via Digital Trust
Impact on mental health
Stalking is a brutal and devastating crime. It robs people of their life. The impact on victims is great with many suffering long term effects or PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Victims need help to protect themselves, want the stalking to cease and to recover from the crime.
- Denial, confusion, self-doubt, frustration, guilt, embarrassment, self-blame
- Apprehension, fear, anxiety about safety self/others/pets
- Isolated, helpless, panic attacks, agoraphobia
- Depression and stress (or symptoms related to those conditions)
- Poor concentration, memory
- Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
- Hyper vigilance, easily frightened, foreboding
- Changes in personality e.g. withdrawn, angry, irritable, short tempered
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Impact on work or school
Any time someone goes through a difficult time it can impact their work but stalking creates additional issues that can effect a person’s ability to work. The long term implications are significant. It can stop a victim’s career progressing or force them out of school or work. The financial consequences can carry on for years or simply never recover.
- Afraid to go to work or school
- Stalker attacks the victim’s professional reputation making it difficult to carry on their work
- The stalker’s activity starts to affect the company’s performance
- Employer becomes concerned about safety of other employees and encourages victim to leave
- Deteriorating school or work performance due to stress and worry
- Victim is fired or feels they have to leave work due to inability to perform
- Having to take increased leave either due to stress or legal action
- Victims change careers or become unemployed
Impact on physical health
The emotional impact of stalking soon has a knock on effect to the physical well being of stalking victims.
- Insomnia, effects from lack of sleep e.g. clumsiness
- Self medicating with drink or drugs which can impact on health or decisions
- Stress or panic related problems such as ulcers, palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, high blood pressure
- Weight loss or gain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Not taking care of appearance
Impact on relationships, social life
Often an abuser’s objective is to isolate the victim. A victim of stalking develops trust and intimacy issues which can have impact on current and future relationships. It can also be difficult for those around the victim to understand what the victim is experiencing and why they act the way they do.