What Does Gaslighting Mean?

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that makes individuals doubt their reality. Learn about examples, case studies, and statistics on gaslighting. Recognize the signs and seek support.


Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that makes a person doubt their own perceptions and reality. It can be a subtle yet damaging form of emotional abuse that can leave long-lasting effects on an individual’s mental health.

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting involves the abuser making the victim question their memory, perception, and sanity through manipulation and lies. This can result in the victim feeling confused, anxious, and powerless.

Examples of Gaslighting

  • Telling a victim that they are overreacting or being too sensitive
  • Blaming the victim for the abuser’s behavior
  • Denying that certain events ever happened

Case Studies

One notable case of gaslighting is the relationship between famous painter Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera. Rivera constantly cheated on Kahlo and made her doubt her worth and talent, leading to her mental health struggles.

Statistics on Gaslighting

A study by the National Domestic Violence Hotline found that 55% of respondents reported experiencing gaslighting in an abusive relationship. This shows that gaslighting is a common tactic used by abusers for control.

Effects of Gaslighting

Gaslighting can have severe consequences on a victim’s mental health, including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. It can also make it difficult for the victim to trust their own judgment and make decisions.

How to Respond to Gaslighting

  • Recognize the signs of gaslighting
  • Seek support from trusted friends and family
  • Consider seeking therapy to navigate the effects of gaslighting

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