• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.
  6. We are no longer allowing posts or threads that deny the existence of Covid-19. Members have lost loved ones to this virus and are grieving. As a Christian site, we do not need to add to the pain of the loss by allowing posts that deny the existence of the virus that killed their loved one. Future post denying the Covid-19 existence, calling it a hoax, will be addressed via the warning system.

What "trigger warnings" mean to me.

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by rambot, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. rambot

    rambot Senior Member

    +8,090
    Christian
    Married
    CA-Greens
    There is much a big fuss made of trigger warnings. Generally, it sounds as though they are dismissable, worthless notes meant to coddle and comfort a weaker CLASS of people (usually/presumably these are minorities and/or femininsts and/or women).

    There are now times where I appreciate "trigger warnings". I had been working in a treatment centre for youth and we had a self harmer with borderline personality disorder. She ended up targetting me with her mind games (so....things like setting up violent rape scenes in parks, self harming extensively (100s of cuts in a session) and coming out of the her room; cutting the undersides of her tongue and trying to flick blood at me and come at me all bloodied; plus numerous others). She lived at our facility for 8 months; of our staff of 12, 7 of us were put on stress leave because of what she exposed us to). It was a terrible time. These are experiences that people in the REAL WORLD have. Incidents of trauma that affect our/their mental health. These are REAL events. Sometimes it happens due to straight up hatred; some times, it's madness.

    I've seen and dealt with a lot of terrible things at my work but this was, kind of, beyond the pale. We were told, in no uncertain words that are ONLY job was to "keep her alive". It was desperation level 500.

    Since she left, I have had to walk out of 2 movies and a play; albeit temporarily, just so I can compose myself again as I get quite bit of flashbacks and anxiety when I see it (as well as when I have discussions about her or self harm generally). I went back in to the movies and the play (though in the play, the topic kinda hung around ot the end...so I didn't enjoy it as much).

    The common argument against these groups is in regards to the idea that people don't "need coddling". We don't take children from abusive homes and argue they don't "need coddling"; we don't welcome soldiers home who have seen combat and suggest to them that they need to buck up. Society has come FAR enough along to recognize that, post trauma, a little TLC is necessary for care and healing of others. And yet if the "average person" suffers from trauma, there is a skepticism rooted around that.

    And so I would start addressing that by taking a step back and considering why these people feel they need a "safe space" at all (ie...not whether they SHOULD HAVE access to one, but just that they think they NEED one). In the same way we need to remember that Hitler was not a monster but was just a human, we need to remember that victims of trauma are regular humans. And chances are that they also have been victim to some kind of trauma or significant injustice (does the latter require a safe space? Or a trigger warning, that's another discussion).

    I don't feel I need to be "coddled" per se. But at the same time, I have seen things that you have NOT seen. Nor things I would want you to see. I have felt helpless feelings that you have not felt in those moments. For me, a trigger warning gives me a chance to reflect and think about whether this play/song/activity/art whatever is something I am ready and able to consume or participate in right at this time. Am I going to have to suffer through my memories of this bloody faced girl clawing at me while two characters in a play compare self harm scars? Is that gonna bother me all night? With a PTSD sufferer, is that kinda thing then, going to affect me for several days after?

    Trigger warnings allow "compromised people" the opportunity to make more informed decisions around their capacity to see things that may be upsetting for them. I fail to see why that is a bad thing.

    On news and radio broadcasts we have anchors saying "And a warning, some details may be offensive...". So they give trigger warnings to the whole population with the news: There is a reason for that. Probably because the world is full of @#%@#$$ up @@#%@#% and people aren't used to seeing all that stuff.
    And when people see that stuff, they are affected by it.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

    +2,081
    Private
    The problem with "trigger warnings" is that nobody knows what everyone else's specific "triggers" are.

    I knew someone who was "triggered" into a severe anxiety attack merely at hearing the word "rollercoaster". It is impossible to predict everyone's triggers.

    The best we can do is to encourage those who are triggered to grow stronger.
     
  3. Gadarene

    Gadarene -______-

    +2,447
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Labour
    I’m sure there are reasonable uses of them, though I still maintain that you don’t improve these issues by avoidance. I have GAD, which still affects me pretty badly, but I don’t feel the need for people to tiptoe around my triggers or prewarn me about things I don’t like.

    This, for example, is not exactly a trigger warning, but it is symptomatic of the sense that we need to be so hypersensitive to people’s frailties.

