Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

What are triggers and how do I know if I have one?

170 Answers
Last Updated: 05/14/2022 at 4:09am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
June 22nd, 2016 4:54pm
Triggers are something in your present that triggers a pain from your past, causing a very strong emotional reaction. You can often realize you've been triggered if you see yourself overreacting to something which is happening. Or if you are being treated (or mistreated) like everyone else, but you are having a much stronger response to it. For instance, your boss is behaving badly and everyone else in the office is mildly annoyed, but you are very, very upset by it. Your boss might be treating you like an abusive past partner, or an abusive parent used to.
June 29th, 2016 3:00am
Triggers are anything that leads to a certain, usually negative, emotion. You know you have a trigger if you find yourself avoiding certain situations that cause you the unhappiness. Some people get panic attacks or become depressed when faced with triggers.
- Expert in Managing Emotions
June 23rd, 2016 6:08am
Triggers are situations or circumstances that puts u in a very uncomfortable place and that makes you react in a way that surprises u or causes you to overreact.
July 29th, 2016 7:19pm
A trigger is something that sets off a flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma. Everyone has different triggers. They are very personal, so any particular sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste can be a trigger.
June 23rd, 2016 6:31pm
Triggers are when certain things make you remember bad or disturbing things that have happened in the past. You know if you have a trigger if something that somebody says makes you feel very sad, anxious, angry or making you want to hurt yourself.
June 22nd, 2016 2:23am
A trigger is anything that sets off a serious of events, responses, processes etc. We all have triggers, some ignite good and others bad. Often we talk about triggers when evaluating a response or pattern of behavior we consider bad, unhealthy or unproductive. When the behavior or response happens we try to identify the trigger that set things off. Taking a look at the triggers to our behaviors, attitudes and actions is a healthy process designed to help us to be our best self by changing either our exposure to the trigger or by changing our reaction or doing both.
April 11th, 2021 7:34pm
Triggers are expressions that hits you intensely on an emotional scale. It is so different for everyone yet so similar in ways it is felt. Trigger is anything that makes you angry,cry or just sensitive and irritated and lastly happy. Seeing your loved ones triggers happiness, hearing a bad rumour about yourself triggers pain and therefore anger. Anything that is overwhelming you emotionally in a positive or a negative way is your trigger . Triggers are mostly person specific because each individual has a unique experience and they are also universal (like good grades) That's all of it in brief. If you find this helpful and want to talk to me remember I'm just a text away😊
March 18th, 2017 1:04am
Triggers are when you have a not good memory of something so when someone talks about a similar situation you remember your own memory which makes you feel hurt again. You know if you have one by watching your feelings, it can take some time with some pain to make sure you have a trigger. I know it's hard but you can avoid triggers once you discover them, It really worth. Like I say one time pain is always better than every time pain. Watch your feelings, see which subject remembers you with the not good memories in your life and makes you feel bad.
June 3rd, 2018 5:00am
Triggers is a term commonly used in Psychology. Basically it's a stimulus that reminds a person about past events, unconscious feelings that are rooted from a previous trauma. If something triggers these things, a person could suddenly become anxious because of the feeling of being unsafe once again. Personally, I believe everyone has something that triggers them. Not just on becoming anxious but getting angry, etc.
November 10th, 2021 2:04pm
Triggers can be any kind stimuli (varies from person to person) that results into a particular physiological response such as a panic attack. For example, lets consider PTSD, specifically a recovering war veteran who's triggers are loud bangs. In this vets mind, the loud bangs remind him of the sounds of gunfire and bombs landing, whenever these sounds are made/heard he is 'triggered' to respond in a way as if he was on the battlefield and may unintentionally hurt someone near. Unintentional because in the vet's mind, they are back on the battlefield and its the vet's responsibility to defend the people. If you have a certain trigger, it can lead to a certain response that may not be controllable.
June 25th, 2016 12:29am
Triggers are an act or object that you can see or hear or touch etc. that cause you to react in a negative way such as having anxiety or a panic attack. If whenever you have a negative feeling, such as an anxiety attack or panic attack, to a certain thing or act you have a trigger. However, feeling discomfort or disgust to something does not mean you have a trigger. Being disgusted and being triggered is a totally different.
June 29th, 2016 2:42pm
Triggers are things that make you overflow with negativity if somebody brings up something that you have had experienced negatively, as well as things that traumatized you growing up. You may know you have one if you feel some trace of anxiety, depression, any shame, or insecurities or guilt take over you. We all have our own set of triggers, and it's okay!
July 2nd, 2016 1:37am
Triggers are things that cause you to feel anxious, depressed, etc. and you know because it will trigger that specific emotion for you.
August 7th, 2016 3:01am
triggers are things that connect someone to a meaningful (good/bad) personal experience. For instance, someone might mention an abusive partner, which then invokes negative feelings that I have with my own past abusive partner. I
August 11th, 2016 7:21am
Triggers are moments or events that cause a chaos, of sorts, in the mind. It could be frightening or depressing and, therefore, very hard to deal with. Some are worse than others but all of them are valid and should be addressed by self-assessment and talking with someone you trust or a professional. This doesn'tmean there isn't anything wrong with you... but it does imply that there has been something that has been unaddressed within you and most of the time it is from something traumatic in some way.
