Woman covering face with hands, looking down

Gaslighting is a type of emotional abuse. Someone who is gaslighting will try to make a targeted person doubt their perception of reality. The gaslighter may convince the target that their memories are wrong or that they are overreacting to an event. The abuser may then present their own thoughts and feelings as “the real truth.”

The term originates with a 1938 play called “Gas Light.” In the play, a woman’s husband tries to convince her that she is mentally unstable. He makes small changes in her environment, such as dimming the gaslights in their house. He then convinces his wife she is simply imagining these changes. His ultimate goal is to have her committed to an asylum so he can steal her inheritance.

People experiencing gaslighting may benefit from finding a therapist.

What Is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is an abusive tactic aimed to make a person doubt their own thoughts and feelings. The abuse is often subtle at first. For example, if a person is telling a story, the abuser may challenge a small detail. The person may admit they were wrong on a detail, then move on. The next time, the abuser may use that past “victory” to discredit the person further, perhaps by questioning the person’s memory.

The person may argue back at first. They may intuit something is wrong in the relationship or marriage. But because each gaslighting incident is so minor, they can’t pinpoint any specific cause for their unease. Over time, the person may second-guess their own emotions and memories. They may rely on their abuser to tell them if their memory is correct of if their emotions are “reasonable.” The abuser uses this trust to gain control over their target.

Popular culture often depicts gaslighting as a man abusing his wife. Yet people of any gender can gaslight others or be gaslit themselves. Gaslighting can also occur in platonic contexts such as a workplace. Anyone can be a target.

Gaslighting Techniques to Watch Out For

Gaslighting can take many forms. Sometimes it can involve manipulating a person’s environment behind their back. Other times, the abuse is entirely verbal and emotional.

Common techniques include:

  • Withholding: Refusing to listen to any concerns or pretending not to understand them.
    • Example: “I don’t have time to listen to this nonsense. You’re not making any sense.”
  • Countering: Questioning the target’s memory. An abuser may deny the events occurred in the way the target (accurately) remembers. They may also invent details of the event that did not occur.
    • Example: “I heard you say it! You never remember our conversations right.”
  • Forgetting/Denial: Pretending to forget events that have happened to further discredit the victim’s memory. An abuser may deny making promises to avoid responsibility.
    • Example: “What are you talking about? I never promised you that.”
  • Blocking/Diversion: Changing the subject to divert the target’s attention from a topic. An abuser may twist a conversation into an argument about the person’s credibility.
    • Example: “Have you been talking to your sister again? She’s always putting stupid ideas in your head.”
  • Trivializing: Asserting that a person is overreacting to hurtful behavior. This technique can condition a person into believing their emotions are invalid or excessive.
    • Example: “You’re so sensitive! Everyone else thought my joke was funny.”

A gaslighter often uses the target’s “mistakes” and “overreactions” to cast themself as the victim. For example, an abuser may scream accusations at a person until the other party must raise their voice to be heard. The abuser may then cut the conversation short, claiming the other person is “out of control” and “too aggressive.”  In some cases, the abuser may accuse the other person of being the true gaslighter.

How to Fight Gaslighting

Often the first step to protect yourself from gaslighting is to recognize its presence. Once you know you are being manipulated, you can determine your own reality more easily.

Ideally, someone experiencing abuse would get help and possibly leave the relationship. Yet sometimes barriers prevent a person from leaving right away. The person may be financially dependent on their abuser, or there may be children involved.

If you are a target of gaslighting, here are some tips you can use to defend yourself:

  • Don’t take responsibility for the other person’s actions. The other person may claim you provoked the abuse. If you avoid the actions that offended them in the past, the gaslighter will likely come up with new excuses for their abuse.
  • Don’t sacrifice yourself to spare their feelings. Even if you dedicate your whole life to making them happy, you will never completely fill the other person’s desire for control. People who gaslight others are often trying to fill a void in themselves. But they will not fix their heart by breaking yours.
  • Remember your truth. Just because the other person sounds sure of themself doesn’t mean they are right. The gaslighter may never see your side of the story. Yet their opinion does not define reality. Nor does it define who you are as a person.
  • Do not argue on their terms. If the other person is fabricating facts, you are unlikely to have a productive discussion. You may spend all your energy debating what is real instead of making your point. The other person may use gaslighting techniques to declare they won an argument. But you do not have to accept conclusions based on a faulty premise.
  • Prioritize your safety. Gaslighting often makes targets doubt their own intuition. But if you feel you are in danger, you can always leave the situation. You do not need to prove a gaslighter’s threats of violence are sincere before calling the police. It is often safest to treat every threat as credible.
  • Remember you are not alone. You may find it helpful to talk about your experiences with others. Friends and family can offer emotional support and validation.

Therapy is a safe place where you can talk through your feelings and memories without judgment. A therapist can help you recognize healthy and unhealthy behaviors. They can also teach you how to resist psychological manipulation. In some cases, a therapist can help you develop a safety plan for leaving the relationship.

Why Do People Gaslight Others?

One of the most common reasons people gaslight is to gain power over others. This need for domination may stem from narcissism, antisocial personality, or other issues. Like most cases of abuse, gaslighting is about control.

As gaslighting progresses, the target often second-guesses their own memories and thoughts. Their self-doubt may put them on the defensive, preventing them from criticizing the abuser’s behavior. The target may rely on the abuser to verify their memories. This trust can give the abuser more opportunity to manipulate their target.

Over time, the abuser may convince the target that they cause the abuser’s aggression. The target’s efforts to apologize and repair the relationship often feed the abuser’s ego. Yet the target’s submission rarely offers lasting satisfaction. Someone with narcissistic personality may become “addicted” to gaslighting, needing more control to keep up their self-esteem.

Many gaslighters use the target’s shame and confusion to isolate them. The person may withdraw from loved ones for fear they will side with the abuser. The gaslighter’s goal is often to make the target completely dependent on them alone. If they reach this goal, the abuser may discard the target and seek a new person to “conquer.”

Effects of Gaslighting

Gaslighting can have catastrophic effects for a person’s psychological health. The process is often gradual, chipping away the person’s confidence and self-esteem. They may come to believe they deserve the abuse.

Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse that thrives on uncertainty. A person can grow to mistrust everything they hear, feel, and remember.Gaslighting can also affect a person’s social life. They abuser may manipulate them into cutting ties with friends and family. The person might also isolate themself, believing they are unstable or unlovable.

Even after the person escapes the abusive relationship, the effects of gaslighting can persist. The person may still doubt their perceptions and have trouble making decisions. They are also less likely to voice their emotions and feelings, knowing that they are likely to be invalidated.

Gaslighting may lead a person to develop mental health concerns. The constant self-doubt and confusion can contribute to anxiety. A person’s hopelessness and low self-esteem may lead to depression. Posttraumatic stress and codependency are also common developments.

Some survivors may struggle to trust others. They may be on constant guard for further manipulation. The person may blame themself for not catching the gaslighting earlier. Their refusal to show vulnerability might cause strain in future relationships.

Other survivors may become desperate for validation. They may try to keep other people around them with people-pleasing behaviors. Their submissiveness may put them at risk to be another abuser’s target.

Recovering from Gaslighting

Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse that thrives on uncertainty. A person can grow to mistrust everything they hear, feel, and remember. One of the most important things a survivor can get is validation.

A survivor may benefit from reforming any relationships they pulled back from during the abuse. Other people can verify one’s uncertain memories. Sympathy from others can reduce feelings of shame. As a person rebuilds their social circle, they can relearn how to trust others and themselves.

Those who have experienced gaslighting may also wish to seek therapy. A therapist is a neutral party who can help reinforce one’s sense of reality. In therapy, a person can rebuild their self-esteem and regain control of their lives. A therapist may also treat any mental health concerns caused by the abuse, such as PTSD. With time and support, a person can recover from gaslighting.


  1. De Canonville, C. L. (n.d.) The effects of gaslighting in narcissistic victim syndrome. Retrieved from
  2. Firth, S. (n.d.). What is gaslighting? The Week. Retrieved from
  3. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. Tracy, N. (n.d.). Gaslighting definition, techniques and being gaslighted. Healthy Place. Retrieved from
  5. What Is Gaslighting? (2014, May 29). Retrieved from
  6. 7 signs you are a victim of gaslighting. (2015, July 2). The Good Men Project. Retrieved from

Last Updated: 11-28-2023

  • Leave a Comment
  • mary

    August 13th, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    a great article

  • Teresa

    April 10th, 2017 at 3:46 PM

    Omg. I cried when I read this realizing what my 28 year old son has been putting me through for the past few years. I am feeling stronger just because I read this article. It is EXACTLY the abuse I have been dealing with for about 8 years. I have to take my 15 year old son and GET OUT OF HERE!! Thank you so much! God bless you!

  • Cassandra

    April 29th, 2017 at 8:27 AM

    This is wonderful! How much strength you are using to first recognise that something is very wrong, to search out what it is, and now to take action to save both yourself and your younger son! You have every right to ask for help from a woman’s shelter, as such serious emotional abuse is as debilitating as physical violence. My hopes and prayers go with you and your teenage son!

  • Katie

    August 18th, 2023 at 7:12 AM

    My kids are good kids but they take advantage of me. My mom is a gas lighter too. I don’t feel abused. It’s annoying though. I actually think she’s an idiot. I don’t know why I bother with her and she wants to be BF’s is the worst. If I make a minor error she screams her head off and acts like it’s no big deal and it’s my problem for example telling her it’s pink when it’s clearly antique rose. I won’t be wasting any more time with her as well

  • C

    April 29th, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    I have met and had friends of both genders who gaslight. I haven’t figured out exactly why women gaslight- maybe it’s a form of dominance for them? They get a weird kick out of it? I don’t know.
    As for men, I’ve noticed that men who gaslight others, SOMEWHERE they are missing a “spine” (backbone) or part of a “spine” and they use gaslighting as a way to have control over someone and have that “spine” back (in their unconscious mind). Especially if they have a disorder, that tactic would be amplified in their mind.

  • Kd

    November 13th, 2019 at 3:21 PM

    Thanks for the added comment of this being used due to lack of piece of His spine.

  • Keith

    June 5th, 2017 at 8:17 PM

    How do you prove the people that were involved took from you by making you feel unsure. Then convinced you to say it there or two times to record the incident when giving the answer they wanted. Also of your life making it seem like it was a lie.

  • WASiDIDi

    September 12th, 2017 at 9:20 PM

    hi, im a 52 young male,, 8 years ago my partner of 18years and mother to our now 16 & 14 year old girls, I have always wanted kids ,a 7 year girl friend before has said I did then and must be a brill dad, to young and not right but are facebook friends ,and said sorry for whatever, but it shows im not abusive or she would not be a friend, im a lad , loyal to protect those close with my life, just so you no iam good looking good frame and romantic fun caring loving, looks wise both loved watching ladies turn round walkin in town or going to the bar , I still am not sure but friends now older have said, im not big headed or better than anyone,loads of friends (but don’t see) bit shy
    never been confident since I was put in the remedial classes at school, dyslecia labelled as dunce, this is so you get what im like, im a jazz trumpeter (another idea I was gaslighted?) I can make fun and jokes about me and anything, so if I do don’t think I am not a victim or affected,
    me now 8 years on,
    I was sign unfit for work 3 years ago after a year on anti depressants, before that after split I went out on my own to a back street pub and never to locals where I new everyone and friends went because she said that I didn’t deserve her and I was a waist of space and a joke, so im talking since school in a village that had a baby boom, 3 double room caravans so 6 classrooms from infant , high and collage , close gang of village lads that got on with all and every one when out,
    I sight to see (one stag do in benardorm 53 blokes went and not a problem) but wow we could but allways fair 1on1 so we got better and better and I was top man (not a bully ,2 below was & strangers assumed them top ,cool with me,i was ,I didn’t want to be) a hippy music cool bloke, not towny gangster , I get ask to go events that I used to organise more but last 8 years a few , I have the home we all lived, but im a carer to my mum at 90, and live and sleep on a air bed in the garage , music around me,
    10 years together prekids ,
    moved Birmingham with girl before for fun she got of with bloke she is with and kids now, both was on the 50s sean &ex was with new bloke no problems , I met this one ,rockin chic gorgeous fun , all great, proper jiveing together ,not routine ,you have to no each others moves, go parties weekenders ,had fun and made friend any and everywhere, we looked great and both didn’t care if they lived on the street or mansion ,black white orange green? age ,sexuality, faith, looks ,interests, if you was nice that’s all that mattered, she did access and unni study womens study sociology year later I did music access then 1 year unni music but it changed so dyslecia stopped it, so she started unni same time I did access ,it was a struggle she was out all week in accomadasion I stopped in saved my dole for weekend when she came back skint ,it was unfair me home alone so we got out at weekend while she was out with friends spending (first time I have thought of that ) if I said anything, I would end up being wrong, I used to make the place nice and arrange things ,make fun sexual teasing things also as she came upstairs to the flat of our stairs, so she had a welcome and I missed her and sex that was still new and fun 7 years on,
    after a while she loved it and it was great, then a few times it got chucked back in my face, she said sex was all I was after and that ended that. when the summer came it was a struggle to live on my money and wanted her to help but didn’t so we had a row , she wasn’t living with me but was all the time , (she had a part time job at unni ,spent that aswell ) in the heat I said go and get a job don’t come back till you have,
    it was a row ,we needed money major priority , but I got the blame the money problems didn’t get mentioned it was all me , im not horrible and don’t like arguments , so I love her and if I hurt her I was sorry, I didn’t think the main issue had been lost, a bit after it ended , I moved back to my mums before unni .we was at different campuses at same unni and only on a Monday busses took all campuses to a big night club , she had started going with a lad (she used to say to me never cheat and she would never , I wouldn’t ,) so I trusted her with my life, but that mite be why she changed her view on how I did the flat? it used to break my heart on Monday , I would try speaking and saying I was sorry “it mite have been the row that ended it” but she was out with all her gang of friends , I was crying my eyes out on theway home one night (I mean crying like ive never seen ) we met a few times that year, then I failed 2 moduals on written work and another was just to make 8 so that was that, back to mothers and work , she was in her last year I moved out me mums and started going town with the lads, still missed her, but had money trended up and had ladies falling on me, I loved her and sex with a friend gets better and cannot enjoy it once so fun but not me, the xmass before I rang her was a players dream ,I love romance and flowers so before valentines day, I rang her to ask her out , I picked her up from her folks in brum and back to the village, talked had fun and very soon she moved over to a new city and together, a few female friends I introduced her to and had told about her and my love for her, got pally and works for her still after starting a few years later, I had got into clubbing and the lads at home still gangster players, so I had a front and still hadn’t let the wall down , (the big gang in the village from kids ,had small gangs like football fans, clubbers, hippy festival sort and family normal guys , they had got married, I moved in with a footy ,club lad so was up town with them after the big gang was at the local pub) im the hippy kind but all best friends so no problem, I was different and she didn’t like it but ended up with the hippy sort again, she didn’t like or trust the footy club sort rightly so, no arguement , so we had a few issues , I was a prat at times ,
    we got pregnant but before I new she had left and gone to stay at friend I said earlier,, still not sure what for but maybe pull me inline ,2 weeks later back together, 99 % nearly died giving birth to a 9,13lb girl ,scarred me big style. she had a good new job doing a new nightclubs books, that would get less hours quickly on salary so I stayed home to look after the baby, her friends would be round after work so I would go see the lads at the pub, but the hours got longer same money, they was putting it on her and I didn’t like the extra hours or her being used, a few issues but I got a few days that turned into full time and she quit, so I would get home the place would be full of her friends ,up to 12 at times so a bath them see the lads , as soon as her friends had gone she would be on the phone telling me to come home , anytime half hour or 3to4 hours later, I didn’t like it was as soon as they went I had to end and go home, this I can see now is wrong, 2 years later she had gone this time the same friends sisters and again it was me out all the time being the reason not I was more or less sent out on loads of times I didn’t want to go, yes again she had left when she told me she was pregnant, 2 weeks later back home me taking the blame, her friends came every day ,not just the early late afternoon evening all afternoon some in the lounge some the kitchen ,I didn’t like it I was at work she had her mates round having a laff , I got home couldn’t say hi to the kids or her,had a bath and down the pub , I didn’t want to go every evening , I said cant you ask them to come round half hour after I finish so I can ask her how thing was ,just chat ,say hello to the kids, then she could have a laff with friends and I could enjoy time with the lads (I used to say at the pub the house is full and ive been kicked out so it became a joke and more anouying that as soon as her fun stopped I had to go, she would moan that they cameall the time and we thought a few would clean there home up and come round ours to make a mess so it was clean when there partners came home, they left ours to be home when there partners got back,,, so I new they was using her so me as well, she had said similar , yet I was the one out all the time and didn’t care, I used to say but nothing changed, one sunday we was making a lovely dinner having a laff , we just put it on a plate sat down to enjoy it and the friend nocked the door saw we had started to eat walked in and sat down, so my ex got up took her dinner in the lounge and left me eating mine on my own, first it was so so rude to come in after seeing we had started dinner and not say I will be back in a bit, 2nd for her to leave me eating on my own , I was hurt and mad, but I was being silly ? a friend a few doors up found her husband on the settee with another women so I said to the ex get her to come up the local pub with us 2 our girls and this girls with her kid that used to all play in our garden cause I got my girls swings ,slides ,sand pits,everything so all the kids played round ours. nothing changed I thought if she is happy ,the kids are young so cant get out it will be ok till they get to school after summer the youngest starts. then I paid for baby sitters gave her lots of money brought her friends a drink at the pub before they went up town, I was working away a lot and the friend up the road would get a baby sitter for 2+1 kids and get my ex to go out up the local, this local is not the village we was a bit closer to town, but new some and made friends of the rest, I would be in the digs in bed at 9 after 12 hour day and a pint with dinner, no fun, she hadn’t been out for a few years and I trust her (I thought it was just for a few hours) it got more and more, she had been round one blokes with her mate and loads of lads, and still up town on Friday with her mates, Saturday I had made a family day , Friday I had to go out after the week stuck in digs, so always made it party night, on several occasions she messed up big time I got a few thousand made plans to have the garden landscaped only to find she hadn’t paid something ,so all the quotes and time and money gone, didn’t say anything just let me carry on, another time I needed to get a credit score so had a capitol credit card, money was no problem we on my money was loaded, when I was away and remmemberd to pay it or ask her to do it at the weekend when I was working, in the week call her to remind her and again to see if she had ,she said yes but 3or4 times lied and said she had( bear in mind it was for the 4 of us only for a credit score) another 2 rows that ended up me in the wrong for being mad with her? plus waisting £500 that later was £1000 on pyramid games the friend at the start made money but my exwas late and lost it. when I told her not to.
    the last job away finished I brought her a buntch of red roses we drank champon to celerbrate, one week the next took her clothes shopping and told her to get what she wanted and as always asked how things looked because she trusted me to say good things, one of the other weeks did something else special, just rememberd a few months before we had a big row and she was denying all the money problems she caused , the one mentioned above (even thou I found out after we split from the friend she borrowed £500 that it was£1000) so that the quotes and the credit card I took of her that she spent the other money on, all proof, but she denied it and I was in the wrong for being mad again,
    so a month after working away flowers, champain , full new wardrobe , I went to work one day, during that day I rang home to ask the last time I had a rise because I was asking for one at work, then when I walked in home , she was gone the kids bed had gone and a lot of stuff, the night before we had gone shopping and spent over£100 on food, she was sorting frew a documents bag when we got back ,I ask what she was after and said something , I had a dear john letter saying theres no one els , I was controlling her? I had treated her horrid and my friends thought this and that , I was out all the time, I didn’t care, a few days later I found out where they was, a rented house not far, later I found the receipt from a month before she went and borrowed money from the first friend she still and was before working for. the pirymid one,
    I still don’t no who helped her,
    it started out one reason, so I decorated every room built high beds in the moon for the girls, big built in wardrobes for us , carpets ,tiles , everywhere was great still nothing, , then I was horrible in the arguments above again me to blame,, kept saying I was controlling , I didn’t no a thing for a month that she was and had got a pace to go , so not very good at controlling, all the friends and me paying for her to go out and the sexy clothes she went out in, does that sound controlling,
    she said there is no one else and I trusted her and loved her without question and it was me in the wrong, I even apolagized to a bloke I thought she was seeing, this went on for a year, trying to get my family back , taking the blame then eventualy a friend told me she was with the bloke I said sorry to, the one her friend got her to go to when I was working away , I had sat drinking with, brought him drinks , been next to him when she phoned, introduced her to sat together if we went out, he was a real player his car was paint striped by someone misses he had messed with before , he used to work on his car out front when the mums took the kids school , has kids with loads of women and about 10 years older than me so 60 now, so that after the year of lies , trying to sort things out, being told myfriends thoughtthisand that totally floored me , she said it wasn’t when we was together, I don’t no who new who to trust , whats real , I went to the back street pub with one mate who stayed away from things with the old men , for a few years until it shut and 3or4 years later apart from going out to practice or play music havnt been out, and before last week was 2or3 months since I had been anywhere,
    a few months after finding out they moved to a town 15 miles away without a word, and split up last year after the first holiday together (always have said a holiday will tell if you love someone) I don’t no why , but she is struggling , im struggling completely, both skint, she still twists everything, I still get the blame for it all ,reason changes all the time for splitting up , nothing abaut her having an affair, most off the time im wondering what I did , takin the blame, totally forgetting about him, my girls are 14 &16 ,im to old for more and missed the one real thing I wanted from young , my own kids, family , friends and my brother used to say how good we was together even say jelouse, they was shocked because out of all we was the real thing and for life, nothing would have taken me away from them. I thought we was best mates solid, I don’t no how she could have had more freedom and fun with 2 babies and toddlers, the girl up the road said the last month how we made her laff when we was playing around and kissing in the kitchen , this is 18 years together not many are still like that after that long with toddlers,
    so 8 years later ,I still don’t no who did what or new any thing, what happened ,
    what the truth is, what I did to lose my children
    where my best friend is . I don’t think anyone realises how lost I am,
    she says she was scared of me now,
    totally lost confused haven’t got a clue , I first heard of gaslighting a few weeks ago ,
    I don’t think wewas perfect but I no we wasnot bad,
    is this gaslighting?

