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Is the internet trigger-happy?

I disagree with whole idea of trigger warnings, though I can understand why many are comfortable with the idea of them.
I probably wouldn’t be able to communicate very well, and I wouldn’t have the benefit of other people’s true, unedited experience. I think, for me that’s necessary.
By “who decides?” I mean literally who makes the decision to notate that something needs a trigger warning? The educational system, the government, religious factions, political factions, individuals?
That concerns me..
Sorry I wasn’t clearer on this.
Thread starter #26
Sorry, misunderstood. I completely agree, and that is one of the major issues behind the decision not to use them here. When you have people posting from all over the world, about all sorts of topics, what I have seen on other mental health communities that do use trigger warnings, is topics turn into arguments about why an author didn’t use trigger warning on their content, as a person got triggered by some obscure aspect within the context.

The whole notion and concept is ridiculous IMHO… but that is just my opinion. I think when a university is dictated by a student body to implement such a thing into curriculum, that university leadership just sent learning back decades.
As long as we’re tossing the “Warning! Trigger ahead!” label about, would anyone mind if I slapped it on =this- article? After all, it did trigger me – on several levels – into a very rare outburst of ire. But realize that I don’t get out much (read, ever) and am always behind on the news.

I had no idea that now ‘racism’ is a primary cause of PTSD. In my usual uber-PC attitude, I feel that (loathsome and hateful though racism is,) unless you did a stint in Aushwitz, I don’t want to hear those two terms in the same sentence.

Many years ago, I first became aware of PTSD when I learned about the ultimate alarm clock: being awakened with a .38 in your ear, your spouse yelling “incoming!” at people who aren’t there. “Good Morning, Viet Nam!”

If one happened to exist during that time, one would have undoubtedly gotten very familiar with those who not only experienced some of the roughest war imaginable but, expecting to come home to cheers as did WWII soldiers, were met with ‘you baby-killing bastards”… as they’re hobbling along and incubating some horrid shit caused by Agent Orange.

I thought I understood PTSD really well after living through so many flashbacks, preventing several suicides and the like. Imagine my delight when 30 years later not only am I dumb enough to spend 6 years letting some fool hurt me lots and/try to kill me on occasion, only to finally get rid of her – and instead of the expected “Happy ever after,” my brain packs its bags and moves to warmer climes.

“PTSD? No way,” I told Doc. “That’s for Nam vets.”
“Come on, Cat. ‘Post-traumatic STRESS syndrome’ happens when someone lives through a catastrophe: earth quake, a war as dreadful as Nam, or being constantly afraid for your own life for an extended period of time. That ‘fight or flight’ gets triggered and can’t shut off.”

Several years of non-stop panic attacks accompanied by constant fear and a couple of failed suicide attempts later, I was already having issues with today’s definition of “PTSD”: I can’t help comparing Iraq to Nam and I don’t get it.

I didn’t get a lot of things, admittedly, including the ‘idiocy’ of any female who would ‘allow’ herself to be abused for years. Nor do I get the ever-increasing references to PTSD in the media for the last few years, almost always with regard to the military who have, I quote, “Seen things none of us ever will and therefore are scarred for life.”

I and a few of my sisters would happily oblige in displaying our own scars – and ours aren’t invisible.

Moreover, can’t turn on the TV these days without warnings about “graphic, disturbing scenes” depicting people doing what humans always have: hunting their food, grilling and eating it. Shocker! Not sure whose sensibilities such scenes will disturb – are they afraid, perhaps, of triggering our boys? Give ‘em more credit.

More I think about PTSD, more I come to what’s likely an unpopular way of thinking. War ain’t personal, is it? Now, being pinned under a couple hundred pounds of insanity whilst – you get the idea – THAT, by God, is personal.

I’m aware that PTSD isn’t defined anywhere as being ‘personal’, but ask anyone who narrowly escaped a tsunami, for instance. Felt pretty damn personal as your life passed before you, didn’t it? Any sort of near death experience will do that for you. And, IMHO, you gonna get that lovely disease – a sort of warped cherry on a spoiled chocolate Sunday.

The hell of it is that if you take our entire military, add folks who’ve lived through national (and other kinds of) disasters, throw cops and firefighters (also ignored PTSD-wise)- that number wouldn’t be a fraction of a certain other group, who number around 54 million right now.

54 million possible sufferers of PTSD yet they’re overlooked there as they so often are in their lives. That group is, of course, women. 1 out of 3 has been or will be abused: and that figure is low.

Having said all that, if you’re going to worry about triggering me, unplug everyone’s TV and throw it out the window: I can’t deal with “Happy family” commercials. Get triggered also by anything Christmas. On a really bad day, I reckon a really good fart would trigger me too – so unscrew your arse and throw THAT out the window too.

