“I felt like I was going crazy!”
“Gaslighting” & Domestic Abuse
The term “gaslighting” has recently gained some popularity in mainstream media. The term comes from a 1938 British play, Gaslight, about a woman whose husband slowly and methodically manipulates her into believing that she is going insane. The play was adapted into an American film featuring Ingrid Bergman in 1944.
Gaslighting is an insidious form of psychological abuse. The abuse will attempt to erode the victim’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Gaslighters will often withhold information, replace facts with false information, and use deception, manipulation, and accusations to weave an intricate web of control over the victim.
Short- and Long-Term Effects of Gaslighting Victimization
As a result, the victim can become increasingly insecure and anxious. Over time, they begin to question their memory, perception, and judgment of reality. It is common for there to be long-term physical and mental health issues. Moreover, many victims may not realize this is happening until long after the relationship has ended and they find themselves struggling to reclaim their sense of self.
We Can Help
Therapeutic interventions can be extremely helpful to address triggers and lingering self-esteem issues. Center for Women in Transition offers confidential trauma therapy at no cost.
If you or someone you know would like to talk to someone about gaslighting, please call our 24-Hour Helpline at 1-800-848-5991. We also offer individual and group therapy, children’s therapy, and emergency shelter