  • Kimberly K Grimes

    December 18th, 2019 at 6:50 AM

    Ok, I don’t know how old this post is but I can tell you this you two must respect eachother not just one sided it was always risky for you to love her but it’s good you did when it’s all said and done and you find a way to move forward she will regret but it will be too late must love yourself now it is time ..that way the girls can count on you to be a part of their lives … contact her if you can…..settle down demand respect from her get attorney if she does not respond to demand letter Do not expect ❤️ love she can’t give it you have been there done that…. open your heart to yourself and to others who are not within yours and hers circle your gracious soul will attract a beautiful person that can show you how it really feels to be loved it’s called “The Universal law of Attraction. Think about what you deserve …. do not deny yourself what you deserve think and feel confidence …your intuition is correct ,she just knows she can get away with this shit and you will do nothing get mad about it! It’s not ok!
    Let her know what’s she’s done is not acceptable even on a friend or enemy if you helped raise those girls then they detest each to have your love …you got this …Kimberly 😬😄⚖️

  • Diana L

    September 19th, 2019 at 6:40 AM

    Learn to identify gaslighters and sociopaths.
    Then eliminate them from your life.
    Take no exception! Do not look for closure. They are scum and should be washed away.
    Use the fact that you are a real human to rebuild and that is also why you were targeted by the scum.
    Your natural wonderfulness is what makes these people resent and target you.

  • Marion

    October 11th, 2019 at 11:38 AM

    Not scum , just troubled people who need help, but cannot see that. When children are raised in love and feel belonging, patterns can become positive, but its about breaking the cycle that perpetuates gas lighting

  • Tammy

    November 2nd, 2019 at 7:55 PM

    Omg I just discovered I have been in this 17 yrs with husband tag teaming with his children. READY TO MOVE ON AND HEAL AMEN!!!!!!

  • Ellen

    April 2nd, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    I would like to know if “gas lighting” is intentional or such an integrated part of this mental condition that is just how a narcissist behaves. Do they have malice of forethought?

  • Thomas D

    April 4th, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    Yes. People who Gas Light others are doing it intentionally. They do it in order to control the individual or disrupt the person’s mental state to the point where they are no longer regarded as being of sound mind.

  • Michelle B-C

    November 11th, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    Thank you.

  • Jade

    September 4th, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Ellen: That’s the $20,000 question that many gas lighting victims, including me, ask! It gets at the heart of the ethical implications of the situation. But either way, the results are the same — someone who fears they’re going mad and that nobody can or will help them.
    But I would think that if it’s somehow unintentional or subconscious, & the offender is plainly *told* that (s)he’s doing something that literally harms another’s health, (s)he would STOP. (S)he would APOLOGIZE. Not only that, but (s)he would SEEK WAYS TO MAKE UP FOR THE MISBEHAVIOR. Apology alone is meaningless. It MUST be backed up by actions of RESTORATION that HELP the victim. Sadly, in my experience, that doesn’t happen. Instead there’s denial, claims of innocence, justification, excuses, etc. If the gaslighter cannot or will not introspect & soul search, there’s virtually no hope for change. The only option for addressing the abuse is leaving.

  • Elle

    October 17th, 2016 at 11:48 PM

    Thank you for that needed validation, Jade. Exactly, the bottom line on it is that it is causing harm to someone whether the gaslighter consciously did the gaslighting or not. It may be a coping tactic the gaslighter learned growing up or some other circumstance that makes in unrecognizable as wrong to him/her, but that doesn’t make it any less wrong or harmful.

  • Adele

    October 30th, 2016 at 1:58 AM

    Thank you. I’m right in the eye if the storm. He’s left but all his things are here and I know I need to get to no contact ASAP. The final push was when he flatly denied the torrent of rage and anger I experienced when I dared to mention how he was making me feel. Apparently it didn’t happen. I make it up. I make out like he’s a psycho bully and he’s not putting up with it. If you’re an honest person able with introspective it jars so badly you start to doubt your own sanity. Like Ellen I wanted to know if he’s conscious of doing this or believes his own lies. But that’s me hoping if the latter I can fix him which I now see I can not. Wish me luck x

  • Nina

    November 5th, 2016 at 5:54 PM

    Dear Adele,
    I wish you lots of luck and love. I just came out of a narcissistic relationship myself; and I know it is incredibly difficult to realize that (in my case) 6 years of commitment was based on lies. Not just a waste of time, but it has worn me out and I am doing my best now to revalue everything that makes me me, because my personality was half the size it used to be, after the relationship. Please take good care of yourself.

  • Cat

    November 26th, 2016 at 7:42 AM

    I believe Gas lighting is a form of passive-aggression. There’s a good book called something like “living with the passive-aggressive man”. It helps to know I am not creating these crazy scenarios, but I do feel imprisoned by them. If I identify a behavior in him, *I* become the problem. I thought we were in a good place and spoke honestly about something, not out of anger, and the next day he exploded when I ate something he’d wanted and I was supposed to “know” that but I am a “B” and don’t love or respect him and that was the final straw and that and said he was leaving the family.

  • Ian F

    January 27th, 2018 at 12:18 PM

    Yes, but I think there are two types of gaslighters. In 2005 I went onto a committee of an association I had been involved in since 1962, to find out what was going on. I had thought they were all friends and colleagues, but on the committee they were all gaslighting. I’ve only just come across the term, but it is exactly what I was experiencing, and I turned this into a major research project. I had noticed some of the symptoms back in the 1970s, but just attributed them to these people having been to British ‘public schools’ [private residential schools]. I asked someone in the London Esperanto Club why the president looked so stressed. He became more and more enigmatic as the years passed, though I still had faith in him, and in the end even suggested that he become President of the national association. But the tom-foolery continued, and so did the membership collapse. On the committee I could see most of them were behaving as you’ve described. But some were stressed and others weren’t. Eventually I found that what they had been telling the members about losing capital contrasted starkly with my calculations on the basis of their annual accounts. They turned on me at the AGM to discredit me and cover up my findings. It was just as you’ve described. The treasurer took four years to admit that my figures were correct, but continued to gaslight. Some of them seemed quite comfortable in what they were doing, whilst others seemed to be going against their own nature. I have since looked at various organisations, mainly from the outside, and see similar symptoms. I think where there are evident signs of stress, that is a sign that perhaps they are not going according to their own nature, but are working to some goal. I noticed also that they were all yes-people; they would agree to everything from above, but be bossy to those below. I then realised that something similar had happened once in every generation since Esperanto first appeared in 1887. It seems to be how Tony Blair ran his Cabinet, too, if you read Clare Short’s book ‘An Honorable Deception. Anyone who suspects what’s going on gets called paranoid, of course. Al Jazeera broadcast four episodes of an undercover researcher in the Labour Party, called ‘The Lobby’. It’s very telling. Near the beginning of the third episode it appears there is a high-ranking ringleader, who tells them how to behave towards their targets. You’ll find it on the web. He’s actually telling his troops to behave as you’ve just described!

  • Nikki

    February 20th, 2018 at 4:51 AM

    I needed to read this.
    I have a friend who has been gaslighting me for over 5 years. Long story short, I didn’t know about any of this stuff until I dated a sociopath who told me that my mother had borderline personality disorder after she intentionally wrecked a car to keep her control over me. When I began reading about it, it didn’t quite fit the bill, but it lead me to reading about narcissistic personality disorder. My ex, as it turns out, was a narcissist as well, and I guess he didn’t think I’d figure it out, figure him out. Then, I looked back at the actions of my so-called friend, because once you see a narcissist you can’t unsee them. She has been attacking me on an emotional level for 5 years. Replacing me with other people to show me I am not needed, that’s her main one. When called out on it, before I realized she was gaslighting me, she would claim innocence, and then I felt like I was reading too much into things because of my own issues. My brother used to date her, and I remember him showing me texts she had sent him, and to anyone else he would have sounded crazy, but I understood what he meant when he said “She’s asking me a question to try and make me remember a situation where we slept together,” and I knew what he was saying even though, at that time, it didn’t have a name. But before that, when she was doing it to me, he didn’t see it. Made me feel very alone. So I’m going to talk to him today, and explain the name for what she’s doing, and I’m going to point out all the instances she’s done it to me, and the time she was doing it to him, and ask him, when she comes to you acting like this is all in my head, I need you to tell her that it’s not, that she is really doing these things. Because I don’t think she’s a bad person, I think she learned bad habits from her very narcissistic mom. The problem is this girl isn’t very smart, so I don’t know if she’s smart enough to police her own actions if indeed she’s not doing this on purpose. But if it continues, our friendship is indeed over.

  • Bub

    November 5th, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Evil resides behind doors. That happy couple you may see that you think are great neighbors, well, it goes on and no authorities want to get involved so that’s why a woman, usually, will never recover and look back in history on how we’ve all looked the other way.

  • Not Your ***** Anymore

    February 2nd, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    That’s a great mystery that I may never solve. My ex did all kinds of horrible psychologically manipulative **** to me, it’s hard to believe that anyone could be that amazingly abusive and have it not be calculated. My therapist wants me to believe that he’s just a “mental *****” and an “emotional *****.” Those are her actual words. She says that he’s so terrified of conflict that he needs to control everyone around him with his brooding anger, but has no idea what he’s doing. It’s hard to believe that he’s actually that dumb and was so unimaginably cruel just because he was afraid. But often, people who gaslight can be quite charming, that’s how they get close to you in the first place. Somehow my ex charms people with his inability to spell, his social awkwardness, and his self-loathing. It’s very odd. In the long run, it doesn’t matter if they’re a psychopath or just selfish emotionally stunted and incapable of feeling empathy or remorse for ruining other people’s lives, all that matters is that you don’t listen to their lies anymore. Let me save you years of therapy and thousands of dollars – you are not crazy. They are. Get them out of your life and out of your head and if you have to interact with them, know that they will never change. Trust your gut. They are sick, uninfect yourself. Still questioning why someone did what he did to me is a sign that I’m still infected with his disease, but it’s not forever. It still holds true that whatever doesn’t kill is still makes us stronger. Most importantly, don’t be ashamed. You were abused. You can tell everyone that “they didn’t mean to hurt me” and still let people know that you’re really hurting.

  • Binkybobo

    January 11th, 2019 at 1:38 AM

    Very sage advice, but I don’t think we can blame even therapists for not categorising gaslighting behaviour. The whole purpose of such regular and systematic behaviour is to have ultimate control because you feel weak, I know the father of my kids is weak and mentally ill. Therefor, it is difficult to see intentional gaslighting often, sometimes it seems very learnt from childhood abusive relationships. This learned response can mean either replicating or being victim to the behaviour and it is often hard to see intention and sources.

  • Lisa C.

    April 19th, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    I used to ask myself the same question, but after living 18 years with a psychopath i can honestly say, they know. Every little comment they make, every false story they tell, it is all done with intent. They know exactly what they are doing.

  • Carol C

    November 7th, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    I agree, they know what they are doing and they have no guilt over it.

  • Tammy

    November 2nd, 2019 at 8:01 PM


  • Thomas D

    April 4th, 2015 at 4:29 PM

    Watch this movie…

  • Jade

    October 18th, 2016 at 8:58 PM


  • Rita

    March 25th, 2017 at 12:27 AM

    I have seen this movie. I loved it. I’m in a committed relationship now and feel I am being gaslighted. Got to make some serious changes. Thank you!

  • Bub

    June 30th, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    If you think someone is screwinhg with they are


    April 9th, 2015 at 3:39 AM

    Errie to read this when you have been a target.

  • Nicole

    April 14th, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    I broke free from my sons father a huge overt narcissist who was using all of these techniques. As soon as I got away from him, another narcissist found me when I was at my weakest and now I’ve been caught up in his secrets, lies and manipulations, false realities, false truths(even worse than before). The second time around has been worse, back to back abusers have taken a toll on me, but I am taking my power back. The second “Narc” is a covert, sneaky one and full of secrets and lies…much worse than the grandiose, overt one I encountered prior (my son’s father). These people will ruin your life and take your soul. Only option is to run very far away. I am so glad I have started to educate myself. Articles like these help lots.

  • Sandy

    June 22nd, 2017 at 3:56 AM

    Oh god I’m in the process of getting away from a covert narccist ! Sneaky lies and gaslighting which I knew nothing about until I started looking for info as my gut instinct from the beginning was there’s just something not right with this guy ..all his previous partners were nut jobs and alcoholics ? He himself doesn’t drink and hates anyone who does. He plays the victim always and has no close friends (though plenty of female one’s come and dissappear off his Facebook page) have i been involved with a narcissist ? I’ve knownever Hom 2 years on and off but never met anyone who he knows, I can’t prove it but I’m almost certain he messages other women ..I try to call him out and have a normal conversation but he just turns eveything around onto me ..he’s in the process off discarding me again so I’m bowing out for good this time though it’s hard ..this is a man of 65 and 10 years older than me but soo manipulative. .

  • Ronald

    June 22nd, 2017 at 6:49 PM

    Same story here. My wife’s 6 years older.

  • Shary

    May 6th, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    Good article. When a person recognizes gaslighting, it becomes the harmless load of horse manure that it really is. This makes the task of getting rid of the gaslighter a lot easier. Such people are not and never will be candidates for a healthy relationship.

