GASLIGHTING was the word of 2022.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.”
Sadly, as women’s mental health care providers at BRIA, we see this frequently. People at every life stage who are struggling with mental health and physical concerns tell us that their symptoms and voices have been dismissed by health professionals, friends and family. They are too often told they are “crazy”, or that they just need to “get over it” or that there is nothing anyone can do to help them feel better anyhow.
But we know that when peoples’ hormones are shifting, bodies are changing, self-perceptions and roles are in flux, suffering is very real.
Thanks so much to Lisi Tesher #TorontoStar for thoughtfully answering a writer’s question and for hearing what Bev Young, MD, FRCPC and I had to say about paying attention to women’s mental health concerns, even if they don’t fit into a tidy box.