||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Posttraumatic stress disorder. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2013.|
A trauma trigger is an experience that causes someone to recall a previous traumatic memory, although the trigger itself need not be frightening or traumatic and can be indirectly or superficially reminiscent an earlier traumatic incident. Trauma triggers are related to posttraumatic stress disorder, a condition in which sufferers often cannot control the recurrence of emotional or physical symptoms, or of repressed memory. Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate, and can sometimes exacerbate PTSD. A trauma trigger may also be referred to as a trauma stimulus or a trauma stressor.
The first step in helping trauma survivors[vague] to begin the healing process involves establishing a safe environment, in particular, an environment in which the sufferer does not feel threatened with recurrence of the original trauma, and also feels safe from encountering situations that will trigger the memory of the original trauma. Because traumatic memories are stored differently in the brain from non-traumatic memories, their recurrence is often difficult or impossible for the survivor to predict or control. Creating a living condition in which a survivor feels protected from trauma and from people or situations that will trigger traumatic memory enables the survivor to begin the healing process, in which survivors integrate their dissociated traumatic experience into acknowledged memory and are able to reconnect with their surroundings.
Because of the realistic portrayal of graphic violence in visual media, sufferers may encounter lifelike trauma triggers while watching movies or television.
Trigger warnings are warnings that the ensuing content contains strong writing or images which could unsettle those with mental health difficulties. Angus Johnston, a history professor at the City University of New York, said that trigger warnings can be a part of "sound pedagogy," noting that students encountering potentially triggering material are "coming to it as whole people with a wide range of experiences, and that the journey we're going on together may at times be painful. It's not coddling them to acknowledge that. In fact, it's just the opposite." Students at UC Santa Barbara passed a resolution in support of mandatory trigger warnings for classes that could contain potentially upsetting material. Professors would be required to alert students of such material and allow them to skip classes that could make them feel uncomfortable.
In an interview about Trigger Warnings for The Daily Telegraph Professor Metin Basoglu, a psychologist internationally recognised for his trauma research said that "The media should actually – quite the contrary… Instead of encouraging a culture of avoidance, they should be encouraging exposure. Most trauma survivors avoid situations that remind them of the experience. Avoidance means helplessness and helplessness means depression. That's not good". Richard J. McNally, a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, while writing for Pacific Standard, discussed the merit of trigger warnings noting that "Trigger warnings are designed to help survivors avoid reminders of their trauma, thereby preventing emotional discomfort. Yet avoidance reinforces PTSD. Conversely, systematic exposure to triggers and the memories they provoke is the most effective means of overcoming the disorder" while citing several academic studies conducted on PTSD sufferers. Frank Furedi, an emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, described trigger warnings as a form of narcissism, with the concerns not really being about the content of a book or work of art but about individual students asserting their own importance.
There have been suggestions that trigger warnings could themselves act as triggers by reminding the sufferer of his or her trigger even if the article itself is unrelated. As trigger warnings have appeared in other media, Jay Caspian Kang, best known for his sports writing at Grantland, discussed the effect trigger warnings would have on novelists and notes they are "reducing a work of literature to its ugliest plot points".
- Flashback (psychology)
- Acute stress reaction
- Emotional dysregulation
- Survivor guilt
- Repressed memory
|Look up Appendix:Glossary of traumatology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
||This article has an unclear citation style. (October 2014)|
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