View Full Version : Are trigger warnings always a good idea?


dvdnvwls
08-19-15, 01:26 PM
I'm ambivalent about the whole concept of trigger warnings. I see what they're intended to do, and I think I've seen them used appropriately in some situations, but IMO they sometimes become a form of bullying and aggression in themselves. No one, not even someone who needs protection from triggers, should be allowed to bully others.

This article from The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/) has one point of view, focusing on the increasing use of trigger warnings in US colleges.

sarahsweets
08-19-15, 02:12 PM
"trigger warning" Im almost out of toilet paper"
Essentially everything could have a trigger warning which is why I think they do not serve their purpose.

Fuzzy12
08-19-15, 02:44 PM
In the way it's meant in the article, no, I guess i sort of agree with most of the article (though I didn't read the whole thing). I don't think t I don't think you should necessarily shield students from everything that might cause them distress. How will they learn to cope with their emotions or with distressing thoughts if they are never exposed to them. In limits though. I wouldn't force someone with PTSD to be constantly confronted with their triggers.

As a warning though, I think there is nothing wrong with trigger warnings. I don't see how the surprise or shock favtor helps anyone . Do warn people if you are going to talk about things they might find distressing and ideally, especially in an academic settings also tell them where and how they can get help if they found any of the topics difficult to cope with.

I quite like the way they do it in TV programs, ie they give a warning before the start of the programme if a programming contains violent and disturbing content and at the end there are often some support telephone numbers or websites to talk about some of the issues raised in the programme.

dvdnvwls
08-19-15, 04:33 PM
Essentially everything could have a trigger warning which is why I think they do not serve their purpose.

Ever? I think sometimes they do... I just think there is a lot of poorly-thought-out (or even sort-of-almost-malicious) use of them.

[Here I mumble something about Nineteen Eighty-Four, Newspeak, etc.]

namazu
08-19-15, 05:46 PM
I just think there is a lot of poorly-thought-out (or even sort-of-almost-malicious) use of them.
What would be an example of an "even sort-of-almost-malicious" trigger warning?

dvdnvwls
08-19-15, 07:14 PM
What would be an example of an "even sort-of-almost-malicious" trigger warning?

Stifling or attempting to stifle ordinary discourse by labelling it or requiring/expecting it to be extensively labelled. I haven't ever seen that happen here; it's something that is referred to in the article linked, and which surprised me.

Flory
08-19-15, 08:24 PM
It reminds me of MySpace, pro anorexia and deviant art peak times on the internet about 10-15 years ago and some of that self harm fetish stuff you see more on tumblr nowadays.

I see trigger warning as more of a **loooook at mee*** they make sense on places like eating disorder recovery pages or even yes self harming help pages/suicide pages whatever (those with a genuine interest in recovery) but even so think it is better to put something like (contains info about subject x)

Keep the am-dram to tumblr

stef
08-19-15, 09:00 PM
I would rather see a misused trigger warning, than none at all. Especially If I'm having a bad day and just surfing internet anywhere and stumble across something that's difficult to read I get very upset because I have a lot of empathy and sometimes its just not the right moment to read it.

Fortune
08-19-15, 09:17 PM
I think a lot of people don't understand the point of trigger warnings. It's not drama, it's not bullying, and it's not strictly a way to shield people from whatever might upset them.

Trigger warnings serve a purpose in that they inform people as to content so they can either choose not to experience the content, or prepare for it when they do experience it.

There are things I appreciate trigger warnings for because they are triggers. I almost never choose to not go ahead but at least I go ahead informed and knowing what to expect.

In the way it's meant in the article, no, I guess i sort of agree with most of the article (though I didn't read the whole thing). I don't think t I don't think you should necessarily shield students from everything that might cause them distress. How will they learn to cope with their emotions or with distressing thoughts if they are never exposed to them. In limits though. I wouldn't force someone with PTSD to be constantly confronted with their triggers.


This is a really flimsy argument. No one is saying that they expect to never be exposed to distress, but asking so they can be properly prepared to deal with it.

Like, people love to talk about exposure therapy but college classes, movies, etc. aren't exposure therapy and shouldn't try to fill that role.

Also, we already have content warnings on music, movies, video games, television shows. Rating systems, for example, provide ample warning as to what to expect in terms of violence, sex, etc. Somehow these warnings have never drawn the melodramatic dislike that trigger warnings seem to be a magnet for.

dvdnvwls
08-19-15, 10:01 PM
... we already have content warnings on music, movies, video games, television shows. Rating systems, for example, provide ample warning as to what to expect in terms of violence, sex, etc. Somehow these warnings have never drawn the melodramatic dislike that trigger warnings seem to be a magnet for.

I don't see it as melodramatic at all. It seems clear to me that there are trigger warnings, and then there are trigger warnings. Some (most, I hope) are exactly as you say. There are others that it seems are motivated less by a desire to inform and more by an aim to discredit or effectively silence a speaker without having to engage that speaker's arguments.

