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Gaslighting : A slow burning abuse



Gaslighting is a manipulative technique used to make someone question their own reality, memories, or sanity. It is a form of emotional abuse that can have long-lasting effects on a person's mental health and well-being.

Gaslighting can occur in various contexts, including romantic relationships, friendships, and even in the workplace. It is a common tactic used by abusers, narcissists, and other manipulative individuals to gain power and control over their victims.



The term "gaslighting" originates from a play and movie titled "Gas Light," in which a husband manipulates his wife into believing she is going insane by dimming the gas lights in their home and denying that the lights are flickering.

Gaslighting can take many forms, but some common examples include:

• Denying or dismissing a person's experiences or feelings

• Twisting the truth or making false accusations

• Constantly changing the narrative or moving the goalposts

• Minimizing or trivializing a person's concerns or emotions

• Using intimidation or threats to control behavior

• Blaming the victim for the abuser's actions

Gaslighting can be difficult to detect, especially when it is happening gradually over time. Victims may start to question their own perception of reality, doubt their memories, or feel like they are going crazy. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and self-doubt.

If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing gaslighting, it is important to seek help from a trained professional. Therapy can help you learn coping strategies, rebuild your self-esteem, and regain a sense of control over your life.

In addition to seeking professional help, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from gaslighting. These include:

• Trusting your own perceptions and experiences

• Setting boundaries with the gaslighter

• Seeking support from trusted friends and family members

• Keeping a journal to document incidents of gaslighting

• Learning to recognize the signs of gaslighting and understanding that it is not your fault

Gaslighting is a serious form of emotional abuse that can have devastating effects on a person's mental health and well-being. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing gaslighting, it is important to seek help and take steps to protect yourself from further harm.


Anjali Gulati

Sr. Psychologist

Faith Hospital, Chandigarh


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