  • Ron

    May 19th, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    I have been gas lit. I woke up one day to realize that everything I believed in was false. I didn’t know the answers to anything. I didn’t even know what questions to ask. I was lost. I walked around for a month in my grief trying to understand anything or everything. I had wasted my last 9 years of my life working and building something in a relationship that just didn’t exist. Wow am I crazy??? I had a thought about three weeks ago that confirms everything that I have read about gaslighting. It was what a man I was when I first traveled this road to her place. I wish I was that man again. I feel very uneasy when I go there now because that is where the abuse took place. I was gaslit by my wife, her three children, her sister, brother and father. I have only found this term of gaslighting 2 days ago but everything that I read answers questions that I felt but couldn’t ask

  • Ron

    June 23rd, 2015 at 8:59 AM

    It’s been a little over a month now since I wrote the article and realized what gas lighting is. I feel anger at myself for letting this happen. The knowledge of being gas light has helped tremendously. I found that it doesn’t do any good to try to communicate with the person that was gas lighting you – about gas lighting. They’ll try to gas light you about being gas light! Denial seems to be her defense. I also watch other defenses of being the perpetrator to depressed and down trodden to the victim. What a mess this is. Gas lighting isn’t working for her on me any longer

  • Jade

    October 18th, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    Yes, feeling anger with yourself for allowing it to happen is normal, especially if the abuse happened over years & even decades (26 year marriage for me). There is also the grief over all that “wasted time” especially if one spent decades married to a gaslighter & finds they’re too old to be able to start over with a new spouse and have children.

  • SC

    May 10th, 2017 at 8:16 PM

    How do you gain control once you realize this is what’s happening to you. What techniques help to extinguish the gas lighting? Is it possible to stay with the person if you destroy the behavior?

  • Jade

    May 18th, 2017 at 8:06 AM

    Sadly, you don’t “gain control” over this sort of person. It’s not possible. All you can control is your own behavior and, to a lesser degree, your own thoughts and (even less) your own feelings. That’s because this person’s whole *goal* is control! Especially over you. And “controlling your own behavior” should not be viewed as, “I will strive to change my behavior so (s)he stops and finally respects and properly loves me.” That way lies madness! That’s where I got tripped up. I knew that the only person I can change is myself. Even Jesus specifically addressed that when he said we should remove the splinter from our own eye before removing the log in another’s eye. Trouble is, if you keep trying to remove your own splinter in hopes that will make the other remove his, you’re still trying to change the other person. You’ve only changed your method, not your goal. I *highly* recommend the book _Why Does He Do That?_ by L. Bancroft to help you with all of this. It was my manual for recognizing, dealing with, and eventually leaving my gaslighter.

  • Gary

    June 22nd, 2015 at 9:50 PM

    Well, well…..

    My wife lies to me, every day, and with almost everything she says. She has no idea of the damage this causes, or if she knows, doesn’t care.

    A couple of months ago, she shoved our dog away from leaping on our daughter, but when I said it was up to our daughter to look after herself, my wife told me flat out that she had NOT touched the dog. Nothing major – just an example of my total unreliability on reality.

    Because she is my wife, I believe what she says, and I seriously have been slowly going crazy. My reality is tempered by her lying, and she cannot stop. I try to reconcile her statements with what I see, and the two are incompatible.

    Issue is – I love her when she is not lying. It is periodic, and I suppose when she is feeling good about herself it stops. I do not want to lose her – naturally the courts will believe her bullshit and I then lose my kids as well.

    What do I do?

  • Mitchell

    October 14th, 2016 at 1:32 AM

    Get out asap! Your children will learn this behavior and do the same things to you. They learn not to trust dad. Hes not safe, irresponsible, has bad jusgement etc. My kids were 14 and 9 when i got out. The younger one was not damaged as bad as the older. The older one is now 25. She wont even talk to me. Forget what you want the relationship to be. It never will. I lost 20 years. I will mever be the same from the mind games.

  • Valerie

    March 15th, 2017 at 3:45 PM

    Why do you care more about your dog than your daughter? How old is this daughter that you are expecting to protect herself from your dog? I think you have weird priorities mate. It doesn’t excuse your wife for gaslighting, but what the hell?

  • C

    April 29th, 2017 at 12:03 PM

    At first reading his comment, I was surprised by the same thing. But if you re-read it, it’s more like the dog was “jumping up” on their daughter. Like dogs do. If you’ve had or lived with dogs, you’ve experienced it. They are overly excited and haven’t unlearned bad manners (no dog schooling yet).
    If you own a dog, yes, it’s normal to stop a dog who is jumping up on a guest- as the guest isn’t used to it. For any family member that LIVES with the dog, it is their responsibility to push the dog down with a firm, “No!” when they don’t want the dog in their lap. Children are expected to do this as well, because it teaches the dog to listen to the children AND the children have the right to either allow the dog in their lap/in their face when they want it or to tell them no when they don’t. To take that responsibility away from a child is actually detrimental to the child’s learning/power dynamic and their relationship with the dog/all dogs. The exception to this is if the child is an infant.
    What should concern you is his wife’s behavior. She does have some disorder and needs mental health professionals to work with her. Because she is more dangerous to their children than anyone/anything else at the moment.

  • James N

    September 29th, 2017 at 9:24 PM

    Jesus what an insane reply Valerie. Never mind the gradual emotional trauma and long term psychological damage caused to this man AND his children, eh? Let’s focus on dog training techniques. WTAF, “mate”.
    On a more positive note, thank god I found this article.

  • Not Your ***** Anymore

    February 2nd, 2018 at 4:49 PM

    I’ve taught both my kids to tell the dog not to jump on them. They’re doing just fine. I am, however, deeply troubled that I’ve experienced both of them lying to me for their dad’s benefit. Because their dad told them not to tell me he truth “because it would hurt mom’s feelings.” My kid can get the dog off her lap just fine, but it’s a much bigger job to undue the damage that was done to my poor kids when he taught them they were responsible for their parent’s feelings.

  • Ron

    June 23rd, 2015 at 11:22 AM


  • James

    June 25th, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    Thank you so much for this article. I just discovered this term today. I ended a relationship with an emotional terrorist just three days ago. I am thinking so much clearer already. The pretending not to understand tactic was the one he used the most on me. Basically playing dumb and making me explain every detail of every decision I made. Then questioning me further. I was so tired of explaining the same things over and over. It made me feel like I was being mean because I would tell my friends what a dumb ass he was because he couldn’t keep up with my logic and reasoning. But now I see how that person was using gaslighting as a tactic to tire me out mentally and emotionally to the point that I would submit. I had told my mom two years ago I thought I was in emotionally abusive relationship and ended it then. But I went back for more. Then ended it again in February. So I went back twice to the gaslighter. Never again. Onward and upward!

  • Jade

    October 18th, 2016 at 9:04 PM

    “Emotional terrorist” is a creative way to put it. Haven’t heard that one before.

  • Tonya

    July 9th, 2019 at 11:59 PM

    Response to Jades post in May. Thank you for posting something that includes physical abuse as well, and how long you were married feeling like it’s to late to start over.

  • Jennifer

    June 29th, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    Wow!! A friend recently told me about gaslighting. I looked it up on the internet. How scary! This happened to me years ago, and has happened to me for the last five years. I dated this guy who, when I looked at his dating history, dates newly separated women. Little did I know, but he was carrying on relationships with a few women at the same time he was engaged to me. The most horrifying thing was that these women all knew he was with me. I suppose they were all being galighted, as well. He would deny doing things or saying things that I actually witnesses. I would have temper tantrums, practically stomping my feet, saying the things DID occur. He would just sit there calmy, smiling, saying they didn’t. It took me a long time to get over him. I continued to date narcissists, even one who could not say “I love you”. Instead, he said that when he kissed me on the forehead, that meant that he was saying “I love you”. Hilarious, looking back. I just recently ended a five year relationship with yet another one. He just played dumb all the time. In the end, he would just say things that he knew were pushing my buttons. He would sit there with a smile on his face, knowing what he was doing. He seemed to say, with his smile, “Mission accomplished”. It’s frightening what people are capable of doing. Good luck, everybody. I have a long road of recovery… again.

  • Rita

    July 10th, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Jennifer, I dated a man and fell deeply in love with him and was with him for 3 years. After he just discarded me like a piece of trash over nothing I went into seclusion. Then after 8 years of being celibate I didn’t know he was a Narcissist at first and never knew the definition of one until my Girlfriend told me he was one for he hid it so well but in the end his “mask” came off and he looked like the devil and scared me so bad and like he wanted to kill me. He was someone I did not know. He made me feel like everything was my fault for our argumnts an he would always say that I was “over reacting!” This a what they do-make you feel inadequate and you are to blame. They break you down to nothing and try to make you look like you are crazy and they are sane.
    Two days prior he had said he loved me and then he just kicked me to the curb over nothing after 2 days of saying how much he loved me. I knew he had someone else for he started keeping his cell phone on vibrate so I would not know who was texting or calling. Anyway it has been 2 years of no contact with him. I saw him with another woman in town. He has moved on and I am still struggling with the hurt and rejection. These Narcissist/Sociopaths have no empathy and actually Narcissism is a psychiatric illness which cannot be cured. They are very empty inside and very scared and lonely , suffer with severe anxiety and paranoia and go from one relationship to another. when the one they are with is catching on to who they really are they dump them. “We” the ones they supposedly loved are like pet hamsters to them and they can just throw us away and get another one. They do not have the capacity to love truly and deeply like normal people do. It is very very sad and we must forgive them and say a prayer for them and move on.
    I swear I have tried to move on but been in isolation more or less for 2 years. I have not dated anyone. He totally destroyed my self esteem and me and I think I am headed for counseling but just to let you know you are beautiful even though I have not seen you and you are special and have a place in this world and you deserve to be happy and to be loved. I know this is true. I just still myself am struggling with what he did to me-make me fall in love with a fake so working on healing. So hang in there and know it will get better. Speak with a counselor or psychologist if you have to for I am headed in that direction for my panic attacks, social anxiety and agoraphobia has become unbearable. Good luck and fight!! Fight for your dignity and be free!!! xoxo

  • Teresa

    June 30th, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    I was in a 22 year relationship with a np.The things he had done and was continuing to do to me were unfathomable. I lived with a man I never really knew. The truth was devastating. I’m still in a state of total disbelief. I have children with him so I can’t do the no contact rule.He is pure evil. People don’t believe you because it just seems impossible than anyone could be living the life they do.

  • jkm

    July 1st, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    well the thorn and resistance grows bigger doesn’t it? That’s what they don’t understand… It’s sick what some people do to others…. In the USA people are shallow it seems and treat other people as used furniture to use and when they are done throw away unless the person recognizes it and dumps them. People will drive you into debt and work evil and attempt to plunder you and profit and hurt you in every way and follow you where you go for no other reason or befriend you for no other reason…And there’s a lot of Gas lighters who can only think what’s in it for me? If there wasn’t anything to gain they’d bypass you and go to someone else to do it to. If you seem like someone who will put up with everything it makes you a target of abusive men.. If you resist and stand up for yourself and values and refuse to tolerate abuse it makes you less attractable to abuser men and sociopaths.. Have you read Dr. O’Hare sociopath next door… A lot of the abuser type charismatic abuser types are indeed dangerous sociopaths… If he’s abusive to you then apparently he is a danger to not only you but your kids too and shouldn’t be near them or you…

  • jkm

    July 1st, 2015 at 10:06 PM

    It’s love, care, consideration, manners, respect, dignity, ethics, good actions, deep meaningful relations not shallow users, good behavior and treatment not provocation not coerceration, not gas lighting not abusive treatment that shrinks the thorn people wear to protect themselves from being trampled and abused… Its people who are hurt that generate thorns to protect themselves and who hurt others even sometimes…. I cant believe how shallow and back stabbing two-faced liars, and users of people and gas lighters and ever abuse there is is practiced by people in the general population, spouses, even the so called professionals in the USA practice such actions to others…. Well I can make my own medicine and don’t need the lousy so called professional doctors for anything… The truth of the matter is people are better off without the trashy users, shallow abusers, gas lighters and every negative behaved abuser person there is , leave them for other abusers and people just like themselves…

  • Ron

    July 2nd, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Question: do we try to fix our relationships or do we move on to create another? It seems so hard to end this relationship! Why? I know it’s not healthy for me. She can’t be honest with me. Just found that she’s carrying 2 personal phones and has been for months. She’s living a double life?? What happened to honesty? How can I have trust?

  • Ron

    August 29th, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    Update to the gas lighting:
    I am still in the relationship. I have gained confidence back in myself and my beliefs. I have figured out that I don’t have trust issues because I willfully admit I have no trust. The only thing I trust is what comes from the little voice inside. It is my lie detector and my drama separator. I feel that I now look at things and situations from a position outside of what is going on. My beliefs and involvement come from a decision I make and not from a situation I was coursed into by duress of the outcome. Life isn’t great but I feel like I’m studying and learning from the situation as time goes on. She still lies, attempts to deceive, and manipulate. I don’t think she knows that these flaws are being intentionally disregarded and ignored. I have been working on fixing me now for about eleven months

  • Christina

    December 12th, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    Ron,I am in a similiar situation. I am just now learning about narcissist behavior and gaslighting. All the techniques used, I can relate to. I am understanding my wife more. My heart wants me to work through it. My head tells me I deserve better. Thank you for your share.

  • Melodie

    March 31st, 2018 at 12:30 PM

    Sorry I just read your comment and I know it’s well over 2 yrs old,but what you typed was what I really needed to read! You don’t nesesseraly have to leave the relationship,because lets be real here,it’s really hard to move on after,for example,being with that person for 25 yrs and you find yourself turning 50 and with those 25 yrs with all the abuse you have endured,the thought of moving out and moving on isn’t going to be easy.But when you can really finally see the person you are with as what they really are, we can rewire our brains in order to continue living with them but will no longer let them take us down the road of insanity and stay true to what we know is right and continue doing the things that are important to us no matter what their negative reaction will always be because their minds are warped and ours aren’t.

  • caro

    August 28th, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    I had never heard of the term before. Even though i am reading this in an emotional state, just knowing there is a term for it makes me feel less crazy.

    The man I have been dating for 4 years has lied so often it feels like it was my fault for letting it happen. Yes i love his personality when we are on good terms. But after the first lies, every time i suspected something and called him out, he would make me feel crazy for even thinking it. He would tell me i was reading into little things too much and basically made me doubt all my instincts and feelings. Ive always been emotional but with him i would overreact, have outbursts, yell and break down constantly and felt like i was going insane.

    Reading this article i realize gaslighting has left me with no sense of self and a distorted view or our reality. Im hoping to cut ties for good. I will no longer try to fix him and our relationship. Hopefully i can regain some confidence and self-worth.

  • Maria

    October 20th, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    I was in an abusive relationship for years with gaslighting. There was physical abuse as well but the emotional manipulation attached to it was devastating. At times I actually felt like it was my fault. He would leave bruises on me and ask me “how did that happen?” He would constantly play the victim, and ask me how could I force him to treat me that way. So evil. I’m just grateful I survived.

  • Jess

    June 28th, 2016 at 12:48 AM

    Wow just discovered gas lighti g tonight. I married a man had a child with him and took all the abuse for two years. Thank God I followed my gut looked at his phone and found the truth he lied and was so hateful and hurtful all I ever did was love him I gave him my all. Now I’m crazy I need help. How could someone that says they love you destroy you so easily as if they were doing you a favor. Yes he hit me and tell me he didn’t remember doing it . He choked me a few times still doesn’t own up to it but I couldn’t talk for a week and touch my neck oh no it really hurt. The physical pain did heal the emotional I hope it does. How can people be so down right evil and hateful I just don’t understand.

  • Darcy

    December 4th, 2015 at 2:58 AM

    Oh wow! wow. I am only wondering why haven’t I heard of this term before. My first love, or so to say, did that. but I had no idea. not until now. that there was a term for it. And he left. Leaving me behind, thinking that it was all my fault. He has control issues, his way or the highway. And it kinda seemed harmless at first, but Im not sure if I am feeding it by going with it. But 2 years after leaving, 2 years that took everything in me to move on, he comes back. Stronger than what I was for sure, but I am not sure what to do. He is on to those techniques again, and I have moved on. But I don’t know what to do.

  • Sandy

    June 22nd, 2017 at 5:38 AM

    Run for the hills darcy and don’t look back hun !!

  • Diane L

    December 13th, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    I have to know how to not react to the husband and son that do this to me. I didn’t know that they were I just know I have been going so deep inside myself that I do not even feel anymore. I am numb and my eyes do not shine. What’s the anecdote against loved ones that GASLIGHT

  • Jess

    June 28th, 2016 at 12:58 AM

    How does one not react to a gaslighter it’s hard when you have a child together

  • Ronald

    June 22nd, 2017 at 6:45 PM

    The antidote is gray rock. Emotionally you have to become gray rock emotionally. Look it up. It works.

  • Beverly

    January 9th, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    I am a current victim of Gaslighting
    And now that we are getting divorced he continues even though he’s the one to move on
    He still controls time, by manipulating and having me arrange conference call this morning and he won’t take the calls
    So fed up !!

  • Ron

    February 27th, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    I’ve gotten my wife in a twelve step program. It’s been very interesting! Honesty was non existant. Open mindedness her version. Willingness when it suited her. I sat back patiently waiting and watching. She was involved for about 13 months when a new comer approached her for help and she realized that she really didn’t have anything to give. That was the beginning of her working the program. Up to this point she walked around with her self richeous omniputant attitude. Feb 16 I separated from her and moved out. The rest is yet to come. I don’t know what the outcome will be. She’s sounding different now but that may be another con.

  • Shauna W

    July 5th, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    I am lost. I was involved for 2 years. The unthinkable occured , now 6 months out. I am so confused. I was so intertwined in all of it that I feel I have no reality. Nothing that I feel seems legit. It’s scary and is affecting me daily. No self esteem no confidence. But worse I just feel like a my brain is mush. A once bright, highly intelligent , kind, loving, creative , funny mother is now feeling so awful about myself I have become reclusive. I feel unworthy and afraid. I have such self doubt I can’t even fathom “selling myself” at a job interview, or being the on top of things type of mom I should be. Questioning every move I make is exhausting and I’m losing hope that I will ever be myself again.

  • Jessie F

    July 6th, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    I am in your same exact position. You must overcome this as I am trying. Do not let this person have control of you anymore you made it through a very tough situation, now for your kids and yourself you must be strong your better than that by being a recluse your still giving him or them power to control your life. Snap out of it you can do it.

  • Jessie F

    July 6th, 2016 at 9:37 AM

    I have been made homeless with a child no income, no self worth and he still demands more from me on a daily basis he belittles me. If we didn’t have a baby together I could disappear from him for good but that’s not fair to my child or his family to take the baby away. I just pray it’s ends soon.

