OK, so what's with all this TRIGGER WARNING business I've been hearing about?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Isaak, Jun 15, 2014.

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  1. Isaak

    Isaak Active Member

    So while I technically contend with a traumatic stress/anxiety disorder, and while I understand the potential harm in re-experiencing the trauma in an unsupervised setting, I am somewhat bewildered by the concept of trigger words.

    Are certain people's Stress Response Systems (in which fight/flight signals bypass the prefrontal cortex, rerouted to the amygdala) sensitized to respond to certain words and subject matter (rather than to actual stressors, or audio/visual simulations of stressors)?

    If so, how is one to know what may trigger someone?

    Seems well-meaning, but shifts responsibility in an impractical way.
  2. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN SF Author

    One is not to know that something innocuous might trigger someone of course, but discussion of a topic normally starts people actually thinking about that topic. With that in mind it is reasonable to suppose that talking about abuse, self harm, death etc is likely to make people think about abuse, self harm, death etc. For some people - particularly for some people here who are struggling with suicidal ideation, ptsd and various other issues - thinking about a topic can lead to a downward spiral that is dangerous.

    That is the purpose of a trigger warning - and the reason for the triggering subjects room in chat. So that people can choose to avoid topics that are commonly triggering and thus avoid a downward spiral. It would seem obvious that some topics are going to be more commonly triggering and it is common courtesy to other users that members think of others before they discuss those things.
  3. Isaak

    Isaak Active Member

    Given your clarification, it still strikes me as a bit circular that a trigger-sensitive person with suicidal ideation actively navigates to a discussion board dedicated to discussing suicidal ideation and triggers and somehow the onus is on someone else to exercise caution.

    And I mean for this discussion to go beyond the courtesy/rules of this board, but more broadly, the concept of Trigger Word Sensitivity applied to discourse a la political correctness.

  4. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    While that discussion (and a similar article is posted in another place on the forum for mental health articles) makes a lot of sense for colleges , universities and the general workplace you r reasoning that it should not apply here is backwards. People come here for "support" and to deal with suicidal feelings. It is BECAUSE this is such a place that it is appropriate for trigger warnings here that may serve no real purpose in the world at large. It is clear such discussions are going to take place but it allows people to choose their exposure level based on the increased sensitivity one might expect as a general rule here. The simple fact is if you are not triggered it causes no inconvenience to you at all while allowing others to moderate their exposure by choosing which rooms to chat in and which threads or forums to read.
  5. Isaak

    Isaak Active Member

    I can be considerate enough to give a heads up, I suppose.

    But what about the mechanism implied by "trigger": as someone with bona fide PTSD monkey on my back, and knowing others in the same boat, what gets us hot and bothered, while unique to the patient's trauma sequelae, is a misread signal/interpretation of the real word and not a cognitive processing of letters on the screen-- because if simply thinking about the word "Trauma" gets you, you'd never survive flashbacks, nightmares, etc.
  6. MoAnamCara

    MoAnamCara SF Artist

    Those letters on the screen are processed by my brain and I am one who will react to such letters. I dislike the word trauma, to use your example. For me it represents many things and can, depending on my anxiety levels etc. at the time, send me into flashbacks.

    We are all different, some may be more sensitive than others. I believe in the trigger usage here and will avoid such indicated threads until I am in a better mental place.
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