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Stop being a victim of Gaslighting – a Mental Illness?

Everyday when we get up from our bed and start our new day ,we have to be ready for our new struggles in our life.

Nothing comes so easy.

Sometimes we find hard to understand what is going with us. The ability to understand ourselves and the circumstances diminish. We become what the people around us try to project. We start doubting our abilities ,skills and thoughts. The whole confidence get shaken and the person get drown in uncertainty with lost emotions. This all reasons led to the mental health issues. One such reason for this can be Gaslighting.

The term may be new to many but many experience this in their  life.

What does gaslighting means ?

According to Healthline , Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that makes you question your beliefs and perception of reality.

In simple words, you are questioned about what you say, your opinions,  your questions and you every word.

Then a person starts doubting about himself and that leads to anxiety,  depression or confusion.

The term gaslighting is used to describe the abusive behavior also.

Origin of the term – Gaslight

The term has been taken from a play named – Gas light which was later filmed as Gaslight in year 1944.

The term got the attention when the book ‘The Gaslight Effect’ was released in year 2007.  The book describes in detail how to recognize this kind of emotional abuse and how to deal with it.

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As said by John Ringland in his article , The Gaslight Effect happens over time – gradually – and, often, by the time you are deep into the Gaslight Tango (the dance you do with your gaslighting partner, where you allow them to define your reality) you are not the same strong – or not so strong – self you used to be. In fact, your ego functioning has been compromised and, no longer being certain of your reality, you are not often able to accurately identify when something is “off”.”

Many people are not aware about this term. They often gaslighted by people around them.

Who can be the Gaslighter ?

A Gaslighter can be a person or a group of people. He or she can be your friend,  you partner,  your boss in office , a colleague or  your team.

Types of Gaslighting

Unfortunately there has not much discussion on such mental health issues.  So people doesn’t aware about how they are being gaslighted. Most of the times,  people themselves doesn’t know that their behavior is creating a negative on other person’s life.

In the way to prove themselves right and overpower, they are on the of unconscious gaslighting.

Hence , we can say it can start from unconscious to conscious depending on the situations and kind of the personality of the person.

According to Paget Norton, Here are the Four levels,

  1. Unconscious Gaslighting
  2. Awareness Something Is Off
  3. Intentional—More aware of an Impact—but no Intent to Seriously Harm
  4. Malicious Intent With Desire to Harm

How would you know that someone gaslighting you ?

According to various psychologists,  some of the common signs that will help you to know that you are being gaslighted are :

Source – Google

The most common way is that they try to convince you that you are wrong.  To prove this , they will make you feel that you have heard wrong. They will try to recall the previous situation and will use against you. They will doubt your memory skills and decisions.

Read the an example below for better understanding:

Moore told his husband to come at 9pm as they had to go for dinner. When she calls her husband and enquire about being late, he clear say ,” I told you I will be late as I have meeting with my new client.” No matter what Moore says, he consistently kept on saying that she must have heard wrong. Or she was too occupied that she didn’t hear properly or didn’t understand the conversation.

This makes her feel that may be she didn’t hear correctly and doubt about herself. That’s what the Gaslighter way ! Read out the phrases he can use in the daily conversation in the picture I shared above.

How can you deal with gas lighter ?

Once you know that you are being continually gaslighted by a person and that is affecting your health, soon you must start taking action. This will make you feel strong and uplift your morale.

Some of the ways to fight and stand against this are :

  • Give no response
  • Walk out from the situation.
  • Take a stand
  • Don’t explain
  • Be on your words strongly.
  • Disengage
  • Write incidents to understand the pattern.
  • Focus on the main thing
  • Follow self care routine
  • Try journaling
  • Reach out for support system

One one has right to let you down and disturb your inner peace. For this , you have to stand for yourself andvtake action.

If you feel that nothing is working and you are really feeling disturbed. Don’t be hesitant to take professional advice. Book an appointment with a counselor or pschologist or a therapist.

Disclaimer-The views and opinions stated and expressed are for reference purpose only. Kindly seek the medical help in case you are going through some difficult times.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter’ where we bloggers , writers chatter about environment, mental health and gender issues to raise the awareness in masses.

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