Fortune
08-19-15, 10:22 PM
I don't see it as melodramatic at all. It seems clear to me that there are trigger warnings, and then there are trigger warnings. Some (most, I hope) are exactly as you say. There are others that it seems are motivated less by a desire to inform and more by an aim to discredit or effectively silence a speaker without having to engage that speaker's arguments.

That's not a problem with trigger warnings. If - if - that is really happening, it's because people are being ********, not because trigger warnings are bad.

And yes, it is melodramatic. Like Fuzzy's comment about "How will they learn to cope?" or Flory jumping straight to MySpace, DeviantArt, and Tumblr to dismiss trigger warnings as attention seeking.

A trigger warning is a content warning that is intended to give people the chance to make an informed decision about engaging with that content. It's not a bullying tactic and it's not an attention-seeking tactic.

Fortune
08-19-15, 10:39 PM
Like it seems to me that a lot of the antipathy people have for trigger warnings is tied up in the stigma that mental illness has. Like Flory talking about "self harm fetish" like it's a real thing, or characterizing a need for trigger warnings as attention-seeking, when triggers are genuinely things that cause distress, anxiety, etc. Never mind the minimizing of self-harm as a serious issue for people who deal with it.

I mean it shouldn't surprise me that people on this forum are still characterizing mental illness as immaturity, attention seeking, and other character judgments that have literally nothing to do with mental illness, but it would be nice to see more compassion and less mockery.

I also want to elaborate on why I do not think that trigger warnings are used to silence people: Because when people ask for trigger warnings, they're not saying "Don't say that" or "don't do that" they're saying "Give me a bit of warning when you are going to say or do that." This is a request for an additional step, not a cessation.

It's sort of like saying that asking for "please" is an attempt to bully people into not asking others for stuff or to do things, or that asking that a movie be rated PG-13 means that you don't want the movie made at all. It makes no sense taken at face value.

peripatetic
08-19-15, 11:00 PM
i've never heard of someone using "trigger warning" as a way to silence people until i read this article. and trigger warnings are not the same as offensive speech, because you can be responsible for your own triggers, which is the point of the warning: to give someone notice that the contents could be triggering.

there ARE good reasons for including them. some people who have a history of ideation, for example, are triggered by hearing others discuss suicide. it's not "attention seeking", it's considerate, to include a warning. a number of other mental health issues can be triggering...giving numbers when talking about weight loss, describing self harm, recalling sexual abuse.

people need to share those experiences to heal, but others in similar circumstances can be negatively affected by reading things too close to home. that's not saying "i'm offended by your suicide attempt, so i shouldn't have to hear about it"...it's saying "i'd like a heads up in case i'm not in the most stable place to be reading things that aren't healthy for me."

unlike fortune, i don't read when someone has "trigger warning" most of the time. it would depend, but that's where the responsibility comes in. one can choose to read or not, with the content forewarned. NOT giving a trigger warning can be irresponsible, in my opinion.

dvdnvwls
08-19-15, 11:07 PM
I think there are "spheres" or "arenas" or whatever one wishes to call the different places where different things happen...

(and ADDF is emphatically not one of the ones I'm talking about... I've never seen even a hint of misuse around here, and obviously on a forum dedicated to mental health issues it's an important concern)

...where one can't reasonably presume that the discourse will be (or should be or could reasonably be) trigger-free, and in which trigger warnings aren't a sensible or practical option. It's not really possible (or, I would argue, desirable) to have a discovery session prior to every discussion everywhere, detailing who is participating and exactly which words or issues might be triggers for each of them, and for everyone participating in that discussion to then self-edit or self-censor "on the fly". People's ability to exchange information and points of view would be seriously hampered - wouldn't it? Especially a problem for people who have controversial points of view or who have important and potentially disturbing information.

Aren't there places and situations that people who are likely to get triggered should responsibly avoid because in those situations there can never be a reasonable expectation of a trigger-free discussion? Or have I been deluded somehow?

BellaVita
08-19-15, 11:33 PM
dvdnvwls - you know how I ask you to give me a description of new songs (artist name, what happens in the song) because I like to know what to expect and I have a hard time listening to new things because I don't like surprises? (To the point where it can cause me distress)

That's kind of what it's like with trigger warnings.

I've never seen in the content I've read a misuse of a trigger warning - I find them very helpful and it kind of prepares me for the content I'm going to read in the article.

dvdnvwls
08-19-15, 11:45 PM
dvdnvwls - you know how I ask you to give me a description of new songs (artist name, what happens in the song) because I like to know what to expect and I have a hard time listening to new things because I don't like surprises? (To the point where it can cause me distress)

That's kind of what it's like with trigger warnings.

I've never seen in the content I've read a misuse of a trigger warning - I find them very helpful and it kind of prepares me for the content I'm going to read in the article.

Yes, absolutely I get that.

I'm not saying anything against that.

I'm saying trigger warnings are not necessarily good everywhere in every situation, not simply that they're not good.

BellaVita
08-19-15, 11:47 PM
Yes, absolutely I get that.

I'm not saying anything against that.

I'm saying trigger warnings are not necessarily good everywhere in every situation, not simply that they're not good.

