Posts Tagged ‘Triggers’

Common sense versus Irrational PTSD



I studied and studied, then isolated my trigger experiences.

My solar plexus would be violently jolted, numbing, then freezing me. Breathing became difficult, unknown fear paralyzed me.

So I ran, avoided, denied and tried to think my way out.

I feared that next explosion.

This scenario repeated itself for years.

Then I realized after being paralyzed with cortisol and adrenaline, ten minutes later everything calmed.

I was fine, just the same, ten minutes later.

So, if no real harm ever happened, why did I fear the next explosion.

That’s part of the irrational nature of PTSD.

We can not see its weaknesses.

There were no real consequences. Nothing permanent.

For me, I described it as a bluff.

It is a bully, it threatens with damage and has the key to our fight or flight mechanism, but it has no teeth.

Follow your next trigger exploding, feel all of it.

Feel its strength without resisting, then follow it as it fades in short time.

I realized my fight or flight had fired over and over without damaging me.

Be a detective.

Follow a trigger exploding all the way to feeling calm again.

Observe, not judge it.



PTSD: A closer look at our Triggers

Fight or Flight (CYP) – Psychology Tools



We do everything in our power to stop our fight or flight mechanism from firing. Unfortunately, we think this will help us heal.

In the beginning, showers first thing in the morning, were planning strategies, trying to navigate my day mentally, avoiding as many trigger situations as possible.

My anxiety, panic and fear became acute. My nervous system started to anticipate each new event as a possible threat.

Inside my head, the world had turned dangerous, very anxious. What the hell had happened to my mind?

My mind was a prison, my nervous system the invisible bars, my thoughts, the evil guards.

All that is the exact wrong mindset.

Triggers are not dangerous. It is the bodies defense mechanism trying to protect us.

A natural body function.

PTSD has hijacked this mechanism and added trauma fear into the mix.

Being abused as a child, I developed a vivid imagination, in blazing colors.

While hiking, I imagined being in the movie, “The Last of the Mohicans”, being chased, running for my life. About a mile later my fight or flight exploded.

Cortisol and adrenaline jolted my solar plexus. I learned to use theses chemicals for fuel hiking harder.

Missing was any connection to any trigger or trauma thought.

My fight or flight was by itself. PTSD had nothing to do with this explosion.

It felt the exact same as a PTSD trigger.

Trauma memories bring the emotional fear but add nothing to the mechanism.

The mechanism is our friend. Hard to believe, I know.

Remember these memories are distorted, stored under extreme duress

and in bits and pieces.

I swear if you befriend your fight or flight mechanism, half of your PTSD will be repaired.



How to Identify and Cope With Your PTSD Triggers By Matthew Tull, PhD


PTSD triggers may be all around you. Even though it may sometimes feel like PTSD symptoms come out-of-the-blue, PTSD symptoms rarely spontaneously occur. Instead, whether you are aware of it not, PTSD symptoms are often triggered or cued by something in our internal (anything that happens within your body such as thoughts or feelings) or external (anything that happens outside your body, such as a stressful situation) environment.


Because certain thoughts, feelings, or situations can bring up uncomfortable PTSD symptoms, such as memories of a traumatic event or feelings of being on edge and anxious, one way of coping with these symptoms is by increasing your awareness of these triggers. You can prevent or lessen the impact of certain PTSD symptoms by identifying what specific types of thoughts, feelings, and situations trigger them, and then, take steps to limit the occurrence or impact of those triggers.


Kinds of Triggers

Triggers can fall into two categories: Internal Triggers and External Triggers. Internal triggers are things that you feel or experience inside your body. Internal triggers include thoughts or memories, emotions, and bodily sensations (for example, your heart racing). External triggers are situations, people, or places that you might encounter throughout your day (or things that happen outside your body).


Listed below are some common internal and external triggers.

Internal Triggers
Feeling lonely
Feeling abandoned
Feeling out of control
Feeling vulnerable
Racing heartbeat
Muscle tension

External Triggers
An argument
Seeing a news article that reminds you of your traumatic event
Watching a movie or television show that reminds you of your traumatic event
Seeing a car accident
Certain smells
The end of a relationship
An anniversary
A specific place
Seeing someone who reminds you of a person connected to your traumatic event

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