• Quote of the Day
    "You are much deeper, much broader, much brighter than any idea you could have of yourself."
    Harry Palmer, posted by Daniel

cindylo

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
25
Points
1
Hi David and all,

I am a new member. I am posting to ask a question if I could.

I am wondering if there is a specific term for when people make mountains out of mole hills so to speak. I have seen alcoholics and drug users get themselves into a state of uproar and also bullies will do much the same thing I believe sometimes to justify what they are doing to someone.

For eg, A male grabs a female who recently had surgery and hurt her over her surgical wound. The female slapped the male as a response to pain. The male now tells everyone he was assaulted and this female is dangerous.

Is there a specific term or terms for this type of response from the male? I can see that the male has lost perspective and is unable to view this incident as it was, an accident both on his part and the physiological pain response from the female.

Thanks to anyone who has an answer

Cindy
 

Retired

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
8,965
Points
36
A male grabs a female who recently had surgery and hurt her over her surgical wound. The female slapped the male as a response to pain. The male now tells everyone he was assaulted and this female is dangerous

Cindy,

Welcome to Psychlinks and thanks for posting an interesting question.

I'll defer to those with clinical expertise to define the type of behaviour you've described, but from my perspective, someone who would act out this way is already or has the potential to be an abuser.

If you are describing an actual person, has this person ever considered receiving therapy for his behaviour?

It will be interesting to hear the comments of others.
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,051
Points
113
I don't know that there is a single cause or diagnosis for this sort of behavior, Cindy.

It may be, as TSOW suggests, a manifestation of control issues, possibly in an abusive personality.

Alternatively, it may reflect an anxiety/stress response, or a reflexive defensive reaction to the perception of a threat from you, or some sort of "macho" self-esteem issue, or simply a general issue of poor anger management.

I think we'd really need to know more about the individual(s) in question, the circumstances, and the prior history between the two individuals to say much more.
 

cindylo

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
25
Points
1
Hi Steve and David,

Thanks for your reply's.

What I am trying to do is descirbe behaviour. Another example - if the female said something like I am going to kill those kids (I can see that there is no intent, I have said similar things with no intent) this man will use this as evidence to use against the female, she is dangerous, violent etc. I have heard of the term gaslighting but this covers a broad range of behaviours. I was wondering if there was a specific term. It is like he has no perspective (though I suspect he does know exactly what he is doing).

I agree with you completely Steve this is emotional abuse and this particular man is a textbook classic case, isolating the female from friends and family, infiltrating her life very quickly and finding out information to use against her etc etc.

I am an ex psychiatric nurse and currently finishing a psych major degree (this will not make me a psychologist though. I hope to become a specialist trauma counsellor in the next year or two. I am very interested in abusive relationships (Have been in one or two myself, but I have always managed to get myself out quickly, it is not the case for all women and men, and I can understand the effects of trauma bonding etc and have certainly experienced the effects of emotional abuse). I have seen this behaviour often with PD's and drug users, if there is not a term there probably needs to be one especially to descibe abuse suffered for the person involved and for legal reasons. I have ordered some books about gaslighting so will continue to look for good desciptions of different types of gaslighting.

Thanks for replying, this is a wonderful site.

Cindy
 

cindylo

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
25
Points
1
I should probably add one more thing. I am trying to descibe behaviour, not diagnose a condition eg schizophrenics when they repeat what you are saying = echolalia. Just wondering how you would describe this particular behaviour. It's probably the psych nurse in me.

Cindy
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,051
Points
113
Thanks for your clarification. It does indeed sound as if the individual might be a classic abusive personality.

You might find some of the books and other publications by Dr. Don Dutton of interest. He is an acknowledged expert on the subject of domestic abuse (he was actually a witness at the preliminary hearings of O.J. Simpson although I don't believe he appeared at the trial itself).

I believe there have been suggestions made to the DSM-V project to include recognition of this behavior/personality constellation as a personality disorder.
 

foghlaim

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
1,549
Points
36
gaslighting???????????????

is this an american\canadian term?? covering ???
 

Halo

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
7,475
Points
36
Glad you asked NSA because I thought I was the only one that didn't know what that was :confused: I will be interested to hear what the response is?
 

foghlaim

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
1,549
Points
36
and i'm so glad you joined me on this Nancy...
the only gas lighting i know of is for me cooker... or in history books refferring to the real olden times. lol
 

Halo

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
7,475
Points
36
I am completely with you on this one and very curious...glad you had the guts to ask as I didn't. I was just going to let it slide :eek::
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
8,521
Points
48
Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse characterised by persistent denials of fact which, over time, have the effect of causing the victim to become anxious, confused and progressively less able to trust his or her memory and perception. A variation of gaslighting, used as a form of harassment, is to subtly alter aspects of a victim's environment so as to cause discomfort.
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
38,051
Points
113
It's from the movie Gaslight where a husband sets out to convince his wife and others that the wife is insane.
 

ThatLady

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
4,104
Points
36
I think the term "gaslighting" fits the described individual quite well, really. I think of "gaslighting" as a coping mechanism for some, and a purposeful behavior for manipulative individuals, used in order to attain the desired reaction from "victims".
 

Halo

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
7,475
Points
36
Thanks Janet and David for the explanation. That makes more sense now. :)
Well I guess I have learned something new for the day and it is only 6:30 a.m.

Thanks Again.
 

foghlaim

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
1,549
Points
36
i echo Nancy's post... thanks for the info.

and i just had a great idea lol
well to me it is anyway..

a purposeful behavior for manipulative individuals, used in order to attain the desired reaction from "victims".
i can now refer to the thing (the ex) as a gaslighter. heh heh.

puzzle the daylights out of ppl with this one.. lol.
 

Halo

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
7,475
Points
36
Probably better than the other words that you have been thinking :)
 

stargazer

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
1,720
Points
36
Probably better than the other words that you have been thinking :)

LOL!

I'm glad to have learned this term as well, because it covers a variety of behaviors for which I'd not had a catch-all expression. I think that people engaging in gaslighting might do so out of their own unwillingness to face reality and so deflect the blame onto someone else. This is indeed the kind of denial so often seen in practicing alcoholics and drug addicts, and it can become very injurious when it hurts others as well as themselves, or seemingly moreso.
 

cindylo

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
25
Points
1
Hi all

Thanks for the responses. I would like to add that the 1944 movie is still available, I bought it earlier this year. What is really amazing is the very accurate portrayal of a psychopath in 1944. This is pre DSM and pre lots of research. It is well worthwhile watching.

I will try and get the books recommended and continue to try and find accurate terminology for individual behaviours,

Thanks again

Cindy
 

cindylo

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
25
Points
1
Hi David

I was just re reading through this post. I was wondering if you have a reference for gaslighting/harrasment in workplaces???

Thanks

Cindy
 

Top Bottom