Warning Signs of Extreme Mental and Emotional Exhaustion

Mental and Emotional Exhaustion 1

Warning Signs of Extreme Mental and Emotional Exhaustion

Going up and down on the rollercoaster of life can be extremely exhausting. In an instant, one can move from their best to the lowest. Despite being exciting, this is not the case when one is constantly experiencing lows with a few highs. The ride stops being exciting and turns into a depression-inducing adventure. An individual becomes emotionally drained.
Emotional and mental exhaustion is not an uncommon condition. However, very few people know how to identify that they are drained and need some time to re-energize and rejuvenate. Because of the lack of understanding of the signs and symptoms of being emotionally and mentally drained, most people keep working and thus leading to more mental and emotional health deterioration.

Virtually anyone can experience emotional and mental exhaustion from working – from professionals to students. Over the last few years, the prevalence of depression among college students particularly has increased due to mental and emotional exhaustion. These students who have a lot on their plates are necessitated to seek help with their school work as a way to cope with the burn out that comes with dealing with numerous assignments and papers. As such, there is an increase in the number of students searching for “website that writes essays for you.” Despite this measure not being a long-term solution, it has helped many students deal with the exhaustion of having too many engagements.

Signs of Extreme Mental and Emotional Exhaustion:

This article explores some of the tell-tale symptoms and signs of emotional and mental exhaustion. These symptoms may disrupt an individual’s normal life, adversely affecting their relationships and productivity. These signs include:

1. Getting easily irritated

The most common way that emotional exhaustion manifests is in how easily someone gets irritated. Fits of abject rage that are out of the norm are a surefire way to tell that an individual has had a lot to deal with both mentally and emotionally.

Trivial things such as a partner’s chewing sounds or a co-worker’s predilection to use Sans font instead of Times New Roman could tick you off instead of blocking them out like you usually do. Being emotionally drained makes one super sensitive to the most inconsequential irritations. Instead of dealing with the cause of their issues, individuals are more inclined to direct their anger to other peripheral factors except the ones causing them the emotional anguish.

 

2. Total lack of motivation

Mental and Emotional Exhaustion 2

With mental and emotional exhaustion comes the lack of wherewithal to do the tasks that one would usually be excited to handle. An individual always feels like they are incapable of getting work done. The goals that once made you psyched to get up every day and go to work start to look and feel like they are adequate anymore. This is especially complicated for employees and students to contend with since, at school or the workplace, there are deadlines to meet for numerous tasks.

 

3. Experiencing bouts of anxiety

As a consequent of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, an individual feels more stressed than normal. Anxiety and panic attacks become almost daily occurrences. One gets unnecessary worries and always anxious about the smallest things.

 

4. Feeling detached from the world

Another common symptom of suffering from exhaustion is the feeling of complete detachment from everybody and everything, even the things that one loved once before. When one is experiencing mental exhaustion, virtually nothing affects them anymore.

 

5. The emotional breakdown for absolutely no reason

When an individual is mentally, physically, or emotionally exhausted, they lose the strength to deal with situations that are challenging. On almost a daily basis, the stress that they are experiencing becomes more intense. As a result of the compounding stress, they finally get to a point where they cannot deal with the pressure anymore and thus breaking down emotionally and crying even because of the most trivial things.

 

6. Deteriorating physical health

When an individual is going through a low in their life, they lose the psyche to take care of their physical health. Basic things like eating well and taking showers become tedious. One even loses their appetite completely. Consequently, their physical health deteriorates and leaving one looking sickly and weak.

 

7. Insomnia

Lack of sleep is a symptom associated with numerous things in an individual’s health, and one of those things is emotional and mental exhaustion. Feeling overwhelmingly exhausted makes it extremely difficult for an individual to feel calm and get sleep. An individual could be feeling exhaustion all the time, but they can’t sleep since their thoughts are circling at high speed through their minds, and they can’t seem to break this loop.