  • Lynette

    September 28th, 2016 at 9:10 PM

    I am in exact same boat. Just come out of a relationship with a narcissist and I feel like lost all control of my life. He is constantly on my mind going over every last detail trying to fathom why he did and said every little thing. He has just discarded me like I was nothing not a care in the world just moved on like I never existed. We were just engaged and had matching tattoos. . He 4efus3d point blank to take any blame just said everything was mile fault. Projected everything into me and twisted everything I feel emotionally broken and have no clue how to get him out of my head. On our last split it took 4 years of upset to finally get him out of my system slowly then he appeared back and I believed he had changed. I have withdrawn from everyone and just go off in my caravan alone. I find no joy in anything it just occupies my mind 24/7

  • toi

    April 2nd, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    This site is such an eye opener. I have been with a gaslight for 5 years now. We have known each other for 25 years as friends. He was there for me thru my first gas light relationship with my kids father of 15 years. I began to confide in him as a friend 3 years after after my breakup only to be told he had been attracted to me during our friendship of 25 years which I believe was a con now that I am familiar with gas lighting. We seemed to be so in love the first 2 years. I often thanked him for being the special man he was to me. Then gradually things began to take place such as him putting me down after I expressed to him my insecurity of my weight gain from a preexisting hormonal condition I developed along with depression from my prior relationship. He started out making passive jokes that he claimed not to see the insult in them. Following that was jabs at me being emotionally unstable and insecure from things that had nothing to do with him to the point he began to criticize me for not being woman enough when I know in my heart I have ALWAYS been good to the men I have been with until I began to be not good enough for him. He even started to tell me that other women looked better than me and that I needed to be a better woman because after dealing with so many he was able to recognize that I was not of much value.he wold then come back later and say I took his words the wrong way and called me petty.we started arguing all the time to the point I developed so much hate in my heart for him for making me feel so low and insecure.yet I still loved him and wanted to work it out somehow. How is that even possible to want? 3 days ago we had our last argument that was so HUGE to the point that I told him he should die instead of his mother almost coming close to dying in an accident that she had. He then called me a fat as b**** after accusing me of saying his mother should hve died when nothing like that was ever stated at all. I happen to love his mother dearly. I feel as though he used that argument to say what he has been feeling for years. Im not an extremely overweight lady.i am just a lot bigger than what i used to be and it has caused me to be insecure for so long behind it. I told him there was no coming back from what he said and i would nvr speak to him again but i love him so much which I know is sick and twisted. Even though I love him I don’t want to continue being told I am causing him to mistreat me because I know I can do better.i just need advice on how to overcome the damage I have developed from being gaslight for so long in two relationships back to back. I hve started to believe a lot of things they told me when I know it’s not right to believe that I’m less of a woman,petty,emotionally unstable,a nagger,evil, dumb,stupid, and slow. Please help if anyone understands what I am going through.i hve always been so happy, strong, and in control but now it seems I have really lost myself. I don’t know what to do or how to feel. Today was the first time I learned at gaslight in and I am so grateful I found this blog.

  • Jess

    June 28th, 2016 at 12:54 AM

    I’m exactly as you are I do need help from him. I am crazy because he wants it that way he worked hard to make me this way

  • Shauna W

    July 5th, 2016 at 11:48 PM

    I got out but I am lost without him. Made me rely on him endlessly so he could feel needed. Be prepared for complete chaos.

  • Carol C

    November 7th, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    Walk away, its tough but in the end you’ll be happier. Seek those people who enjoy you, believe me they’re out there!

  • Lovelymom

    April 3rd, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    Reading this article and the comments afterward have left me feeling so many things, the most powerful is the desire to be able to reach through the computer and give each of u a hug. Since I can’t do that, I will instead briefly share my story/background, and then share what I hope will be some good advice that may help some of you. (just to avoid any misconseptions, I am not a therapist or any type of counselor, just a fellow human who has lived through this and come out on the other end a happier and mentally healthier individual). I was raised by my mom and adoptive step father (or dad as I will refer to him to save caracters). My parents were both physically and mentally abusive, dad preferred the physical and mom was extremely gifted at the mental abuse. She used the gaslighting technique so skillfully that I grew up thinking I was crazy. Just as example of how good she was, between me, teachers at school and others, there were 42 times that children’s services investigated my dad for abuse, and every time my mother worked her magic to make me and my younger sister convince the case workers that I was the problem, that I had mental health issues, and the only thing that came out of those investigations was that I was sent to therapy. Once I turned 18 and got away from them I immediately moved in with boyfriend, got married and had kids. For the u years I was with him, he did the same thing. He was also extremely gifted at it, and even convinced me at one point that I was bi curious, all in an effort to try to have a 3some! My divorce was messy and long, but was finally ended after a 4 year battle over the kids. It has been almost 15 years since then, and I am happily married, my kids are all adults and very happy, stable, and have their heads screwed on straight. So, here is my advice…. RUN! Get away from them as fast as you can. The only exception is if you are married with kids. If so, you need to pretend that they are still controling you, but only for as long as you need to gather you evidence. Hide video carmeras and catch it on film. Do whatever you can to document their treatment of you, and then RUN! Once you are away from them, the only way to heal fully and learn how to avoid these types of people in the future is to get into therapy with a good counselor. And the last piece of advice I can give is to allow yourself, or even require yourself to be relationship free for a good chunk of time while you are doing your healing. Trust me, this will be the best thing you can do for yourself. And you deserve to put yourself first, learn to trust yourself again, and learn that you are just right, you are not too much and you are enough, and don’t ever let anyone ever make you feel like you are too much or not enough ever again!

  • ANC

    January 21st, 2017 at 12:27 AM

    Enjoyed ur story LOVELYMOM. May we all, reach our happy place.

  • Sally

    January 27th, 2017 at 3:44 AM

    Thank you. This realy helps me.

  • Flea

    April 22nd, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Ive never felt compelled to pour my heart out online before… I dont even do facebook.
    I am five days out of a relationship with what I strongly suspect to be a NPD’er, who gaslighted me… He dumped me… in the street, literally.. that’s where he did it, (minutes after he dumped me in the street, he emailed my sister who he has never met (living 9000 miles away) to advise her that she should reach out to me to support me through it) Not normal, right? we live together, and in the last days has “informed” me of where I will be living, with who and that we will be friends eventually… he has notified me that the break-up is “all my fault as my insecurities have exhausted him” and that I “will never be happy” as I require “so much therapy”. I have disputed these things, told him that I have no desire to see him ever again after he leaves (the date of which he has determined – and stretches out over a month away) – but it doesnt matter, he wont hear it because I am just so “reactionary” right now, “I will see that hes right” .
    so… right then – we will see wont we, this man has underestimated me. I will look him in the face, I will be respectful and kind and I will dance (to Beyonce) the day he is gone. Six days ago I truly believed I wanted to marry him, in the last five days this man has been dismissive, cruel and unrecognizable, while (he believes this is secret) scheduling/prepping his next Narcisstic Supply.
    Advice? I wrote myself a list, just to settle things in my head… was he right? were the things I brought to his attention so very innocuous, that for him to have to “deal” with them was so ridiculous… I wrote this list, and made it as objective as I could, sighted facts not feelings. I re-read the list. I did not bring these things to his attention because of my broken-ness, these things… would have been a problem for anyone. Also, all these things were real – and all had plagued us for 90% of our relationship, there were no efforts to resolve them (they included lacking intimacy, time together, honesty) for over a year and a half (so very grateful not longer) he made me feel that my baggage was his burden, and that to discuss these “issues” at all, was to indulge me – because he loved me.
    and no more, I stopped talking to my friends out of a perverse sense of loyalty to him, reconnecting with them on this has helped, the details have horrified them, even HIS friends are disturbed & confused by his behavior and treatment of me.
    My sister responded to him, to ask of motivations for the dumping – he responded, my sister advised him “the person you describe, is not my sister, My sister is loving and patient and strong and would not create drama in this way, I appreciate that this is your truth, but this is not the truth”.
    friends and family are important, do not be afraid to be honest and use them as your compass, when you arent sure who you are anymore, they will remind you. this is going to hurt, but I am loving and patient and strong. I will get me back, and I will be awesome.
    also… Gloria Gaynor is a goddess.

  • Flea

    April 29th, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Hey, Just an update (see entry above) here… he still is in the house – and will be for another month “argh!”
    I have more advice. Write down notes to yourself, ask yourself questions… peel out facts from feelings. Ive been very unproductive at work, but have been busy writing notes and emails (to me). It has helped in two ways. 1. Reduces bewilderment, at the past – “was it ever real?, at the break-up – “where did that come from what did I do?” , at the actions since – “why is he so angry?, how can someone turn so 180 like that?”.
    Turns out all the answers to those questions suck, but writing the questions, and admitting the answers… means I get to move on to the next thing… which brings me to 2. Demonstrating progress! A week ago, the entry above was where I was, and although I have had my moments bawling my eyes out in the dark asking myself why Im not good enough… I have moved through it… A LOT more and quicker than I could have ever predicted. The truth is ugly. Super ugly. But the veil has been lifted. This man did not treat me well, and is textbook narcissist. It wasn’t real, I didn’t do anything wrong, and he didn’t suddenly get angry… and the suckiest answer of all was… No, I was not enough for him – but its not because Im deficient in some way… Its because he needs so much, and had I actually had a spine, I would have asked myself the following question: Am I ok with not being enough in his eyes? Answer being… no, which is when I should have left… but no… I asked myself that question, then got busy trying to be more.
    Shame on me.
    But, that’s ok… I know now.
    I have been grieving my illusion, and the grief is lessening each day, My illusion is the love-bombing guy, that wonderful intoxicating guy that could sweep me up in a moment, and hold me so tight… was a mask. That wasn’t the relationship, that was the bait. I got stuck on the hook… which was a never-ending series of mind-screwing, disappointing, degrading moments where I quite literally could plot point my self-esteem disintegrating.
    I didn’t “ruin” nights with my neediness, … I “ruined” nights when he acted inappropriately and I didn’t just go along with it.
    I wasn’t jealous and insecure,… I suspected he was talking to other women inappropriately… because, we was talking to other women inappropriately!
    His current actions are also helping, I also strongly recommend snooping in their stuff, it really helped, I found out my suspicions held during the relationship, were warranted, that he is begun his smear campaign and that he has well and truly moved on. So this makes his feeble attempts at engaging me, almost entertaining due to their solely manipulative agenda (texts “I miss cuddling”, texts “at least you have people to distract you from the sadness” “it appears you can now totally exist without me now” “I can’t believe how much of a **** you are… etc etc etc”) these are not his feelings. These are his tactics to see whether I still give a… poop.
    Short answer: Nope. I fell for the other guy, I have no idea who this guy is.
    I am determined that this man will not get to describe me as anything but respectful and kind (he will trash me anyway) but I am calm, I see him now and he knows it. His “anger” (his words) has escalate to rage and venom. So my responses have escalated too… I am now the mother of a toddler in the supermarket, the hippie type mother that is letting her toddler express himself with a sweet and patient look on my face.
    12 days ago he dumped me, 5 days ago he quit his job (had it just over a month) his other narc supply is traveling and unavailable to provide her daily pep talk about how he can do better than me, he is running out of money (that was my function) with moving out of the house pending… and the previous narc supply (me) with what he believed to be an inexhaustible provision of empathy has turned some sort of magical corner and has stopped apologizing and appears to be fine… (could it be “happy?, no surely not!) without him.
    I mean, it is kinda amusing.
    Last night I got home after drinks with friends, was alone… and put on the stereo and danced.
    Knowing all of this, it was potentially a bad idea to ask him for my $400 that he’d “set aside” for a shared purchase (why thank you, but it was fine there in my drawer… you didn’t need to go out of your way to set up a savings account and deposit it for me… one day, without asking or telling me – you are SO KIND {read as: you are a thief, and thought you would never get found out cause your target was either stupid or too in love with you to ask or wouldn’t want to embarrass you by asking for it back… which were all true.. up until 12 days ago) .
    Sad part is, at the time I thought. “He just took my money.. without asking, ahh, its ok – we are a team.”

    Anyway, as you can see I find writing therapeutic. I advise all to give it a go. But My real message is… Once you really see your Narc, – not the mask…but you see them, and feel all that betrayal, its ok – you’re not dumb or stupid… you are trusting – which is why the Narc chose you. and once you really see him, you know that this wasn’t a good relationship… so then you figure out you are probably going to be ok, and it happens a lot faster than you’d think.

    I’ve read a lot of stupid quote pages recently. The best revenge is success (…at being a kind respectful person that he is so mad at but he can’t deal with or complain about because his reasoning is non-existent / doesnt make sense)

  • Flea

    April 29th, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    You know what the super stupid part is? Ive just finished re-reading his text this morning, which was a five-part series of ALL CAPs tirade about how asking for the money is causing him problems and if I fill the house with “clutter’ (I bought furniture to replace what he will be taking at the end of May) in the common places, and I know that he hates that, and its just selfish… then the next text was… ahem – let me write this verbatim “whatever happens later. [my cats name] will need to stay at the house until August”.
    I respond with “ok” …because its not like that was phrased as a question.
    Any way.. back to the stupid part. – i think he needs a hug, I actually feel sorry for him.

  • Flea

    May 11th, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Ok, so full disclosure… (I think that others may be in the same boat here) I looked up Narcissism once… about six months ago, I cant remember what led me to do it (he was being horrible in some way – pretty sure it was over a alternative supply getting a ridiculous amount of attention – while he simultaneously told me he that
    1. I was being jealous and juvenile for no reason and
    2. we hadn’t had “chemistry for nine months because of my continuous poor attitude… this was all said as he walked out the door to have dinner with said alternative supply and I was strictly not invited – because Id “ruin it” ) ,
    ANYWAY… I don’t remember what I typed into ‘the google’ to get a “Narcissist” type result to pop up, but I remember reading it… and identifying with it, BUT I didn’t go beyond the initial site – not because it wasn’t relevant or validating in some way… it was… I stopped reading because I was searching for validation of my feelings… but I didn’t want the reality check – I wanted to be wrong, and I wanted to continue, unimpeded in my subscription to his “love” and our “future”. I was SO not ready to give up on that yet.
    So, Sometimes… when I suspect that I am guilty of being that bitter, recently dumped, bewildered ex girlfriend that is looking for reasons for the break-up… and have blindly, frantically reached around in the dark, found “Narcisstic Personality Disorder” and have contorted my memories and experiences so that they fit, all to aide my own convincing that I am not as at fault in the break-up as he has been so willing to assign to me…. But then I remember… nope, you knew… you silly cow. You knew and you didn’t want to believe it. See, that’s the thing – I bet there’s a lot of us out there like that, I have a favorite Movie, its Amelie (french subtitled, but hilarious – well worth the effort) anyway – at one point our beautiful Amelie – imagines why ‘he’ hasn’t noticed her, and the voice-over tells us “the last thing Amelie was interested in was a Reality Check”.
    Its true – us Romantics, we get so deep in our ideals, we craft our lives for what we WANT, we busy ourselves creating the connections with others that we WANT, we trick ourselves, avoid harsh realities, ignore red flags and believe in the dream.
    Which makes us perfect target for a Narcissist.
    I plan not to be so silly again, to be more cautious, and to value my needs higher, and be honest (with myself mostly) about when they aren’t being met…. But I refuse to stop being a Romantic. one day, maybe that’s the thing that a guy is going to love most about me… and not because it makes me foolish and easily manipulated… but because he believes in the “us” that we created as much as I do.
    Wouldn’t that be great?

  • Shauna W

    December 28th, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    You are a wonderful writer. I hope that you have washed your hands of this mess and moved on. Bless you on your path. You seem to be very intelligent and know right from wrong. To do what’s right and make yourself happy again. Deep down inside you are the whole person that you were before the abuse. Yes it is abuse. Sending love and good thoughts

  • Flea

    May 11th, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    I’ve also adopted the process of taking screenshots of his texts and sending them to a friend. In case I go “missing” one day :) … my favorite recent one was where I said…(he “threatened to leave the house we are sharing earlier than scheduled… which didn’t garner the results he was anticipating)
    “I’m sorry about that, but I respect your decision – living together through/after the break-up is super hard”
    his response was
    “F#^% you”.
    yup, sure… I’m the cra-aa-aaazy one.
    (he reevaluated the next day to advise that “not only would he continue to stay till the end of the month.. but that he also intended to make my life a misery, and that if I thought he’d been a #$%^ before, then to just wait and see what he was capable of” … then three days later he texted to tell me about his work day and how he made a big sale and it was going really well)
    he’s like a magic 8 ball – except instead of answers to questions or fortune telling that aren’t helpful to anyone, he is a sporadic, revolving series of unpredictable moods and emotions that aren’t helpful to anyone.
    I bought him a $60 bottle of champagne for his big sale, which he didnt thank me for… and Im pretty sure will make a point to drink it with someone else – in a way that is very visible / hurtful to me… essentially its my warped version of that ‘every time a bell rings… an angel gets their wings’… mine is – ‘every time you are an absolute #$%^, I get over you just a little bit more :)’ so… I shall continue with these “set ups”… its really working, also has the added bonus that he can kid himself that I am still a viable supply in the future (I’m not… (this little piggy is all used up) but while he is still in the house I am pretending that that is going to happen so the threats and general tantrums stop)

  • The Team

    May 11th, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    Dear Flea,

    Thank you for your comment. The Team is not qualified to offer professional advice, but if you would like to talk to someone about this situation, we encourage you to reach out.

    You can locate a counselor in your area by entering your ZIP code here:

    If you are not in the United States you can complete an international search here:

    if you ever feel your safety is being threatened, please call your local law enforcement or go to an emergency room immediately.

