Trigger Warnings are a Product of Empathy

Trigger Warnings are a Product of Empathy (and that's ok) by The Sometimes Chaotic

Trigger Warnings are about power. It’s about the presenter handing the power over to the audience. When you refuse to use a simple warning you are subjecting those with mental illness (anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc) to relive their trauma with no empathy for how the audience may be effected, physically and mentally. The presenter is simply refusing to let go of their power.

Would you tell someone who has an allergy just to deal with being exposed to their allergen? Would you tell someone having an asthma attack to just breathe deeper? Would you tell someone who needs eyeglasses just to look harder when their glasses are slapped off their face? That’s the equivalent of being triggered.

It’s a lack of oxygen. It’s your entire body turning against you. It’s fight or flight. Over and over and over and over.

It’s not a stab wound that can be healed. It’s not a broken leg that can be cast. It’s not something that heals with a band aid. It’s a never ending breakout. A reaction to our lives.

So, when you say “Trigger warnings are stupid”, “You kids these days are soft”, “I didn’t need Trigger Warnings”, you are not only being selfish, you are missing the point.

Older Generations did not have trigger warnings because our society does not value mental health. But this generation? We’re facing it. We’re learning more and more about how trauma effects our DNA. We’re trying to get by the best we can to live with the baggage other generations have handed off to us and we are asking for your help.

So, instead of being a complete ass about someone who needs a little more help getting through their life while living with mental illness, how about you try being compassionate and understanding of what we are dealing with. Try being a decent human being.

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I am Here for You, But I am Here for Myself First

I am here for you, but I am here for myself first. The Sometimes Chaotic

I consider myself active in the mental health community. What I mean by that is I continually research not just medical developments but also radical self-care. I apply what I learn to the interactions I have with my peers and tend to have a vastly less-stigmatized perspective of mental health than most (at least in my experience). However, my motto has always been: I am here for you, but I am here for myself first.

Lately I have been struggling with the burden of others’ mental health. I appreciate the differences of the people I surround myself with, but along with these different backgrounds and life-experiences come different behaviors. They are learned, they are historical, they are accustomed. They are no one’s “fault”. Yet, even with my understanding of this, I find difficulty leveling with the need to constantly be rescued that I am witnessing among some mental health circles.

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Recognizing, Coping and Living with Social Disorders

social-anxiety

For the most part I’m a high functioning adult. I’m even responsible for the care of three other tiny people (my children) and even my husband. But I cannot keep scheduled appointments, I hate having small conversations because I feel like I am obligated to keep the small talk going (and I regularly fail at that) and I have an even harder time staying in contact with friends.

I live with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), Panic Disorder and Social Phobia. It seems like a lot and, honestly, it’s probably not the only thing I could be diagnosed with, but I feel the need to talk about it so more people will understand. People who are unaware of my conditions usually think I am bitchy, uninterested, bored, rude or distant. They may think I am purposely avoiding them and to some degree that may be true. But it certainly isn’t because I don’t want to get to know THEM, but it’s because I feel the need to avoid the social situation.

  • GAD involves non-stop worry about everything. There is a constant fear looming and I very rarely can pin point the reason why.
  • Panic Disorder involves a sudden fear, panic and feeling that you need to get away. My panic attacks are usually accompanied by chest pains, dizziness and shortness of breath and I am exhausted afterwards. They can last anywhere from 15 mins to several hours and literally leave you confused and unsure.
  • Social Anxiety/Phobia means I have a fear of social situations. I do not like to initiate conversations because I am afraid the person may not want to talk to me in the first place, I have a constant fear of being judged or that someone will notice how I am acting.
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