 

Conclusion on Mental and Emotional Exhaustion and its Growing Prevalence

Emotional and mental exhaustion is a treatable condition. The most effective way to deal with this condition is by dealing with the stress agent or the factor that triggers stress in an individual. If one’s work causes exhaustion, for instance, it may be helpful to try switching jobs. However, if it is impossible to eradicate the stress agent, it is advisable to maximize the available resources in coping with the condition.

 

Understanding and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse and neglect is a very sensitive subject that needs to be handled with care.

One can’t really associate a state like this with just bruises. There is emotional, as well as physical exploitation. Also, for a little kid to heal or recover from it, the earlier one spots the signs of it, the better it is.

What is child abuse?

There are plenty of signs that indicate child abuse and neglect, they are – ignorance of children’s needs, making them deal with dangerous, harmful situations (sexual/mental/physical) or making them feel insignificant are all the actions. And, the end result of all these is – extreme emotional trauma for a kid. Sometimes, this could be irreversible too! Thus, if you know any kid who is suffering from any kind of abuse, it is your duty to get them the right help before it is too late.

Are there any research papers and essays on this subject?

With lots of students as well as other people like sociologists, phycologists and policemen taking an interest in the subject, there are many child abuse essay topics that have been researched and written upon. One may find many quotations on child abuse, essay examples, research papers, etc. on the topics associated with it. In fact, one may even find various child abuse essay samples for free online.

It is great that students in schools, as well as colleges, are given education on such crucial subjects as well as write an essay as well as research paper on it. This is sure to make them more aware, thus, helps in building a better, more educated, and healthy social culture.

Recognizing the warning signs of child abuse

The causes of child abuse are critical and have negative end results. Thus, be responsible, keep an eye open for various warning signs, such as:

1. Emotional abuse warning signs

  •       Worried, fearful or anxious behavior regularly
  •       Extremities observed in actions – highly aggressive at times, demanding or laid back
  •       Less attachment is shown towards parents or guardians

 

2. Physical abuse warning signs

  •       Unexplained bruises or injuries frequently
  •       Vigilant/scared that is something ‘hurtful’ will happen
  •       Disliking/discomfort on everyone’ touch
  •       Tries covering up injuries with inappropriate clothing

 

3. Child neglect warning signs

  •       Bad hygiene – uncut nails, unbathed, dirty clothes, etc.
  •       Malnourished or obese (not naturally)
  •       Ill-fitted or neglected clothing
  •       Late or missing from school activities

 

4. Sexual abuse warning signs

  •       Has knowledge about different sexual acts inappropriate for the age
  •       Seductive behavior
  •       Tries avoiding a particular person without much visible reason
  •       Shies away from changing clothes or avoids touches

Child abuse prevention measures

Any individual, whether a parent of a suffering kid or not, can take certain child abuse prevention measures to protect the little one from being exploited or harmed in any way. Here are a few ways that can help prevent it:

  •       Treat the child with love and give him/her proper attention

It is essential to nurture them with love and attention. This would help you build a good bond with them. Thus, making it easier to share their problems with you without hesitation. Many research papers have been written that conclude that when kids feel loved, they are more comfortable in opening up.

  •       Be calm with children; anger can be traumatizing

In case you are angry or frustrated over something, don’t let that affect kids. Take a break or learn to monitor your annoyance. Don’t force anger upon a child.

How Experts Mentally Prepare For A Crime Scene Clean Up

When you work in the police department or the field of forensic investigation, one of the most challenging parts of the job has to do with crime scene cleanup. Even if you have already been in this industry for long, you never really know what to expect after every call for a crime scene cleanup. Other than the physical toll that it may take on your body, there is also the extreme psychological, mental, and emotional challenge that it can bring. After all, working in this industry is not like any other ordinary day in an office setting.

