Unable to watch a music video tonight

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Policy Enforcement
People around here avoid their triggers. So if that music or video triggers you..... Avoid it. We have tons of things we avoid around here. For my "sufferer" and my own peace of mind. Good luck!

"So if that music or video triggers you..... Avoid it." The problem was I didn't know that it was going to trigger me. I think sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't (depending on what I happen to be thinking). I don't think it actually triggered me properly, in that it didn't give me the immediate heart-racing etc. that then lasts for hours and days on end that I usually get on being triggered (or usually begins two or three hours, sometimes first thing the following morning, after I have been around something I am then, at that point, aware has 'triggered' me). This one was more a case I felt I could not continue to watch the video/hear the song, within seconds of starting it up, perhaps for fear that it would, or could, trigger me. I certainly felt something bad though that made me not keep it on - not the language but the visuals (identical in both the 'explicit' and 'clean' versions and reminded me of when that song, its video, came on on the television in the leisure centre that was the cause of all my problems those years ago).

I'm at the stage when, after avoiding things for several years, I'm not sure if avoiding things is always the right approach. I think it potentially builds up likelihood of being triggered, perhaps then more heavily, when inevitably I then encounter something in a public place that triggers me that I was unable to avoid. There is something to be said for exposure therapy (done in the right way, that I don't know how, at the right time). The problem is that seeing the video triggers me (or did here - I didn't know it was going to do so or at least stop me watching). However, when I then can't watch things, or have to avoid certain public places in which triggers exist, or may or are likely to do so, I then get upset at not being able to watch the thing or upset at not visiting the place and at being unable to carry out normal life, so that triggers me too. So, I either get triggered if I watch the video or, if I don't, I then get triggered by that too. So either I am triggered or I am triggered. I just can't avoid and simultaneously not avoid the same thing, as have to avoid it triggers me in its own way too. So I am stuck in that and not able to 'win'. I don't think that avoiding things is always right. The problem is I want to be able not to do so. I don't want to avoid what is one of my favourite songs (at least at home and not in public places in which it makes me uncomfortable (or has done so)) - I just thought I'd put it on, not knowing what it was going to do, that I couldn't watch it - maybe I need to avoid the video and the audio alone, on my sound system instead of the internet website, would have been fine?

It's just that not being able to watch the video, after very few seconds of it starting, highlighted my own problems, nine years after the event, and led to me posting on here. I did have sort of quivers of my heart too that arose at times over the next three days after having it do that, so did, unknowingly, trigger myself a little. Whilst also having on other days since other things that have triggered me more and yet not getting me bothered enough to post about them (?!? - illogical emotions over that again) but I think that's because these other things are not the original trigger and I want to resolve the original trigger, which is this (which has been going on for over nine years). So the answer is to avoid the video. I think that's possibly building the problem up as I ought to be able to watch that video and I don't think it would trigger me on every time. I don't know - I haven't watched it much anyway and I think this was the first time in many years that I happened to go and watch it and found I couldn't. It was because I had the song in my head, from nowhere, and thought I'd go to watch it for the first time in many years. Then found the problem that I couldn't do so. The avoiding of it in a way is the problem. The advice is to continue the problem(?). Thanks for your help in any event - it's just me questioning things.
 

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Policy Enforcement
All that ... to say that bad language triggers you. I agree with Luckilee. There's no reason to watch those videos ... so don't.

May I ask what the cause of your PTSD was?

And welcome to the forums.

"All that" - It will be, it's because of my autism that causes me to go into detail. So - all that... is actually my autism condition, so hopefully this is now helping raise autism awareness (not awareness of autism itself, but of what autism sometimes causes).

"...to say that bad language triggers you..."
It doesn't trigger me - or at least not always. And I don't think so-called bad language is "bad". However, clearly it is in circumstances in which it makes someone uncomfortable etc. (as it's not 'good' to make someone uncomfortable). I think I would really have a problem if "bad language" triggered me - I wouldn't be able to walk down the street or watch many, excellent and good films (of even sutiable for 8 year old children and older) if it did. It's the 'censor edit' replacement material (or lack of material) used where the word would have been that triggers me (especially if encountered yet again in a public place). The actual words, bizarrely, do not trigger me. But then it wasn't those that caused me all the problem in the first place, as 'explicit' versions weren't played out around me regularly and repeatedly in public places causing me problems, instead the unacceptable ones of their 'clean' equivalents were. The ones that retained, and reinforced even more, their original meaning (or, sometimes, replaced it with giving me a more severe meaning than the explicit version I never heard has).