    You can find more information about crisis situations here:

    Please know help is available, should you wish to seek it, and we wish you the best of luck.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Brandy

    July 17th, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    Not only did I become a victim of gaslighting when boyfriend from 17 and husband of 21 years decided to leave me for his most recent mistress, my gaslighting involved our religious beliefs of divorce/”remarry” outside of adultery. So husband created entire made up entire version of MY unfaithfulness to HIM, and had my ENTIRE church congregation of 43 years turn their backs on ME. Then he turned to my 3 babies against me, with whom I’m the custodial parent; yet, former husband hasn’t returned to me in 10 1/2 months. They hate me now, b/c LIES of narcissistic husband’s gaslighting, emotional and physical abuse. I know I have to take him to court for child custody, but how will a judge believe me when my preacher and CHILDREN don’t believe me?!! I am lost without any hope in sight. **Must mention: husband is gregarious stock broker know through out area, and I’m shy, stay at home mom for 17. I mention that I’m attractive and was for 42 of 43 years very wealthy (from father to husband) ONLY b/c I’ve caught and COMPLETELY REPUDIATED several married men’s eyes, only to face the wives scorn for ME! And wealthy to show I was tossed from our $2 million home to 1,700 sq ft house. So why should my precious babies want to me with me? sign..he wins everything.

  • The Team

    February 3rd, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Hi Brandy and all others who have left your stories and sympathy here,
    Thank you for your comments. We wanted to check in and make sure you had resources available to you.

    Please know there is always help, even when all may feel lost. If you are in immediate danger of hurting yourself, it is very important you seek help immediately. You can call 911 or your local law enforcement, or visit your nearest hospital emergency room. If or when you experience suicidal thoughts, you can call to talk to someone immediately at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY). You can also search for a therapist in your area on the directory by visiting

    We are thinking of you and wishing you the very best!
    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • C

    April 29th, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    I agree with Good Therapy’s response to you when they say to get involved with a counselor!! That person will help you see through the lies so you don’t stay stuck in your position! Just don’t tell ANYONE you are seeing a counselor. That information could be used against you by this manipulator you are married to.
    As for why this manipulator turned your church against you- it’s because manipulators/gaslighters will always invoke morality/ethics. If you have a belief system, they will learn that belief system to use against you. If you do not have a belief system (atheist/agnostic), they will use traditional “ethics” or morals to use against you or others. Such as the woman poster who said her mother turned the police investigations away by claiming her daughter (the poster) was mentally unstable and causing the problems in their family (see, a moral tactic).
    Sadly, most humans fall for these tactics BECAUSE they have morals/ethics and the manipulator does NOT.

  • Rpat

    March 25th, 2017 at 12:46 AM

    I can’t figure out what relationship I am in. Please someone help me and if this is gaslighting. I have been going with my boyfriend for 3 years in a committed relationship. He hides me from his family and they don’t even know I exist. He lashes out at me when I have done nothing wrong-example: We were watching a rerun of the Superbowl football game and I was so very tired but tried to be alert for him and enjoy the night after a horrible tiring day and I kept dosing off to sleep. He kept telling me I was falling asleep. I just told him I was resting my eyes during the boring times. After the 3rd dosing off he said, “You are falling asleep,” I said I have had a very strenuous day and I am tired. He lit into me and called me a lair because I should have told him I was tired. He got up and left and I have not heard from him going on 2 days now. He has done this and given me the silent treatment for days and then eventually calls and acts like nothing has happened. What sort of mental abuse is this? He has jumped all over me for about 6 times in our relationship. All the stress of walking on egg shells has given me many health issues. Please help for I do love this man but not comfortable with him anymore. I am age 70 and don’t need this. Thanks, RPat

  • Ms. Overcomer

    April 21st, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    I experienced gas-lighting. My requests for respectful actions and expressions of hurt were ignored or met with ANGER or minimalizing words. Dirty looks were common. He was never happy, even before we dated. He always said I would stop liking him and leave him to manipulate me for reassurance. The last day I was with him he played around and scared me, I told him I was uncomfortable so he overcompensated and went extra slow. A minute later he asked for the 100th time: “do you trust me?”. I finally got to the point where I could’t cross one more threshhold of pain. Turned around, looked him in the eye and said “No.” It’s been 3 weeks amd I almost texted him today after some triggers. My stomach immediately knotted up so intensely I had to lay down. Thankfully I googled stuff on abusive relationships and got my clarity back. Writing this article reminded me of how disrespectful he was of me and my daughter. He would tickle me all the time and put me down for being ticklish. He would read my phone if I went out of the room. He read any poece of paper laying around. Once jenlifted up my arm to “examine” me when I had a painful rash. He has “examined” my teeth and gums and said he no longer wanted to kiss me because my mouth was too dry.

  • Pama

    July 14th, 2017 at 6:32 PM

    I just got out of 2 and a half year relationship a gaslighter. I am counseling now. My therapist told me that is what I was going through. It was horrible. I now have to rebuild myself. I am broken from the inside out. Anyone who ever goes through this kind of abuse I plead with you get counseling. I cried so hard my first session. But at least I know I am not crazy.

  • Patricia

    July 15th, 2017 at 6:38 PM

    Pama I just got out of a 3 yr relationship with a mental abuser and I am sure he was a gaslighter. He would put thoughts into my head belittling me and trying to make me feel incompetent and stupid. I think he may be a Sociopath. I cried for 3 days and still have not been able to eat good. He won’t stop emailing and trying to smooth talk me back into the now x relationship. I have a best Girfriend that is helping with this and to not take him back which I did 4 times. She sent me this wonderful article and it mentions gaslighting in there. I know you can rebuild your confidence back up! Know that you are a beautiful, magical human being on this planet and you deserve to be happy! :)

  • Darren

    July 21st, 2017 at 2:04 AM

    I have been reading for a while now about this kind of abuse and never ever thought my wife would, or ever Could gaslight me. I don’t for a second think or want to believe that she is doing this intentionally but can someone please clear this up for me.
    Recently my wife has been doing a lot of self realization from her past and stumbled across the myers briggs 16 personality types. She has self determined that she is an INFJ personality type. This type from some of my own you tube video watching and reading have in a very basic explanation just so happen to be the most misunderstood type, the kicker is that they also in order to true to them selves are never wrong and feel hurt if questioned. Like I said very basic explanation and I apologize if I have offended anyone that reads this.
    I myself love to learn about new things and like I said did some of my own very basic research on myself. and came to a conclusion that I really don’t want to have a complete final conclusion I do like to hold true to myself an element of mystery. My wife being completely tunnel visioned on this thing has taken apon herself to figure out what type I am and insists I let her drive a test, that tests the tests, in order to determine between 2 types she thinks I am. I told her “I’m really not comfortable letting her do the test on me and that I would rather figure this thing out myself and in my own time. And that is where the shit hits the fan!
    And out rears this! “I am INFJ you need to just trust that I know what is right for you without question because to question my introverted intuition is extremely hurtful to INFJ, and besides Its just a silly test, and knowing your natural true to yourself truth, I can be the best wife I can be for you, why wouldn’t you want that? Also you know me and my love of knowledge, And you know Its just going to bug me! and YOU ARE DOING THIS ON PURPOSE! and I have put up with your abuse for long enough Darren your an evil manipulative cunt! you are crazy”
    I step in and reply ” HEY Dont call me crazy!”
    she responds with I never called you crazy Darren but your behavior is crazy and theirs a big difference between crazy and behaving crazy”
    “Ok so are you telling me I have no right to to say no to being profiled buy you and that makes me to be behaving crazy??”
    then boom subject change Or just SHUT UP that’s breaking my boundreys I’m not comfortable here your abusing me! Get out! get out! I’m calling the police! you and I are over you selfish cunt in the morning you have no wife. I want a devorse! Its over! you abusive mind games headfuck I am done!”
    So fourth and so on. I get angry and spill my anger guts and never hit her bus tell her if she wants to go then go. Im not holding you back.
    oh and yes I have recording of this.

  • sarah

    October 6th, 2017 at 8:32 PM

    When someone looks you dead in the face, like straight into your eyes and tells you the sky is red, and you feel very self restrained from actually defending yourself by saying “no, its actually blue”. its time to start mentally leaving and planning on physically removing yourself what ever the costs. It really is usually someone whos all about money, and is a domestic violence victom and their past experiences with people led them to act this way. get out while you can. Today i was told putting water in a shared name vehicles baterry would fix a dead battery issue with a car, and it was to stop me from leaving the house. ive been bullshi**ed left and right for no reason other than keep a financial hostage, and im done. i have other supports and i have future plans to just get in the car now and drive cross country where i want to live, not her.

  • Jeremy

    October 21st, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    I need to undo the gaslighting symptoms. I lived at my father’s and noticed obvious psychological problems developing that I did not have before. Physical displeasure. Leading to different accounts of my own life like someone else telling me whats happening. Regardless if he is around or not. How do I get my own perception back? This mind game is torture. Please someone give me tips to make it stop. I need my own values and morAls back to rebuild my life.

  • The Team

    October 21st, 2017 at 7:04 PM

    Dear Jeremy,

    If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage,, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Ron

    October 21st, 2017 at 8:08 PM

    I realized this in 2014. I was flooded with confusion because nothing I knew was true as my base knowledge. Upon realizing this, I lost trust for everyone. Basically, I had to get a grasp and understand what had happened and done to me. I can only move forward when I understand where I’m at in the moment. This I learned. My brain got rewired. I searched and became knowledgeable about the cluster b which includes narcissism, borderline personality disorder, histrionic, and I think bipolar. These were the ones I looked at. Narcissism was what I settled on. There are a lot of you tube videos which helped me to understand what I was dealing with. So my answer is education and knowledge then I have tools to deal with what’s taking place and inventory what has taken place in the past.

  • Jade

    December 17th, 2017 at 7:56 PM

    Ron: Re. “my brain got rewired” Yes, that’s a creative way to put it. Gaslighting seems to have some overlap with brainwashing. I’d like to see what the OP might say about gaslighting vs. brainwashing.

  • Tilly

    December 17th, 2017 at 3:54 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this article!
    I had heard of this behavior in the past but never would I have associated myself with it! Sadly and pretty shockingly I believe it is happening to me! Even though I’m writing this I find myself denying it!
    I just wish I new how to deal with it
    I could write a book with the number of things which have happened!
    Gratefully Tilly

  • Justine W

    April 6th, 2018 at 4:56 PM

    This describes perfectly the way CHILD SAFETY OFFICERS WORK. They use these tactics in all cases in order to force people to sign agreements etc. Once you sign that agreement, that is like admitting they are right and you are wrong. So many people have their children taken (falsely) then you are in the biggest battle of your life fighting to try and get your kids back, and they keep cases going for so long and drawn out, gaslighting you the whole time. I know of several people who have suicides because of this.

  • Reyna

    April 26th, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Please help me. I’m so confused. I think this is happening. A few friends agree with me but I don’t know if I’m just being sensitive.

  • The Team

    April 27th, 2018 at 6:34 AM

    Dear Reyna,

    If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage,, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area.

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Carol C

    November 7th, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    If someone’s comments hurt you, how you feel should matter, you have value.


    December 22nd, 2018 at 12:51 AM

    Struggling I am . I am 43 and I live with someone that is 63 we have been together 10 and a half years now. She it’s an attorney since 1981 I’ve always thought that she what is the neatest lady I had ever met. People have told me that she’s a brilliant lawyer. I on the other hand I am not college graduate. Train horses and Carpenter. Soon into the relationship at most Petty difference I could never get a apology or meet halfway. She resorted to leaving to her office and would start arguing from there and from what seem to be a whole different person. Let me tell you I am extremely hard to deal with. But I will forgive and I will say I’m sorry. There’s so much that has happened in the past 6 months. There’s too much to list what is going on. I have been through a lot of Chaos in my life. Never knew it could get to this level. Anyway I just read literature on gaslighting and I literally felt like my chair slid backwards! Vicious situation ! Everyone that we interact with has without a doubt have been gassed as well. People that have seen changes in my life has brought it to my attention that she is messing with my head. I would say my family is it’s good of family that anyone would want she has turned them to the point that they will not even communicate with me due to lies and threatening legal comments. The part I read about having 10 situations that every bone in your body tells you you are right and all 10 all rejected from her and our rental property which is an attorney that works for her. I don’t not ashamed to be embarrassed about this which is no doubt not me anymore but I need to use this to my advantage regain my joy in life. It just don’t make any sense I’m just wore out I will return thank you

  • Jade

    January 12th, 2019 at 8:51 AM

    How you doing Travis?

  • Dee

    September 2nd, 2019 at 4:13 PM

    “Adult Neighborhood Gas Lighting offending groups” is big stuff and they will run the roads on their riding machine, and Big loud trucks and gang looking cars threating to spook , Implant ,stalk , and terrorize you, burn homes down or burn a news paper in your driveway as a threat, l kill your pets, kidnap or mention this :Make you family disappear and say stuff they know is not true to try to scare you off and say stuff like your husband /wife is having an affairs to get trouble inside you life and outside of your life! Some will try to force you to go the enemy way or do stuff that make you look like you don’t like your country! I hope enforcement gets new laws about families that do home made cult like activity that is more like Gas Lighting attempts to ruin you without them feeling guilty! It is sick, creepy and dangerous and wrecking people lives , They will even insult you by doing adultery theater acts, doing stuff like pulling their pants down( Naked) and walking around even in front of their own kids just to make you embarrassed and intimidated! It’s “offending adulterer mixed Adult Gas lighters Manipulators ” intimidation-al activity and criminal! not funny at all and frightening to anyone who see’s at happening !
    We laws for these types of manipulators! It’s scary and dangerous and not productive to anyone or their futures!

  • Patricia

    October 9th, 2019 at 1:34 PM

    I am a victim by my husband, my daughters, cousins, aunt and uncle and friends. And now my boyfriend. I have been sufferering dspression and physical health problems for 10 years.. once people realize I’m vulnerable. Their work as sharks begin. So many people have used, abused, lied, cheated, stomped, sexual assault sexual harassment and robbed me… to discredit me false accusations are made… I’m in a town where I cannot find a good counselor or police help…some days I want to die…..

  • Mary

    September 24th, 2019 at 5:13 PM

    I”m sorry to have to say it, but: Some therapists are gaslighters. I encountered one. It was crazy-making. I think she really was into “control”. A couple of examples:
    1. She began our second session by saying that she had come up with a metaphor for what I needed: Something like a mold used to make a brick — when the mold is removed, the brick retains the shape of the mold,
    2. Once I asked her why she was doing something she was doing that didn’t make sense to me, hoping that she could help me make sense of it. She replied, “Do you realize that you’re asking me to give up my control?”
    On both of these occasions (and on many other occasions when I was in session with her) I was shocked speechless. Sometimes I would be able to bring up the problematical behavior in the next session, but she typically responded with another shocker. It was really crazy-making. Sadly, she has become quite prominent in her profession — has written books, been elected to positions in her professional societies, and teaches continuing education credit courses.

  • Rosemary

    December 4th, 2019 at 6:47 AM

    Mary, sounds like we had the same therapist… what’s sad for me is I stayed to long… I’ve tried to work with other therapists however it is difficult to trust!

  • Kd

    November 13th, 2019 at 4:10 PM

    I highly suggest checking out attatchment styles. A lot of info n understanding ” to an extent” will b found. Especially Avoident (dissmissive) is my partner with anxious avoidant me (there’s a couple of variations of these but should help quite a few of u.

  • YI

    November 16th, 2019 at 12:53 PM

    My husband had realized that he had been abused by his mother at the age of 50 when our marriage when south. His mother had been trying to separate us since we got married because she wanted to gain power and control back. She never validated my husband for whatever he had done well. When he was in 6th or 7th grade, his math score was #2 in the city where he lived in but his mother said, “Oh, you were just a good test taker.”

    Every time he confronted his mother for something, she denied the truth, not making eye contact, shook her head, and walked away. If he showed evidence of what really happened, his mother started crying like a little girl. My husband still have doubt of believing himself at this age. When we had a fight, he said, “I don’t get to decide anything! You have too much control over our relationship!!” Then I said, “You are always free and I’ve never stopped you from doing anything. We always make decisions together when we do something together….” He paused for a few seconds and said, “Yeah, you right” His mother always told him that I had too much control over him and the idea got stuck in his mind.

    We’ve been ignoring his mother for 14 months now. His mother is busy for smear campaign against me (more than before) to make everybody thinks that I’m an abusive and crazy wife who has her son. She has sent him e-mails telling him how much she is hurt but this guilt trip tactic is one of her ways to control my husband which he is aware of.

  • Jess

    November 30th, 2019 at 2:24 PM

    Honestly this sounds like pretty much all the therapy I’ve had. I don’t think it was intentional – but the effect was the same. Only the gaslighting took the form of trying to show me how my perceptions were actually instances of distorted thinking. (I still can’t figure out how CBT isn’t just well-intended gaslighting.) Instead of helping therapy was just gaslighting me into believing that my problems were all in my head and I could overcome them if I just thought correctly.

    Who helps the people who’ve been gaslit by therapists? So far I haven’t seen a single therapist who’s willing to talk about it, and I’ve seen many.

  • gnugo

    January 23rd, 2020 at 8:15 AM

    this is EXACTLY what also happened to me, up to the thought on how CBT (or CBASP as in my case) wouldn’t be well-intended gaslighting! I’m so thankful for your comment because this is the first time I come across anyone who’s made the exact same experience. Throughout my digging deeper into the issue, I came across a book by now-defunct MD, psychoanalyst and therapist Theodore L. Dorpat. It’s called “Gaslighting, the Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Methods of Covert Control in Psychotherapy and Analysis”, first issued in 1996. This book saved my life because it gave me validation to what I had experienced. I highly recommend you reading it. It can be quite difficult to obtain since it’s very expensive even as an ebook, but back then I found a downloadable pdf via google (which for obvious reasons I cannot link to here).
    I wish you all the best. We are not alone!

  • Jacob

    November 30th, 2019 at 10:50 PM

    I have a 3 year PFA on me and a list of charges based off lies from the person that was gaslighting me. Over a relationship that was off and on for 3 months she had fake injury photos on her phone for 2 of those months, talk about second guessing everything. She even had the nerve to tell me while moving her into her apartment that she didn’t tell the person helping us about the abuse. The real abuser telling others about the abuse they are receiving? One look at the texts between us anyone could tell who the real abuser is! And here I am hating life, second guessing everything, missing this monster of a person, and not wanting to live to get out of this situation. Lie in court, mess with someone mentally, will I see justice????

