Chapter

Stalking

Paul E. Mullen

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199696758.003.0263
Stalking

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Not a few psychiatrists, at least of my generation, have difficulties with the notion of problem behaviour like stalking being a proper subject for mental health concern. Psychiatry has traditionally been wary of concerning itself directly with criminal and antisocial behaviours. The approach taken in this chapter was, in contrast, to define a pattern of behaviour destructive to the interests of perpetrator and victim and then to examine its origins, effects, and potential therapeutic management. That this is an enterprise with risks for the ethical integrity of psychiatry is undoubted. But recognizing that psychiatry can have a role in assessing and managing problem behaviours, without first performing obfuscating transformations into supposed mental disorders such as paraphilias and impulse control disorders, allows a more clear sighted and effective approach to areas of human activity where our intervention can benefit both the actor and the wider community.

Chapter.  5765 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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