Stressor vs. Trigger - What Is A Trigger?


Yes, that's how they go, but either it's the meds or the PTSD, I have trouble concentrating sometimes. I love the fact that these boards are open to discussion and there are so many informed, intelligent, willing to "call you out" people here. Not to make a deviation in the thread or anything. :D


With regards to stressors vs triggers, I can now identify many of my triggers. This is a huge step for me. They are overwhelming but I'm working on grounding [it is something I spend a lot of time on].

I still cannot identify all of them. Sometimes I do not know why I can be reading a book and suddenly be in a horrible memory.

The word "triggered" being thrown around in certain internet circles bothers me sometimes, but I think ignorance and stupidity are part of life, and it is better to learn to cope with people misinterpreting or using the word flippantly than be naive enough to think the majority of people will ever understand PTSD [in my lifetime].
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Wow, everything I have thought was a trigger was (i go into flashbacks and I have 23 years worth of prolonged, almost daily trauma so i really do have a lot of triggers) Things I have identified as triggers: car doors, every night when I heard the car doors outside my house as a kid, I knew it was time to prepare myself for molestations and rapes, Fighting domestic violence when I see or hear it throws me into flashbacks, pistols as these were pointed at me these really do me in, sweating in a non aircoditioned vehicle wearing a dress on a very very hot day triggers flashbacks as at 6 years of age this is how i was raped. Alcohol, drug smells, lingerie as i was forced to wear it, wet bathing suits, heavy metal, old spice, zest soap, fire, hand cuffs, class shattering (bottles broken over my head) (cuffed to a bed in basement ) as a kid, :cries: I have to stop now but damn! Bastards, pedophiles!!! WHY?!?!?!
Stressors when people talk about things like these. Being too close to someone, someone touching me anywhere on my body, ugh...thanks for clairifying though I was wondering.


Hi sorry for reply old thread :
May I know why would Mary’s bf talk about their relationship is triggering her into panic attack? Relationship more stressful to people with PTSD?

  • Mary is single with PTSD and her boyfriend comes over and wants to talk about their relationship. Mary says he is triggering her as she goes into a panic attack. This is not a trigger, this is a stressor because the thought of a relationship beyond what she has accepted is overloading her internal stress cup; thus it overflows or triggers her stress response, being panic attack, rage, anger, etc. Not a trigger, but a stressor.


May I know why would Mary’s bf talk about their relationship is triggering her into panic attack?
It can “trigger” a stress response and cause her to act similarly as if she were “triggered” as it relates to PTSD specifically.

A “trigger” as it relates to PTSD is something that is directly related to your trauma. Like a war veteran being triggered by fireworks and other noises that sound like explosions. Or an abuse survivor being triggered by someone becoming aggressive. Does that make sense? I might not be explaining it super well