Updated: Jan 5

Trauma 101

Experiencing triggers is a normal part of recovery after trauma for all survivors, that is until you are trauma-free. Triggers alert you to danger, even if danger is not present. They are your mind and heart's way of saying "whoa, this reminds me of something scary," and in the early stages of recovery triggers can put you into a trauma response, which is also perfectly normal.

Definition: Trigger -


  1. a small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, especially in order to fire a gun.


  1. cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist.

More about tiggers:

Anything can be a trigger, there is not one general or specific trigger. Triggers are unique to each survivor's trauma. They can be a specific color, sound, smell, image, gesture, word, or something totally random and unexpected that triggers you or ‘sets off’ a trauma response.

Common responses to triggers:

Like any stress cycle, your trigger may put you into fight or flight, or freeze. But specifically for survivors, triggers can bring on disgust, extreme fear, rage, or hatred.

Sometimes triggers make you "freeze" instead of react, and that's normal too. You might all of a sudden 'tune out' or 'doze off' in the middle of an experience, which is called dissociation.

Other people may perceive your triggers to be 'sensitivities' that are 'not normal or typical.' For someone who hasn't been through trauma, a trauma response seems crazy. But to a survivor who has been through something crazy, a 'crazy' response to something is 100% normal.

More articles:

• Working through a trigger

• Deliverance prayer for triggers

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