You may have stumbled across this article because you are leaning towards a career in this field, or you are already in this job, but you still are struggling with the mental preparation required by this line of work. You’re in luck because this article is here to help you with tips on how you can mentally prepare yourself for the next time you are sent on a crime scene cleanup.

Create a locus of control in your system

If you take the time to talk to any mental health expert, one of the most common tips that they can give you when dealing with any form of mental anxiety is to practice your locus of control. This refers to the concept of believing that you still have some sort of control over your life. How is this applied to a crime scene cleanup?

Because this is your job, you do not have control over the fact that you have no choice but to go through this process. You cannot just walk out of a crime scene and say that it is too mentally draining for you to accomplish. When you practice your locus of control, you will embed it in your mind to believe that you have some form of control over this situation.

For example, you can control your attitude and your thoughts about the crime scene clean up. A human being’s mind has so much power that it can accomplish great feats through a simple change in attitude or perspective. If you convince yourself to have a positive attitude towards completing this job successfully, then you can be sure that the next time you walk over to this type of assignment, it will already be less stressful and grisly for you.

 

Remember the grieving or affected families

When the day or assignment gets too tough that you feel you can no longer handle it, go back to the very basics of your job. Think about the family that is grieving or has been affected. These family members would naturally want to have a sense of comfort in a difficult time. By cleaning up the crime scene as professionally as you could, you are paying your respects both to the victim and their family. And even if the victim has no family, every human being deserves to have a measure of dignity even at the end of their lives, so cleaning up the crime scene at least restores the victim’s dignity even if they have passed away.  

In addition, cleaning up a crime scene is also very important because it eases the pain of the family members. Imagine if the family has to pass through the same area all the time with the place still bearing remnants of the horrific incident. The trauma will just haunt them for the rest of their lives, even greater than whatever trauma you might be feeling. The better you do your job, the lighter the emotional burden will be for the aggrieved family as well.

 

Talk to yourself about the job

Did you know that talking to yourself is actually healthy and therapeutic? Undoubtedly, yes, you have other members of the team that you can openly talk to about your concerns. But, perhaps when you go home, at the end of the day, your horrific thoughts start to haunt your mind again, which makes it difficult for your to get up the next day. Or you have been transferred to a new team and you haven’t gotten to know any of them yet to feel comfortable voicing out your concerns.

One of the best things that you can do to combat these stressors is to talk to yourself actively. What you put in your mind to perceive and believe, your body and entire mental capacity will also actually be able to achieve. It will be helpful to your preparation for you to talk to yourself and train your mind to openly accept and believe that this job isn’t as hard as you thought it would be. Tell yourself that, yes, you are going to give your best in cleaning up the crime scene. Whether the crime scene involves a minor physical injury or accident, or the most gruesome of murders, talking to yourself in the affirmative sense will help make the job easier to cope with.

 

Practice emotional resilience

Have you ever wondered why the bamboo is considered as one of the most resilient types of grasses? Even in the toughest of situations, the bamboo sways along with the wind. You should be the same, too. When you are given the task of a crime scene cleanup, remember that it is okay for you to cry, to feel the emotions of the family, or to be afraid. But these emotions shouldn’t hinder you from completing the task ahead.

Despite all these emotions that you are feeling, you should be strong enough to complete the cleanup. Emotional resiliency is better than actually faking a tough and strong image all the time. When you allow yourself to feel your emotions—good and bad—chances are you might even finish the job better and faster than you usually would. How so? Feeling these emotions also opens you up to empathize with the affected family, so in every step that you make during the crime scene cleanup, as you remember them, and you become even more motivated to do the cleanup as best as it should be done.

 

Conclusion

There is no denying that a crime scene cleanup is going to be one of the most stressful aspects of your job. It can drain out your physical, emotional, and psychological strength. However, no matter how traumatic the situation may be for you, remember that this is a job that you have chosen to do, and if only for the sake of the victims and their families, you have to give your A-game into completing it successfully.

