Tv show triggers

Status
Not open for further replies.

ams

Confident
Does anyone here have a hard time watching TV shows because of the content in it? I love 24, and I still watch it, but it's really hard not to spiral into a dissociative state when I'm watching some episodes. A few in the beginning of season 1 keep touching on rape, and the new season (8) has a couple episodes where someone is raped, and the girl has PTSD. The more recent season has been really hard to watch because my friends come over, and I know they know about my incidents. I'm constantly thinking "what are they thinking about this/me?" I don't want them to be thinking of me, I want them to be not thinking about my rape stuff and be watching the show.

I know they care, but I get overwhelmed just thinking about what they might be thinking of. I can hardly handle the stuff in my own head.

My friend, Gretchen, before coming to my house to watch 24, she'd text me mid-episode and ask how I'm doing with it. I really appreciated it, but it's rough to address how I'm feeling while being exposed to something. I'm used to just zoning out. I still take in stimuli, so I know what's going on, but my mind is elsewhere (that blank-stare thing). I start touching something repeatedly, tapping, rubbing, etc, for that self-soothing thing, which helps me stay grounded, but it's totally subconscious and I don't realize I'm doing it until I snap out of that state.

Does anyone else have experience like this? How do you handle it?
 
Most of the time, while watching TV, or reading a book, I zone out. I can watch/read for an hour and not remember 1 thing......I have just about given up reading, and watching TV is my way of just zoning now, when I need to relax... I HATE it when my T tells me, that I need to be more mindful!!!!! Zoning has it's benefits!!!!! LOL!!!!!
 
I turn off the television if I start getting spacy, now. I don't watch anything scary or suspenseful, because they tense me up too much and make me more likely to check out. That said, I can watch some mildly suspenseful shows if I tape them and watch them later. Being able to put them on in the light of day make a big difference to how I respond.

I think you probably need to decide if watching this particular show is something that is worth the effort of getting through, or if it would be better for you to just skip it.
 
Good points above. I'd find it very difficult to watch a show with friends if the subject matter were deeply personal and triggering. Could you look up an episode synopsis ahead of time and avoid the episodes that might be especially triggering? I like the idea of taping the episodes instead. I personally can't watch most of the action/crime drama series on TV. . . come to think of it, the last time I did, it was with a friend who had a habit of ruining the dramatic tension by making fun of the characters and dialogue.

That wouldn't work with something that hit too close to home. Some things I just can't watch. I'd have to hit the mute button or change the channel. Even with scenes that probably wouldn't disturb my friends, even if I don't want it to be a big deal. I'd end up "zoned out" in the worst way.
 
I'm pretty new to this, but I more then anything avoid the stimuli. I haven't mastered zoning yet, too many years of martial arts drilling to be mindful into my brain. IF something does begin to trigger me though, I tend to get up to go to the rest room. I wash my face, take a breath, make myself something to drink (water or if it is particularly bad, tea.)

I have to avoid anything and everything with car accidents, and Movies/TV love the car accident trope. I've taken up wearing headphones a lot lately, easy to just slip them in if I'm at a friends house and can't really "Get away". I pull out my Nook (ebook) throw in my headphones and listen to music while I read until I can come back. It isn't just waiting for the trigger to go away, but waiting for your response to go away too.

I can even tense myself up if I am anticipating something that is a trigger... Triggering a trigger through anxiety... That means I kind of have to chill myself out.

It helps to have understanding friends, I have a few that go out of their way to ensure I'm in a chill place. I'm very lucky, they know a little, but do a lot.
 
Thanks for replying guys. I really like 24... and I really don't want to miss episodes lol. But watching it with friends helps in the sense that I try hard not to act like I'm affected by it. But that gets exhausting. When I'm dissociating a lot and I catch myself, I have to physically get up (like someone else mentioned) and move around otherwise I slip back in.

It's a little upsetting that shows throw rape stuff around so much though. In season 1, two people are raped, and one person almost gets raped, and they throw the word around several times per episode. It feels like I'm hitting a wall. I want to learn to deal with it.
 
There are many things I can't watch on tv. I was a huge fan of Law and Order, and since the PTSD took over, I can't watch it at all. Along with a billion other shows. I miss many shows, and there are some that are new i want to watch - like Underbelly. I used to love the crime and mafia programmes, and now... nothing. My world has become Disneyfied.
 
Funny thing is, I became "sensitized" to certain shows because I was in the hospital for a month and they censored what we watched. It took a few weeks after being released to become desensitized again.

But in general, I don't have a problem being triggered by t.v. shows. SVU is my favorite show...I'll still watch episodes that I've seen five times. My brother is more affected by it than me, and he didn't undergo any trauma. I tell him its "all about catching the bad guy!" YAY for justice! Well, at least they TRY to get justice, which is something I'll never have.
 
I deliberately try to keep things on the 'happy' side with my TV viewing. It's the Travel Channel, Myth Busters, Modern Marvels...and on and on. Suprisingly I do like watching shows like CSI and NCIS. But certain ones do trigger me so I turn them off or leave the room. The one show I used to watch but can't anymore due to triggering is House. It's a medical show and nearly every episode has some unusual disease that's life threatening. It just got to be too much for me.

Personally I'm more into reading a book and sometimes I just have the TV on for a little noise in the back ground.

Lisa
 
I rented the movie G.I. Joe. I normally can watch any single type of war movie, some I truly enjoy. But in the movie G.I. Joe the guy was running into a building to get people out when the building exploded and I was triggered enough to leave the room with my dogs and go outside.

Also there are some of those reality TV shows that show things like car crashes and boat accidents they also sometimes show explosions and sometimes but not always those can trigger me too.

My wife thinks it's strange that I can play video games that have explosions and stuff in them and they don't bother me at all but someone lights a fire cracker and look out. I have tried to explain about video games at least I have control over what happens. And I am not truly in any danger nor are any of the animated characters.

I guess I will just continue watching the shows I like and if they trigger me then I know not to watch the anymore or change the channel when there is potential for a flashback.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top