This community is for discussions relating to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Please note, this community is not monitored by professionals, rather questions will be answered by other members of the community.
For me smells can be the worst trigger,the first time my husband used a new talcum powder I went into a rage because it was the smell my brother had,I was so angry I accused him of doing it on purpose,of course he had no idea but you lose all reasoning,Reading about children going through the same thing also brings back memories but at least now I know they are just memories and thoughts and I can deal with it.
Well witnessing anything related to the trauma or it being talked about or anything. For example I saw someone getting belted across the face to admit something they didn't do and they were yelling which was very close to something that happened to me and this made me zone out and say something I don't remember and I had flashbacks to that. The flashbacks also seem to occur entirely at random but there may be triggers I am not aware of at the time. The time of year also sets me off apparently. People's actions set me off and I become hypervigilant. I also once had to relive for months the conditions and environment for a previous severely traumatic experience my PTSD is related to that made me honestly believe it was going to happen all over again and this caused me to threaten to kill everyone I was living with in all seriousness and I had my first full psychotic break with my schizophrenia where I now need medication to be able to function at all. There are probably other triggers I am not aware of as well. The moral of the story is don't be forced to be around the makings of a previous traumatic episode especially when you're not ready for this or else you will suffer immensely and have a severe breakdown.
Hi. I haven't had a flashback in yrs but the most profound were smells. The first was the time of yr, being near the woods by a lake. I smelled something that must have been the same smell and there I was (someplace else). I never believed that happened..like the movies..until then. Another time, a family member said "remember when we would come in the back door.....". I said "no" and I thought "dear God, my ___ has lost her mind". I was on the phone, at work, but suddenly, there I was by the back door of where she was talking about. Incredible what the mind is capable of. But what I am trying to say is to keep therapy going, working thru what you remember, but each person is different and I've had a person do something, say one word, that did the same thing. You need to get stronger. My therapist said your mind will let things out as you are able to deal with them, or never let them out for things you can't. I think that is pretty much how it went and when a big one came, I needed support and help and got it. You'll need to be strong enough to ask. God bless.
my triggers are helicopters and wire fences in the air force i was trapped in a refugee camp when cubans were having riots i was nearly stoned to death by 5000 rock throwers, there was only 50 of us i was the unlucky one, so one of my triggers is being poked by others i spent the rest of my military career in a hospital. i started to have flashbacks and nightmares a week later and was diagnosed with PTSD and sent back to the states immediately. it takes a lot of courage to talk about what happened to me. during the conflict the 82nd airborne showed up in hellicopters- they dropped tear gas on us by accident and that is another trigger i really felt guilty for freaking out but i learned to accept this. thank you for sharing
I have PTSD from a car accident about 5 yrs ago. I anly recently have been able to actually "admit" that I have no control over some of the triggers/symptoms. Before that I really couldn't tell what was a trigger and what wasn't.
In the lastm few months I have been in therapy and I think it helps more than anything the Doctors have prescribed
Slowly I am beginning to be able to recognize that I am reacting to a trigger. I guess like a lot of others...when the trigger flipped the switch....it was like reality was happening.....not like a "flashback" like they show in the movies. It took me a long time to understand that....and recognize the triggers that cause it............
Anyway....The triggers I know so far.
2.intersections in cars (I can't drive anymore because of it )
this one is big...sounds that have a certain pitch, or tonal quality, just BOOM! instantly my heart feels like it explodes and that my blood is racing through my body etc.
Sounds are some of the worst for me. It is hard to predict which kinds of sounds will do it. Because its pretty much any sudden loud noise, but also even quiet sounds, but certain TYPES....i don't know how to explain that better...I am just kind of learning/figuring it out about my PTSD..
4. Anything that makes me "think" about it...especially when my pain levels from my injury are bad......talking about it...bills from it, seeing old pictures of me with the car i was driving, or seeing a car that looks just like mine on the street.
5. Also nightmares....They wake me up and it is hard to tell what is going on....for life of me it feels like it is real. Even when I "wake up" my body "feels" like it was real.
Those are the ones I can tell so far.
I feel like it helps somehow, knowing what my triggers are. It makes them less intimidating.
