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Old 03-25-2019, 09:14 PM #1
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Question T doesn’t want to trigger me

T has said several times that he doesn’t want to trigger me. When I hear trigger I think something that causes flashbacks, body memories or where I end up balled up in the corner crying. Today T and I were talking about my anxiety response totrying a meditation app. He apologized for triggering me and I was totally lost. I had tried using the app but got scared/uncomfortable so I shut it off. A few days later I tried it again but just wanted to listen to it not actually do it. Again I got very anxious so I stopped. T is calling that triggered and feels really bad that he triggered me. I did tell him I had done meditation in college and was OK with it so we had no way of knowing. That made him feel a little better.

So, now I am wondering when people say something “triggered” them what they mean? Upset them? Upset them a lot? Reminded them of a trauma? Flashbacks/body memories?
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:46 PM #2
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

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Originally Posted by Omers View Post
T has said several times that he doesn’t want to trigger me. When I hear trigger I think something that causes flashbacks, body memories or where I end up balled up in the corner crying. Today T and I were talking about my anxiety response totrying a meditation app. He apologized for triggering me and I was totally lost. I had tried using the app but got scared/uncomfortable so I shut it off. A few days later I tried it again but just wanted to listen to it not actually do it. Again I got very anxious so I stopped. T is calling that triggered and feels really bad that he triggered me. I did tell him I had done meditation in college and was OK with it so we had no way of knowing. That made him feel a little better.



So, now I am wondering when people say something “triggered” them what they mean? Upset them? Upset them a lot? Reminded them of a trauma? Flashbacks/body memories?
I think triggered means any, some, or all of your examples. Anything that causes a reaction of some kind. What I wonder is should we count positive things as triggers? Like something that makes you feel happy or warm inside when exposed to some reminder?
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:37 AM #3
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

I think of "triggered" as something as meaning "outside the window of tolerance". Flashbacks are at the extreme end of that.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:08 AM #4
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

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Originally Posted by Amyjay View Post
I think of "triggered" as something as meaning "outside the window of tolerance". Flashbacks are at the extreme end of that.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:22 PM #5
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

Oopsies... so this would go back to T’s comment from session 1 that “I suspect you have a very high tolerance for emotional pain”.

Well I tossed it into one of the emails for us to talk about.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:31 AM #6
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

I'm not sure that's exactly what Amyjay was saying happened. I mean, I'm not trying to be unfeeling or anything, but it seems like a strange assumption that your high tolerance for emotional pain was coming into play in this specific instance. Or, for that matter, in most cases where "being triggered" would apply. At least, that's how I think of being triggered - being triggered is the very opposite of having a high tolerance for emotional pain. At least, it indicates as Amy said, that a person's tolerance has been exceeded. So I don't think that comment from T1, although it may be correct, has much to do with being triggered. Not sure how clear I'm being.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:43 AM #7
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

@susannahsays, you did not come off to me as uncaring.

I have kinda come to the conclusion that my idea of triggered is a lot more severe than what T’s is. Because I am always in such a fearful/anxious state I never would have qualified an anxiety attack as triggered, just wrote it off as me being scared. I am starting to see that my reaction would not have to be as severe as I was thinking for it to qualify as triggered for most people. Now I am not sure I am making sense.
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:34 AM #8
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

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Originally Posted by Omers View Post
@susannahsays, you did not come off to me as uncaring.

I have kinda come to the conclusion that my idea of triggered is a lot more severe than what T’s is. Because I am always in such a fearful/anxious state I never would have qualified an anxiety attack as triggered, just wrote it off as me being scared. I am starting to see that my reaction would not have to be as severe as I was thinking for it to qualify as triggered for most people. Now I am not sure I am making sense.
Trying a different tack here: Being "triggered" can mean any time the nervous system responds to stimuli or an event with fight, flight, fawn or freeze response. Your fearful/anxious state is definitely a state of being triggered, because your nervous system is activated. An anxiety attack or a flashback is a more "obvious" state of being triggered.
Not being triggered is any time a person's nervous system is calm, relaxed, non-aroused, non-reactive.

It is very possible for people to become accustomed to living in a perpetual state of fight or flight or fawn or freeze, or to bounce around between them with very little time spent with a calm and rested (safe) non-aroused nervous system. I did that for most of my life. Now I am learning to stay within a window of tolerance as much as I can, and get better at it all the time. It takes a lot of work.

My Ts job as a trauma T is to help me find and stay in that window. Your T will want to do that too. Its hard when you first start, when you don't know "safe".
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:40 AM #9
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

I think of a "trigger" as something that initiates/sets off a reaction. In the context of mental health issues, I think of it as something that sets off symptoms. This can be an urge to engage in a behavior or thoughts and feelings.

PTSD triggers are one type of trigger, but that usage doesn't get a monopoly on the word that's been around since long before PTSD was recognized. If people mean PTSD trigger then they can say PTSD trigger. (this annoyance isn't directed at you. But there are people who argue that it should only be used for PTSD triggers and that people using it for other mental illness symptoms is akin to people who use bipolar to mean moody or saying they're "so ADHD" when they mean they're distracted or whatever, and I very strongly disagree)

Trigger is used outside of the context of mental illness all the time. My interpretation wrt mental illness is that it doesn't have a formal definition. If something triggers my urge to SH or triggers intense anxiety or whatever other million symptoms I have then I'm going to call it a trigger Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:28 AM #10
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Default Re: T doesn’t want to trigger me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amyjay View Post
Trying a different tack here: Being "triggered" can mean any time the nervous system responds to stimuli or an event with fight, flight, fawn or freeze response. Your fearful/anxious state is definitely a state of being triggered, because your nervous system is activated. An anxiety attack or a flashback is a more "obvious" state of being triggered.
Not being triggered is any time a person's nervous system is calm, relaxed, non-aroused, non-reactive.

It is very possible for people to become accustomed to living in a perpetual state of fight or flight or fawn or freeze, or to bounce around between them with very little time spent with a calm and rested (safe) non-aroused nervous system. I did that for most of my life. Now I am learning to stay within a window of tolerance as much as I can, and get better at it all the time. It takes a lot of work.

My Ts job as a trauma T is to help me find and stay in that window. Your T will want to do that too. Its hard when you first start, when you don't know "safe".
Thanks AmyJay, I think what you are saying is what most closely matches what I will hear from T when we talk about it. Even started reading it in his voice by the end. Still a far different definition than what I thought he meant when he said it. But, I threw it out here because I was quickly getting the idea from T that my idea was different than his but we had not gotten around to clarify it yet.
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