T R I G G E R E D

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April Willson, Section Editor

Commonly used in dank memes, the word triggered refers to flashbacks to mortifying events caused by posttraumatic stress disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder is a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world (www.google.com). See, it’s a condition that, according to www.webmd.com, affects people of all ages and can come and go throughout their lives.

Some things that can trigger PTSD include:

  • Car backfires that sound like gunshots
  • News reports about sexual abuse
  • Seeing car accidents
  • Movies about wars
  • Movies or videos about events such a earthquakes or hurricanes
  • Etc.

Clues that a person may have this disorder include:

  • Moments of panic or distress
  • Bad memories or flashbacks
  • Social isolation
  • Behavioral changes such as agitation, hostility, hypervigilance
  • etc.

In an interview between reporter Rebecca Aponte and Dr. Ochberg, a leading PTSD and trauma specialist, the subject of trauma came up. Ms. Aponte asked him to explain what being traumatized really meant. Dr. Ochberg replied, I think most of us consider something traumatic as usually something frightening, difficult, that could have relatively minor or huge life shattering consequences. Let’s compare it to stress. We get stressed by minor things that get us upset, sometimes mobilized with a lot of energy. But those of us who were part of a new generation that defined Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder really wanted trauma to be way beyond the usual stress” (www.psychotherapy.net). So according to Dr. Ochberg, trauma and stress are related in a way, and trauma is a very amped up form of what people feel during daily stress-inducing situations.

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a fairly common thing in the United States, and according to www.sidran.org, about 1 in 13 people in this country will develop PTSD in their lifetime. Please be considerate of people who have this disorder and remember not to disrespect the veterans who have been through so much to protect our country.