The reason for watching the video, or putting it on, was that I wanted to watch/listen to one of my favourite songs.

The actual cause of the PTSD was a single event, the worst experience I have ever had in my life. It was proceeded by about nine years or more of constant, every week, week in week out, offensive material of numerous pop songs in public place every one of them making me uncomfortable or producing some very severe physical reaction as trying to hide swear words or racially offensive language to my discomfort when other people around me. After all of that, and me pushed by it beyond the end of my tether and back again several times, getting upset every week and feeling 'trapped' in needing to go to the leisure centre for the lawful purpose of (attempting to get) exercise and therefore normal life activity, that was constantly disrupted and curtailed by this - the playing of at least one offensive song, always a so-called clean version, everytime I went - and not wanting to go and be subject to yet another offensive song, but feeling helpless at not going as needed to get exercise - eventually the final event came (I was already having stress and clinical depression, that eventually lasted the entire week until the next leisure centre session and then upset and thinking about my upset constantly all the time). It came after actually I had spoken with a work colleague (after some difficulty as I was upset and didn't want to talk about what was upsetting me) and they advised me to "go and try not let it bother me". It worked the first time - I went next time and although there was, yet again, unacceptably, an offensive song played, I managed not to let it get to me (had to fight it though, it wasn't neutral). Unfortunately, the following time I went - a song came across which what it generally accepted to be one of the most offensive words of all, it as absolutely clear and obvious because the first part of the word was used and no-one could possibly deny the full and what it clearly meant. The second part of the word was altered electronically (I now understand that this is the playing of that part of the soundtrack in reverse) that sounded so close to and so much like the sound of the actual word, whilst merely given a harsh sound by the alteration - like barking it out at me in an obnoxious way rather than merely saying it and possibly worse than anyone could ever say it in real life.

The part at which the soundtrack was played in reverse, but sounded like the swear word scraping down the soundtrack, physically hit me and I could not avoid it doing so. It was unexpected that it hit me, did so before I could even think of my colleague's advice or stop it doing so. It physically punched me and absolutely harsh. I felt my heart sink worse than it has ever sunk in my life before - as if it knocked me not just for six but for twenty six and physically my heart felt through the floor and to two storeys below where I was. A few weeks later I encountered a song with censor edit material in it and it made me heart race for days on end. I then realised I now had a form of PTSD. In fact my heart didn't stop racing after the song - I have never found out what song it was but featured a particular pop music artist - that made me suffer a nervous shock that gave me my PTSD. It was still racing several weeks afterwards, and the harsh failed attempt at censor edit, which did not remove the full word or certainly not its meaning, turned it instead into barking it out in harsh tone fully saying it at me, it also made me, as well as extreme heart racing from the discomfort of my heart having sunk many metres and beyond into the ground, I felt extremely annoyed at its failure to take the word away and uncomfortable that every one around me would or might know about the word or of which word it was and very very uncomfortable. Not acceptable at all, and, worse, admitted as being so since they did the alteration, therefore knowingly know that it is wrong. And, for a while - about five years - every time I thought about this and this re-experiencd event (which I hope I wouldn't go on to repeat now in my mind having written about it), I thought how unacceptable it was to have played this song, in the form in which I heard it and every time I thought it was unacceptable and inappropriate, I found deep anger and annoyance welling up inside me and lasting for hours and days on end, offending and re-offending me and re-offending me again numerous times over. And thought that this was itself reprehensible and unacceptable and then triggered again. I am in danger of triggering myself again now writing this, as the song, the fact it was played, even now way back then (in 2009), is unacceptable to the place in which it was played and that matter is triggering.
 

Graphite

Policy Enforcement
Whew! @Graphite - I hope you feel better writing that all out. I did read it and I understand what you mean. :)

I agree with @LuckiLee and @somerandomguy - avoid the video, avoid the whole genre of music if necessary.

Welcome to the forums... :)

The problem (and I now don't feel better after having written the new post that I have now just posted, but did feel better after writing all the original stuff out) is that I actually like the genre in question and it is all my favourite music - for my home or listening alone or only with one person very close to me of similar age to me. So it's not necessary to avoid the genre. (Although sometimes I do have 'clean' albums, but almost only where I also have an 'explicit' version - the reason being because I like them, in certain situations, although I have found more recently that I can't put a 'clean' version album on without feeling uncomfortable at what might be coming up, and then I switch it off and decide, after my attempt to listen to it has failed, to pick something else, such as the 'explicit' version that then doesn't have me feeling anything bad at all*. Bizarrely. But then I wasn't ever subjected to 'explicit' versions in public regularly in any place in which they caused me offence. Instead it was the so-called clean versions that did so and regularly, on every occasion, caused me extreme problems.)

