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

169 Answers
Last Updated: 03/16/2022 at 1:29am
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
April 7th, 2017 4:05pm
Sometimes if I hear a particular song I'll feel panicked and anxious. I'll end up having to leave the room or turn the song off and sometimes I'll have a panic attack. The song is so descriptive and I feel like I 100 prevent relate to it and sometimes it's too much for me to handle. It'll bring up memories I try to suppress and forget. I do my best to avoid listening it it but a lot of people like the song so every now and then I'll hear it while I'm out.
April 8th, 2017 9:08pm
I think a trigger can be described as something that sets off an emotion inside of you (positive emotions included.) For example, seeing a friend could trigger happiness, or a traffic jam could trigger annoyance. To see what triggers you have in your life, take a step back and realize what is causing your emotion. Identifying triggers in your life can help you realize what causes unhealthy emotions or unhealthy behaviors, and how you can cope with situations that may trigger you.
April 14th, 2017 1:02pm
Triggers are anything that reminds you of something negative or upsetting that may have happened to you or you may have seen or heard of happening to someone else. Triggers can be things like smells, places, people, voices, music and lots of other things. You may be able to identify your triggers if there is something in particular that regularly reminds you of something upsetting.
April 14th, 2017 5:00pm
Triggers are things that cause you to pannic or send you into depresave state or a pannic attack. They are usaly linked to things like PTSD or extream anxieaty. If you have one then whenever a topic is mentioned you freak out or it completly ruins your day. My ex girlfiend had a trigger that whenever her dads name was said she would have a pannic attack.
May 7th, 2017 9:59pm
A trigger a word, sound, image, or memory that resurfaces painful emotions that are overwhelming. It can be so overwhelming that a person becomes suicidal if not handled properly.
May 28th, 2017 11:43am
A trigger is something that makes you emotionally react (usually negatively) - sound, place, person, situation. It is difficult to pinpoint your triggers but a lot of times it is certain experiences that made us feel negative in past and certain situation occurring now is triggering the same negative feeling from your past. You will definitely see if you have one if you are watching your feelings closely. For example: Someone trying to control you. Someone being needy, or trying to smother you. If you feel negative emotional response to these or other scenarios you can think of, that is your trigger.
June 15th, 2017 10:51pm
Distress, typically as a result of arousing feelings or memories associated with a particular traumatic experience. Especially of something seen, read or heard. It can cause flashbacks & such or memories.
June 15th, 2017 11:15pm
Triggers are sounds, phrases, places, people, or things that suddenly bring about an intense emotion, usually negative. An example is a kid who grew up being called fat-- as an adult, somebody jokes to him and calls him fat. All of a sudden, his face gets red, he becomes increasingly angry, and cannot control his behavior as he holds a fist and starts towards the person who called him fat.
June 18th, 2017 2:58pm
A trigger is something that creates an anxiety response based on past trauma. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether or not something is a trigger, but by paying attention to the stimuli and thoughts that were present directly before the anxiety is noticed, it is possible to identity a trigger.
July 1st, 2017 6:28am
A trigger is any person, place or thing that causes you to feel a certain type of emotion. For example, with someone who self harms, their trigger may be bullies at school and whenever someone is mean to them they feel they have to cut or burn etc. They were triggered by the bullies.
July 16th, 2017 1:27am
When you experience something with one or more of your 5 senses that your body perceives as dangerous, it stores a memory of those senses so that next time you see/hear/taste/touch/smell it, alarm bells will go off and put you in that fight-or-flight mode for survival. Many triggers aren't particularly obvious because they're subconcious, so we don't recognize why they set us off or even that it's that specific thing that's setting us off. But, if you can recognize a pattern, then you'll know that you have a trigger.
September 1st, 2017 4:22pm
triggers are some event or memory that occurs and causes you to have a certain (usually negative) emotion/feeling/thought, which of course can cause negative actions. you can figure out if you have one because the same emotion will occur every time that particular event happens.
September 10th, 2017 5:29pm
A trigger is a destabilizing response on your end to something said/a comment by someone that might have been intended as an innocent claim by someone else. When we were growing up, we inevitably experienced pain or suffering that we could not acknowledge and/or deal with sufficiently at the time. We typically become triggered by experiences that are reminiscent of old painful feelings. As a result, we typically turn to a habitual or addictive way of trying to manage the painful feelings.
