Mental Illness: Living with the Reality of Triggers

Mental Illness Trigger

If you are living with a mental illness, you always have to look for the curve ball.  These curve balls are what we call triggers.

Real Life Scenario

I had a very costly trigger today.  It began last night when I took a Post-It note and wrote down the seven things I wanted to do the next day.  It is 1:05 p.m. EST “the next day” and I have gotten three things accomplished.  Some people would say that it is almost 50%, why not pat yourself on the back.  The reason is five of the things on the list should have been taken care of before I met my husband for lunch at noon.  The last two items need a little more time to complete.

So, “what happened?”  You ask.   This morning, instead of exercising at 6:15 a.m., I fell asleep.  The structure of my morning began to crumble.  I slept on the couch until around 8:00 a.m. when it was almost time to get ready to take my husband to work.  When I came back home, I felt depressed from being unproductive and unmotivated to do anything, so I slept some more and stared some more.

Mental Illness

Mental Illness Triggers

Mental Illness Triggers

For me to go from being productive to staring out the window in a comatose state can be triggered by anything.  I think my trigger was not feeling the security of structure.

Maybe for someone with PTSD, a trigger could be flashbacks and nightmares.  These could easily trigger major anxiety and panic attacks.

I know for my good friend who has depression, a trigger could be downtime at work where she has nothing to do.  With the inbox on empty, emotions of loneliness and boredom might kick in.

My friend from group therapy has schizophrenia (by the way, he is one of the nicest guys I have ever met).  His trigger could be a mean co-worker that sets off an avalanche of anxiety and paranoia.

Sometimes, get this, there are NO triggers!  You just feel like shit!

mental illness triggers


Please use the space below to leave your comments.  You might not even have a mental illness but know your triggers that frustrate you or make you angry or yell at a family member.  Please share your thoughts.

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