The real meaning of gaslighting, OCD, other popularly misused psychological terms

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Saturday, 19 August 2023 - 03:25

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When we misuse psychological terms (or therapy speak), the result is that we self-diagnose, misdiagnose, or attribute attitudes and behaviours to actions that make no sense.

Here are five commonly misused therapy terms:

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a psychological manipulation in abusive relationships that often causes victims to question their perception or reality.It’s often used to avoid reflecting on their role in disputes, but it’s incorrect when it doesn’t allow for self-reflection and responsibility for actions. If someone points out what you’ve done wrong, it’s not gaslighting.

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Trauma

Not everything is a traumatic event. It is not more than just a stressful event. Trauma is exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or child abuse, experiencing war and sexual violence.It is important to be aware of the symptoms of trauma like fatigue, racing heart, sweating, feeling jumpy and digestive problems.

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Narcissism

A person who is arrogant or egoistic is not narcissistic. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is characterized by adulation and a lack of empathy.Despite its persistent and widespread nature, impolite behaviour is frequently described by users as egotistical. Making a diagnosis is challenging because concepts like “narcissistic” are conjectural.

Boundaries

Boundaries are crucial in relationships, as they help people understand their needs and desires and feel safe.However, many people overlook the importance of setting boundaries that consider the desires of others and it leads to self-centeredness. You can be an inconsiderate and mean person under the guise of setting boundaries.Also, you can’t set boundaries for other people but for yourself. When you set your boundaries, it’s on you to enforce not the other person.

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OCD

Many people believe that Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) means excessive cleanliness, but this isn’t so. OCD is a chronic condition causing uncontrollable thoughts and behaviours like constantly feeling the gas is on, so you constantly wake up to check it. This term can be misleading and stigmatize individuals without a diagnosis, as it often refers to a single action or behaviour without a diagnosis.

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