Sunday, December 6, 2015

What does it mean to be "Gaslighted"?

Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse.  The name comes from the play Gas Light and the popular film adaption.  The term has been used in research and clinical literature.  With gaslighting, information is given with the intent of making victims doubt their perception, memory and sanity.  As to favor the abuser, some information is selectively omitted or it is twisted and spun.  To keep the victim disoriented, the abuser may stage bizarre events and/or pretending abusive incidents never occurred.  Marital infidelity has been observed as a dynamic for gaslighing.  It may also occur in parent-child relationships, in which, either parent, child or both, lie and attempt to undermine perceptions.  At some inpatient facilities, gaslighting has been observed between patients and staff members.  Gaslighting tactics are frequently used by sociopaths.  Those who have been victimized by them may doubt their perceptions because sociopaths are so charming and convincing liars.  Even though they break laws and exploit others, they consistently deny wrongdoing. Very little of what sociopaths say actually checks out in terms of facts or reality.  They are extremely skillful at making things they say sound believable even if it was just made up out of thin air. That is how some physically abusives gaslight their partners.  They flatly deny any violence on their part.  Sometimes they are so convincing that they contribute to the victim being mislabeled by her therapist.  This helps stage the worst situations possible.  It allow the gaslighting behaviors of the husband to set in motion a so-called 'nervous breakdown' for his wife. For some women it appears to be a suicide, when actually it was murder.

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