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It seems to be the price of celebrity: The stalker. Catherine Zeta-Jones has received threatening letters from a stalker who is infatuated with her husband. David Letterman has lived with it for How to know you are being stalked. What motivates these stalkers, and how dangerous are they? While celebrity stalking makes the news, far more frequently it's those living normal lives -- women and men both -- who are stalked by someone they know, typically a former partner or someone they're involved with.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime,men are stalked annually -- one in 45 men. More than 1 million women are stalked every year; about one in every 12 women will be stalked in their lifetime. There's a line between the overzealous pursuer and the stalker. The overwhelming majority of stalkers are men -- four to one, Zitek says. Psychiatrists have developed several stalker profiles:. The rejected stalker. This person was rejected in a relationship, and they perceive it as an insult, they feel wounded, and they are seeking vindication. The resentful stalker. These are self-righteous, self-pitying people who may threaten, but they are the least likely to act on it.
The intimacy -seeking stalker. They believe they are loved or will be loved by the victim. Often they focus on someone of higher social status. This person is mentally ill and delusional. The incompetent. This person is socially backward. They don't really understand the social rules involved in dating and romance and don't mean any harm.
The predator. This is about sex gratification, control, and violence. The stalker doesn't necessarily know the victim. The victim may not know they are being stalked. But a predator plans their attack, rehearses it, has lots of sexual fantasies about it. The rejected and predatory stalkers are most likely to assault their victims, says Zitek.
You would never guess all this while dating the person, says John Moore, a d professional counselor in Chicago and author of Confusing Love With Obsession. You wouldn't know what's really going on. You only become aware when clues of their behavior show up How to know you are being stalked when your provider locks you out because you've logged your password incorrectly too many times, for example.
In many scenarios, the stalking begins as a relationship is ending -- a divorce or breakup, says Moore.
One partner becomes obsessed, convinced that this is their ideal partner. The stalker may believe that the victim is in love with them. The stalker feels that they're the most important person in the world. Many people stalk someone they have only met briefly -- someone they don't really know, or barely know.
The stalker may also focus on How to know you are being stalked celebrity, especially if they've seen them in person -- at a public appearance like a concert. They feel this person is the answer to their dreams ," says Moore. Stalkers write countless letters or s to their victims, begging for attention. They make repeated phone calls, send gifts, flowers, candies, cards. They secretly follow the victim, either by car or in an insidious way -- by getting access to the victim's. The stalker figures out your password and re all your ," Moore tells WebMD.
Stalkers are often smart enough figure that out and use it to get into. They even get into the victim's bankfind out which ATM they use, find out up to the minute where they went to eat, when they shopped. You immediately start getting several phone calls or s right after meeting this person. The person is clingy, controlling, or upset if you want to spend time with friends and family.
If you reject that person, often times they feel angry, threatened. There is the possibility of violence. Tell everyone you know that this is going on -- your employer, friends, family. Gently but firmly tell the person you've decided to move on.
Don't get drawn into discussions of why. Just say, "This situation isn't right for me" or "I'm not ready yet" -- whatever you need to say, but say it gently. If this doesn't work, you may need to take legal action, Moore says. File a police report, file a restraining order, change your and ATM passwords. You really need to be on the offensive. There's no harm in changing passwords. Caution: "Never, ever underestimate a threat.
Don't take it lightly, even if it's in an. Take it to the authorities. Ignore it at your own peril. It will only get worse," he says. He describes the "obsessive love wheel" -- the various stages of a relationship obsession:. Equally disturbing: Law enforcement officials often don't act on reports of stalking, Zitek adds.
But if you call the police and say, 'My ex-boyfriend is stalking me,' they may not actually do anything about it. They'll say, 'Call us if he comes on your property. Here's something else to consider: Are you a stalker?
If you see this obsessive pattern in yourself, see a therapist or a support How to know you are being stalked like Co-Dependents Anonymous, he says. They may be drinking or doing drugs. It's important for them to reach out. But they also have to reach in -- admit something is going on, get to a therapist or support group so they don't feel all alone. Medically Reviewed by Michael W. Origins of Stalking There's a line between the overzealous pursuer and the stalker.
Psychiatrists have developed several stalker profiles: The rejected stalker. The Person Least Likely When to Be Concerned The red flags: You immediately start getting several phone calls or s right after meeting this person.
He describes the "obsessive love wheel" -- the various stages of a relationship obsession: The attraction phase The anxious phase, when the controlling behaviors show themselves The obsessive phase, where stalking takes place The destructive phase "Unless a stalker wants to change, you can't stop them," Moore tells WebMD. Could I have CAD? Missing Teeth?How to know you are being stalked
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What Is Stalking?