Triggers- How Can You Tell?

When I was evaluated and treated by a psychologist for PTSD he corrected me on my perception of ¨being triggered¨.

I had always thought of it as experiencing emotional distress or panic in reaction to something that brought on memories of undergoing trauma. He told me I was profoundly mistaken, that ¨being triggered¨ means you are reacting inappropriately, in any way, to something- and that you can trace the source of that reaction back to your trauma.

He informed me that I was triggered pretty much all the time. Just most of my reactions were internal and not visible to an observer.

That blew me away. I thought, you know, that my PTSD was pretty controlled and that I had no problems. But it turns out that seeing dads of children in the grocery store and wondering if the mothers knew where their children were is me being triggered. Assuming most couples have an abusive relationship is me being triggered. Being nervous around strange men is me being triggered.

I never could tell him what happened to me, and I have told my therapist only a couple of stories in the two years since I saw the psychologist. I suppose if I talked about it more, I would trigger less. That is the theory.

But the therapist gave me some homework. She wants me to identify my triggers. It seems impossible, since everything triggers me. Has anyone else had to do this? Any advice? My list is crazy long. Is everyone´s list ridiculously long?



4 thoughts on “Triggers- How Can You Tell?

  1. I’m right here in this same stage of therapy. I understand just how you are feeling. I don’t know where to begin with my own list..
    we’re obviously not alone with this! 💓✌

  2. I’m not sure this will shorten the list or how you’re writing your list, but next to each item write how it tracks back to your trama? For things that you can’t trace back to your trama, move them to a “possible trigger” list. Again, not really shortening the list.

    I’ve never done this myself so this is just an “outersider’s” view.

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