Stalking is not defined by something that took place in just one incident but it is something that keeps taking place over a period of time. This is something that is usually very terrifying for any victims. Some of the effects of staking are mental and emotional health, which are self-blame, guilt, shame or embarrassment, frustration, low self-esteem, self-consciousness or insecurity, shock and confusion, irritability, fear and anxiety; phobias and panic attacks, anger, depression, emotional numbness, flashbacks, feeling suicidal, to name a few.
Some of the physiological health effects sleep disturbances, nightmares, problems with sex; sexual dysfunction, Fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, variation in weight, dermatological breakouts, headaches ,giddiness, shortness of breath, self-medication with alcohol/drugs, heart palpitation and sweating.
The worst thing is when your stalker is extremely deceptive (which they usually are), it makes you doubt what they are doing and even less likely to tell someone about it, because the image that others may have of the stalker is very different to the truth. Stalkers often wear a mask, which they conveniently rip off especially for you to see. I haven't told many people about my stalker (perhaps a handful), but I know that he has told lots of people things about me. I have become known in my neighbourhood, but I don't know what he has said about me, other than the fact that I'm meant to be his girlfriend of some sort, when in reality I have never spoken a word to him. The effects are destructive and attack the nervous system, making you on edge 24/7, you start to isolate yourself and try to maintain a normal life at work/school etc. All the while knowing that when you leave work or school he will be there watching you. I have kept a diary of all of his pursuits which have been on a daily basis for years, I know very little of his little stories that he tells people about me but I know that he has been busy. But to report him to the police? I'm worried that they wont believe me, or they will carry out an investigation and he will be found to be innocent since he is so clever and manipulative. I can't go through with the stress of it all, what I am dealing with now is quite enough.
I have memory loss, I feel jumpy and have panic attacks when I leave the house which started in 2004. I hope the panic attacks stop because this sometimes stops me from leaving the house at all. I want to take up smoking or something to calm my nerves. I rarely leave my house on my own after he threatened me, again I can't prove that this happened, there are no witnesses. I want to get back to working and get on with my life, but I stop myself because I don't want him to know what I am doing and I don't want him to follow me. I used to enjoy life and now I take it all too seriously. I hope that things will change.
The effects of being stalked are many.
People can feel very threatened and very frightened and insecure. The fact that someone is unbalanced enough to want to stalk someone is worrying enough in itself but to be stalked must be terrifying.
Even if the police have been informed and they should be straight away, the fear will remain for a long time.
The mental effects also have a physical side to them and one of these is a fear of being alone and going out.
The fear of being followed can lead people to remain indoors and even there feel very vulnerable and open to threat from the unknown. Being stalked makes a person feel very vulnerable. It can also lead to feelings of desperation and despair.
Anyone who suspects that they are being stalked should inform the police straight away and insist that they are taken very seriously indeed.