3 Mental and Behavioral Disorders That Neurocore Brain Performance Centers Can Help With

If there is one thing we can be sure of is that our brains can perform great feats. It is truly one of the most amazing organs in our body. Our brain is not only resilient but also adaptable and versatile in nature. It is the source of our thoughts, ideas, behaviors, perceptions, and of course, our emotions.

The brain comprises of billions of microscopic neurons that send out chemical signals that aid in the regulation of electrical activity within the body. As a result, these neurons are responsible for allowing us to feel, think, and function in our daily lives.

Over the years, our scientists have discovered wonderful things about the brain. However, there are still some aspects that remain a mystery to humankind. Truly, science and technology have given us a better understanding of what our brain is capable of.

 There have been certain advances in what is known as electroencephalography (EEG) technology that heavily deals with neurofeedback as well as brain mapping. Neurocore, a leading brain performance center, have started to apply certain knowledge in their experiments.

 This brain performance center boasts its studies regarding EEG technology; this includes developing treatments for a number of mental disorders like anxiety, depression, attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Top 3 Mental and Behavioral Disorders Addressed by Neurocore

1. Anxiety and Depression

With the help and use of EEG, scientists and medical professionals can now detect specific brain signals that correlate to anxiety and depression. In this field, the amygdala and hippocampus have been known to be involved with the processing of our moods and emotions. Now, there have been recent studies that a particular set of brain waves that are transmitted between the two actually relates to anxiety and depression.

 Using this information, medical professionals can use EEG to further study this phenomenon and find a way to eliminate this brain wave without causing any harm to the patient. Furthermore, this newfound data can lead to the innovation of certain scientific and medical devices that have the potential to cure anxiety or depression.

 

2. Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

EEG has been long used as a means to detect and diagnose ADHD. Similar to how anxiety and depression were detected, there are also certain brain waves that correlate specifically to ADHD. It is important than when a physician diagnoses a patient with ADHD, there is a need to be accurate about the conditions and the symptoms involved.

 

As a result, ADHD has been viewed by many as a medical myth. The over-diagnosis of ADHD among clinical practitioners is a continuing problem. With EEG, clinicians can perform a much appropriate diagnosing process that will involve a better ADHD screening. This will involve the process of reviewing a detailed developmental history, an assessment of the patient’s present condition, and cognitive test data.

 

3. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

There have been a lot of speculations revolving around the idea and ability of EEG to predict autism onset. ASD is defined behaviorally rather than biologically. With this in mind, there are standard diagnostic methods that include a semi-structured assessment between the patient and the examiner.

EEG can greatly contribute to this process as it can be used to investigate brain activity as well as functions. There are even cases reporting the success of this procedure. Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital have used EEG on 188 children. The results showed that about 99 children had a high risk for ASD.

 These children were monitored over the succeeding months, and using machine learning algorithms, it was found out that the diagnosis was 95% accurate. In the end, this brain performance center, by using EEG technology, truly knows and appreciates the beauty of how our brain functions.

If Your Partner Ever Says Anything Rude Or Disrespectful To You

If Your Partner Ever Says Anything Rude Or Disrespectful To You

If your partner ever says anything rude or disrespectful to you, tell them to write it down on a piece of paper and get in their car, drive and deliver it to their mother/daughter/son/father/grandmother/grandfather and then simply hand the note to them. Or mail it. If they can’t say it to one of their closest family members, and they don’t want another person to ever treat their family member that way, they shouldn’t be saying or doing, harmful things to you. Same goes for attacks of any form: spoken, mental or physical. People need to treat people how they’d want their loved ones to be treated.

Your Greatest Need Is To Clean Out The Enormous Mass Of Mental And Emotional Rubbish

Your Greatest Need Is To Clean Out The Enormous Mass Of Mental And Emotional Rubbish

Your greatest need is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters your mind. You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life, work on controlling your mind. In most cases, that’s the only thing you should be trying to control.

