You may have heard of ‘gaslighting’, a term used to describe a form of emotional and psychological manipulation and abuse.
Gaslighting can cause someone to question their own perception of events, their memory, their thoughts, and doubt their sanity.
It is common for gaslighting to include behaviour such as someone abusing their partner by telling them they are irrational, imagining things, are overly emotional or “crazy”.
According to Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre gaslighting can include:
- Making you doubt your own recollection or telling you things did not happen
- Telling you that you are crazy or have mental health concerns
- Telling you that you are imagining or over-exaggerating their abusive behaviour
- Telling you or other people, including friends, police, doctors, counsellors or legal professionals that you are the one being abusive towards them
- Telling other people that you are unstable, have mental health problems or substance abuse problems when you don’t
Long term gaslighting or psychological abuse can leave a person unsure of their sanity, their perception of reality and feeling that they are going “crazy”. This can lead people to experience emotional and mental health issues.
Gaslighting can occur in intimate partner relationships as well as within families, at work, in a community group or in a group of friends. The onus of responsibility is always on the person using gaslighting to stop.
If you are using or experiencing gaslighting, there is support available to you
Trust your Instincts – You Deserve Respect
With Respect – 1800 542 847