stalkers are lonely and introverted, with a poor friend circle, who generally mean no harm. They could be undergoing a breakup or divorce or may be facing tough time at their workplace.
In an old study regarding stalking behavior, of 3,416,460 victims interviewed, 36.6 percent said that the stalker’s intent was retaliation, anger or spite, 32.9 percent mentioned that having control over the victim was the primary desire of the stalker, while 23.4 percent considered mental illness or emotional instability as the prime cause of stalking behavior.
With digital technology and social media blurring the difference between public and private life, another form of stalking known as cyberstalking is wreaking havoc in the life of the victim. Whether it be Facebook, or Instagram or Pinterest or Twitter, there is a dangerous trend of harassing and posting malicious content with the sole purpose of causing harm to the other. When it comes to children and adolescents, being bullied online puts them at a higher risk for depression and other mental ailments.
Subtypes of stalking personalities
According to Australian stalking expert Paul Mullen, clinical director and chief psychiatrist at Victoria’s Forensicare, there are following subtypes of stalkers prone to mental health disorders like depression:
- Rejected stalker: For people who had an unexpected closure in relationship , seeking revenge is the first thing that comes to their minds. Such stalkers are vulnerable to mental health problems like depression, personality disorders and substance abuse.
- Resentful stalker: They consider themselves as the victim of unfair treatment and therefore, show traits of depression and other behavioral problems.
- Predator stalker: The primary objective of this kind of stalker is to garner power and control over his or her victim. In this case, the perpetrators are usually males who have deviant interests and social practices. They aim for sexual gratification and are often prone to depression and personality disorders.
Road to recovery
Depression or anxiety, whether induced by high social media usage or any other reason, can lead to various complications. A long delay in diagnosis and treatment is one of the prime reasons for critical depressive symptoms. The first step toward treatment is to recognize the symptom of depression and then, seek professional help. However, it can lead to serious consequences, if left untreated for a long time.
If you or your loved one is afflicted with signs of depression and looking for help, the Depression Treatment Helpline can suggest some of the best treatment plans for depression. You can get in touch with our 24/7 helpline number at 866-619-7729 for more information on depression programs that help regulate stress levels and restore mental health. Chat online with our representatives for expert advice on rehabilitation centers for depression that provide excellent treatment options with continuing care.