November 10th, 2017 6:25pm
A trigger is a result of an event that causes you to react in a certain way and you can tell if you have one if you get scared, desperate to go somewhere or drive away.
November 15th, 2017 3:57pm
Triggers can be words or situations that cause a rush of emotion linked to a similar situation that you have experienced. For example, let's say you have previously worked through a period of self-harm, and somebody else shares a very similar experience to yours, this may 'trigger' a response that brings back negative emotions felt during the period of self-harm. This is just an example, we have all experienced negative events differently, and certain words or situations can cause people to feel what they once felt, or bring up some unresolved emotions around that.
November 16th, 2017 1:53pm
It normally makes one nervous, uncomfortable, anxious, scared or any negative feeling that makes them want to not be in that situation at that time.
November 17th, 2017 7:47pm
Triggers can be anything that a person relates to a past experience. This could be something that can be concerning depending on the severity of it. I am not a doctor or a licensed therapist. So I am confident I need not to try and diagnose something i am not licensed for. I would again advice speaking to a doctor about your concerns.
December 8th, 2017 9:44am
Triggers are when someone mentions a subject and you feel anxiety or nervous about the subject. Sometimes it can make someone react adversely. It can be about food, if previously you've had an eating disorder for example.
December 10th, 2017 4:42am
Triggers are things that people are sensitive for, usually after they have experienced trauma. For example, some people can have triggers such as loud noises or talking about something related to a very bad experience they had. To know if you have triggers, think about if there is any subject matter that makes you extremely uncomfortable or sick to talk about, and if this could be connected to any of your past trauma, should you have experienced any.
December 15th, 2017 1:32am
Triggering occurs when any certain something (a “trigger”) causes a negative emotional response. You would know if you have one if a certain topic or situation causes you to feel sadness, panic or have flashbacks. You can also experience physical symptoms such as shaking and fatigue.
December 17th, 2017 2:48am
Triggers are any specific thing, person, or situation that "trigger" a reaction inside you. This could be good, or more often referred to as bad. This could be a crowded room, loud noises, or classrooms!
December 22nd, 2017 11:21pm
Triggers are certain topics that can make you find yourself feeling anxiety, depression, guilt or shame. They can be caused by topics that may have affected you one time or another throughout your life. Identifying your trigger(s) (If you have any) can be hard for some people, there's no knowing until you encounter those moments in life.
December 26th, 2017 10:12pm
Triggers are situations, objects, memories (even scents and other senses' experiences) that make you feel a certain way. Usually, a trigger leads you to a negative emotion/feeling - (e.g.: the scent of spearmint makes you recall that time when you felt very nauseous, so whenever you feel that odour, you get nauseated or whenever you hear loud noises you get furious).
January 3rd, 2018 10:02pm
Triggers are things that cause you to have a negative reaction without necessarily having a cause. Like if you have a bad experience with something, seeing something that reminds you of the experience can really upset you even if it's not upsetting in itself.
January 13th, 2018 7:13am
Triggers are the issues in your life which if touched may bring sudden uncontrolled reactions by u. They also means unresolved issues in you.
January 18th, 2018 5:11pm
A trigger can be a conscious or subconscious stimulus that gets "switched" when you encounter a sight, smell, taste, or feeling that reminds you of a trauma. Sometimes its something that happened before you developed memory, so it might be hard for you to realize this at this point. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would be great to find those!
January 24th, 2018 6:29pm
Triggers are emotional extreme points where a person doesn't know how to react and just panics and gets confused with everything.
January 31st, 2018 7:40pm
A trigger can make you feel upset, overwhelmed, anxious or angry. It is something that may bring back horrible memories. It can be a simple word, a sound, a smell that could make you start overthinking and bring you back to a bad time, its trauma
February 4th, 2018 1:09am
Triggers are something that brings you to a very difficult stage in life. For example say if someone touched you in a way you didn’t want to when you were younger it would be a trigger.
February 9th, 2018 9:22am
A trigger is something that can 'set off' a memory or an emotion, often leading to a negative feeling or behaviour