    Students swap clapping for jazz hands at NUS event

    I don’t want people to be catering to my sensitivities. I would prefer to cultivate my own resilience. The idea that someone might think I would need jazz hands instead of clapping because I’m an anxiety sufferer is degrading, to be frank. This is the problem in a lot of areas of society today. Instead of kindly and sympathetically encouraging people to train themselves to be more resilient, people encourage sufferers like myself to remain in a position of weakness and demand that the rest of society be slowed to our pace. I don’t want to be that way, nor do I want everyone to have proceed at the same pace as I do. I don’t feel bad for saying that - I have a condition that others don’t have. I feel a darn sight less patronised by people who acknowledge my issues but encourage me to rise above them than people who think I need sodding jazz hands instead of clapping.

    In more detail:

    Not to belabour the point, but fact is you don’t see men demanding these things so much, and this is despite men having greater mental health issues to the point that it’s killing them more. While I’m not recommend going full-on male stoic, I do think it’s a good thing that men for the most part are not freaking out over clapping because it’s not jazz hands. Again, it’s demeaning. It makes you look pathetic.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that given some of the incredibly overwrought examples being used to justify trigger warnings, most of the people asking for them haven’t gone through the same sort of thing that you have.

    Heck, some of these trigger warnings are over mere ideas, not depictions of violence. There are degrees of these things and while I’m more sympathetic to the idea of someone like yourself needing trigger warnings, I think most of the people clamouring for them are taking the mick and devalue the concept for those of us that do need it.

    Again, the spectrum of what is considered “trauma” is tremendously and needlessly broad. Soldiers and abuse victims have been through genuine hardship. “I got mean tweets on twitter” is not a cause of PTSD and it is not genuine hardship. It is like the same princess-and-the-pea mindset that calls mere words “violence”. I had two guys come after me at age 17 armed with a brick and a broken bottle, and I was very lucky to get away unscathed. That is violence, not being called slurs online.

    Because most of the people asking for them aren’t compromised or give no reason to think they are, and they are taking advantage of those that are to fulfil their sense of entitlement.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  4. Rion

    Rion Annuit Cœptis Supporter

    +6,198
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    Most of the people who'll tell you about their trigger warnings are not the kind who have PTSD. The people you should direct your ire towards are those who've latched onto the term and abused it until it has become a joke.

    BTW, was this a response to my title? :ahem:
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  5. rambot

    rambot Senior Member

    +8,090
    Christian
    Married
    CA-Greens
    But here's the thing: Trigger warnings don't mean I now have to AVOID the plays I saw. It means I can decide whether I want that kind of intrusion into my headspace. And for people who suffer from their trauma more than me, I think that would be important.


    To a great extent, I agree with this. What bothers me is the idea that one person's trigger affects, in a meaningful way, the experience of others. Switching to jazz hands is not ok in my mind. BUT, a quick heads up that a play will have scenes with self harming does NOT effect you or anyone else in that audience and so if they say it for my benefit, why are other SOOOO up in arms about it?


    Of course not, because you are not bothered by "jazz hands".
    I have no compulsion for society to stop talking about or portraying self harm, but I can't wrap my head around the CONSTANT bellyaching around a 1 sentence warning.


    First off, the fact that "mental health" is killing them more is because men choose FAR more violent and lethal ways of killing themselves. Check the suicide attempt stats and your picture reverses itself.
    Also, there is evidence that women more likely experience violent trauma in their history.



    While I'd agree many of them haven't seen blood, we don't KNOW what kind of trauma they have been through. We make ASSUMPTIONS about them though.

    While I agree there have been circumstances where I've read here where a bit of "buck up, l'il camper" seems like it would make sense, I can't say for certain. And I don't think their INTENT is to degrade the idea of trigger warnings.


    I agree with this. BUT, it leads to a bit of a slope; I think street harassment of women can/could be traumatic. I think DIRECT incidents of racism can be traumatic. Ultimately, trauma IS a very broad word (in honesty, it's something I struggle with a bit too). But it isn't only trauma that leads to "brokenness"; it's resiliency in the face of trauma. Some people don't have any resiliency; some people LOVE the victim pity card.

    Many don't though. Many have actually been through some significant shhhhh.

    1) I would suggest to you first and foremost that it is not your (or anyone else's place) to suggest they know best how to "sort someone out". It is their journey to figure out.
    2) Are you under the impression that people that get triggered by things ENJOY it? I would guess that you are not, but if you can understand that people don't like getting triggerred by things, you may want to consider that those people are in the process of figuring out HOW to overcome their fears. And that gets done by him/herself figuring out the bests contexts and situations to do it.
     
