Misuse of the Term Gaslighting in Popular Culture: What does it really mean?

By: Caroline Clarke

In this generation it is not uncommon to hear from friends about how someone they know “gaslit” them. When scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, it is virtually impossible to evade the word “gaslighting”. So what is gaslighting anyway? Where does it come from?

The term “gaslighting” originates from the 1938 play Gas Light in which the husband turns down the gas-powered lights to make them flicker. When his wife points out the lights have been flickering, he denies her claim and instead pushes her to believe that it is all in her head.

Nowadays, when someone uses the term “gaslighting”, they are often referring to a time when someone lied to them. However, lying and gaslighting are not interchangeable terms, despite that being the trend in popular culture. Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic often used in abusive relationships to maintain power over the victim. A technique much more malicious than lying, gaslighting causes the victim to question their perception of reality and their mental sanity. This breaking down of the victim’s mental state and their ability to trust themselves is a major reason victims will feel it is impossible for them to leave the relationship.

Signs you are being gaslit include (but are not limited to):

  • Consistently second-guessing yourself and your instincts
  • Excessively apologizing to the person
  • Believing that you are too sensitive or over-emotional
  • Doubting your own memory
  • Blaming yourself for the way the other person treats you
  • Walking on eggshells around the person
  • Feeling like you cannot do anything correctly
  • Making excuses for the person’s behavior or withholding information from family and friends

If any of these experiences ring true for you and you suspect you may be a victim of gaslighting, know that help is always available. Remember: you are not at fault in this relationship. The first step is to reach out and tell someone about the abuse.

If you or someone you know is a victim of gaslighting please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Psychotherapy & Psychiatric Services. Contact our Manhattan, NY or Paramus, NJ offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

References: https://www.thehotline.org/resources/what-is-gaslighting/

First Generation College Students: Internal and External Stressors

First Generation College Students: Internal and External Stressors

By Raichel Cochancela

First generation students enroll in college with the ultimate goal of becoming the first in their family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. According to the Pew Research Center, only 20% of individuals whose parents did not obtain further education after high school obtain a bachelor’s degree. Students whose parents lack college experience often do not receive help while navigating the college system. Naturally, questions emerge regrading financial aid, course registration, clubs, tutoring, etc. Not knowing how or who to ask these questions becomes overwhelming and creates excessive stress. The lack of knowledge about the resources available for guidance and always doubting your actions increases uncertainty. The pressure to succeed by becoming the first graduate among your family underlies the fear of failure. Uncertainty and fear of failure are internal stressors that are prevalent among first generation students. In addition, financial concerns are significant external stressors among first generation students. Most first generation students come from low income families and depend on loans and scholarships to continue their education. Not having the financial support necessary to solely focus on college requires many students to work, which creates additional stressors. Internal and external stressors can lead to psychological disorders. It is common for first generation students to not be diagnosed but suffer from depression and or anxiety. Hence, first generation students experience unique stressors that require social and emotional support. If you know of someone who is having trouble handling the stressors that come with being a first generation student you can encourage them to seek professional help.

If you or someone you know is struggling Mental Health please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Psychotherapy & Psychiatric Services. Contact our Manhattan, NY or Paramus, NJ offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

Sources

https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/ 2021/05/18/first-generation-college-graduates-lag-behind-their-peers-on-key-economic-outcomes/

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): What is it and how can it be treated?

By: Caroline Clarke

Do you experience premenstrual syndrome (otherwise known as PMS)? Do you feel like your PMS tends to be more extreme than those around you? You may want to consider looking into premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is considered to be a severe and chronic form of PMS, and can be dangerous due to possible suicidal ideation or suicidal actions.

Any person can develop PMDD, but you are at an increased risk if:

  • There is a family history of PMDD.
  • There is a personal or family history of depression, mood disorders, or postpartum depression.

PMDD symptoms most often occur during the days leading up to your menstrual cycle. These symptoms are not experienced during other times during the month.

Some common symptoms of PMDD include but are not limited to:

  • Anger or Irritability
  • Depression
  • Severe fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Crying spells
  • Moodiness
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed

The cause for PMDD is not known. However, there are treatment options available. Some treatment options available include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)
  • Birth control pills
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Dietary changes

Due to this disorder being centered around a person’s menstrual cycle, there tends to be a stigma and significant lack of recognition surrounding PMDD. Do not let this deter you from seeking help as this is a serious disorder that requires treatment. If you or someone you know feels their PMS symptoms are more severe than the average, do not hesitate to reach out to a licensed professional and ask questions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with premenstrual dysphoric disorder please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Psychotherapy & Psychiatric Services. Contact our Manhattan, NY or Paramus, NJ offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

References: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd