What is your opinion of Trigger Warnings?

As much as I might wish that a person who rants about feeling "triggered" by seeing a picture of sparklemuffin on facebook because they are kinda creeped out by spiders that they should spend the rest of the day pissing out spiders because I am embarrassed and ashamed to be lumped into the same category of these people by virtue of having "triggers"; my problem isn't so much them as it is a culture that shames people for not having the symptoms of their mental illnesses under wraps at all times. Abuse of trigger warnings embarrass me, they make me feel ashamed to have triggers and as easy as it is to point the finger as those who abuse the warnings and the term, I think a culture that continues to stigmatize mental illness is the heart of the problem (even though the attention seekers are annoying).

I think the concept of triggers are misused by many people to mean that they feel offended and mildly upset rather than experiencing a disruptive amount of distress and I find that to be a problem. But at the same time, I also find the whole pain one-upmanship to be destructive. Pain is relative and going around cutting upset people down because their pain isn't found to be valid enough is pretty damn harmful. Trauma isn't some Olympic sport where you have to be so scarred in order for your pain to be valid and for anyone to care about it and I don't want it to be treated like that.

At the same time, for me, I find trigger warnings to be patronizing. I don't want to be handled with kid gloves like I'm some sort of broken husk of my former self. I want to be treated like a normal person. I find avoiding triggers to do me no favors. Each time I'm exposed it throws me for one hell of a loop, but I come out stronger for it each time.

Also, triggers aren't that cut and dry. Triggers are pretty murky things. I can read some graphic content and not have it get to me. Sometimes it's a smell, or sudden movements. I can have cruel comments thrown my way about my trauma and I can shrug it off and sometimes it's an innocently made casual comment that will do me in. I don't think it should be anyone else's responsibility to handle me with kid gloves and placate me (sure, don't be a malevolent douche towards me, please show common decency and all that jazz) when it comes to trigger management, I got this. I can tell by graphic warning content, by titles and the first paragraphs of things that I might want to avoid certain content on days where I feel fragile. But at the same time, I suppose a warning at the top isn't a bad thing. It's like listing allergen in food. Sure, I know to avoid X food because hives suck and I have a solid habit of reading ingredients. Some people want that warning to save themselves the effort.

/r/AskWomen Thread