  • Anonymous

    January 22nd, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    Really enjoyed this blog.Much thanks again. Great.

  • Jake

    February 25th, 2020 at 10:53 AM

    I’m so glad I have just read up all this about gas lighting I have never herd of this and have just made me realise what my Mrs of over 13 years had been doing she made me go to Drs having me think I have anxiety depression an paranoier all cause she was out cheating having affairs thank you now I can get to the bottom of things a bit easier

  • Mudasir

    March 1st, 2020 at 3:07 AM

    This gaslighting was done to me by a female school teacher in which I myself was a teacher. I hold a degree of Master’s in English Literature from Pakistan’s top University that is University of the Punjab. I was appointed as a government school teacher in 2015 & my selection was done on merit. 2 years after my selection a female teacher also got herself appointed in that government primary school wherein I was teaching. A getting a government service is considered a good achievement in Pakistan. The school was situated in a town of District Nankana Sahib in Punjab Pakistan. The female teacher was 6 years older than me & a mother of 2 children. There was a rule for females that if they cannot get allocation on female seats than they can also apply on male side. She couldn’t get allocated on female side so she applied on male side and thus engulfed the right of a male teacher.

    Coming to the main story, she tried to mentally hurt me by falsely quoting that a specific person was saying that I think too much. As if she thought that I was an easy target for her to trick me into doubting my own sanity. She tried to tell me on numerous occasions that I wasn’t normal or I am having a problem. But she didn’t had any idea of my mental integrity & strength. I was fully aware that she was trying to gaslight me but I acted innocently. She wasn’t as intelligent as me. She was in reality not a woman but a bitch who tried to mentally imbalance me and tried to lower my self-esteem. Further, she tried to do so because I was young & I had a huge potential to advance further in my career. She got transferred to the school of another district. By this I realized that noone is your well-wisher except you yourself & your family upto a certain extent. People for whom you aren’t of any advantage will try to devalue, defame & humiliate you. Be careful of such people. Lastly, its a selfish world, make sure you are good in mental as well as physical health or else life will be a living hell for you. And, you must NOT have any bad habits of any sort, because bad habits will have bad impact upon your health & you need health to live a life of honour.

  • Cameron

    March 24th, 2020 at 1:01 AM

    This is a lot of information and Exactly what I have been experiencing from my boss, it’s Awful, literally I have Never been so depressed and down in my life! Thank you for sharing.

  • Aslam

    April 27th, 2020 at 11:23 AM

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  • anwar

    May 11th, 2020 at 5:56 AM

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  • anwar

    May 17th, 2020 at 11:47 PM

    These things are very important, good think so – I think so too…

  • A

    May 26th, 2020 at 5:04 PM

    I’m not sure if anyone is going to read this, but I feel like this is a decent place to share my story. I was in love with someone for 3 years, and I thought we were going to be something. He broke my heart, which I could get over, but he broke my heart even worse when he gaslit me. He told me he doesn’t want me to get over him, in general and with just anyone. But he said he doesn’t want me, and I’m being dramatic. It’s painful. I miss him every day. I have to keep myself busy 24/7, or else I think of him– even for half of a second, and it makes me break down, dry-heaving from crying. I’m a victim of emotional abuse and neglect from my childhood, so when I got to the point of where the author wrote something along the lines of: “Some victims believe they deserve to be treated that way,” it hit home. I hope that these feelings aren’t forever.

  • Melissa

    June 3rd, 2020 at 11:10 AM

    Also, the abuser may be gaslighting uncousiously .

  • dtc

    June 9th, 2020 at 4:24 AM

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  • VJ

    June 17th, 2020 at 9:43 AM

    Gaslighting is recognizable in the anorexia voice. A sufferer will do anything to avoid being separated from their compulsive behaviour to restrict, “If I am talking, I am lying.” The victim is a supporter that is manipulated out of being able to intervene–because the suffer says, “I’m okay, I’m in control (the anorexia is in control), I am recovering on my own, I ate lunch–of course I did, I have professional supporters helping me, don’t interfere.” Lies that protect the sufferer’s disordered behaviours but kill the sufferer–unless strong supporters understand what is going on, that the sufferer is gagged from crying for help; irritable, prickly behaviour, and supporters decide, “I’ll leave it to you then.” Trending down results in death. There is no “hitting bottom,” because eating disorders means aversion to treatment (and the Mental Health Act protects a sufferer, including “their” right to refuse treatment). When the ED is in charge? There is no hope of saving an patient suffering from anorexia voices, controlling what they say to you, how you respond to them, and, to the sufferer’s horror–defeating what they themselves claim to feel, seems impossible. A patient needs to be sectioned–they will view this as the excuse they need to separate from their torturing friend, anorexia. “Sorry, anorexia. I could no longer protect you. My supporters, personal and professional, were just too strong, so I leave you and recover without you.” Recovery is a very scary place–if they are perceived as ill, sufferers will receive the concern and maybe even the care that they long for. They don’t want to recover–because people’s concern seems to vanish. “You’re looking better,” says to them, “You no longer need love and attention.” Being too thin is THEE goal, so that people will recognize them as worthy of love, care, attention. They cannot fight the compulsion–no one can get out of a 10 ft hole by themselves. Provide guidance that they need, “guidance to do the hard things,” means not taking no for an answer. You are loved and I am here to help. If recovery starts with a feeding-tube, the sufferer will recognize this–but say that “it feels like torture.” Tell them of YOUR feelings, “I am scared, frightened. Seeing you like this is TORTURE to me.” Have them use words to label THEIR emotions–it is nigh impossible to label emotions when in the grip of an eating disorder–dread, fear, terror, none of these cross your mind because you are intent on halting the disorder and thinking straight it grey fog. Get help. Speak up. Intervention will save their life.

  • Val

    June 17th, 2020 at 9:48 AM

    Yes, “gaslighting unconsciously.” That is what anorexia does when it lies to protect irrational, compulsive behaviours. It is NOT the sufferer that is saying those things! Supporters are put-off by assurances (that are not evident). Puzzled, but mere words convince people to leave the sufferer alone to the natural consequences of the illness.

  • w.

    June 17th, 2020 at 11:27 PM

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  • Rob

    June 22nd, 2020 at 9:27 PM

    These gaslighting articles always say to find a good therapist. My husband is a GASLIGHTER. He’s willing to go for treatment. Every doctor we called doesn’t specialize in gaslighting. You need someone who truly understands gaslighting. There seems to be no such therapist!

  • groove

    June 26th, 2020 at 4:30 AM

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    June 30th, 2020 at 10:46 AM

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    July 4th, 2020 at 3:57 AM

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    July 5th, 2020 at 3:49 AM

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  • Tracy

    July 14th, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    What do you do when your aging father is in this situation and he doesn’t realize it. The wife is 25 yrs younger

  • Unity

    July 19th, 2020 at 5:09 AM

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  • Robin

    August 5th, 2020 at 1:28 PM

    I went through gaslighting that led to a suicide attempt. I had a boyfriend who abused me do the following:
    1. rape
    2. remotely access my computer – controlled my mouse, wrote notes
    3. had the power cut on my house 2x
    4. had my computer toyed with until my hard drive was inaccessible with my computer providing a “No Sex Before Marriage” message at boot.
    5. Found a pinhole camera in a speaker
    I was told I was “insane” and “abusing him” through all of this.
    He took me for meds, watched the police take me from my bed – losing it. I thought I was “in love”. All the while, he told me that I had imagined it.
    The police ended up pulling me from my home in an unrecognizable state. My home had been broken into repeatedly. Another man was living in my living room who is now on a sex offender list. He confided to me that he was a murderer. I couldn’t get rid of him. The “boyfriend” at the time refused to help me remove him. He repeatedly told me that I was abusing him and and played with my mind. He was the only person who knew my IP address, had access to my house with a key and I temporarily let his friend seeking apartment housing live with me for free.
    It has been 17 years – I have severe PTSD from these experiences, never want to see anyone I’ve ever known again, have difficulty functioning, don’t trust anyone, don’t bother with association with everyday things – yet and generally never will for this is how society functions. I’ve self-harmed so many times from the guilt others give when you accuse someone of abuse that I can’t count. I’ve lost a friend to suicide after prolonged physical and sexual abuse. She couldn’t re-associate after going through some of the same.
    It’s very serious. Gaslighting and coercive control are unbearable pressures that can easily cause suicide. It’s the same as being a raped slave. The mental aspect and damages on your life – education, career, ability to function autonomously are so severe it’s like walking around AT WAR, even after leaving you just CAN’T. The PTSD itself is worse than a cancer or disease. I often curse god and wish to lose my legs instead of my mind and life.

  • P

    August 19th, 2020 at 4:53 AM

    Hi! I’m Priyansh; This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Thanks a ton!

  • Agen

    October 2nd, 2020 at 8:01 AM

    Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.

  • Staci

    November 29th, 2020 at 6:44 PM

    What if the gaslighting/abuse comes from MD’s, therapists, psychiatrists and a lot of different healthcare workers in and out of hospitals?
    Victim of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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  • Rosemary

    November 30th, 2020 at 8:52 AM

    Hi Staci, My experience was with a therapist…. and it’s 8 years later and I have PTSD !

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  • JTR

    January 23rd, 2021 at 12:53 PM

    Hi. Magnificent article to say the least, but the stories and comments that y’all share has been the true savior for helping me cope with my own ongoing situation. I have clicked and scrolled through countless search results, read posts, books, taken quizzes, you name it…just trying to get that true sense of “Wow, maybe I haven’t lost my f***ing mind afterall” back. So thank you to EVERYONE! Discussing my own problems has never proved to be that beneficial in helping me solve them. However, reading what others have gone through and the responses from others has helped me be able to start getting my s*** storm sorted out and on the track back to real real-life and sanity. With that being said, I came across one person’s comment from years ago that left me feeling uneasy. Mainly because everyone that posted around this time usually did so more than once and (s)he didn’t. I am just hoping that they’re ok. I am a dark person that’s been in some dark places and can deal with some even darker s*** and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Not even the hopeless douchebag(s) that helped get me there. I usually never comment on posts or join discussions. I’m good for a thumbs up on FB occassionally and that’s about it so I’m not sure how to go about checking on this person. I tried doing a screenshot of the comment (hoping that’s allowed) as I can’t figure out a way to post it or post directly to them or “tag” them and don’t know if they would even get notified. (It was on 10.09.2019 @ 1:34pm by “Patricia”) So…if y’all can help or if “Patrica” happens to read this, just know that some random girl from a tiny redneck town in southern Indiana, USA wanted to try and check in and just say hi.

  • Molly

    February 23rd, 2021 at 10:43 AM

    I am in a relationship just like this 6 years now, first of all hugs and prayers for everyone experiencing this situation but my bf has went to great lengths to make sure I am completely Dependant on him by getting the law involved, he has had me arrested for bogus charges, calling the cops on me, he has went to Great Lengths to make sure I have a criminal record that put me ineligible for housing assistance now I’m stuck , old and being gaslit by a small town law enforcement, he makes sure I’m on probation as a way to control and threaten me when I get close to being off probation he will call and come up with something else and cops go right along with him so I totally give up.

  • emmily

    March 3rd, 2021 at 10:28 PM

    Thanks for this. I know from experience how powerful and empowering simply being aware of this can be. Also, is there any way we could get some more information or links for techniques mentioned in the article like how to resist manipulation? I’m very interested in this and I think it would be super helpful. Thanks again! • ᴗ •

  • Ian

    March 4th, 2021 at 2:30 PM

    I’d be interested to know how many people who suffer from gaslighting are active in some campaigning organisation, such as political or educational, because the techniques there seem the same. Could there be a cross-over?

  • Rita

    March 4th, 2021 at 2:59 PM

    No contact. If you are being manipulated now you need to get out of the relationship and have no more contact with this monster. That is what I did 4 years ago and I have never been more happy. Good luck.

  • Ian

    March 5th, 2021 at 7:54 AM

    I’m doing research into the political techniques being employed by governments in gaslighting whole populations, and comparing that with what I’m reading here. I suspect it’s what the Stasi were doing at all levels. Certainly there’s a massive psychological problem amonst the public in the UK as a result of Lockdown, and even medical people are being silenced over the harmful effects of Lockdown and the vaccines, and denigrated, just as I am reading in this thread.

  • Anne

    March 10th, 2021 at 9:54 AM

    My husband is a good one a lot of the time. But, he will get in moods of nitpicking and criticizing me until I snap back and then asks why I am being bitchy- “is it your hormones? ” I am in menopause. Is this a form of gaslighting?

  • gnugo

    March 11th, 2021 at 11:59 AM

    Yes, it’s a form of gaslighting, T.L. Dorpat (1996) calls it the “double whammy” technique: First the abuser provokes the victim by criticizing or nitpicking and the like, and as soon as the victim defends themselves, they are being shamed and accused of “overreacting”, thus being talked into feeling guilty and ashamed and believing that the initial abuse were actually harmless and wholly misinterpreted by the victim. This second step is the gaslighting part.

  • Kassie

    March 11th, 2021 at 2:29 PM

    I do not know if I am being gaslighted. Let me start with the positives.
    He has encouraged me to be a stronger person. To love myself above anyone else. He tells me all the great things about myself all the time. My confidence has grown. Both with how I look and with who I am as a person. And I give him credit for this because he would tell me such amazing things about myself that I never heard before.
    Now for the negative. When we have any disagreement, he refuses to talk to me about it. He will ignore texts, phone calls. I have on 3 different occasions in the 2 years we have been talking….I went to his apartment uninvited after having calls and texts ignored. He will still refuse the conversation and he usually gets quite angry at this point. I never yell. I just ask nicely for the conversation.
    This last time. I wanted a conversation to help me understand where we are going in our relationship. But he has been refusing to give me this conversation. I told him I want to be able to make my own choice. And that I feel he is trying to make the choice for me. He refused to respond to texts and calls about this. I have been asking for this conversation for months. But I usually just drop it. But this time i was getting very frustrated. I went to his apartment. I knocked. He answered and told me I need to leave. I said ok, well then lets just have a conversation and just end things. And he told me no and if I don’t leave he will call the police. (this whole time i was very calm. just asking for these conversations) I then asked, why won’t you give me this conversation? He said that he was calling the police. I said “Please, can we have this conversation?” And he said again that he is calling the police. At this point I sadly but sternly said “You know what, f*** you.” I’m honestly not proud of saying that. But I was quite hurt at the escalation to threatening to call the police when all I want is clarity about what we are.
    We had just gone to dinner the night before. We had gone to dinner earlier that week. We had sex that past Sunday. It is not like I am a woman he is trying to get rid of and telling to leave him alone and I refuse to listen. We have steady been involved for almost 2 years. I have never yelled….screamed…hit…nothing. Why would calling the police be a necessary things when I’m one of the softest people…I don’t get it.
    Would that be a form of gaslighting? A way to control my behavior to suit him? A way to put fear into me so that I won’t do something that he doesn’t like again?

  • MB

    March 29th, 2021 at 12:23 PM

    This has been my experience with certain people nearly all my life. I’m not entirely sure why some people do this, but I believe they feel more powerful by doing it.
    My mom is an example of somebody who gaslights. Although I love her, this behavior has hurt me since childhood (we’re talking 30-something years). She loves to contradict what I say and start fights over nothing, and act like I’m crazy. If it’s raining outside (not literally but just an example of what I deal with) she will say otherwise. And it won’t be in a calm way…she will take on a very hostile demeanor. Her tone will be aggressive, and she will say I’m lying even when the truth is obvious to more rational people.
    Just the other day, we were talking about somebody we both know. I stated that the last time I saw this person was around 2005 and that they still lived in a specific location. I know for a fact that they still live at the same place, they haven’t moved. My mother became very combative and condescending. “MB” she said in that nasty tone, “You’re wrong. That was over 15 years ago”…and she continued to argue and belittle me. She looked up the person’s address, and what do you know? I was right all along. Instead of apologizing, she moved on like nothing happened.

    People who gaslight will never admit when they are wrong. They rewrite history and attempt to create a false reality. They make you feel that you are crazy or not telling the truth, when in fact it is THEY who have issues with the truth. Another way that gaslighters work is that they will start a fight with you and then if you stand up for yourself, they accuse YOU of being the aggressor. It makes no sense.

  • MB

    March 29th, 2021 at 12:38 PM

    Agreed, gnugo! “Double whammy” describes it perfectly. They find a way to provoke a bad reaction from somebody, then accuse the victim of being the problem.

  • Anne

    April 1st, 2021 at 1:42 PM

    Thank you, gnugo- that is a perfect description. I was able to read some of Dorpat’s work online and share it with my husband, which was helpful. Unfortunately, my husband and I have a lot of learned behaviors left over from our upbringings, which leads me to reply to your comment, MB. I am sorry you live everyday with so much uncertain toxicity from your mother. I am not a professional, but imagine you Mom may have a personality disorder, maybe? My own mother is classic NPD and treated me the way your’s treats you from childhood until I reached 37- I am now 51. It is a terrible way to live- yes, what you described seems like gaslighting to me. The problem for me was not feeling confident that my rage was warranted- was I crazy or ungrateful? I finally decided that I would not treat anyone the way she treated me, especially not my children. There were codependent issues for us, too, but I decided to face it head-on finally. I verbally drew a line in the sand and let her know I would no longer allow her to talk to me the way she always has and had to stick by it for a couple of months. She is respectful of me, now. It took a few times of her getting close to the line and my pushing back hard. You don’t deserve to have everything you say questioned combatively. It is a complicated and overwhelming situation, I know. I feel for you and know how hard it is.