*In the past, twenty-five years ago, the so-called explicit version might have made me slight heart-sink if it were played on the radio (when listening alone). However, the words have been used so much over the intervening years as to have no impact on me if that happens (they rarely play so-called explicit versions anyway but the few times I have heard them, on radio, they have no effect on me and I hear the songs on albums or the Internet in 'explicit' version form and have no problems with that (except this video that reminded me of the leisure centre playing the other version). I think they still play the so-called clean versions, which are now my problem as they have the trigger material in them, on the radio but I don't tune into them anymore nowadays so no problem there. Instead the so-called clean versions trigger me when I am subjected to them in public places.
 

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Policy Enforcement
Do you have a “TLDR”...?

Reading comprehension goes out the window for many of us with ptsd, so long threads can be quite difficult to read. (Not criticizing, just sharing a common struggle.)

Thanks!

"... long threads can be quite difficult to read." I realise this is so for many people. I have an autism spectrum disorder that makes it difficult for me to write short threads.

So, we are caught in a bind where your needs, under one condition, are contrary to mine, under another condition and communication problems abound sometimes due to the differences in communication and my own disorder. I feel the struggle often of making myself understood and I'm often misunderstood, though small wonder given how much I write and in depth. I didn't know the abbreviation, I admit, but I have now gone and looked it up. If something is too much to read for some people, I think the answer is just to skip over it and read something else. I hope that's not harsh (it's not intended to be), I'll be willing to break down and explain each thing although realistically I think it would take so long to do so it's not going to help either of us and we are just each best dealing with what we can and trying to ignore(?) what we can't. If someone reads my long post, that is fine. If you can't, then I understand your struggles - I'll try to be shorter in future whilst I also have the difficulties that I have (I'm waffling on now and not achieving this - I know I'm doing so, but can't do otherwise - I know how to do things in theory but put me in the practice and I'm unable to do it). If you can't read all I write, I understand this and you don't need to feel you have to do so, you can miss me out and my apologies for being so verbose the way I am.
 

Graphite

Policy Enforcement
“Negative Thinking Styles” isn’t thinking negatively as opposed to thinking positively. It’s another way of saying Primary Cognitive Distortions.

Primary cognitive distortions (negative thinking styles)

&

Solving the problem: reframing negative thoughts

Negative thinking styles part ii: reframing negative thoughts


Actually there are several different ways/methods to deal with triggers... personally I’m a big fan of exposure therapy (and no, that’s not simply exposing yourself to your triggers full stop, it’s a very gradual process, and it often takes many different forms). For a really brilliant overview, focusing mainly on one form, but discussing several, check this out >>>

Dead Link Removed

Thanks for this - I'll read all these links when I get time to do so. I have mentioned since, before I came to read your reply, exposure therapy which, as you say, is a very gradual process that takes different forms. The problem is such therapy isn't available to me and I have now exhausted all avenues that are (or were). It was suggested at one stage. What I actually got, on my latest referral, which itself I was surprised anything more would now be offered to me, was an attempt at what may have been cognitive behaviour therapy (not even sure it was: the world often doesn't explain things to me absolutely clearly and directly), it was meetings with someone who is a cognitive behaviour therapist (or, at one point, told me they were). The latest, and final, therapy (the maximum number of sessions was reached, it ended, I was told I could come back but only a very limited service would now be available to me) was, unfortunately, around eight years too late and, as seen by the music video last week, has proven to have been not very effective. The treatment hasn't worked. Because, I think, it has been carried out belatedly and wasn't done right at the outset when it might have had success. It's too late, I feel, for it now to do anything and my PTSD condition has become resistant to treatment. I was also told, this late on now, it wasn't helpful to think of it as being PTSD even though, to me, due to the symptoms, it clearly is. My problem, as a person who has autism, is that I cannot deny the truth. Most people, I think, find that sort of thing very easy to do but unfortunately I can't pretend something to be not what it clearly is.
 

Graphite

Policy Enforcement
If music or music videos are a trigger for you then it probably best to avoid them until you feel safe again or until you are able to talk through your problems with someone qualified.
I haven't been able to listen to music for the last 10 months because it is a major trigger for me.
Welcome to the forum by the way.

Good advice and thank you. I don't necessarily feel "unsafe" with things, just that I get the bad emotional experiences I do. The problem is twofold: (1) I shouldn't have to avoid this video in my home; (2) being unable to avoid music, or videos, played in public places.

