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