– Marc Chernoff –

Our Brains on Smartphones, (Un)social media, and Our Mental Health

Our brains on smartphones, (un)social media, and our mental health

Our Brains on Smartphones, (Un)social media, and Our Mental Health

The Chainsmokers’ latest song, Sick Boy, sums it up in a line, How many likes is my life worth?  Constant interruption, desire to be entertained twenty-four-seven, and continued connectedness are taking a toll on our mental, physical, and emotional health.

There is now a wide body of evidence that points to the fact that heavy use of smartphones, internet, and many social media platforms can have debilitating effects on our neural processing, cognitive performance, and behavior.  On average smartphone users check their phone close to 85 times a day and interact with their phone about five hours a day.  Increasing evidence is pointing to the fact that our smartphones are not making us so smart after all and are leading us to more unhappiness.

Recently, Sean Parker, one of the developers of Facebook, admitted they designed the program to monopolize our time and attention as much as possible.  Specifically exploiting the principles of psychology, Facebook triggers the social validation loop and activates an insecurity, where people are searching for continued validation and reward.  When this happens, we fall into a pattern of the hedonic reward cycle, pleasure seeking, for social validation.  Much like Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the sound of the dinner bell, we are conditioned to check our phone for our satiety of social approval, wondering if we got enough “likes.”

A novel study by Adrain F. Ward and colleagues found that the mere presence of a smartphone induces a “brain drain,” a disruption that limits one’s ability to participate in the present moment.  This reduces cognitive capacity for the task at hand by increasing an attentional shift toward the smartphone. This process is exhausting, and that is exactly how our brain feels as it wastes energy.  So, when you are at a lunch date, dinner, business meeting, or engaged in a conversation, have your phone out of sight so you can focus on the present moment.  Engage your attention in a single task, paying attention to the person right in front of you.

Not only do smartphones hog our attention but they impair our learning and memory.  Interestingly, a study found that  too much media multitasking causes a cognitive overload, which interferes with learning.  Heavy multimedia users were more distracted and did not perform attentional tasks as well compared to light multimedia users.  Unfortunately, more often than not, the loudest thing gets our attention.  Our smartphones can create infinite distractions that can alter our cognition, behavior, and performance.

Heavy smartphone users experience greater impulsivity, hyperactivity, and negative social concern, as reported in a study conducted by Aviad Hadar and colleagues. Additionally, heavy smartphone users showed greater difficulty with number processing and reported greater inattention.  This could explain why many of us feel depleted and have difficulty remaining on task. Unfortunately, people who use many social media platforms feel increased anxiety and depression. And a new study found that 75% of people do not want to see their “friend’s” vacation photos on social media.  So, what is happening?  Connectedness and being social is getting lost in translation.  We have entered the new divine age of keeping up with The Jetsons.  Basically, following friends on social media created increased envy, depression, and negative mood in college students.  When the social validation does not happen, or we are rejected on social media, our brain hurts, we experience emotional pain, and this effects our mental health and well-being.  Overuse of smartphones and many social media platforms has major consequences for health, life satisfaction, meaning, and happiness.

Is all social media and the things we do on our smartphones bad?  No.  It’s the balance when using our devices and how we interact with them.  A smartphone, the internet, or social media can all lead to negative consequences.  It is our responsibility to use and interact with them wisely.  If we condition our mind and behavior toward constant validation through social media and smartphone use we may suffer from anxiety, depression, and negative mood.  Importantly, we have the choice how we interact with our smartphones and social media.

Here are a few guidelines to use your smarts when using your smartphone and connecting.

