The Student Room Group

I think I'm a stalker..

Hi guys. I'm usually not afraid to make posts under my account but I feel a particular level of shame in this and I'm not ready to be known for it.

Long story short, I think I'm a stalker. I don't want to be, and I don't know what to do. It isn't as simple as "just stop".

I've never had that much close connection in terms of friendships. I have always struggled to understand or be understood by others. I've spent a lot of time isolating myself. So when I do get a good connection, I feel it pretty intense. This isn't usually an issue, until it becomes intrusive.
Occasionally, some of these connections will become a lot more important to me. They're never romantic. But what the person says or does will have a lot more weight and influence on me. Typically with these people I don't talk to them much because I'm terrified of getting in their way, or being judged and losing them. I generally view these people as a higher "status" than me, like they're worth more respect. I'll find myself thinking about them way too much, even if it's just stupid scenarios my brain makes up (such as being in some kind of disaster together or something). It gets in the way of other activities. I'll think about our interactions a lot. It gets to the point that if I am aware of their social media channels, I'll probably lurk through them a lot, even though I'm not really a social media person myself. If I know roughly where they live I might research their town. This doesn't usually affect them because I'm very very careful about sticking to boundaries. But it's incredibly unhealthy for many reasons.

I'm sick of going through this cycle and feeling emotionally dependent on these people. I'm scared that one day I will overstep and it will start becoming a serious problem for them. How do I stop doing this?
Reply 1
I think you might start with talking to your doctor if you really feel this is becoming an intrusive issue and ask for some help dealing with this?

I was also interested to understand how much autism spectrum disorders are also involved in stalking.

Fair play to you for being courageous enough to admit that you recognise you might have the traits of a stalker. How many of us have been drawn into that same defined world of 'obsession' when a relationship breaks up, and we become all consumed by anger, despair and grief. I think you are probably aware of how your behaviour is. That is a big step to keeping the undesirable traits of stalking under control. Where does curiosity end and stalking begin? Perhaps it is also an indication of the spare time you have on your hands to just 'wonder' and dream what might be. Does that make you a stalker or someone who is desperately in need of social company, a need to find interests and a road out of boredom. If its a habit - be aware of when you are about to 'go down the rabbit hole' and distract yourself by changing the thought process and the environment. Get outside, walk, do anything to think about another subject. (A bit like biting your nails and trying to stop or any other addiction type behaviour?)

I don't have any suggestions unfortunately for help groups for those 'men' and 'women' who would need real intervention for extreme stalking behaviours.
I appreciate there are self help groups for victims of stalking.

If you read through the definitions of stalking (Mercer & Allely 2020) they are quite interesting
(Mercer & Allely 2020)
Definition of stalking and stalking typologies
Mullen, Pathe, Purcell and Stuart (1999) define stalking as attempts to associate or communicate with someone in a repeated or persistent unwanted way. Within the last two decades, a number of stalking typologies have been proposed. For instance, Racine and Billick (2014) argued that there are three main typologies, namely, Zona’s Stalker-Victim Types (Zona, Sharma, & Lane, 1993), Mullen’s Stalker Typology (Mullen, Pathe, Purcell, & Stuart, 1999) and the RECON Typology of Stalking (Mohandie, Meloy, McGowan, & Williams, 2006). Mullen’s Stalker Typology (Mullen et al., 1999) has an in-depth view of stalkers and so divides the types into five categories: i) Rejected Stalkers, who have had a former relationship with the victim and whose stalking behaviour is an attempt to reconcile or to take revenge against them; ii) Intimacy Seekers, who are commonly socially inept and isolated and wish to have a romantic relationship with the victim; iii) Incompetent Stalkers are aware that the target of their attention does not reciprocate their affection but still continue in their pursuit in the hope that their behaviour will eventually result in intimacy; iv) Resentful Stalkers, who often threaten their victim in order to induce fear, which produces a sense of control for the stalker who generally believes their victim has wronged them in some way; and v) Predatory Stalkers, who typically have past criminal convictions and usually commit sexualised assaults on the victim.

Management of stalking behaviour involves the following:

Clinical management is based on:

1) The nature of the contributory mental disorder

2) An understanding of what is sustaining the behaviour

3) Confronting the almost universal self-deceptions, which deny, minimise or justify the behaviour

4) Instilling at least a modicum of empathy for the victim's plight

5) Addressing the stalker's rudimentary, or inappropriate, social and interpersonal skills

6) Combating substance misuse

I hope you can feel less 'constrained' by your own thoughts as time goes on and find a release maybe with the help from other people in real life activities, sport or outside interests?

Quick Reply