Triggers.

Ashley’s article from Mental Health@Home about trigger management inspired me to write this post.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to Ashley’s question in regards to strategies that would help to manage the triggers instead I have a multitude of open questions regarding triggers.

I am quite sure that all humans have triggers but why do they affect us so much?

I will share with you my experiences with triggers which I still don’t know how to manage well even at 53 years old. I have been on the lookout for years now, to attempt to find out; their nature and what happens in our mind when one has hit, how can I handle them well? I’ve been failing on all three counts except for one, only one trigger that I have been able to identify. I am not talking about the major one such a crowd phobia. I am talking about the subtle triggers, the ones that flip you like a burger.

The trigger that I’ve just mentioned occurs when people voice in a close contained area are getting loud. Most of the time, 9 out of 10, it happens during meals where everybody is together or in the family room when the TV is on, and people talk over it. It feels like my head is about to explode and changes my mood instantly, I become agitated and aggressive, and I have to leave the area immediately and go into my room. This mood swing doesn’t last long and never had a substantial impact.

I have been trying to analyze my mood swing for quite some time now. I try to look for any common denominators, but I fail to see any commonality amongst the triggers. The weirdest feeling is when a trigger hits me, I can’t pinpoint what it was which makes any efforts to rationalize this phenomenon futile. What drives me crazy is that I am sure that they all share something in common and I cannot figure it out.

There are two situations that I recently discovered being significant sources of triggers. The first one is watching movies; classic, old, new it doesn’t matter the mear fact of watching one film is very likely to activate a trigger, it is impossible to narrow it down to a specific category of movies, it is entirely random. It is profoundly disturbing for the family and me as I don’t want to watch anything by fear of being triggered which alienates me even more from them, and it was a hobby of mine, shared with my wife, we were passionate about movies. This illness is destroying everything. The second is music which to I loved so much. I even stopped playing guitar out of fear of having to deal with another mood swing. All this is very harmful to everybody in the household, not only me.

I sure hope that one day somebody figures out how to find and manage these very harmful triggers. They are real as most of us suffer from them, therefore since they are real, there must be a way to identify and find them.

Peace and sérénity

Lawrence

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Triggers.

    1. I understand what you are saying and I believe it is a good strategy but how do you create a memory when you don’t what the memory is? Or I totally misunderstand. Anyway, you gave me something very interesting to think about. Thank you Eve.

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  1. One common thread there seems to be in the examples you’ve mentioned is overstimulation. Perhaps depending on how close you are to your external stimulation threshold a particular movie might or might not push you over the edge. Living in fear of being triggered is certainly a horrible feeling. I hope somehow you’re able to find a way to manage or reframe your triggers.

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    1. Your observation is extremely valuable and true. I have never been able to notice this commonality. This is going to help me a great deal. I going to put into practice today, I will ask them if they are willing to watch a TV series, only one episode and see what happens. The only activity that used to be soothing (playing the guitar) remains a mystery as I am in control of the noise level, this one might be linked to my past life, maybe like the others too. Thank you so much for your great insight and support.

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  2. Omg I have had a big bad trigger today that caused my husband to leave work and only now which is early in the evening am I being able to calm down. That was so hard and I’m exhausted and frustrated and etc. But I came on and saw this and felt better knowing others are struggling as well. Sometimes it just gets so overwhelming. Great post

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and your comments. These triggers are polluting my daily life as I live in fear of getting hit by one them. I hope to find a solution one day. Take care good care of yourself and in your search for a solution as well. Indeed you are not alone, lots of us bipolars have this problem Peace

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