A big part of why we do these blog posts is to help familiarise everyone with many of the key parts of mental health so that if we were to come across them in life we are prepared on how to engage with the situation. For example, we’ve had blog posts about what to do if someone you know is struggling with their mental health and how you can best handle the situation in a way that ensures both your safety as well as the person you are trying to help. Not everyone may have access to this kind of information, so having it here in an easy-to-access place is something we hope will be very useful!
For this week’s blog post, we are going to talk about a term you may have heard being used in conversations about mental health, and why it is important!
This term is ‘Triggers’.
What is meant by triggers when talking about mental health?
A trigger is a specific cue or stimulus that reminds individuals of past trauma/distressing experiences. These stimuli can be anything, such as a word, person, song and even a smell. Just anything that upon being felt by the person and then triggers the negative emotions associated with it.
These triggers can then go on to impact a person’s mental health by causing an overwhelming surge of emotions that may be difficult to handle/cope with. Often a triggering experience could cause someone to have a panic attack. Triggers can also cause people to avoid specific aspects of life by developing avoidance behaviours towards anything that could potentially trigger them. This could isolate a person more and cause them to struggle with their mental health even more.
This is why it is so important to seek support if you are finding that these triggers are having a negative effect on your life and mental health. Through seeking support, you may be able to identify these triggers and develop coping strategies to support yourself through them. This could also help to encourage you to communicate with the people around you about what these potential triggers could be, so they, in turn, can support you.
What to do if someone communicates with you about something that may trigger them? The best thing you can do is try to respect what they have told you, try and support them through any times when they may be experiencing a difficult moment, and make sure to not go out of your way to trigger them. Just be there for them in a compassionate, non-judgmental way!
Unfortunately, like most things, there are some stigmas surrounding triggers. Such as that if you are triggered by something someone has said you are just offended and being oversensitive. This kind of attitude to triggers has unfortunately led to a lot of dismissive behaviour about triggers and as such may also mean people may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to talk to others about things that may be triggering for them.
In situations like this, where perhaps you do feel the people around you are not respecting your boundaries or things you have communicated with them about trauma, it is so important to put yourself and your mental health first.
There are always safe and judgement-free places that will always be available to offer you support, however! Such as us here at Burton and District Mind, where we will always strive to create the safest environment possible for you.
We want nothing more than to be able to help everyone with their mental health! So if you are struggling and experiencing triggers which are negatively affecting your mental health and well-being please do come and seek support. We are here for you…
Get in touch today….https://www.burtonmind.co.uk/contact-us