  1. Reduce screen time each day by 10 minutes and engage in your surroundings.  Mindfully detach from your smartphone.  See what happens.
  2. Shut down your smartphone when you are not using it and keep it out of sight.
  3. Keep your phone out of sight when you are in a meeting.  Give the meeting your full attention.
  4. No phones at the dinner table.
  5. Try a phone-free Friday.
  6. If you cannot control shutting your phone and need some support, try a cell phone lock box.
  7. Kindness matters on social media.  Practice the “Golden Rule” when posting.  Treat others with compassion and respect as you would like to be treated.  Be a Charter for Compassion.
  8. Develop positive promotion of others and yourself.  Learn the rules of Humblebrags and avoid them when possible.
  9. Social media is for sharing and being social.  So, share your great ideas and share other’s great ideas.
  10. Recognize if you get trapped in the social validation reward cycle and step back.  You can always check your number of likes later and bank the reward.  This is the practice of delayed gratification.
  11. You are in control of your smartphone.  It does not own you!  YOU ARE THE SMART ONE!

5 Little-Known Reasons Players Are Mentally Unstable People

Typically a player often appears to be quite a confident individual. The way they talk, the way they dress and the way they carry themselves. It all looks very convincing – doesn’t it? But if you want to make a player fall in love with you, there’s something you need to consider. And here it is – 

Even though these types of people are usually seen as balanced and popular …it is a whole different story on the inside.

Jed Diamond – psychologist and author of The Irritable Male – states that even though players seem confident in themselves they at the end of the day “very insecure” about their personal lovability. The reality is that underneath the surface, these players have wounds, issues and are emotional.. These emotional imbalances are the problems that make them players.

5 Reasons Why Players Are Mentally Unstable

1. A Poor Upbringing:

Psychotherapist Jed Diamond says players typically grow up in single parent homes where the father is absent. This has the subconscious effect of making them feel insecure about themselves and their acceptability. Sleeping with lots of different women to feel loved then becomes a mechanism or way to compensate. Likewise, if a child does have both parents but they show little affection to him or each other, the result can be the same. Even though a woman might be a good catch, she is in the end just ONE woman to a guy who has been emotionally damaged like this which can make him go and look for more sources of affection.

 

2. Need for Approval:

It is widely believed by psychologists that when people pay extra attention to their looks, it is because they are trying to compensate for other problems. The more a person takes care of their looks, embeds themselves in their career or tries to make as much money as they can …there is very often an underlying problem they are trying to compensate for. Many entrepreneurs have background stories of growing up poor. This is very often the driving force that makes them want to compensate for and become rich one day. Players are no exception: they spend more time on their hair, clothes, and even the cars they drive than other men. These habits are telling of hidden securities and a longing for approval. Unfortunately, these types of people feel that, no matter the amount, it is never enough. They will keep wanting more and will go from person to person to get it. The underlying problem feeds a desire to constantly seek out new means of compensation. This is yet another sign he is not the one.

 

3. Stuck in Stasis:

Most people have or will, at one time or another, have their heart broken. It is a painful experience but eventually most people get over it. So, what happens to those that don’t? The reality is that some inadvertently become players. Many players have not worked through the feelings of heartbreak and so become stuck in stasis. They are so damaged by a past relationship that they are unable to connect emotionally with another woman and are unable to reciprocate love and affection. Each time he becomes close with a woman and things become serious, he must leave or risk being hurt again. If this rings a bell in your situation, it might be better for you to fall out of love with him and leave …before he falls out of love with you and leaves you broken hearted.

 

4. Addictive Personality:

Psychologist Nando Pelsui says that “Anything intermittent has an addictive quality for humans”. He applies this directly to the psychology of players. Even the most successful of players don’t know when or with whom they will have their next tryst. It could come along with anyone at anytime, depending on how successful they are. This sets chasing women up as being a game …which can have an addictive quality. Even if a player gets a good woman, she is just ONE woman …and the addiction of the “game” will always be scratching away at the back of his subconscious.