  6. rambot

    rambot Senior Member

    +8,090
    Christian
    Married
    CA-Greens
    Really? Because those aren't the people who are making me feel inadequate, weak, dismissible and an easy target to disrespect.

    I don't like that people have co-opted something that helps me, and I blame them for lacking self awareness, for sure.

    But ABSOLUTELY I will direct my ire at people who are MORE than willing to confuse me with "people who don't need them".
     
  7. Rion

    Rion Annuit Cœptis Supporter

    +6,198
    United States
    Lutheran
    Single
    I have "Pure OCD" (I know they changed the name since then, but that's what it was called) and avoidance doesn't help jack. If you have legitimate PTSD like my father or brother had, then I'm not going to look down on you or treat you badly. I will poke fun at people who co-op a term that once had a legitimate meaning, however. They should be ashamed for that.

    So once again, you're directing your ire at the wrong people.
     
  8. Gadarene

    Gadarene -______-

    +2,447
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Labour
    Again, I don’t really have a problem with people who’ve actually suffered trauma - like yourself, or people who’ve been through worse that might want them.

    The point I was making is another example of the same dynamic I highlighted - instead of dialling things down to those with less capability for processing a particular stimulus, why not instead train those people’s capability to deal with it? It’s the same old chestnut - people with anxiety (or whichever) claim they need provision X to cope with their condition. Well, I’m an anxiety sufferer and I don’t. Why aren’t I being used as the reference instead?


    I think again this can be explained by people being sick of those who have abused the concept. Not wanting to see violence is at least grounded in something genuinely unpleasant for many people - like having experienced violence.

    No, I’m not bothered by clapping, perhaps you meant to say. But again, as an anxiety sufferer, why are people like me not being used as the reference for how to treat people with anxiety?


    Not even remotely true in this country and plenty others, men usually are at greatest risk of violence on average.

    You can extend this point to pretty much any gender issue - most gender issues affect both genders to some degree, but you don’t see men claiming to be “harassed” - as some women have claimed politicians here have done - by a woman putting their hand on their knee when it wasn’t wanted. You don’t see men getting outraged to the point of trying to have someone fired over wearing the wrong shirt, or telling the wrong joke. I would argue that while it is obviously socialised and not an innate difference, women increasingly portray themselves with a sort of emotional incontinence you simply do not see in men, which makes them look weak while claiming simultaneously to be as strong and as capable as men - which strains credibility somewhat when men simply don’t behave this way to the same extent.

    But that’s what’s happened nonetheless. And when it comes to getting upset over mere idea, that’s when it becomes a requirement to deploy the “buck up lil camper” response.

    But those people are the problem, not those pointing out that trigger warnings have become overused. They are the people overusing it.
     
  9. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

    +2,081
    Private
    I agree, this is part of what I was saying.
     
  10. zephcom

    zephcom Well-Known Member

    +1,628
    United States
    Deist
    Married
    First of all, I appreciate people like you who are willing to care for the disturbed people in this world. I don't think I'm capable of doing what you have done.

    Second, because I know that people are doing things which leave mental scars while doing those things for the betterment of us all, I have never considered trigger warnings in a negative light. They serve a valuable service to those people who might otherwise have a miserable day or evening without them.

    Third, so what if some people abuse them??? That doesn't mean we should leave those who genuinely need them adrift in the world without them.

    JMMHO.
     
  11. anna ~ grace

    anna ~ grace Newbie Supporter

    +9,777
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Balance is key.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  12. Christie insb

    Christie insb Well-Known Member

    869
    +505
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Democrat
    I worked with kids in residential treatment too, and I think my studies after I left that place were affected by the violence that I witnessed. We did not have that exact girl but there were a lot of girls with s diagnosis of BPD and boys with Conduct Disorder, with a few schizophrenics who were wildly, sadly disabled. I really think most of my triggers really go back to childhood though. Getting a trigger warning allows us to be more conscious. I often did just act as if I was fine but as I have become more self-aware, it allows me to have more choice in how I respond to stuff, to not take stuff out on the wrong person later because I've had my stuff stirred up.

    I think people who think people should just get over it are either ignorant as to how much trauma others have experienced or they are repressing their own stuff so much it hurts to see others react. Don't ever devalue your sensitivity. It can give you the tools you need to be a better human being.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  13. Genersis

    Genersis Person of Disinterest

    +735
    United Kingdom
    Atheist
    Single
    UK-Labour
    The issue of trigger warnings has always seemed pretty pointless to me.
    Also, kind of irritating when people come forward, or instances are referenced where they were useful, or could have been, but are then told most people who want trigger warning don't need them, so opposing them is still right.

