Sex & Relationship

5 Effects of Gaslighting on relationships and Mental health

How does gaslighting effect a relationship?

You must have heard or ignored the word gaslighting. You never would have tried to know more about this word, what is gaslighting. The term originates from a 1944 Hollywood film called Gaslight in which a husband mentally exploits his wife to such an extent that she feels she is insane. A similar Hindi film was also featured in Damini. To question reality while tricking or dominating someone is called gaslighting. In other words, while talking to someone in a gaslighting psychological manner, they have been asked to question his purity, decisions, and memories. Even in a relationship, one person treats this kind of other, many times you must have heard from friends of people around you. Gaslighting is emotional abuse. By behaving like this in love, the person in front of them breaks down completely or feels mentally tortured.


Why does gaslighting happen?

People want control and power for different reasons during a relationship. So they will question your reality, lie, not believe it. There are different arguments for gaslighting. During this situation, you can seek help from an outsider. Over time, the victims of gaslighting do not trust themselves. They also feel that they are mentally weak. In this way gaslighting occurs during the relationship.

How does gaslighting affect mental health?

Gaslighting can have catastrophic effects on a person’s psychological health. This process takes place gradually, thereby losing one’s self-confidence and self-esteem. They may also feel that they deserve to be abused.

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Signs of Gaslighting:

1. They often says ‘Are you crazy?: Your significant other does not want to leave any chance to prove you stupid. They want to show how clever they are by questioning your understanding and intelligence all the time. It has made your life easier. What would happen to you if it was not?

2.  They are unpredictable: They become happy very quickly and pours so much love on you that you start thinking of yourself as the luckiest person in the world. When you are travelling in the dream world, it makes you see its second form. Degrade you, pull you up, make you squirm, and use very lewd words.

3. They questions every decision you make: When we make a big decision, then in a way we are thinking inside, whether I am wrong or not. In such a situation, the truly supportive partner ensures you through positive things that you are right. But a person who loves themselves will never want to do anything without their inputs.


Here are some effects of gaslighting:

1. Impact on social life: Gaslighting can affect a person’s social life. The offending person can distance you from friends and family. The person suffering from this, feeling unstable himself, can separate from everyone and go into isolation. It also causes fear of being away from loved ones.

2. It can cause mistrust: Some people may refrain from trusting other people or instil a sense of mistrust for such an event. But blaming oneself and not showing trust in others can also affect other relationships.

3. Effect on mental health: Gaslighting can have very bad effects on a person’s mental health. This process happens slowly, which causes the person’s self-confidence and self-respect to be snatched away. They may also feel that they deserve to be abused.

4. Mental anxiety: Gaslighting can lead to concerns such as mental health. Doubt can always arise in oneself. Mental stress is also likely to arise from the hurt and frustration of self-esteem.

5. Loss due to mingling with more people: After gaslighting, some people try to keep more happy people around them and they can also cause harm to them. Some people can do this again by taking advantage of you at such a time.

How to overcome the effects of gaslighting

If you are a victim of gaslighting then note everything that happened to you in a diary. Tell a confidant or counsellor about this. Always keep a photo so that you can present proof that you are right. Keep voice memos and record all the things about you and the abusive partner on it. Have a safety plan ready for you. Keep all the evidence in a secret place or you can even eliminate them by sending them to a person of your trust. Keep your phone locked. When gaslighting turns into physical violence, seek immediate help. For this, Domestic Abuse Organizations can be contacted. If mental health is affected by gaslighting, help should be sought from an experienced doctor.

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Jagisha Arora

MA in History and has worked as a freelance writer. She writes on issues of gender, caste and democracy.
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