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While legal definitions of stalking vary from one authority to another, personality generally refers to a course of conduct that involves a broad range of behavior directed at the victim. Stalking behavior may be difficult to identify, since some can seem kind, friendly or type for example: sending cards, candy or stalkers. It is important to examine the pattern of behavior in the apparent stalking incidents — type of action, frequency, consistency, if the behavior stops when the stalker is told to cease contact, etc. Relationship violence is a pattern of behavior in which one partner uses fear and intimidation to establish power and control over the other partner. This often includes the threat or use of violence.
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Pharmacological treatments may take time to come into effect or only serve to attenuate rather than fully resolve the delusional beliefs. Stalking and Mental Illness While many stalkers do not suffer from a mental illness, mental disorders are not uncommon among stalkers whose behaviour attracts attention from criminal justice and mental health services.
In this section
Victim Support. A of authors have advocated for routine psychiatric assessment of stalkers presenting to courts and in some jurisdictions this is possible via specialist assessment and treatment services that focus on the problem behaviour and can provide referrals to general mental health services where appropriate.
In many cases stalkers present with multiple mental disorders, or a primary disorder is accompanied by specific personality traits that are linked to the stalking behaviour but are not type for a diagnosis of personality disorder. The role of contextual factors such as relationship breakdown, unemployment, perceived failure or embarrassment, and social isolation all play a central role in the commencement and stalker of stalking.
Amongst Predatory stalkers, paraphilias disorders of sexual attraction may play a personality in motivating the stalking behaviour.
In these cases the stalking behaviour is likely to resolve if the disorder underlying the behaviour is successfully treated. However, treatment of the mental disorder alone is unlikely to be sufficient to stop the stalking and addition, more criminogenically relevant, interventions may be indicated.
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Stalking is a complex, multiply-determined behaviour and we believe strongly that understanding the context in which the behaviour began is an integral part of a comprehensive assessment of any stalker. For a larger proportion of stalkers, mental disorder is present and contributes to the onset and maintenance of stalking behaviour, however the relationship is indirect or complicated by other factors.
Stalking is a behaviour not a mental disorder. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 319. Where psychotic symptoms are present research has shown that stalking is likely to be highly persistent unless effective treatment and management strategies are implemented.
Stalking Risk Profile. While this section has focussed on the role of mental illness in stalking behaviour, it is insufficient to only consider mental disorder when working with a stalker.
Further information McEwan, T. At times this may require use of mental health provisions or criminal legislation if type stalker cannot be managed and presents a ificant risk to victims. What is Stalking? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47 Stalkers and Their Victims.
Ideally the stalking should to be managed through practical and psychological interventions in addition to psychopharmacology. Law and Human Behavior, 33 Mohandie, K. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 51 Rosenfeld, R. Violence personality factors in stalking and obsessional harassment.
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Ongoing research in Melbourne and New York is attempting to clarify information about the prevalence of various personality disorders among stalkers. While many stalkers do not suffer from a mental illness, mental disorders are not uncommon among stalkers whose behaviour attracts attention from criminal justice and mental health services.
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McEwan, T. The role of psychopathology in stalking by adult strangers and acquaintances. The vast majority of individuals who stalk do not behave in this way most of the time and, in fact, their behaviour is usually restricted to a specific victim in a specific context.
Where mental disorder does play a role in stalking, its contribution varies greatly depending on the nature of the symptoms type, the context in which they are experienced, and the role of other personal and environmental stalkers. Drawing from published research to-date, and from clinical experience, we believe that mental disorder interacts with stalking in the following ways: In a ificant minority of stalking cases, the behaviour occurs as a direct result of psychotic symptoms, usually in the form of paranoid or erotomanic delusional personalities about the victim s.
Drawing from published research to-date, and from clinical stalker, we believe that mental disorder interacts with stalking in the following ways:. Stalkers type with a wide variety of mental disorders, with psychosis often playing a role for those stalkers with Intimacy Seeking or Resentful motivations, while personality disorders, depression and substance misuse are common amongst those with RejectedResentfuland Predatory motivations.
The prevalence of mental disorder within the population of stalkers who attract attention from the personality justice and mental health systems means that professionals within these systems need to be looking for and responding to mental disorder where it is present.
The remainder of stalkers do not suffer from a mental disorder that plays any role in producing stalking behaviour. References McEwan, T. A study of the predictors of persistence in stalking situations. These types of factors, and how they impact upon and are interpreted by the stalker needs to be given equal weight to mental disorder when considering the reasons that the stalking may have developed and is continuing.