Most of the psychological triggers are caused by external events, circumstances and stimulus, such as sight, sound and smell. Some of these triggers can invoke the feeling of distress and flashbacks of traumatic events. Though most of the triggers are innocuous in nature, some of them can turn quite threatening. Because of their innate tendency to evoke traumatic memories and emotions, it can turn more challenging for people to wrestle with these triggers. More than a warning bell, it can turn into an obstacle capable of instilling fear and inhibitions.
Psychological triggers among individuals coping with addiction and psychiatric illnesses are more likely to induce the feelings of anxiety, panic, discouragement, or other uncomfortable states of emotion. Moreover, the exposure to these triggers increase the risk of re-engaging in unhealthy behaviors and negative thinking among people with mental disorders.
Therefore, it is essential to know the ins and outs of these triggers. By developing the ability to identify triggers and implementing measures to reduce their impact on life, a person can significantly dissuade the aggravation of the symptoms of psychiatric diseases in the long run. In fact, triggers can influence moods and behaviors even among individuals not affected by mental disorders.
Although a person cannot predict, identify and avoid all triggers, building effective coping mechanisms can prevent negative effects by strengthening a person’s ability to exercise control over them.
Though reacting to triggers is a normal thing, one should keep this point in mind that most reactions are built subconsciously over a long period of time. Some forms of coping are very maladaptive in nature that can cause a person to be in a constant state of anxiety and distress. This not only worsens his or her mental health symptoms, but also prevent him or her from exploring more adaptive ways to deal with their triggers.
Understanding how triggers work
As such, a person’s reaction to triggers is not understood well. However, it is believed to emanate from the sensory memories and the formation of habits. When a person perceives patterns that resemble his or her traumatic experiences, it is very likely that he or she is probably already responding to a trigger. After certain time of the traumatic event, the person’s efforts to cope with the incident coerces him or her to form certain habits.
Most of the times, these habits are not beneficial to the person and over time it can become deeply ingrained or his or her second nature. Such individuals are unlikely to be aware of the psychological impact of their natural reaction and the habits they demonstrate, especially when the trauma is fresh in their mind. Therefore, it is essential to keep a check on one’s potential triggers to avoid serious consequences, particularly on mental health.
Among various types of mental disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has a large number of psychological triggers. Some of the negative life experiences, such as death, injury, sexual assault or other debilitating incidents, can lead to the onset of PTSD in people. When the brain links certain sight, sound, smell, circumstances and places to the sensory memories of the traumatic event, it could potentially trigger his or her memories of that incident and coerce him or her to relive it again.
Triggers also play a crucial role in dictating the chances of a relapse among individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). People with mental health problems and SUD aware of their unique triggers for relapse should plan their day to avoid some places or people that can reignite distress and cravings.
Correspondingly, they could find ways to controlling their thought so that their mind and body does not give in to the pressure of a trigger. It is unlikely that a person will be able to stay away from his or her triggers at all times, but it could significantly reduce the hardwiring of their negative automatic responses.
Help at hand
Sovereign Health is a leading provider of behavioral health treatment services that offers continuum of care and high-quality treatment services to adults and adolescents affected by mental disorders or substance abuse. We understand the intricate relationship between triggers and mental disorders, as well as the way they negatively affect the lives of many people.