Psychologist explains stalkers' reasonings following Piers Morgan Baby Reindeer interview

A psychologist has revealed why stalkers do what they do following the popularity of Netflix's Baby Reindeer.

From a psychological perspective, stalking behaviours are an extreme response to unmet needs in childhood and most likely trauma, according to Dr Goddard-Crawley.

"They may stem from unresolved psychological conflicts, such as feelings of inadequacy. Stalkers may project their desires, fantasies, or fears onto their victims, creating a distorted perception of the relationship. They may develop a fixation on the victim, believing that they are in a special relationship, even when it doesn't exist."

"Additionally, the stalker may experience a sense of validation from knowing they are in their victim's mind, even if the attention is unwanted. Being held in the mind of the object of their obsession reinforces their belief that they have a special relationship with the victim, contributing to the persistence", reports the Mirror.

"Perhaps a victim may have elicited strong emotions in the stalker. This may have further fuelled obsessive behaviour. From the stalker's perspective, their actions may be driven by emotions, such as obsession, or a desire for control. They may believe that their behaviour is justified, particularly if they feel rejected by the victim."

In the gripping play Baby Reindeer, Martha, who obsessively stalks her victim, is ultimately brought to justice and imprisoned.

Dr Goddard-Crawley reflects on the stalker's mindset: "This distorted perception may prevent them from fully understanding the consequences of their actions. Being exposed and convicted of stalking can lead to feelings of humiliation. Legal proceedings and media coverage can magnify these feelings."

As the narrative unfolds in the Netflix adaptation, viewers witness Martha's facade crumble when she can no longer manipulate her target.

The psychologist continues: "Stalkers often engage in their behaviour to exert control over their victims. Being convicted can represent a loss of this control. They are also unlikely to understand they have done anything wrong, and may believe their behaviour is warranted - particularly if they feel rejected, betrayed, or wronged by the victim."

The expert further explains the stalker's inability to grasp the severity of their actions: "They may struggle to understand the impact of their actions on the victim's well-being and fail to recognise that their behaviour is causing harm. The stalker may interpret any response from their victim, whether positive or negative, as confirmation of the relationship."

In the gripping drama Baby Reindeer, Martha bombards her unsuspecting victim Donny with a relentless stream of emails and voicemails, contacting him incessantly.

The audience is given the impression that she's oblivious to the damage she's inflicting.

Dr Goddard-Crawley observes: "A stalker's lack of understanding of the harm they're causing may reinforce their delusion that there is a genuine relationship. It may also contribute to their sense of justification for their behaviour.

"There is no single profile of a stalker but there are common factors that may contribute. Many stalkers have a history of failed or problematic interpersonal relationships. This may include difficulties forming and maintaining close relationships, and a pattern of rejection or betrayal by others."

"They often have low self-esteem and may seek validation through their relationships with others, leading to an intense fear of abandonment."

In the series, Martha's grandiosity is on full display as she claims to be a successful lawyer with influential connections, yet the reality shown to viewers is her lingering in the bar where Donny works, nursing a solitary complimentary Diet Coke.

Continuing, the psychologist stated: "Stalkers are more likely to have a history of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, or delusional disorders, which may impair their ability to form healthy relationships. Many stalkers also have a history of trauma or abuse. They often exhibit obsessive or fixated personality traits, characterised by an intense preoccupation with a particular person or relationship, which they may seek to maintain control over."

It comes as Scots woman Fiona Harvey went head to head with Piers Morgan in an explosive TV clash on his YouTube channel which aired on Thursday night.

They discussed the "true story" behind smash hit Netflix show Baby Reindeer, which features lead character 'Martha', said to be based on Harvey.

She was grilled regarding allegations that she became obsessed with the Fife-born comic over a period of years - inspiring the character of Martha in Gadd’s hit Netflix drama.

Fiona addressed Gadd - the comedian and writer - revealing she was "horrified" at what he'd done. She also confirmed she will be taking legal action following the series: "Absolutely. Against both him and Netflix."

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