    The anti-warning argument seems to be exactly the same line of reasoning that leads to mental health stigmas and outright mental health denialism.

    It's difficult to understand how other peoples' minds work but rejecting so many other peoples experiences out of hand as exaggerations and over-sensitivity isn't helpful or humane:
    "I think depression is awful, but most people who claim to be depressed are oversensitive, just feeling a little sad and need to get over it."

    "I think PTSD is awful, but most people who claim to need trigger warnings are oversensitive liberals who need to get over their entitlement."

    Is it really so entitled to have a short warning for people with PTSD(affects 8 in 100), like the ones for people with photosensitive epilepsy(affects 3 in 10,000)?
    We can argue about how common triggering is, but isn't it better to be safe than sorry when dealing with trauma? Especially as such warnings may also be handy for general audiences too.

    The Pan European Game Information organisation does something like this when rating games, similar simple systems could be used elsewhere when appropriate.
    [​IMG]
    Short, sweet, and can be easily ignored by people disinterested/actively aggravated by such warnings.
     
  14. Gadarene

    Gadarene -______-

    +2,447
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Labour
    Again - I have clinically bad anxiety. Don’t need trigger warnings. Why is my experience not considered the benchmark? I have the disease just like any other sufferer of it does.

    This does remind me of the gender debate, which I think is why there is often believed to be some overlap - group A complains about X and demands Y to deal with it. There exists group B, who also experiences X yet copes adequately without needing to demand Y. Why do we insist that group A must be the standard to live up to? Why not group B? They are both sufferers of the same problem, so both their voices are equally valid as sufferers of that disease, but we always seem to plump for group A.
     
  15. Christie insb

    Christie insb Well-Known Member

    869
    +505
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Democrat
    I doubt trigger warnings would cause you any harm. Your example seems to me like someone who has epilepsy but isn't photosensitive saying the people who have seizures from flashing lights should just get over it and have sensible seizures like I do. Also the people who need trigger warnings may be different than you in a way that could change. Maybe the person was in a car accident that gave them PTSD or they experienced some kind of assault.
     
  16. Gadarene

    Gadarene -______-

    +2,447
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    UK-Labour
    For one, epilepsy isn’t comparable to mental health issues.

    Secondly - to reiterate I have the same issue. And yet I and plenty of other people with the same issue don’t need them, despite often having as bad anxiety. If we can deal with it, why can’t other people? This is the elephant in the room with this whole discussion.
     
  17. Christie insb

    Christie insb Well-Known Member

    869
    +505
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Democrat
    I still think things can change. You could become sensitive to triggers even though you are not now. Besides the people who have triggers are not like you. Maybe you could get a psych degree and research why some people with anxiety have triggers and others do not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  18. rambot

    rambot Senior Member

    +8,090
    Christian
    Married
    CA-Greens
    Please pardon my ignorance on the matter but how does the term "generalized anxiety" come into play?
    I had initially understood it to mean something like a more pervasive anxiety that is always around, as opposed to something that would give pointed full on panic attacks (though I'm sure those do occur). Are GAD anxiety sufferers prone to triggers and frequent anxiety attacks?

    Am I incorrect in that assumption?

    But to answer your question...I would start by saying that you make it sound like those people who experience X and can't handle it are happy in that situation and wouldn't change. I don't think many people would choose to be in their state if they could. Even still some people are not ready for change but some people are, you are right.
    Also, I don't think many are necessarily saying that "X" is a standard to live up to. I think they are saying "X" is an option and it is (or should be) okay. Finding healthy ways to cope with the pain of X relative to your situation is the best option. But for those lucky few who experience trauma that they can endure, good on them! It would be lovely if everyone treated others well.
     
  19. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +7,331
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    The backlash against "trigger warnings" happened when their appearance became too common. When it seems you can't have an adult discussion on serious issues without running into at least one, it becomes tiresome.
     
  20. rambot

    rambot Senior Member

    +8,090
    Christian
    Married
    CA-Greens
    For the record a lady i work with was right beside me for the blood spitting incident (she had her in a very calm restraint before i came). She developed PTSD and was off work for near a year. She didnt return to work as i understand. Fact is that our brains respond differently to the same stimuli. All the more reason to hold the judgement cards close to thr chest.
     
Loading...