As we go through traumatic events, many young people (and adults) have trouble forgetting what happened. Sometimes, they have nightmares or cannot stop thinking about what they experienced. They may become nervous or tense, fearful that something terrible will happen again, or lose interest in things they were interested in. Such reactions to traumatic events are expected, and this response can happen to athletes, soldiers, police officers, firefighters, and parents. Sometimes, the situation improves itself, but it does not.
People are constantly stimulated by what reminds them of what they went through, and in this case, we are dealing with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Understanding what your triggers are can help you gain more clarity and a calm seeing of things’ true nature.
What Are The Triggers?
Triggers are those things that trigger PTSD in us.us. There are two types of triggers Internal and external stimulus/triggers. The evaluation of these stimuli (something that you see as triggers of your PTSD) depends on each person because the inspiration may be the same, but their response may be different. How we see things, interpret our circumstances, or the judgment that we give, or the labels we put.
Whether on things, persons, or situations plays a vital role in responding to these stimuli. Perception is highly subjective, and it means that people perceive something as differently stressful. Having PTSD, symptoms can come and go. But certain things can trigger PTSD and can quickly bring negative emotions to the surface.
Re-experiencing the same emotions is a common symptom of PTSD. Specific sound, smell, or thought patterns can play a triggering role to remind you of the event. It’s crucial to understand that anything similar to the trauma environment plays a potential trigger. So, similar smells or what was the weather that day can trigger PTSD. While the motivations are usually subjective, they can make the body react as if it is in danger. For more information, you may read the detailed article on PTSD.
How To Develop Triggers?
In a traumatic event, your body gets in the fight or flight response. A fast heartbeat and a sharp sense are very common. The fight or flight response stops the brain, some of its normal functions like short-term memory, to deal with the perceived threat.
With PTSD, the brain finds it difficult to handle the trauma properly, which prevents processing of the event’s memory as a memory.
The brain registers details of that day, such as sights, smells, which become the trigger. Consequently, the brain will use these details to recall the event and switch on your body’s alarm system to protect you once again.
Different Types Of Triggers
Recognizing your triggers will help you know when the PTSD will be triggered.
Persons: Seeing a person present in the event or had the same physical characteristic may trigger a PTSD reaction. For example, if someone with a moustache has attacked you, men who share the same physical traits can bring memories to the surface.
Thoughts and emotions: The same thought pattern or the same state of being can trigger PTSD symptoms.
Things: The subconscious can detect trauma-like objects, and as a result, PTSD symptoms will be triggered.
Fragrances: Most of us associate fragrances with memories, whether they are positive or negative memories. So, people diagnosed with PTSD can recall the traumatic event in the same scents as that day.
TV shows, news, and movies: Another popular trigger is watching the same tv show or movies.
Feelings: Feeling discomfort or pain can trigger PTSD. For example, survivors from a problematic, traumatic situation can lead to flashbacks.
Noises: specific sounds or voices can recall memories of the past.
Flavors: eating a chocolate cake can bring the same emotions of the event.
Situations: People who are diagnosed with PTSD can easily relate to trauma scenarios. For example, using an elevator can make your brain feel trapped in that car again.
Specific dates: Dates are anchored in our brain without any effort. So, we associate Trauma with that particular day, which prevents us from forgetting.
Words: hearing the same stories can trigger PTSD.
To recap, triggers can be internal (thoughts) others can be external ( places). Learning to recognize your triggers is essential, and learning some strategies that allow you to take a step back and not be overwhelmed by what is happening.
Feeling insecure or afraid is a sign you encounter a PTSD trigger.