  • Crissy

    May 4th, 2021 at 6:26 AM

    Husband started stealing everything needed for me to ambulate, as I have 5 levels fused in my spin and 4 in cervical.
    I have drop foot and he stole an AFO and custom orthodics so I can hobble with a cane.
    He stole medication out of my cup when I went in the bathroom.
    I wanted to put a motion activated camera up, so I have actual video, date/time stamped proof.
    I was told I would be arrested for violating his ‘”right to privacy in his own home.”
    Apparently, I have no rights to not being robbed, “in my own home.”
    No abuse hotline, social service agency is effective or helpful.
    Why is this not a crime?
    Stealing medication would make me go into withdrawal, which PROVES, HE is trying to make me look crazy.
    (BTW: I am on the lowest dose, post 2 major spinal fusions, + a 4 level ACDF)
    I now see, why women are hesitent to ask for help. Abuse does not matter in a courtroom and can actual effect them negatively.
    A divorce is now $50,000.00. That is the going rate for getting rid of a “narc” after attorneys made 0 during COVID. (no court)
    Now they rate is X 10 of what use to be. > ($5,000.00)
    Being severely handicapped has no impact on my situation.
    I have padlocked everythiing I possibly can, and it is ridiculous that this is legal behavior.
    The system is a facade.

  • Amy

    May 16th, 2021 at 12:26 AM

    I have been gaslighted for years but not realised until 3 years ago, it was my mum and two sisters… I remove myself from them and started to feel better about myself but they not have invited me to my siblings wedding only 2.5 months before the actual wedding but have excluded me for over a year in the preparation of this wedding and the engagement…
    Now they tell me that they didn’t say anything awful to me back then and that if I don’t come to the wedding out relationship will be over for life… I don’t know whether to turn up for the respect for my parents etc or just be done with it.. I’m tired of trying to find a place in that family and I literally don’t care for myself when they are in touch or putting this pressure on me but then feel scared if that will be it for the relationship I did ask my mum why I wasn’t invited a year ago and why is siblings weren’t kept equal so they were involved and their kids why me and mine kids weren’t but she just comes up with another excuse… I just want a peaceful life. Any comments will be appreciated

  • Crissy

    May 18th, 2021 at 6:08 AM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I drove away to regroup and I ended up finding other women in the same exact situation.
    It’s remarkable how many women can’t get a rent, due to being retired, narcissists got everything in their divorces after 20+ years and 1 women’s husband is a NH Supreme Court judge.
    We commiserated and are all staying in touch.
    “Misery loves company,” but I intend to “steal” my own joy back once again.
    Love to all, whose love was a lie-
    It’s not our fault, save yourself…self love-

  • Rita

    May 18th, 2021 at 8:46 AM

    After my husband died I didn’t date for 8 years. I thought I had found someone that loved me and I fell in love with him. After 3 years of wonderful times yet having to walk on egg shells I was becoming very nervous. He became someone I did not know and the rages he would go into and temper tantrums. He threw me away like a piece of trash and went right to another vulnerable victim while my heart was broken. I am age 74 and he took away 7 years of my life. Three with him and 4 years with a broken heart and I have not seen another man since. I seem to prefer my own company now. Good luck to all of you loving a man that is incable of loving and has no empathy for you, animals or anyone else. They are sick individuals. Narcissism is considered a mentally ill condition not to mention mine was also a Sociopath bordering on a Psychopath. Stay safe all and if you see red flags run as fast as you can. I saw the red flags and put them on the back burner.

  • Ray

    June 14th, 2021 at 9:11 AM

    This is so B.S. all of it . You make a problem situation out of anything. This is one of the major issues marriages dont work out . Pushing this crap around . Therapist are Not good. A stranger does not need to give their opinion. Your relationship is over for sure if you go. This gaslighying is complete B.S. what you’re doing is taking away facts, reason, logically thinking, and accountability.. if you were to use your own advice say in the court of law you would lose 100% of the time . And very doubtful you have a long lasting relationship if you can’t ask or be suspicious and talk about it. You should be ashamed of yourself. Are you a lady boy , transgender trying to give advice on mental health. A bunch of greedy lonely A-holes you are. If anyone following this nightmare of advice please stop and use common sense. This is a tactic to get you to be offended by absolutely Everything .. its the Democratic way. Booo booo booo .

  • Raymond J Madrid

    June 16th, 2021 at 11:17 PM

    I’m so glad that I am not alone in this nightmare .
    I have always found beauty in ruins
    I would find myself making excuses for him. because of his childhood trama before he had even started to make up a lie
    and I would continue to make excuses for him for 3 years til present . And I know that I can’t keep on allowing him to hurt me emotionally and excuse what he has done to me repeatedly. He needs to hold himself responsible for his own actions . Because my constant justification for the pain he inflicts on me because my own fault for allowing him to hurt me.
    Wish that this would become a law to where When he lies and manipulates another human being for his own selfish reasons for his own greed for his own self worth or for financial reasons all that is listed above is all the actions of a horrible human being and should be prosecuted for his intentions. And God up above gifted him . Not with a beautiful voice or some other amazing talent that not everyone can possess.
    his is gifts are above everything he is extremely well endowed and I mean extremely and has the knowledge to convince you to open up and let him enter you and move things around rearrange your insides as if he bought the place. But all of this of this being done with extreme pleasure he is so magnificent and so loving you don’t even realize that he’s f****** s*** up it also is incredible and you want more and more and more. Leaving you addicted he is my addiction and I know he’s not good for me
    because he has a long list of men who fell victim to him but just wanted him to be thier own and tobe loved by him and to feel so desirable because of him he new and understood the power control he had over me and all of them . And he still lead each one on to believe that they would have this great life together . Making them believe and build a
    Thier life together but in their own heads and he would just agree to it by saying that he wants the same thing and leave it that . and leave that person with a kiss and a promise to return shortly and disappear for the weak or month ignoring all of your calls text messages
    I’m not a violent person I am a person who always expresses my feelings and emotions so there’s never any Wonder of what’s going on and I love a person fully and will do
    Anything for him with in reason as long as I’m not hurting another or taking from another . And I am well aware of my doings and this life and I am proud of who I am as a person and how I can help another with out judgement . And some see me and want to take advantage of it but I digress .. now back to Robert
    he lies to me constantly and I get put in such a rage that I want to harm him or myself and or the other he’s having an affair with even though they probably don’t know that he has somebody else or maybe they do either way it could be bad and I’m afraid that I might hurt myself or hurt him or hurt the other men involved. And I know that is wrong to hurt anyone or anybody for whatever reason unless your life feels threatened and sometimes I’m threatened by myself from myself of what I might do to him or myself or others if that makes sense I would love to put him in jail for hurting me knowing what he was doing was all premeditated
    For someone that I’m in love with I would do anything for them with in reason
    But I cannot handle filling stupid making myself feel stupid or feeling stupid because I did something for that person who maybe believe that person totally

  • Nichole

    July 6th, 2021 at 11:14 AM

    Hi, i have a question and maybe someone could help me understand my boyfriends behavior better.
    We met 2 years ago , the first year or so i found facebook and instagram messages he sent his ex girlfriend he misses her, i asked him about it and he told me im being silly he is just being compassionate. I told him it makes me feel uncomfortable and hoped he would respect it but again i found he messaged her again sending her a link to his music tracks and he asked to see her and didnt tell me. I also asked him who the lady in a huge portrait of a woman that he had on the bedroom wall was and he lied told me its just a random painting but then found out it was the very ex he was messaging over social media ( not she was not replying to any of his messages) he kept liking every photo she posted on Instagram and noticed he does not pay attention to my photos or posts at all . Anyway i become extremely upset and cried and screamed at him and he just sat looking into space and ignored me flat out on every question i asked in this regard, i finally let it go just a month later to find that he sent a list of love songs to hia first wife and told her he wrote them for her. Again i broke into pieces and was ignored . Left it alone for a few months and when i felt i was calm and told him before i asked him again and made it clear its not an attack but rather for me to find some closure on the events that i felt hurt by. He responded by saying im over sensitive and that im boring, he also then told me that even if there was an answer he cant remember why he did what he did.
    So im not allowded closure according to him but if he loves me why wont he help me feel at ease ?
    Am i over reacting?
    Nichole. 🤗

  • optus webmail

    July 7th, 2021 at 4:26 AM

    Always remember that for each patient you see you may be the only person in their life capable of both hearing and holding their pain. If that’s not sacred, I don’t know what is.Success as a therapist is not found in doing something for the client, but rather in being something for the client.

  • Rita

    July 7th, 2021 at 3:08 PM

    Nicole as hard as it may be for you to hear this, your boyfriend is playing both you, his X and anyone else. You are a part time girlfriend for when he gets the one he loves back you will be history so you need to tell him it is you or her and you will not put up with such. Find a man that respects and loves only you! You deserve to be happy and loved by just one man. Good luck to you.

  • Jay

    July 25th, 2021 at 5:03 AM

    I cannot believe how much this is actually related to circumstances that I thought no one would ever get or understand its one of the hardest things to live through or deal with I got put into the mental health system due to many of these things happening and loosing it as a result not aggressively but always questioning my self looking for a answer to why and never receiving or finding it and being shouted at told shut up your stupid I don’t need to listen and pushing away from people and making me look as if I am the bad one who has done something wrong to deserve any such treatment to the point even so called friends where not such friends and feeding there own desires and gains through this it’s one of the most degrading low life things a human being can do to genuine person who cares and does everything for them to the point there happiness is all they care about and allow all the lies pain suffering and exclusion from everyday life being sat about doubting yourself trying to to find a way to climb up and have the real you shown for who you are but never getting the opportunity or chance to do so as it’s already been done your made look what you are not through asking and reacting to others around you but getting shut out and put down with no hope or anyone to turn to and not genuinely being able to be a normal person I do say this through my suicide attempts and self harming as way to get out or deal with this situation don’t take these steps and seek advice and have someone who allows you to express your opinions and listens to you for truth and what you have to say as long you are true to yourself put your self above it I know its easier said than actually done but don’t let people put you in the darkest place you ever been as if honest no one will ever understand or feel what you are until them they selves have been been through and had it done to them it’s not a single person who achieves this but a group collective and great silence and traits being played against the nature and the person you are I’d like to say all will be OK and life gets better but for me it isn’t and hasn’t its only got harder and harder to deal with and when you get to the point of truly wanting it to end but luckily surviving it you don’t get stronger and happier you simply see that it’s not worth hurting the people you love and care about its better to just keep going and try ride the storm and it doesn’t rain forever sorry if this isn’t the most inspirational speech to help and encourage others but it’s my truth and how I am and feel about this but I do believe things in this world need to change for the better and the negative energy and acts spoken and physical by others to make a human be and feel as I do one day should be balanced and corrected that’s hate or wishing any bad to anyone it’s just simple equations that I pray for and hope the scales turn for the better I wish all and anyone the best and just know your not alone in all this and try to put yourself in a better place and you need to be able to talk to atleast one person who won’t judge or place opinionated opinions upon you for what’s being fabricated and said thank you people and stay strong

  • Jeremy

    July 25th, 2021 at 3:59 PM

    My mom right now I would like her to stop talking to me stay out of my room.

  • Rita

    July 25th, 2021 at 8:55 PM

    Life can be very discouraging and lonely at times and everyone is on this roller coaster going through life. We are all in this lifeboat called life together and it takes two! To just have someone who understands you and supports you mentally means all the world. But some do not even have one. I don’t. I am very independent though but it does get lonely at times. All we can do is keeping moving forward and not looking back. Just live in the moment for the moment is all we have. I am so sorry to hear of your friends not caring. A true friend is always there for you any time of the day or night. All of my best friends are deceased and died rather young from disease and or other things like accidents. Try to find something new to look at every day even if it is a flower or ducks on a lake. Get out of the house and go for a walk in nature if you can. Staying in too long being consumed with the same ole same ole can really get one’s spirit down. But then we have covid to deal with and it has pushed everyone inside. I have a parrot that keeps me company and he depends on me so he keeps me going. I hope you can find peace in the “now” and at least one good honest faithful friend. We are all here to listen, help and learn. Good luck to you!

  • Angela

    August 2nd, 2021 at 2:51 AM

    I am also in an abusive gaslighting situation. I have been asking him to leave.for the past year. He bully’s me and either threatens to hurt me, or he tells me that i will regret ever having making him leave, if i do. He has another address and i noticed he has a cable bill that i pay in his name. Not sure how he changed it. We argue constantly because I will not back down and believe his BS. How do I get rid of him? Please advise. Thank you.

  • Sara GT

    August 2nd, 2021 at 4:00 PM

    Dear Angela, We are sorry that you are experiencing this difficult situation. Perhaps you would like to consult a therapist for assistance? If so, we can help you. Please start by entering your city or ZIP code into the search field on this page: Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. You may click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. If you need help finding a therapist, you are welcome to call us. We are in the office M-F from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time, and our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext 3. Kind regards, The GoodTherapy Team

  • Athena

    August 10th, 2021 at 7:47 PM

    Honestly if this is gaslighting in this article, then literally everyone I know has done it and been a victim of it. I feel like this waters down gaslighting to include any abusive behavior.

  • Rianne

    August 12th, 2021 at 7:28 AM

    This has happened to me before so luckily when I met my now ex I could easily see things he was doing that resembled abuse. The first thing was him arguing with me over how much better the people he knew were compared to me which I didn’t take to well and then the next day he tried to say that I made it all up so I thought ok well benifit of the doubt maybe we misunderstood each other but then he started saying things like no1 would take me seriously based on how I dressed because he apparently asked his so called mates and that went down the wrong way so I left him very early on he came back about 4 days later which I ignored and he started telling me how disrespectful I was because I didn’t respond to him and at that point I blew up and swore at him telling him to leave me alone and I wanted nothing to do with him after a few days he msgs again saying that he really missed me and was sorry for all that was happening idiot me fell for the bait and started talking to him again this went one for about a month recently I decided to tell him how I felt I was sick of being on eggshells around him n told him I wasn’t happy with him n the way he was treating me and that we should end it he tried to twist it around and say that I wasn’t normal and that if I cared I’d be there for him more which is what I was originally complaining about to him because he would put everyone else before me he wouldn’t even talk to me half the time unless it suited him so I finally told him well I’m sorry u feel that way n knowing how unhappy u r all the time just makes me want to let u go be happy elsewhere and I hope u find someone ur happy with he started talking about how my mind wasn’t to his liking and I wasn’t going to sit there and put up with that rubbish so I told him I honestly don’t care but I’m blocking u right after this so u can find someone ur happy with please don’t contact me ever again and I blocked him right after hanging up in his face which is what he used to do to me and I felt so empowered doing it and from here on won’t let anyone not even for a second treat me like that. I know my worth and yes I was dumb to forgive him for countless times but in the end I just realise how not worth it they are to deal with it will send u mental even if it’s just for the month and how much better u feel not having to walk on eggshells n being able to be urself is such a relief. We have been created free yet we allow ourselves to be locked into people’s rubbish that we are not responsible for

  • Cris

    August 16th, 2021 at 6:15 AM

    I’m proud of you figuring this all sooner rather than later.
    Go find your smile again and soon you’ll forget his name altogether.
    Be well gentle spirit ~

  • Jeremy

    August 31st, 2021 at 12:23 PM

    Right now I would like my mom to not be talking to me permanently right now stop talking to me and stay out of my room and no longer tell me where she’s going and to stop bringing my laundry to my room. No longer be saying my name and no longer know my cellphone number. Stop making me breakfast lunch and dinner right now. Return my bankcard to me and then never come near my room anymore.

  • Rita

    August 31st, 2021 at 9:05 PM

    You sound very ungrateful and disrespectful to your Mother. If you are living at home there are rules and if you don’t like the rules then get your own place, do your own wash and cook your own meals and pay all your bills.

  • stainless steel

    September 16th, 2021 at 11:44 PM

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    September 20th, 2021 at 6:29 AM

    I think youre right on about the spine observation! Thank you so much it answers that question for me!! Thanks for sharing your austuitness!

  • Danny

    September 20th, 2021 at 11:04 PM

    I’m tearing up after acknowledging what i just read through. I have a TBI and a physical disability that has been taken advantage of and abused by my newly wed wife of 4 months. Ive already scheduled a therapist my doctor recommended, after my doctors visit to discuss possible side effects of one of my prescriptions that rarely causes audio hallucinations. Thankfully, as i knew it in my heart, my dr didn’t think it was my meds at all. Here’s the story and i will write a book about this.
    One month ago my wifes mother and sister flew to Colorado to spend time with us. We went out to karaoke and my wife got pretty drunk, and i didn’t realize just how drunk she got, until i got into the jeep with her yelling at the top of her voice. She drove the 3 miles home so violent, running stop signs yelling at her sister the whole time. Now ok, my disability came from a new friend being the designated driver, one that i always was, and my wife knows that. The next morning we woke to see her sister drove to the airport and flew home. The next night was sleepless for me, and the out most disturbing night I’ve ever had, and had since progressed in the worst and most evil way i could imagine. My wife has always talked in her sleep on occasion. I was always told by her she feels sorry because she thinks it keeps me up at night if i hear something like “i hate you”. (Didn’t think nothing of it at the time, a couple months ago while lunch visiting her at work one day at a care center, a coworker asked her if she’s still having a problem with her sleep talking, and to use a pillow to muffle her words). Anyway, From that night on she has perfected speaking with no lips, only using her exhales as a disguise for words, or a syllable per exhale depending on the length. She now always uses a pillow or blanket to partially cover her mouth. It has been a constant breathing talk like that all night. Her sleepless nights have us both recording it, even while i sleep. Her couple recordings which began first and were her idea, has used them to justify all she hears is breathing and snoring, along side with the loud tv she keeps going all night now. And also claims, how can you even hear anything while her talking is muffled with the tv going.. 15minutes into her first recording, my wife started yelling at me letting me know she’s been recording and that i wont hear anything on it because its muffled from the pillow, and its all me and my brain injury. I new in my heart and my brain that i was hearing right. So i rolled over and installed Samsung Voice Recorder off of google play. Now what ive heard using a graphic equalizer just like i researched an audio analyst advised using, has me crushed. Ive played the recordings for her and she starts arguing only saying all she hears is breathing and its me thinking it not her, but thats on a cell phone. I have a extremely nice stereo system from drive in auto sound in my truck, that ive had to listen to these many recordings loud enough to make out what she’s saying. She says she would too, but refuses to listen to them, all in hopes after hearing it herself, my wife could then take action getting help to stop. Instead we haven’t slept in the same room for weeks and her talking has gotten worse, now thinking since her mom and sister hear only breathing, no one will figure out she has other personalities, as she said in a 35min recording i finally heard yesterday from 3weeks ago. Several recordings have her saying over and over and over
    “I have to put you in a mental hospital”
    “I have to put you in a mental hospital”
    “I have to put you in a mental hospital”
    Over and over… Like 9x in a row, then switch to “i hate you” over and over, to i need to have you admitted, so you get what you deserve and i get the house and cars and you will have nothing.
    I apologize this was so long. I finally found an audio company that has taken a recording to analyze, clean up and i get it back in 2 days. Ive also contacted support from an disability advocate and looking up lawyers. Wish it wasn’t like this, but as of this evening my wife has no intention on admitting she has multiple personalities, let alone fits the description as one gaslighting me.
    Thank You everyone for listening!
    Wish me luck and strength

  • Cris

    September 21st, 2021 at 9:21 AM

    You have evidence which is usually the hardest part, to get everyone to believe you.
    I just found 8 of my mobility devices stuffed in the dining room hutch. Our adult son, stood there watching me pull one thing out after another, knowing I wouldn’t hide my own things on myself. Lawyers told me it’s illegal for me to put a camera up to catch him, because it’s a violation of HIS privacy! Figure that one out?
    I’m sorry she’s insane but I’m elated you’re on your way to better days.
    Plus, she’s so busted.
    Wishing you every joy this world can offer you-

  • Rita S

    October 4th, 2021 at 9:27 AM

    I have been a victim of this it feels, so many times. I always said it won’t happen again. I wanted so badly to meet the right person yet I found that the ones I fell hard for were Gas lighters that were married or living with someone.