Regarding "...until you are able to talk through your problems with someone qualified", this is now "until never", as I understand all available treatment has been offered and tried with me and there is nothing further I can do - I have exhausted every avenue: and problematically now, when triggered, feel at a loss about that as nothing able to do to stop it again in future. I am now at a total empasse and nowhere available for me to go. I don't feel suicidal and that would never be an answer, so none of those services would ever come to be available to me or be needed to be used by me. Maybe I should feel suicidal. The problem is that I don't, and can't make myself feel I do and can't deny and lie that I do feel that way when I don't. I just get at a loss as there is now nowhere to go. It will be just keep recurring periodically and I am now consigned to PTSD for the rest of my life. Other than that, I am completely fine(!).
I can now see how music can be a major trigger, as it is for me (at least usually some of it in public places - I don't know how you avoid that. Except that, one period, several years ago, I wouldn't even go into the supermarket for fear of what might be playing and stood outside for someone else to do so for me. So, at one stage, I was even avoiding supermarkets).
 

Graphite

Policy Enforcement
In some ways this is true of PTSD. You have it, you learn to live with it, and that can include managing your environment. If amplified sound in general causes distress (not uncommon for some people with autism), you can investigate earplugs and headphones as sound muffling devices,...

Unfortunately you don't know the history and problem with that. I was advised to do that at one stage during all my problems in the leisure centre. This years before the PTSD but during all the problem-causing events for me. The problem is that, even muffling and headphones won't I suspect have worked for me - I would just hear all the headphone sound on top of the 'background' sound, in the environment around me, still being there - and everything in the foreground for me. The problem is, if you muffle something, sometimes it is more clear. Tiny things, like something muffled in the background, theoretically quieter than the headphone that has tried to drown them out, will probably have been something I would seek out and hear above everything. Also, bizarrely, my favourite music, to hear in my headphones, would often probably be... the very same song as was playing around me. I do not have problems listening to the songs alone (e.g. in headphones) - my own problem is hearing something around other people whilst they are also (likely) hearing it around me (i.e. I do not know or believe them to be deaf). As I believe people are likely to be able to hear, I assume they will be hearing a song whilst I am and it is the content of a song heard by me around other people therefore assumed by me to be able to hear it, at the same time as me, that is a problem due to the nature of the content. It was not known that I had autism at the original time the 'wear headphones' suggestion was made to me - and rejected by me - I was only disagnosed much later.

Amplified sound in general is no problem, just songs with 'offensive' content (or meaning) - I just, it now turns out, notice every such song and every time any music is on whereas most people around me it now seems are able to filter stuff out or not hear it. However, if I am hearing it - as I always will - and it does not distress me in itself as I never had problems with music in public places until they started playing songs whose lyrics (even, or especially, in partial nature distressed me - especially partial as that is fully filled in and attention pointed to the very problem thing, or thing they have, therefore, made a problem and then problematically pointed a red hand at it) bothered me. I never had any problem with pop music, or any music, in public, until they played songs that are in a place where they are uncomfortable to me because of their underlying meaning or what that comes across to me.
 

Graphite

Policy Enforcement
Thanks for reading the T&Cs, we do appreciate it. The answer to, "how do I correct the triggers" really is, therapy.
Verbal sexual harassment does not lead to PTSD. It can be traumatizing, and sounds like it was for you. My advice would be to seek out specific therapy targeted at processing traumatic events, because that will help. but I'm surprised you were told you have PTSD, if your trauma was verbal sexual harassment. That doesn't meet the necessary criteria for a PTSD diagnosis.

There is now no therapy available to me as I am under the impression I have already had it and exhausted all avenues available.
I do not know about verbal sexual harrassment not leading to PTSD as my experience shows that it does. Or can. If you make someone comments, that in sexual harrassment would be sexual comments, repeatedly and cause someone regularly to be uncomfortable, then that can, over time, lead to PTSD. Repeated minor events or events that cause anxiety or distress over a long period of time can eventually give rise to PTSD. I have done the therapy. It has been not entirely effective as it was now done way too late. I was never told I have PTSD. I have never been diagnosed with it (perhaps because, you say, it does not meet the criteria). However from the symptoms I have it is clear to me that it is PTSD and that fact remains regardless of the medical profession's current criteria or not and lack of knowledge as to what it actually is. I thought - very briefly but then (wrongly) ruled out - that I had autism in the 1980s. This way before my form of autism was ever recognised by the medical profession. So, I could be years ahead of them once again and, as usual, yet again, correct. In fact only a minority - a couple of handfuls - of the occasions were sexual in nature. The vast majority of them were not. This being more like harassment, or amounting to causing the very same thing as harassment, rather than sexual harassment. The actual cause of the PTSD was a single event. But in the context of a long-running series over many years (and it took a very long time) before I eventually developed what I believe to be PTSD. It is certainly something of that nature even if not. I don't have these feelings or inabilities to watch things for nothing.

