So, since this election has come to a close and we have found ourselves with a new *cough* president, there have been some language and memes circulating the internet that I have found exceedingly annoying and offensive. I am referring to the jokes people are making involving the word “triggered”. Example being this meme
Now, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that involves instances when things in my every day life can trigger my brain into believing it is back at the traumatic event I experienced when I was eight.
What a trigger is not is something that I get offended by and rant about.
It is not someone being overly sensitive
Being triggered is painful and causes panic attacks. Being triggered is me, not knowing where I am and thinking I am eight years old again. Being triggered is a brains reaction to something that a person associates with their trauma. Being triggered feels like the wind has been knocked out of me. Being triggered causes many to avoid certain things and situations so they don’t have to experience their trauma again.
Being triggered is not a joke or a meme. It is not something to say about “overly sensitive liberals”, people with differing political views, or an insult to be thrown at feminists.
From the outside, people can’t tell who is going to have a trigger or what it is going to be. What people can do to help is stop throwing around a word they don’t understand.
Misusing the word triggered adds to the stigma that surrounds those who suffer with mental illness and can make people who genuinely have problems with their triggers to feel ashamed of their own mind. People who have triggers need love and support, not ignorant, hurtful jokes.