Erotomania can be defined as a psychological disorder in which the afflicted relentlessly pursues the notion that the object of his/her affection reciprocates his/her romantic feelings and/or fantasies. This obsession with the desired individual continues long after that individual has asserted that he/she is not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with the afflicted. Consequently, erotomaniacs tend to stalk their victims. It has been postulated that those who stalk suffer from a basic fault in their capacity to have relationships with others. (Lipson et al., 1998). Though brought to light with the Tarasoff case, Erotomania continues to be considerably new in the literature and consequently little research has been done to suggest any consistent hypothesis as to causality. Characteristic of the erotomaniac (generally across the board) are the following: irrationality, a tendancy toward impulsive actions, obsessiveness, paranoia, psychotic tendancies. Typically the erotomaniac shares certain behavioral characteristics consistent with that of a Borderline. The erotomaniac tends to begin with simple, subtle expressions of affection to reach the object of his/her desire which later spirals out of control and can lead to expressions of anger, rage, frusteration and violence when such gestures go ignored and the victims continues to assert lack of interest. Strangely the erotomaniac fails altogether to see the victim's lack of interest. The erotomaniac attributes lack of positive response to a littany of things. In the case of my stalker, Louise attributed her ex-husband (my boyfriend) taking a restraining order out against her to a belief that somehow I was behind the scenes manipulating him to do so in order to keep him from "recognizing his love for her" and "going back to her". Louise also wrote constant letters saying she knew I "had to be pregnant" because she didn't know why else he wouldn't be returning her calls and answering her threatening letters. Finally, the erotomaniac is psychotic and no longer in reality. Any reaction from the victim can be construed as a signal of approval. Returning to the case of my stalker, Louise believed the act of my boyfriend taking a restraining order out against her was somehow indicative of encouragement to continue to call and visit him and so she did continue, persisting even after countless arraignments, community service and jail time.
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