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What Do I Do When My Trauma Is Triggered by Real World News?

A trauma-induced trigger can be anything that reminds you of a traumatic event. While there is still much to be learned about triggering trauma symptoms, studies widely agree that the conditions under which they appear are wildly unpredictable.

Triggers are situations, events, or people that can bring back memories of difficult experiences. They can also be images or something from the news that triggers a negative emotion like fear or sadness. Triggers can be anything: a sound, smell, words, or pictures. Triggers can be both positive and negative and can be related to your past or present. For example, you may have heard a sound or smell that reminds you of someone who hurt you. Just trying to keep up with current events can pose a threat. Even something as simple as the daily news has the power to trigger an emotional response. So how do we cope when we want to stay informed but find that doing so causes us turmoil?

Tips for Responding to Triggers

If you find yourself triggered by a story in the news, there are a few things you can do. You can decide how you want to respond to being triggered. If you have a trigger warning or content warning, you can mentally prepare for what’s going to be in the story. While we know how important it is to stay informed, we also need to be aware of how we are being affected by the news. So how do you stay informed without being triggered?

Here are a few more tips:

  • Try to be aware of what’s going on around you
  • If a story on the news is triggering you, tune in to what’s triggering your emotions
  • Prepare yourself for what you’re about to see
  • If you have a trigger warning or content warning, it can help you prepare for what you’re about to see
  • Take a break when you need one
  •  If a story triggers you, don’t feel like you have to keep reading or seeing it

It’s Okay to Turn off the News

News can trigger a wide range of emotions, from anger to fear and everything in between; the news has the power to affect us. So the next time a story triggers you, remember that you are not alone. Above all, if you find that news of the world is triggering your trauma, take a deep breath and step away. The world will spin on without your attention for a little while. The most important news of the day is what your mind and body are telling you.

Coping with trauma can mean watching your step everywhere you go. Surprises lurk around every corner. Sometimes we are even surprised by the fact that we are suffering from trauma at all. Regardless of how well we are coping on our own, we never know when daily news or just being connected to the world can unleash a hidden traumatic response. However, help is available and can make life feel free again. If you or someone you love struggles with trauma or is coping with the effects of trauma, The Guest House can help. Call (855) 483-7800