This book business – Shakespeare et al – is the SOS dressed in different clothing. Ludicrous when discussed as not ‘proper’ reading for kids: moreso for triggering PTSD.

Whoever is writing that tripe knows dick about PTSD: because it is highly personal. Smelling ginger can trigger us: hearing a step on the stairs. I’ve been raped, beaten, locked into an apartment to starve for 6 months, and forced to visit the Grand Ole Opry 3 times. Hard to imagine that watching a good cop show which portrays an attack of any kind is going to trigger anything more than, “don’t open that door! Don’t go in there!”

PTSD is personal, and it’s about opening doors, not closing them in any way. Please don’t use a disease that is a nightmare for so many as a platform for any more political or personal agendas.

As an aside – bravo to the site owner for not giving in to such nonsense. “Trigger warnings” my arse.
I’m seeing courtesy with trigger warnings, not mind reading, that’s a bit far reaching IMHO. (Not debating it nor arguing while we’re at it; I understand the point of view it’s seeming to be coming from, just not sharing it.)

As such, I’m happy when people care to provide them where it’s customary, express care for others in other ways where it’s not.

It’s acknowledging the trauma’s physical effects on lives I’m more concerned for than what package it comes in.
Trigger warnings…. Hmmmm I personally don’t think they are necessary Especially on a PTSD forum. The forum is here to be used as a tool to find a safe place to work through some traumatic shit. Trauma is not nice or comfortable and if I start to read something and I feel myself getting “triggered” I close the screen, Just like I do on TV.
Sometimes what one would consider a trigger might be a connection for someone else that brings on an epiphany of understanding.
I think having to post a trigger warning is enforcing the stigma and bringing societies judgment to the forum of apologetic shame for making it through a horrific time(s) that was out of my control and not of my choosing.
I don’t know what all my triggers are because my system hasn’t revealed events yet, it just kinda reacts. If I feel something becoming personal and my anger starts to kick in, I close the screen. Most of the time ….
But if I felt the need to start writing through something, it would have to flow and just be. No worrying about who it will offend or trigger and this is the place I would come to do it BECAUSE it is MY PTSD. PTSD is f*cking ugly people.
Now I don’t know about it being feminist whatever … Seems like a bit of labeling and finger pointing there Anthony, maybe feminists trigger you.
Thread starter #30
“Seems like a bit of labeling and finger pointing there Anthony”

No, that is the factual citing origin for its overuse and declared requirement upon www articles. Google it… you will find it within the first few results.
I did google it and you are correct.
To be honest I have seen it and on some forums it is required to the point if you don’t, your post will be given a trigger warning by admin and it will be sanitized according to their standards. I figured their forum, their rules.
But when I really think about it, it’s sending the message, “Don’t Tell” which is one of the core reasons many of us are struggling so badly now. It is unacceptable to talk about things that make people uncomfortable and we keep it all inside. Not talking is certainly unhealthy and it keeps the stigma strong.
Exposure therapy is something that might work for some but it can also be considered numbing yourself so while you might not feel the anxiety as much you could be robbing yourself of feeling other positive feelings. I don’t know if you have already read it but there is a book called, “The Body Keeps the Score” By Bessel van der Kolk M.D. a good read about PTSD.
Thread starter #32
Yes, I have read it. Yes, exposure is something that must be tailored and structured on a per person approach. That really aligns with any therapy, actually, in that everything is tailored specific to the individual, based on a set of established guidelines and procedures to work within.


Triggers are so different for each person, and I think it’s fine if a PTSD site does not use them (for me that is). If something is triggering, I just stop reading it. There are those bad days when I am triggered easily, and I can’t afford to read ANYTHING that might trigger me. For me, that means no PTSD site’s.

Sounds like everyone is different.

Maybe some like the idea of thinking of others by marking a trigger warning–It may actual allow them to write something they wouldn’t normally write. IN that case, I say keep the warnings–the rest of us can merely choose to read on no matter the trigger warning. Trigger warnings don’t take away choice or have to mean someone is mind reading–maybe the warnings just make the writer fell safer?


Policy Enforcement
I really don't see what the big stigma against trigger warnings is. For a site like this, sure, it's a little redundant - we're all here to talk about our traumas, and each board has a specific aspect of trauma being discussed. It's expected that things are gonna get heavy there. But for the internet as a whole, it's just being courteous.

Can you know 100% what triggers someone? Not necessarily. Triggers are a complicated and often personal thing. But those who oppose trigger warnings often oppose even warnings for common triggers - namely sexual violence, pedophilia, and rape. Is that really who you wanna throw in with?

Do you scoff at allergy warnings on food or "wet floor" signs in stores? That's "coddling" too, isn't it? Use common sense and don't walk over floors that are wet, what are you, a pussy?
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