People suffering from long Covid took up the term “medical gaslighting” to describe the medical establishment’s inappropriate dismissal of their symptoms. The word can also be used to describe individuals across contexts, from romantic partners to politicians.
The dictionary offers two definitions for the term. The first describes 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.”
Searches for the term saw a staggering 1,740 percent increase in searches in its online dictionary in 2022. The word stayed in Merriam-Webster’s top 50 list of most-searched words for all of 2022.