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Gaslighting and Mental Health

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The Positive Professional Podcast
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Listen to Tracyavon, Host of the Positive Professional Podcast and Vurbl curator and she explains how Gaslighting affects your mental health.
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have you ever been told that you're crazy or you're imagining things or you've been told that in a specific event or incident? Never happened? Like you think it did? Well, you may have been a victim of gaslighting. The dictionary describes gaslighting as the use of psychological manipulation to cause a person to doubt their own sanity. Gas lighters, maybe spouses, partners, parents, co workers, friends or other family members, and it can be both genders. Gaslighting is a psychological manipulation. The term gaslighting comes from the 1944 movie gaslight in which a man manipulates and lies to his wife, including turning down to gas lights to the point to where she can't trust her own thoughts and reality and she thinks she's going insane. Stephanie Sarkis, the author of the book gaslighting quotes, Gas lighters will say that you and your people around them are irrational and have things all wrong when in reality they're avoiding having to explain themselves or take responsibility for their actions. Stephanie also wrote the viral article, the 11 warning signs of gaslighting, which highlights common behavior patterns of gas lighters and how to recognize the signs before it's too late. Some of the warning signs she mentions in the article include lying to you denying they ever said or acted a certain way, not wanting to talk about it. They attack the foundation of you, your floors and use it as ammunition wearing you down. Their actions don't match their words. They use positive reinforcement to confuse you. They project, they turn people against you or say that you're crazy. And some other signs include withholding information, isolating verbal abuse, offensive jokes and undermining or controlling all of these signs obviously have emotional and physical effects on individuals and the victims may not be able to recognize or feel so powerless that they can't escape from the relationship. These tactics are used to get the victim to question their reality. The article can be found on the website psychology today and again, the heading is the 11 warning signs of gaslighting and although I have mentioned some of them having a read of the article, you'll be able to help you understand each of these signs and symptoms more clearly and hopefully just by outlining the main points today, you'll be able to reassess some of your relationships and maybe some of their behaviors towards you. The main concept of gas lighting and the control of another person and making someone question their own reality and self value, lying to someone is giving false information or inaccurate facts, denying they ever said something again, is taking away control from the victim as it makes the victim question what is real and what is not real or what is their fault or what is not their fault. In all relationships. People may forget important events or a partner or a friend may be rude because they're having a bad day or someone can point out a negative flooring you without them realizing that it's hurtful to you. However, the difference is that gaslighting is actions or words that is constantly used are performed with intent. It's a pattern of behavior and it will use some of all of the behaviors mentioned in Stephanie's article and more to control and manipulate the victim. Gas lighters will slowly collect information about you or get to understand you and then use it as ammunition to tear you apart and break you down. The article I've counseled hundreds of victims of gaslighting. Here's how to spot if you've been gaslighting published on box includes some symptoms that can help you recognize if you are the victim of a gas lighter. These include statements like if you're asking yourself, am I too sensitive, failing, confused and crazy in a relationship, you're always apologizing to the gas lighter or taking the blame for an event or situation. Often feeling stupid or incompetent. You feel something is wrong, but you aren't sure what you have trouble making decisions. You second guess what you know is true. You feel anxious around that person, You feel more stressed and less joyful, feeling hopeless and having little pleasure and things that you used to enjoy, not feeling like the person that you used to be and having a gut feeling that something is wrong with the relationship. The article also contains some common statements gas lighters may use such as you're imagining things or you're just overreacting, don't get upset, worked up or angry that never happened and you're always so dramatic. Having a look at the article yourself might be helpful as it allows you to recognize the common behavior patterns or statements that are common from gas lighters and therefore recognize the symptoms that you may be a victim of one being aware of Their behavior allows you to reaffirm your power and change your situations to help you spot this type of behavior in the future or red flags. The article on positive psychology, what is gaslighting 20 techniques to stop emotional abuse? Hell also has 25 questions to ask yourself to know if you're being gas lighted, which also may help you recognize if you're currently or was a victim of gaslighting. As I mentioned before, gas lighting can be present in all interpersonal relationships. The term gaslighting has also been used in politics, news outlets and corporations as fake news or modified facts and figures and they're spread to the public In the 2016 American presidential election. This led to the term being popular. However, it's been used to describe many political promises and tactics used by politicians all around the world. In the next segment, I'm going to talk about how gas lighting can affect your mental health. Obviously gas lighting can have major effects on a victim's mental health. The article in positive psychology, what is gaslighting 20 techniques to stop emotional abuse highlights that some long-term effects can include anxiety, chronic stress, depression, isolation, trauma and possibly psychosis, being constantly belittled, questioned, your traits being used against you. Your personality being criticized and being radical can make the victim wonder if there's something wrong with them and constant negative thoughts will obviously impact the victims mental health. The victim becomes confused with their memory exhausted from the constant feelings of being wrong and put down intimidated and feeling vulnerable and these are only some of the emotions of victims experience. So what to do if you're being gas lighted again? The article and box and the article on positive Psychology, both mentioned earlier in this episode has some helpful steps that you can use as the victim to break free from the gas lighters power or you may be witnessing a relationship that is unhealthy and may be able to mention this to your friend, colleague or sibling that they could be a victim. So I've combined both articles listed and I have some steps that I want to share. However, you as a listener should read both of them as they go more in depth in the articles. So the first one is to identify the problem and warning signs, identify the behavior problems of this person and your relationship with them and recognize some of the morning signs that have been mentioned earlier or research to warning signs. Using some of the references that I'm going to be mentioning at the end of this episode. Next is to re evaluate and recognize journaling conversations right down the dialogue and language. They use right down events that they have made you question your sanity, write down what they have said to help you to distinguish facts from fiction and record dates and times of events, Listen to your gut always trust yourself. If something doesn't feel right, you should trust it. Next is to look after your own mental health. Meditation and relaxation techniques can help you ease distress, anxiety and confusion. You may be feeling at this point in time. Visualization techniques and guided meditations may help you get your power back and visualize how you can change the now to the future you want to achieve and try not to react. Try not to retaliate or react as they will use this against you and seek revenge. Use your support system, reach out to friends or family that may be viewing the relationship or listen if they bring up the behavior of this person, also reach out to friends and family that you know that you can trust during and post leaving this relationship to support you to guide you and help you with your recovery and think about your feelings and self care except how you feel. Learn about yourself and your emotions, your triggers and research or visit a therapist to create practices to help you deal with your feelings. Self care is important to help you move forward, make your own decisions and give yourself love escaping the toxic relationship is important. And once you've recognized the toxic relationship, it's okay to walk away toxic friends, family members, workplace all have an effect on your mental health, and you should distance yourself from these situations. And, again, seeking professional help, A professional will always be able to provide you with practices and tips that can help you recover from this situation.