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7 Gaslighting Effects That You May Not Know [2023]

Home » Human Behaviour » The effects of Gaslighting in 2023

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Do you ever feel like you’re living in a mental fog, unable to think straight? If so, you may be experiencing gaslighting – a form of psychological manipulation that has devastating effects on someone’s mental health.

Today, we’ll be exploring the basics of gaslighting, 7 negative effects of gaslighting in relationships, and tips on how to deal with it.

So, whether you’ve been gaslighted or know someone who has, read on for some much-needed advice!

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash indicating gaslighting.
Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

What is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a psychological abuse form where a person systematically creates a false reality and you feel trapped in the this maze. This manipulation often occurs in relationships and can lead to feelings of confusion, insecurity, and even paranoia.

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How does gaslighting work?

Gaslighting usually begins with small alterations to the truth, which are repeated over time until you start to doubt your memory and sense of reality.

Now, the abuser may start to accuse you of being volatile or emotionally unstable, even when there is no evidence to support these claims.

The goal of gaslighting is to make the target feel so overwhelmed and confused that you lose control over your life, emotions, and thoughts.

Gaslighting is often to keep you under control or submissive.

It can happen gradually over time and may start with small lies.

The perpetrator will use manipulative tactics to make you feel like they can’t trust their thoughts and feelings.

As a result, gaslighting can have serious consequences, including lower self-esteem and anxiety disorders.

Types of gaslighting

There are different types, but all of them share the same goal: to erode the victim’s trust and confidence in their sanity.

They do this by manipulating information, making it difficult for you to know what is true, and discrediting any attempts made by you to confront or speak out against your abuser. 

Some of the most common types of gaslighting include: 

Verbal gaslighting is when the abuser manipulates the words spoken to them. It can involve twisting the meanings of words or sentences or even making up new stories based on what was said. It can also involve accusing you of lying or being chaotic.

Emotional gaslighting is when the abuser gaslights by manipulating your emotions. They may try to make you feel ashamed, scared, or angry to control them. They may also try to make you feel responsible for everything that goes wrong in their relationship.

Psychological gaslighting is when the abuser makes you doubt your thoughts and feelings. It can involve denying anything bad has ever happened or telling them they’re imagining. The abuser may even try to convince you that you are reckless in some way.

Some signs show that you are a victim of gaslighting.

It can be very difficult to tell when it is happening. It happens subtly and without you being aware.

These are gaslighting red flags.

However, some key signs may indicate that someone is gaslighting you when you,

  • Self-doubt your thoughts and feelings.
  • Start to doubt your self-worth and the reality of the situation. 
  • Feel like you’re going wild and lose your sense of self. 
  • Feel like you can’t rely on your judgment or senses. 
  • Begin to question your partner’s motives on anything.
  • Feel like you’re constantly under attack.
  • Become very defensive of yourself.

7 Negative effects of gaslighting in relationships

Time needed: 5 minutes

If you’re ever in a relationship where gaslighting is happening, it’s important to know the seven negative effects of gaslighting. 

Gaslighting devastates the victim’s mental and emotional health and can even lead to a psychologically abusive relationship.

Here are the seven ways gaslighting can trouble you in relationships:

  1. You will start to doubt your experience.

    You may start to doubt their thoughts, feelings, and experiences – this is known as cognitive dissonance.

  2. Partner will act as an authority

    You may start to see the gaslighter as a towering figure of authority, which makes it difficult to form trusting relationships in the future.

  3. Your insecurity deepens

    The gaslighter may control your emotions, and manipulation of information can increase the your sense of insecurity.

  4. Fearful silence

    You may be reluctant to speak up or leave the relationship, fearing the worse.

  5. Psychological damage begins

    Gaslighting may eventually cause long-term psychological damage, leading to feelings of anxiety, low self-esteem, and paranoia.

  6. Trust issues and communication failure

    You may suffer from relationship dysfunction, such as difficulty in trust-building and maintaining healthy communication.

  7. You lose complete control on self

    Finally, gaslighting can lead to emotional abuse – meaning that the gaslighter is deliberately hurting or abusive towards you to gain control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the victims of gaslighting ever recover?

Yes, victims of gaslighting can experience negative effects, but they do recover. While it may take some time and effort to recover – they eventually will move on and start fresh. Remember, it is a healing process.

There are a few things that victims of gaslighting need to remember to overcome the trauma (PTSD) they’ve experienced.
First and foremost is that they’re not alone. Many others have gone through the same thing, and there’s support available if you need it.

Secondly, they need to remember that what happened was not their fault. They did nothing wrong, so there’s no reason for them to feel guilty or ashamed.

And finally, they need to believe in themselves – even when everything else around them tells them they belong in a different place.

How do I stop myself from being gaslighted?

If you’re starting to feel gaslighted, there are a few things you can help yourself with.

The first step is to start keeping track of the incidents (events, domestic violence). Write down what happened and when it happened. This way, you can begin to piece together what’s happening and identify any patterns. It will help you to understand why you’re reacting the way you are and give you some space to process things.

Another important thing you can do is talk about your experiences with somebody who will understand. Talking about gaslighting can be incredibly difficult, but it’s vital if you want to protect yourself from it in the future. Talking about how you’re feeling will also help others notice if something seems off or out of place, which could lead to them being able to stop the gaslighting before it gets too bad.

Can gaslighting make you sick?

Yes, gaslighting can have several negative long-term effects on your mental health, including increased anxiety and stress. It can also lead to depression, eating disorders, and even suicide. If you’re ever feeling the gaslight, or if it’s happening to you regularly, seek help from a friend or family member who can support your recovery process.

Gaslighting is one of the forms of psychological abuse leading to mental health issues, personality disorders, and low self-esteem. Meet mental health professionals if you see any signs of gaslighting.

What are some hotline numbers I can use for gaslighting support?

INDIA – Health Collective
US – National Domestic Violence Hotline
AUS – Relationships Australia
PHILIPPINES – Domestic Shelters
MALAYSIA – Women’s Aid Organisation


If you’re feeling victimized and confused, it may be because you’re experiencing gaslighting.

This mental manipulation tactic is used to control and manipulate people and can harm mental and physical health.

So, understanding what gaslighting is, how to identify it, and what you can do to protect yourself, you can start rebuilding your mental health foundation.

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