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† Professor Heinz Leymann (Ph. D. pedagogical psychology, Doctor of Medicine and psychiatrist) was the leading international expert on this topic.

His website is


  1. Theory
  2. Mobbing and suppression
  3. Permanent personality change
  4. PTSD
  5. Suicide


There are several destructive activities:

  1. at workplaces,
  2. in schools among schoolchildren,
  3. in military organizations regarding drafted young people.

They are the same, namely gang stalking.

Gang stalking looks more sophisticated than mobbing. The reason is that the world is more complex than the workplace. This results in more harassment opportunities.

Mobbing looks more sophisticated than bullying. The reason is that the workplace is more complex than a classroom.

Mobbing is more psychological while bullying is more physical. The reason is that it’s easier to get away with violence against a child.

Mobbing was first mentioned in 1966 in the book On aggression by † Professor Konrad Lorenz (Doctor of Medicine and Ph. D. zoology). He used it to describe the attacks from a group of smaller animals threatening a single larger animal.

Mobbing was first mentioned to describe harassment in schools in 1972 in the book Mobbing — group violence by children and adults by † Dr. Peter-Paul Heinemann (Doctor of Medicine).

Harassment at the workplace was first described in 1976 in the book The harassed worker by † Professor Carroll Brodsky (Doctor of Medicine, psychiatrist and anthropologist).

Mobbing was first mentioned to describe harassment at the workplace in 1984 in an article by † Professor Heinz Leymann (Ph. D. pedagogical psychology, Doctor of Medicine and psychiatrist).

In 1996 † Professor Heinz Leymann (Ph. D. pedagogical psychology, Doctor of Medicine and psychiatrist) published the first scientific article about mobbing.

PDF file icon Mobbing and psychological terror at workplaces (1990) by † Professor Heinz Leymann (Ph. D. pedagogical psychology, Doctor of Medicine and psychiatrist) (483.2 K, 8 pages).

PDF file icon The content and development of mobbing at work (1996) by † Professor Heinz Leymann (Ph. D. pedagogical psychology, Doctor of Medicine and psychiatrist) (831.6 K, 18 pages).

He designed a questionnaire for people who want to find out whether they are a victim.

PDF file icon Leymann Inventory of Psychological Terror by (63.2 K, 2 pages).

PDF file icon Leymann Inventory of Psychological Terror by Wikipedia (52.5 K, 2 pages).

In England and Australia they prefer the word bullying. In the USA and Europe bullying is used regarding school situations and mobbing is used regarding the workplace.

The distinction between conflict and mobbing does not focus on what is done or how it is done, but rather on the frequency and duration of whatever is done.

Personality has little effect on the development of conflict. This assumption has no support in the psychosocial literature. However, it is one of the most commonly claimed assumption to be found. A psychological question of great interest is, of course, why this assumption is still there despite all evidence that proves it false.


PDF file icon Checklist of mobbing indicators by Kenneth Westhues (23.8 K, 2 pages).

PDF file icon German flag Die 45 Mobbing-Handlungen nach Leymann by (26.1 K, 2 pages).

PDF file icon German flag Katalog der 100+ Mobbinghandlungen by M. Wolmerath (15.0 K, 9 pages).

PDF file icon Measuring exposure to bullying and harassment at work: validity, factor structure and psychometric properties of the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised by Staale Einarsena, Helge Hoelb, Guy Notelaers (290.0 K, 22 pages).

PDF file icon The unkindly art of mobbing by Kenneth Westhues (119.4 K, 2 pages).

PDF file icon What is workplace bullying? by Tim Field (185.5 K, 7 pages).

PDF file icon Mobbing and suppression: footprints of their relationships by Brian Martin, Florencia Pena Saint Martin (265.6 K, 10 pages).

Mobbing and suppression

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Permanent personality change

Victims of mobbing and bullying often develop permanent personality change:

  1. with obsession predominating:
    1. A hostile and suspicious attitude toward the surroundings.
    2. A chronic feeling of nervousness that one is in constant danger.
    3. Compulsory fixation on one’s own fate to a degree that exceeds the limit of tolerance of people in one’s surroundings, leading to isolation and loneliness.
    4. Hypersensitivity with respect to injustices and a constant identification with the suffering of others in an almost compulsory manner.
  2. with depression predominating:
    1. A feeling of emptiness and hopelessness.
    2. A chronic inability to experience joy from ordinary events in everyday life.
    3. A constant risk of drug or psychopharmaceutical abuse.
  3. with additional symptoms that indicate that the patient has resigned himself or herself to the situation:
    1. The individual isolates him- or herself.
    2. The person no longer feels that he or she is part of society (alienating effect).
    3. The person shows a cynical attitude towards the world.


Victims of mobbing and bullying often develop post-traumatic stress syndrome.

There are 6 degrees of PTSD:


The individual has witnessed a serious threat against persons or property.


At least one of the following:

  1. Returning, insistent and painful memory images of the events.
  2. Recurring nightmares about the event.
  3. The individual can suddenly act or feel as if the traumatic event is repeated.
  4. Intensive psychological discomfort in something that recalls the traumatic event, like the anniversary of the trauma.


At least three of the following:

  1. Efforts to avoid thoughts or feelings that are associated with the trauma.
  2. Efforts to avoid activities or situations that arouse memories of the trauma.
  3. Inability to remember some important aspect of the trauma (psychogenic amnesia).
  4. Marked reduced interest in important activities.
  5. Feeling of a lack of interest or expulsion by others.
  6. Limited affects; such as inability to cherish loving feelings.
  7. A feeling of not having any future; not expecting to have a career, get married, have children, or live a long life.


At least two of the following:

  1. Difficulties in falling asleep, or uneasy sleep.
  2. Irritability or bursts of fury.
  3. Concentration difficulties.
  4. Tense vigilance.
  5. Exaggerated reaction to unexpected external stimuli.
  6. Physiological reactions at something that recalls the traumatic event.
At this stage, many victims also develop general anxiety disorder (GAD anxiety disorder). At least 6 of the following 18 symptoms should be present in connection with anxiety feelings (that does not include symptoms that are only present in connection with panic attacks):
  1. Regarding muscular tension:
    1. Trembling, jumpy, shaky.
    2. Tense, aching or sore muscles.
    3. Restlessness.
    4. Unusual fatigue.
  2. Regarding autonomic nervous system hyperactivity:
    1. Air hunger or a feeling of shortness of breath.
    2. Heart palpitations or rapid pulse.
    3. Sweating, or cold wet hands.
    4. Dryness of the mouth.
    5. Dizziness or giddiness.
    6. Feeling of sickness, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal difficulties.
    7. Feeling of suddenly being quite warm or cold.
    8. Frequent need to urinate.
    9. Difficulties in swallowing or “lump in the throat.”
  3. Regarding tense vigilance and hypersensitivity:
    1. Affected or “uptight.”
    2. Overreacting to unexpected external stimuli.
    3. Concentration difficulties or “completely blank mind.”
    4. Difficulties in falling asleep or uneasy sleep.
    5. Irritability.


The disturbance must be present for at least one month (with symptoms according to the above-mentioned groups B, C and D).


The disturbance has major influence on daily family and occupational life and other social events.


We suppose that mobbing and bullying are responsible for a large share of all suicides, probably 80%.

See the Study by the JAMA Pediatrics Network in 2013.

© 2012-2018 Cliff Huylebroeck