I don't know what medical experience you have that enables you to say it doesn't meet the criteria. The symptoms I've had, and still have in some ways, are all the same as symptoms that are found within complex PTSD. The fact there is no life threatening event is not essential - people who diagnose PTSD do not necessarily know what it is.
 

Graphite

Policy Enforcement
I find triggers can extrapolate, that is, the words you left out your mind fills in, could be an example.

Triggers can lose a lot of power even realizing they are triggers, and going from there.

I believe it's been mentioned the site is designed to be triggering- which hurts but helps, in the long run. But a person has to determine their own limits, and pull back. It helps to recognize when you're being triggered (to practice that recognition and to name the feelings ), and sometimes eventually why (which can be helpful).

Welcome to you @Graphite . :)

Ps, triggers can be silly/ ~normal things, but if they're embedded in your trauma they'll be a trigger until you can work through them.

Extrapolation - yes, I can see that - triggers can get associations with things that associate and trigger from that. One thought leads to another and then another and then before you know you are triggered. Identifying triggers can, as you say, help. This site may have tried but has failed to trigger me. It hasn't helped me therefore by not hurting (although I am joking about this last point). Good advice, thank you, regarding determining own limits etc.

Silly normal things - yes, potentially *everything* is a trigger (to someone or other somewhere). And seemingly, as regards myself (blank spaces in songs where words used to be), nothing is literally a trigger as well. However, it isn't nothing. It is something with a meaning. (If there was nothing to trigger me, I wouldn't be triggered. So there has got to be something there. Even if that "something" is, seemingly, "nothing".)
 

Kubash16

Policy Enforcement
There is now no therapy available to me as I am under the impression I have already had it and exhausted all avenues available.
I do not know about verbal sexual harrassment not leading to PTSD as my experience shows that it does. Or can. If you make someone comments, that in sexual harrassment would be sexual comments, repeatedly and cause someone regularly to be uncomfortable, then that can, over time, lead to PTSD. Repeated minor events or events that cause anxiety or distress over a long period of time can eventually give rise to PTSD. I have done the therapy. It has been not entirely effective as it was now done way too late. I was never told I have PTSD. I have never been diagnosed with it (perhaps because, you say, it does not meet the criteria). However from the symptoms I have it is clear to me that it is PTSD and that fact remains regardless of the medical profession's current criteria or not and lack of knowledge as to what it actually is. I thought - very briefly but then (wrongly) ruled out - that I had autism in the 1980s. This way before my form of autism was ever recognised by the medical profession. So, I could be years ahead of them once again and, as usual, yet again, correct. In fact only a minority - a couple of handfuls - of the occasions were sexual in nature. The vast majority of them were not. This being more like harassment, or amounting to causing the very same thing as harassment, rather than sexual harassment. The actual cause of the PTSD was a single event. But in the context of a long-running series over many years (and it took a very long time) before I eventually developed what I believe to be PTSD. It is certainly something of that nature even if not. I don't have these feelings or inabilities to watch things for nothing.

I don't know what medical experience you have that enables you to say it doesn't meet the criteria. The symptoms I've had, and still have in some ways, are all the same as symptoms that are found within complex PTSD. The fact there is no life threatening event is not essential - people who diagnose PTSD do not necessarily know what it is.


I'd personally be very careful right here. First, I can agree that sometimes it doesn't require a life threatening event to develop PTSD. By strict definition, I have PTSD without a technically life threatening event. My concern here is self diagnosing like this (not judging, I definitely have my moments) can lead to problem in and of itself.

The other issue I have is when something begins to be applied to such a large variety of circumstances it dilutes it in a way. I'm not saying your hurt isn't valid and I am not a medical professional, therefore cannot say whether you do or do not have PTSD. But, the more diluted an issue becomes, the less serious it is taken when someone who truly has it searches out help. Does that make sense? I am certainly not trying to invalidate you and I don't believe the other posters are either. But when stigmas are so strong, we can get protective. It is a serious fight sometimes to be taken seriously and given the help we need. So when someone comes along self diagnosing that doesn't meet the criteria, it can sting.
 
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