  • Gale

    October 29th, 2021 at 2:04 PM

    QUESTION?? How can I help my daughter understand she is a victim of a gaslighter??

  • Arizona

    November 18th, 2021 at 9:11 PM

    I am currently in a relationship with a man who fits into this description of gas lighting almost to a T. He is constantly changing things in our vehicle’s and denies doing so. He is a master Technician yet denies knowing how new features just keep appearing in my daily driver. They were subtle at first. I started keeping logs and records of what was going on and low and behold finally had a breakthrough in confronting him. Had a therapy session with a relative who is a psychologist and he finally admitted that he lied and apologized for lying to me about one specific thing and trying to make me think I was imagining it. Or it happens by itself.
    A small step, but just knowing I have family support in this helps a lot. How this is going to resolve is still up in the air.. I mean I can’t spend the rest of my life documenting things to stop him from mentally abusing me.
    Please publish when you have a cure to make someone stop gaslighting you. You only mention how to protect yourself, and then have a safety plan to leave.
    Are these abusers hopeless? Will he change? Is it even worth it?

    Thanks! Love from Arizona.

  • Krisanne

    January 8th, 2022 at 2:05 AM

    WOW, WOW, WOW!!! AWARENESS…50% of the solution!!!

  • Cris

    January 10th, 2022 at 2:11 PM

    Have your daughter read an article on narcissists and the list of behaviors they exhibit.
    Not apologizing EVER, is pretty much top of the list.
    It’s extensive and it will be like a bucket of ice thrown in her face.
    Just be there to hug her through the anger she will feel towards herself for not knowing.
    There are stages to recovering imo.
    Teach her now so you don’t have to fix her later.

  • Colin

    June 25th, 2022 at 4:28 PM

    OMG! My mother used this term to describe my behavior in trying to convince her to seek medical help leading up to her illness, after she returned from a week in the hospital with a terrible infection, I had never really heard it used before that. Anyway, I suffered SO much verbal abuse, screaming, orders to stop, etc., just for begging her to let me take her to the hospital or call an ambulance, so that I could save her life. Luckily, I finally found means to contact a friend of hers in order to alert them that she wasn’t listening to me, as always, & was going to die soon without serious medical help, & they contacted her to talk to her, & literally 10 mins later an ambulance was on its way- she just barely survived, & the infection was far worse & did far more damage than necessary due to her delay. Yes, she hates hospitals & doctors, but it was as much about never believing any input I could give has value as it was about that aversion to the medical community that kept her from going long after it was clear she had some terrible problem.
    Four months later it happened again, apparently her immune system is basically shot, oddly opposite of mine, as I never catch viruses, etc., but I have scleroderma, & my immune system is attacking & killing me in an especially painful manner, filling all my organs including every inch of my skin with unbelievable amounts of unnecessary scars tissue. I’m actually about 10 years beyond my time predicted by doctors to live, but due to my unemployability, & the literal 8-10 hrs. a day I must spend engaged in excruciatingly painful management of my symptoms just to keep myself from being completely hobbled, frozen, or extremely disfigured, I’m completely destitute & reliant on my mother for support, & she has the means, & volunteered originally to help me because I couldn’t do for myself.
    But, she then uses this as an excuse to act as if she can never do anything wrong, regardless of how badly she sometimes treats me, making it clear she thinks I am without wherewithal due to some personality flaw, rather than my illness, treating me like I can never do anything correctly & I must be monitored & instructed through the simplest of tasks, & kicking me when I’m at my lowest points over issues unrelated to her.
    All this despite the fact that Id been on my own since 17 yrs. old, & when I became ill at age 30 I had just finished 9 years at a prestigious university, getting perfect marks & multiple degrees, & yet I still had a car, truck, boat, was into all sorts of hobbies, & had fully furnished all my expensive rental houses, had two dogs, & a successful online business, & had paid my way through school without debt upon graduation without ever getting help from anyone.
    Anyway, I’m super glad she falsely accused me of this, because it led me to this article & I see now that THIS is exactly what she constantly does to me. She will offer to do very nice things for me, but then half the time she will renege at the last moment, or halfway through, & claim she never said she would do the things to begin with, & I’m obviously so “entitled I’m delusional”… And virtually everything in this article fits perfectly.
    I don’t know what to do, because I have tried to figure out ways to become financially independent, but nothing works out, I am in excrutiating physical pain all the time, my skin eveywhere is half ruined, & I often cannot even walk due to constant crippling inflammation.. I am not employable, & nothing I’ve tried online has succeeded yet?
    Now, though, despite promising she would provide me a very minimal amount of money monthly(700, covers food & slightly more) as long as some catastrophy doesn’t make her financially unable, she has now reneged on that, taken it away, & I’ve burned through the 10k I had saved from selling the last of my former belongings.. And I’ll soon be back on the street living in my 1999 Toyota van, because even though my mom has a large house I cannot stay here except whenever she has dire need of my help with chores & responsibilities because she is too ill. I guess I’m going to have to become a drugs dealer or something? & I’m only half joking right now.

  • Victoria

    September 19th, 2022 at 11:21 PM

    I recently learned this term and instantly was like, this sums up my entire childhood. Stepmom and dad gaslight my entire life up until the pint of my entering into rehab for addiction. The trauma this woman caused in me is so far within my subconscious that it’s so hard to even work in therapy to apply a solution. I just go there (I’m wrong, I’m being to sensitive, I’m so dramatic, I’m just looking for attention, I like negative attention, I suck, be careful what I say, he won’t love me if he knew how crazy I really am, I’ll never be okay without my family in my life,etc). I’ve been sober and working 12 step program all these years but still am terrified to be vulnerable and trust so people. I was in so much pain for so long and to this day my reality is still called into question when talking to my family (“don’t you think it could’ve been puberty that made you feel that way abt her (stepmom)”; “stop living in the past”). My sponsor helped a lot in that they validated my feelings and my truth. I was able to get to a place of peace when considering the fact that my truth was heard and validated by her regardless of what my family says. I’d say the biggest problem though for me in getting help was being in a treatment center and being told by counselor and therapist that my feelings of the situation were a distorted perception of the issue because I’m an addict. That hurt and caused me to question my reality and my feelings on my childhood trauma even more. I still have troubles trusting my feelings on a situation and have to run it by my sponsor before I can move forward with anything emotionally driven just to make sure it’s not wrong or I’m not crazy thinking that. It also helps when I hear someone say something To me that elicits a resentful feeling to run it by a safe person and ask them is that what they heard. I’m afraid that because I was gaslit from the age of two years old until the age of 30 it’ll never stop for me second-guessing myself. But reading this article helps me know that this is a real thing and it’s not just puberty or my addiction and that there are successful healings taking place for survivors. So thank you for everyone who’s sharing this. And for anyone who is in a relationship with someone who is gaslighting them and you have children together please get your children the help now. As someone who spent so long in pain and suffering because I was manipulated and molded to the liking of my parental figures I have had such horrific experiences as an adult trying to maintain a sense of control over my own life independently and healthfully.

  • Tricia

    December 26th, 2022 at 10:48 PM

    I have tried to make sense of my whole marriage and I don’t know how anymore. I have no friends cause it seems like through out the years everyone I have talked with he finds some way to put me down or them and I stop. Somehow even when he’s sorry it’s my fault. Years ago I put a PFA on hime am I was young and I know what happened even though I have tried to block it out of my head. I even paid to get it taken off. Somehow it happened to me but I don’t remember it right and I can’t tell him he’s wrong cause he knows what happened. I don’t know who I am anymore. For the past 4 years I have been so depressed and angry and alit has happened. I never got help for alit of things cause no matter what I was doing he seemed to think I always was cheating. Well the past year I have been lashing out and so upset with never being aloud to talk to him about it. We tried counseling at out church and the guy said that my husband running me in circles and gaslighting me , well that was the last time we went to him . He makes it sound like he has been putting up with my shit and that he at least tried when he struggled in the past. He is also bipolar schizophective and not on medication cause he says he healed. I am so co dependent on him. I feel like I have nothing and he puts a PFA on me cause I do get upset but I am not abusive. He just doesn’t want to hear me cry or talk about anything. I just want him to care. He says he loves me and cares but he walks away or gives me silent treatment or yells at me back. I am so confused and upset I can’t take it. I feel crazy and I feel like my kids are doing it to me now too but I know they are justt trying to survive and they don’t want him to do it to them. My whole family says he is abusing me and gaslighting me and they say he is narcissistic. I just love him so much and want to be with him and I don’t know how to be without him. I can not even make simple decisions. I don’t even know what I enjoy anymore. He just got the emergency PFA and I’m aloud to stay in the home still but I just can not get upset. I will get arrested and go to jail. I have never got In trouble before. He has and he was on parole for domestic violence towards me In the past. I don’t know how to handle this an I am so upset.

  • Beverly

    January 21st, 2023 at 5:21 PM

    Get this….a couple of years ago in a conversation about a situation in my life, my sister suggested that I was being gaslighted by someone. I knew of the term, but did not know what it meant. She explained it to me. Recently she and I were talking about our past of when we were still living with our parents, I recalled a situation that I had personally observed involving her and my mother. My sister vehemently dismissed my memory by saying, “That’s not what happened!” I didn’t argue with her about it and I did question my own memory. So, I decided to bring up my other memories of her from the past that I was involved in, just to see how she would react to them. She said that I was wrong and wasn’t remembering correctly. Yet, she had just written to me about another subject I had remembered from the past not involving her, that she praised me for having such excellent recall of and that I had a great memory. For the first time in my life, at 70 years old, I questioned myself about whether or not my sister was Gaslighting me. My answer was yes, but I didn’t understand why. So I decided to write my autobiography in order to learn about how my early family life developed and evolved into this behavior with my sister. I have learned that it is not just one sided. It takes two or more people to create family dynamics. More importantly, the foundation of the dynamic was created by telling a lie to cover up the truth because the truth was unacceptable. If the truth is unacceptable, then the person that the truth is about is unacceptable and a lie is born to cover it up. One persons lie, then becomes the family lie and is perpetuated into more family lies. Unfortunately, one persons lie, can create a situation where there becomes an unwitting victim. It did in my family and I was the victim. Being the unwitting victim is crazy making and the result is emotionally horrendous with hazardous consequences. Those being that the victim is not to be believed, considered overly dramatic, dismissed, engaged in shameful behavior, untrustworthy and a threat to others, just to name a few. Thus being rejected and with a longing to be accepted, the victim is very easily
    manipulated and easy to gaslight. The victim experiencing a sense of worthlessness, engages in shameful behavior to fill a sense of emptiness and perpetuates the consequences of being a victim. Because the victim is the cause for the lie, the victim is resented by the perpetrator. The perpetrator then subconsciously and continuously punishes the victim, further agrivating the victims feelings of rejection and worthlessness. Upon self awareness of the effects that the perpetrators actions had on the victim, the perpetrator begins to feel guilty and takes actions to help the victim. Those actions may have been misinterpreted by my sister as me being favored. Therefore, my sister became jealous of me and secretly wanted to discredit me and for me to fail in my life so she could become the sanctimonious matriarch of the family after our mother and father died. I have since communicated with my sister to say that because I am not a mother and because she is a mother and children usually believe what their mother tells them, I intend to write an autobiography for me to tell the truth about my life, in my own words. And, if anything about my memories differ from hers, then it will be up to the reader to decide what they want to believe. Hopefully, the decendents of her children can benefit from knowing there is another description of previous events which could serve to explain why their own parents and grandparents behave in a certain way which adversely affects them. Keeping descendants ignorant about the lies, mistakes, indiscretions and poor judgement of their ancestors is harmful to their development and self confidence.

  • Jordan D

    March 27th, 2023 at 12:34 PM

    this was a good read. I just feel like substance abuse needs to have a whole paragraph of its own

  • Elizabeth

    March 29th, 2023 at 10:06 PM


  • Charlotte

    March 30th, 2023 at 12:53 PM

    Dear Elizabeth, it is common to feel helpless after being in a relationship like that. Finding a therapist to help you process and heal can be helpful. To find a therapist with experience in PTSD, please enter your city or ZIP code into the search field on this page: Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. You may click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. Please reach out directly if you need help finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time, and our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext 3. Kind regards, The GoodTherapy Team

  • HartStrong

    September 14th, 2023 at 7:34 PM

    Gear your mind for war, protect your mental state . .
    They can’t do this forever .
    If God is for you , who can stand against us!

    People who use narcissistic, gaslighting, and control techniques are weak minded , and can be beat at their own game. I’ve done it , still doing it .

  • Jacqueline

    May 4th, 2023 at 2:59 PM

    This is my story exactly on point with what has happened to myself and my direct family. It’s a very toxic and. Scary to be in this situation my offender has tried to alienate all of my friends and family he also receives a monthly allowance that states domestic allowance deposit into an account of his that is directed through my bank account all of my inheritance is missing all of my daily monies we’re going through a postmaster machine that were coming up a negative instead of a positive and then he had chargebacks placed into an account and then dispersed into several different prepaid accounts and divided up and sent to his employees or people he knows this man was in prison for stabbing me and he was supposed to pay the women’s shelter and me I have his child he never paid a penny he had money sent into a friend and that friend would take a percentage and then give him the rest so they wouldn’t have to pay me or the women’s shelter the only reason why I came back into the home is because this was our long time home when I went into ICU they stripped this home down and got rid of all of our stuff and my son wanted to get back and have a relationship with his dad and I was not letting him come alone I regret coming back . He appears to be different today and that different is worse because I know this man is not on my side a lot has been taken from me and he never supports me in any manner i’ve never committed a crime in my life I have done my taxes every single year or even quarterly and on the bottom it has an anonymous statement that I own property landing pads jets airplanes artillery but I don’t know how to find this I’ve been paying taxes on it every year and I did have an invention that was stolen by my partner who had a felony on his record so I believe he may be posing as me this makes sense because he owe child support and he also did not pay his taxes and he also is a criminal so now that’s appearing to look as it’s me.
    This has been a very very very hard thing for me to deal with and I am lucky to be alive today most people would’ve committed suicide. He will no longer take money from me they also have attached my son and my daughter cloned their phones to mine so they would appear to be the fall guy well I’m not letting this man get away with it not one more day we will not stand in for you big guy you are going to get busted I want my money and I want it today. Thank you for hearing me out this is my message in case the big guy is watching no more

  • Fareeed

    July 26th, 2023 at 3:37 AM

    I’m no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what you’re speaking about, and I can truly get behind that.

  • Fareeed

    August 1st, 2023 at 4:45 AM

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks.

  • assumeworld

    August 23rd, 2023 at 11:42 AM

    I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog

  • assume world

    August 25th, 2023 at 10:52 AM

    This is very educational content and written well for a change. It’s nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.!

  • Overwatch 2

    August 26th, 2023 at 11:39 PM

    This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works.

  • Anonymous

    November 12th, 2023 at 8:05 PM

    Main takeaway for me is I don’t know anyone who likes being gaslighted, so I think we should all just avoid mental health professionals whom have historically been the biggest offenders in my world. Yeah great every article says that when all else fails at dealing with a Cluster B individual that you are stuck with, oh come see a the-rapist, the promised land. Yikes more Cluster B in those chairs than in politics even.

  • Nicole

    February 7th, 2024 at 11:47 PM

    I have borderline personality disorder with high anxiety adhd and ptsd. I am being gaslighted by everyone I am surrounded by including my mom and even my children. My youngest is 9 and he is even doing it!!!! I also am a recovering drug addiction so my mom always tries to blame it on that and that my mind is just all messed up from the drugs but I know it’s not the case. Especially when she tries to change my memories of how things happen. I first noticed when she started acting like I was crazy for being upset when it wasn’t where I knew for a fact that I left it just to later find those things in her room. But unfortunately because of my past I am completely dependent on her and I have no other family or anywhere else to go. I don’t know what to do!! She’s even manipulated my kids!!! How can I break away and get my kids back?! And I don’t wanna believe all of this is even true because she’s my mom and I love her soooo much I’m just lost and completely dieing inside I feel like I’m just floating through life and becoming empty but I cant keep feeling like this!!!! I’ve messed up in the past and I admit that I’m not perfect but I thought she had forgiven me for that but I feel like she just uses it as a weapon to hold over my head and thro in my face knowing how badly I feel about my past. No matter how hard I try to work on it! I just don’t know what to do. Thanks for listening…

  • pascale

    February 13th, 2024 at 7:10 AM

    “I appreciate the detailed breakdown of eplus4car’s features.”

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