Have you ever felt like someone was constantly watching you? Or that someone has been following you for a while? Is there anyone who seems to always be around wherever you go? Although it may not always be the case, it could be that you are being stalked.
Stalking is a behavior pattern wherein someone who becomes obsessive about someone tends to follow them around and keeps check of what they are doing and who they are meeting. Stalkers are of many kinds and they need not always be strangers. Friends, lovers and even family members could be stalking you If you ever feel that you are being
stalked you must speak up and file a complaint, even if it was someone you were once close to as it can be very dangerous.
Stalkers tend to normally keep a distance and watch them from afar but there are times when some stalkers make themselves known to the person. They may be extra friendly and possessive and you may not even think that they are stalkers, but they could be. That’s why you should always be careful when you meet someone new or if someone who you have been randomly seeing everywhere you go starts talking to you. Chances are that they could be a stalker. Being stalked may not always feel like it.
You may think nothing of the situation and the person sitting beside you and yet it could be that they are stalking you. For example- There could be a scenario wherein you may see someone multiple times at a public space like a metro and you approach them first. In this case it may seem like the other person was just a stranger who seems to be using the metro at the same time as you and you may not find it weird at all however it could be that the person is actually a stalker and you may have just walked right into their web.
Although this is not always the case and not all strangers are stalkers it is better to be safe than sorry. This however does not mean that you should always have your walls up and not let anyone in or be scared, it just means that one must always keep their guards up.
Being stalked can have negative effects on those being stalked both physically and mentally. Numerous studies over time have shown that there is a huge chance of psychological distresses that someone may undergo if they have been or are being stalked. Not only those being stalked but even the people around them may undergo some sort of a trauma. For example if the elder sister gets stalked very badly and undergoes a lot of trauma, there are chances that the younger sister who has not been stalked may too have developed some secondary trauma and may show signs of psychological distress.
Although there are times when men also get stalked, it’s mostly women that get stalked. This act of being stalked can affect them very negatively. They could develop anxiety, may have frequent panic attacks, may become slightly delusional, and may also show signs of PTSD. The stalker may make the woman feel insecure about going out alone anyway and may make them very scared and nervous which will worsen the panic attacks and anxiety and also cause a lot of psychological trauma. Even if the stalker does not physically make any contact with the woman, the woman can still be affected mentally because she is aware of his constant presence and gaze. The trauma that comes with being stalked are felt in different degrees by different people. Although there could be women who may not be affected by it to the point where it stays with them as trauma that they can’t shake off, it is very rare. Most of the people who are stalked tend to never completely forget it and the trauma stays with them. The symptoms of psychological distress among those being stalked can vary from isolation and loss of self-esteem, paranoia, Stress, frustration, confusion, nightmares, feelings of guilt, sleep issues and eating disorders to emotional numbness and in some cases, they may also undergo suicidal ideation. Thus, we can say that being stalked can have great negative effects on women’s mind.
It is therefore very important that proper aid is given to those women who undergo such trauma and also to their families or friends in close contact who may undergo some sort of a secondary trauma. Schools and colleges too should have talks wherein they let the children know about stalking and to make them aware of help that they could access if such a situation arises.