trauma trigger: an involuntary response to something, the result of which can vary from severe discomfort to serious endangerment.
allergic reaction: an involuntary response to something, the result of which can vary from severe discomfort to serious endangerment.
this is the easiest and simplest analogy i can come up with to explain to others what a trauma trigger is and how it can affect a person without having to delve too far into my personal life
allergies, in general, are more physically serious than trauma triggers and aren’t as easily cured as triggers are (which, i feel like i should add, can only be treated by a trained mental health professional, not by someone on tumblr leaving something untagged so someone can build up a skin to something), because they can result in a person’s death more readily than a trigger can. this doesn’t mean that they’re any less serious.
when i am seriously triggered by something, my breath picks up and my heart clenches in my chest. my vision goes fuzzy and i don’t realise where i am. in my mind, i am re-experiencing the trauma that gave me the trigger in the first place, and i am terrified. i shake, whimper, cry and feel nauseous, all simultaneously. it is truly unnerving, the extent to which i can re-experience my traumatic experiences, but it happens, despite my best efforts to calm down when i am faced with one of my triggers and the therapy that i receive to relieve myself of these cumbersome things.
this unpleasant process happens nearly every day, and it is not something i want to go through. i do all i can to avoid my triggers, just like people do everything they can to avoid things that set off their allergic reactions, and i’m in therapy, being treated for my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
despite my efforts, i am still made fun of by my family for being “too sensitive” and “touchy”, and i still read tired, old jokes on tumblr laughing about someone being offended by something or someone being triggered by something.
i don’t think someone would make fun of someone for having allergies to something, so why would you make fun of someone for being triggered by something? they can’t help it, and they probably get enough flak from people about it in the first place.
be kind. if someone needs something tagged because it triggers them, don’t make a fuss about it. two seconds of your time could save someone from a lot of discomfort!