If You are Being Stalked

The U.S. Office for Victims of Crime offers one definition of stalking: “virtually any unwanted contact between two people that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places a victim in fear . . .”

It is estimated that there is a 1 in 5 lifetime chance that a psychiatrist will be stalked. The estimated prevalence for the general population is far less, about 1 in 20.

Stress for a psychiatrist can arise not only from being the victim of a stalker, but simply from the worry that one might be stalked by a patient.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists offers an information guide for psychiatrists who are stalked. Included are how to manage and minimize the risks of being stalked, responsibilities of the professional and of colleagues, and how to cope with being stalked.

See: www.rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/members/supporting-you/pss/pss-guide-11-stalking.pdf?sfvrsn=2f1c7253_2

In his paper, “Psychodynamic Psychiatrists’ Experiences of Being Stalked”, Ingram describes how 10 psychiatrists struggled to manage their experiences. Two of the psychiatrists were victims of harrowing erotomanic delusions.