I was doused with gasoline by my bf and couldn't leave for 2 hours sitting there with gasoline on me and him saying he was going to light me on fire. Anytime I smell gas I like go to this different place in my mind. I don't even want to hear people talking about filling their tanks up, I can't go to gas stations. If I see a gas can anywhere my whole day is ruined because I just start reliving it.
Any time I smell certain shampoos or soaps i get triggered.
Being in the shower triggers me because I was doused a second time when I was in the shower.
Looking down my basement steps triggers me.
Opening my front door.
Cars driving by trigger me, I can't even tell you how many hours i've spent just sitting and looking out the window.
People walking too closely behind me will freak me out and I'll just start walking so fast, panicking.
Anyone bickering with me in any way triggers me and it will cause me to just freak out at them.
Certain TV shows like any crime show, Law and Order, CSI, First 48 etc I can't even watch anymore (and they used to be my favorite! now i'm just stuck with reality tv or PBS boo!), It's because they are too close to my own reality, my life could be an episode of one of those shows.
Even just reading this blog triggers me!
My triggers are definetly smells......the smell of dirty old men and seeing little girls with dirty ratty hair....I know it sounds crazy but when my daughter was in kindergarden a few years ago I was working in her class and one of her classmates came to speak to me and her hair had not been combed and her jeans were dirty with holes in them and she had brown eyes and the cutest smile. I almost automatically bagan to weap.....wondering if she was going through what I went through?.....Well come to find out I have heard that it's normal to have triggers for women who were abused when their own children hit that age when you were abused. All I know is I immediatly felt stomach pain like no ones buisness and went home and took a bunch of pills.
I was abused for almost 10yrs then he stalked me at night then one of his friend raped me. so yelling, being alone, the sound of my ex's car or a car that sounded like his, someone I care about upset and I go back to thinking that its my fault. I dont really blank out but I inside freak out so bad I sweet, get shaky, heart races, I want to cry sometimes I do just depends on how safe I feel to do that. I go hid from anyone. I feel like I go in to shear panic mode and my mind races with this or that happen what did I do how can I fix it things like that. see even now talking about it with others I think I flat out crazy.... :(
Sounds are a major trigger for me. The human voice, in certain situations, yelling or anger can cause some weird behavior in me I think. But more than sounds, loud noise bothers me, too. My reactions are quick. I am quick by nature. I can walk faster than an average person can jog. Not impossible, but agility is a gift and a curse for me. I react to sounds because I am very sensitive normally to just about everything. This also is a gift and a curse. So what the triggers are is hard to pin down. Being in places that remind me of things that happened to me that were bad. So places, sounds, intrusive thoughts from memories. I avoid most of these but can't always do so.
Movies, Music, Smells, Sound, Just thinking and letting my mind wonder, Sometimes I dunno what it is that triggers it. I could be asleep and wake up in a dead sweat from a nightmare I don't remember.
A touch, Action of guys, stuff like that.
used to be almost anything reminded me of my abusive ex fiance and my past, but now I've started to get over it little by little
I have just started making myself and everyone I'm close to known to the triggers I have experienced. This helped me alot, I experienced less panic attacks, my heart wasn't racing all the time over the triggers, and my family and friends did not have to put up with me accusing them of doing things on purpose. Here my triggers, and the reasons I have came up with as to why I have them.
1. Loud sounds: Being abused and yelled at when I was younger. I lost 3 family members in a homicide/attempt suicide, so guns and the sound are really big issues for me. Parents fighting, physically and verbally.
2. The smell of smoke: When I was 3 I burned down my house. Fire was set to my family members home and my cousin who was 4 at the time was not able to be rescued in time.
3. Cars: From being in a car accident. The smell of the airbags made me sick, and the car smelled like it for about a month after, even with cleaning. My nana's mom died in a car accident because she could not unhook the seat belt and the car ignited.
4. Sound of glass smashing: I fell through a window when I was 10.
5. Guys: Sounds weird I know, but it's not ALL guys. Certain features cause the triggers. Beards, scars on face, ETC. My father's cousin molested both me and my sister who is 3 years older than I am, this lasted for 6 months, no one ever knew about it and when we tried to tell them they didn't believe us.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.