 

5. Feelings of Emptiness:

People want to become good at things, or do good things. Some work hard to have a successful career, while others focus on building a family or serving their community or country. These are all things that make people feel good because they have accomplished something. These people fill a void in their life and no longer feel empty. But some people have a tendency to feel empty no matter what they do in life and will always be on the lookout for ways to fill that void …that can never be filled because of the way their particular psychology is made up. So what happens to these types of people? Author of Walking on Eggshells Randi Kreger states that sufferers of chronic emptiness have a tendency not to seek intimacy, but instead constantly look for “compliments, admiration and respect”. The problem is that ONE woman can only provide so much of these. This is why players are often subconsciously drawn to seek out multiple women.

Yours Appreciatively,
Signature
John Alex Clark – Relationship & Life Coach
For more information on relationship advice, check out John Alex Clarks website “RelationshipPsychology.com“.

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Gas Lighting – Something, everyone should know about. Are you a Victim Too ?

For almost my entire life, I felt as though I couldn’t trust my own memory.

If something happened that upset me, hurt me, or angered me, my reaction was often met with some variation of “That didn’t happen! I never said that! You’re overreacting!”

I would think to myself, “Am I making this up, am I creating this hurt, am I fabricating this anger?”

Parents and partners alike would deny my experiences, washing away painful memories as if I had simply painted them for my own amusement. 

I started to think that maybe I really was “too sensitive,” that I really was overreacting, being unfair, blaming others for something that was happening inside of me.

And that’s a confusing, frustrating, and even dangerous place to be.

Because after years of being told that your memory is not reliable, you begin to depend on what others say truly happened. Nearly every time I felt angry or hurt, it was the person angering or hurting me that I believed had the “real” knowledge of what had transpired. 

And even in the moments when I began to believe myself, I’d feel a pulling in my brain: “You’re hurt—no, you’re just imagining things” or “You’re angry—no, you’re just too sensitive.” This tension nearly pulled me apart.

But one day, I pushed back.

I had gotten into a huge argument with a family member. As per usual, this family member entered my home making homophobic comments as hellos, which then escalated to a full-blown argument.

It was me against Fox News and her mouth, and it ended with both of us leaving angry – and me spending Christmas with someone else’s family.

When this argument ended, I was told I was the instigator (even though I remembered simply reacting); I was told I was the one who was being hurtful (even though I remembered being hurt the moment the conversation began). Suddenly the world shifted, and again what I remembered seemed to be only in my own head.

But I caught it this time. So I stood my ground – and eventually, those who told me I was the instigator admitted I had actually been the victim.

Later that night, when I called my partner to vent about what had happened (and to let them know I would be spending Christmas at their place), they stopped me mid-conversation and asked: “Do you know what gaslighting is?”

And that changed everything.

Wait—So What Is Gaslighting?

In short, gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse “in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.”

Essentially, gaslighting is a tactic used to destabilize your understanding of reality, making you constantly doubt your own experiences.

Most of the time, this tactic is used to further uneven power balances with abusive partners, making you second guess yourself when you feel as if you are being abused or attacked.

Even if a relationship seems otherwise non-abusive, gaslighting is emotional and mental violence. This process in and of itself is toxic and unhealthy, regardless of whether there are other abusive behaviors taking place within the relationship.

Furthermore, gaslighting is commonly used to discredit the lived experiences of mentally ill and neurodivergent folks, which is both abusive and ableist.

In my own personal experience, it’s been used to make me feel as though all of my anger was rooted in my mania, and that all of my reactions to people doing me harm were overreactions.

For example, the most pervasive form of gaslighting I’ve experienced in my home is the “blame everything on the ‘mental illness’” approach. It’s as if because I experience mania, I can never be justifiably angry; or because I experience depression, I can never be sad or hurt about something outside of myself; or because I am neurodivergent, that mine is always the last account to be taken seriously.

This means, for instance, that if I ever got angry or upset about the fact that members of my family habitually called me by homophobic and ableist slurs, making me unwilling to spend my time with them, I was simply having a manic break and that all of my anger was me “exploding” and being manic.