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Stalking – a contemporary challenge for forensic and clinical psychiatry

  • J. H. Kamphuis (a1) and P. M. G. Emmelkamp (a1)
Abstract
Background

Stalking is causing pervasive and intense personal suffering and is an area of psychiatry that is currently overlooked.

Aims

To review demographic and clinical characteristics of stalkers as well as the psychological consequences for victims of stalking.

Method

A Medline and PsycLit search was conducted on stalking, forensic psychiatry, personality disorders, de Clérambault syndrome and erotomania, with respect to the relevance of the articles selected for stalking.

Results

Stalkers are best thought of as a heterogeneous group whose behaviour can be motivated by different forms of psychopathology, including psychosis and severe personality disorders.

Conclusions

There is a clear need to arrive at a consensus on a typology of stalkers and associated diagnostic criteria. The effectiveness of psychological and pharmacological treatments have not yet been investigated. Treatment may need to be supplemented with external incentives provided by the legal system.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
J. H. Kamphuis, University of Amsterdam Clinical Psychology, Roetersstraat 15, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: 020-5256785; fax: 020-6391369; e-mail: kp.kamphuis@macmail.psy.uva.nl
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Hall, D. M. (1998) The victims of stalking. In The Psychology of Stalking: Clinical and Forensic Perspectives (ed. J. R. Meloy), pp. 113137. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Stalking – a contemporary challenge for forensic and clinical psychiatry

  • J. H. Kamphuis (a1) and P. M. G. Emmelkamp (a1)
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