October 15th, 2017 10:55am
A trigger is anything that sets off a flashback or memory of an event, especially a traumatic one. It can be brought on literally by any combination of the 5 senses. For example, it could be brought on by someone who looks like or acts like someone who attacked or abused a the person having the flashback. They are very personal and differ from person to person. If you have survived a traumatic experience then you most likely have some sort of trigger or triggers. You will notice that you will avoid situations, places, and other stimuli that you associate with the triggers since these flashbacks tend to create the same emotional intensity that you experienced during the traumatic event.
June 17th, 2016 6:26pm
Triggers are present occurrences that trigger and emotion or memory of the past bringing the past to the present. Hence the name "trigger".
June 17th, 2016 8:00pm
Triggers are basically people, things, places or events that remind you of part of your past, good or bad. If you notice something that reminds you of your past, you know that you can be "triggered."
July 7th, 2016 3:09pm
If you find yourself suddenly feeling agitated or intense emotion while you are in a situation or event, then, it is a high chance that you have been triggered. Sometimes the trigger accompanies with flash back or memory.
July 8th, 2016 3:17pm
A trigger is a situation, or object that reminds you of a traumatic experience, and so causes distress. Examples of distressing situations may be witnessing, or being the victim of some form of distressing incident. A trigger may be a person who caused the trauma, the place where it happened, someone interacting with you in the same way etc. The trigger may also be something resembling your traumatic experience e.g hearing someone else's experience of a similar nature, seeing someone behave in ways resembling someone that has hurt you etc. Generally, a trigger would result in a respond of agitation or fear, it may bring back the feelings you had at the time you underwent your trauma. If something triggers you, you may feel unable to cope and wish to escape it, in which case, you should stop reading, leave the room, end the conversation etc. We find some things unbearable, for example, most people are moved when they hear stories of suffering, however triggers can cause discomfort as a result of the connection you have made between the triggering situation and a past situation of distress.
July 8th, 2016 10:58pm
Triggers are any thing that sets off an extreme reaction. Now by extreme I tend to include extreme inward reactions such as passive aggressiveness or anxiety etc. These aren't always outwardly expressed. As for how to know you have a trigger. Mindfulness. If you are mindful, you'll be able to detect these sensations as they occur and what actually sets them off. Mindfulness allows you to reflect on the here and now, being able to identify what is going on inside you and then actively taking actions to make it better.
July 16th, 2016 8:27am
Triggers are events, words or situations that cause an uncomfortable psychological reaction within you. If you find yourself avoiding a certain event, or feeling very strange and tense because of something, it could be a trigger.
July 22nd, 2016 12:19pm
Triggers are feelings, emotions/ behaviours etc caused by a situation you have experienced and so when something similar crops up it triggers flash back feelings or thoughts to the past situation and releases the associated feelings/ behaviors may know if you have one if when you get these experiences you start to make a note of it and what was happening at the time that brought on the emotion/ feeling/ behaviour then expressed. You can also attend counselling or Cognitive behavioural Therapy which can help with this.
July 27th, 2016 2:08pm
Triggers are when something urges you to do something, for example you can have a trigger for your panic attacks, or self harm, many people i know can have something said to them, or see a photo that could lead to "triggering" them to self harm or have a panic attack.
July 29th, 2016 5:40am
Triggers are something that makes you feel bad about yourself or something that could make you suicidal or depressed. If you have one you have to find that out.
July 29th, 2016 11:27pm
Triggers are anything that can make you feel depressed, anxious, cause panic attacks, flash backs, etc. etc.
July 30th, 2016 3:23am
Triggers are things that cause you to feel upset ( anxious, scared, sick, etc). You would be able to know if something triggers you by the way it makes you feel.
July 30th, 2016 3:57pm
Triggers are stimuli from the inside (thoughts, emotions...) or the external environment (people's behaviours and acts, facial exressions, gestures, or smth we see in the room/place, smell, hear, taste...) that unconsciously bring us back to experience an emotional flashback - a sudden wave of emotions (sadness, irritation, anger, fear, anxiety...) in a situation somehow reminding our system of a past traumatic experience due to some perceived similarities. As we realize what the triggers are, we are more able to handle them. Patient and self-compassionate acknowledgment that our body - nervous system is over-reacting to something past rather than something happening in the present circumstance might with time easy the reaction itself, not to feel it that strongly and unexpectidely, without understanding why it is there.
August 12th, 2016 9:46pm
Triggers are events that bring upon certain emotions, memories, and behaviors, often times negative. For example, if you see a car crash, it might trigger trauma of a family member killed by one. If you feel any negative feelings from certain phenomenon, you may have a trigger
August 14th, 2016 11:12pm
A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.