Ah, okay.

I don't mean to be weird - but do you think maybe you think these thoughts since you don't personally suffer from anxiety or any form of PTSD?

I know sometimes it can be difficult to empathize or understand something if you aren't going through it.

dvdnvwls
08-19-15, 11:50 PM
Ah, okay.

I don't mean to be weird - but do you think maybe you think these thoughts since you don't personally suffer from anxiety or any form of PTSD?

I know sometimes it can be difficult to empathize or understand something if you aren't going through it.

No, it isn't because of that. It's not "these thoughts", it's not a delusion; I'm just saying something.

peripatetic
08-20-15, 12:54 AM
the problem here is that the article is conflating "triggering content" with "insensitive speech" and then saying that "trigger warnings" shut down discussion of topics/ideas deemed culturally/religiously/ethnically/gender insensitive.

when you say that you don't mean mental health, that's precisely my point: trigger warnings ARE about mental health because some conditions have been shown to be activated/worsened when "triggered". i gave the example of suicidal ideation, but there are others. they do not respond to CBT. combat veterans with PTSD who hear fireworks go off and dissociate aren't going to respond to exposure therapy, for example. they don't have people being treated for eating disorders go on pro-anorexia websites to toughen them up against the pressure and the desire; they are strictly prohibited and counter to treatment. why? because triggering contents can be detrimental to health and stability. that's why you use trigger warnings: to empower people to manage their own health and stability, whilst still providing a place for people who are struggling and need to talk about their situation. it's a way for people in all stages of health, suffering from the same issues, to coexist without harming each other.

sensitivity in speech to avoid offending others is a completely different thing. is mandating a certain level of sensitivity curbing some discussion? yes. and in some places, like the workplace, for example, speech must be curbed and people must be sensitive. one example is sexual harassment policies. and, yes, i do think one should reasonably expect to go to work and not be met with a sexually charged environment that one must embrace in order to be successful at the job.

does the claim of offense restrict speech and thereby make people overly sensitive? probably. but that's why you choose your friends. if someone has a penchant for racist, misogynistic, homophobic comments, i can choose not to talk to them. it's my responsibility to not maintain social relationships i find offensive. in a workplace situation, or an educational one, where you can't choose in the same way and there is a power relationship, that gets more difficult. i do think there is a lot of oversensitivity at times, but then, i also think that some people are provocateurs, too. more often i'd like to think there's just a conversation that needs to be had that x is offensive and here's why. but, when there is a power relationship (salaries, grades/marks) involved, then there is policy and it's not always successful, i agree, but there has to be something in place or people, sadly, can and too often do abuse their power and exploit the relationship to promote their own ideas/create a hostile environment.

however, again, identifying that as a use of "trigger warnings" is a misleading and, in my opinion, INaccurate usage of the term "trigger warning" or "triggering content". the whole point of being "triggered" is that it's an involuntary response. so you can chose not to participate in a discussion that you have been forewarned might be triggering, but those are necessarily to do with trauma or other mental health concerns. i don't see how "insensitive" or "offensive" speech is the same. and, sure, i do agree that it's not overall positive to ignore and shut out the fact that those ideas and people who agree with them exist.if nothing else, doing so weakens the critical thinking process one needs in order to combat those ideas. but how that happens needs to be with consent, in a sense, if there is a hierarchy in the relationship.

i hope that clarifies my position.


I think there are "spheres" or "arenas" or whatever one wishes to call the different places where different things happen...

(and ADDF is emphatically not one of the ones I'm talking about... I've never seen even a hint of misuse around here, and obviously on a forum dedicated to mental health issues it's an important concern)

...where one can't reasonably presume that the discourse will be (or should be or could reasonably be) trigger-free, and in which trigger warnings aren't a sensible or practical option. It's not really possible (or, I would argue, desirable) to have a discovery session prior to every discussion everywhere, detailing who is participating and exactly which words or issues might be triggers for each of them, and for everyone participating in that discussion to then self-edit or self-censor "on the fly". People's ability to exchange information and points of view would be seriously hampered - wouldn't it? Especially a problem for people who have controversial points of view or who have important and potentially disturbing information.

Aren't there places and situations that people who are likely to get triggered should responsibly avoid because in those situations there can never be a reasonable expectation of a trigger-free discussion? Or have I been deluded somehow?

Fortune
08-20-15, 02:34 AM
Insensitive and offensive speech can be genuinely triggering, esp. as some of that speech is sometimes accompanied by violence, or at the minimum a degree of social ostracizing. Is it really that far-fetched for someone to be triggered by certain kinds of racist or sexist commentary? One of the reasons it's insensitive and offensive is because it is charged with a lot of negative associations and those associations can in fact be triggering and related to trauma.

That still doesn't mean that trigger warnings regarding such speech is silencing.

Fuzzy12
08-20-15, 02:54 AM
Fortune I fully agree and i tried to make it clear in my post that i think tgere is a difference between not exposing students to triggers (which I think is what the article talks about) and giving trigger warnings. Again, i I'm not against trigger warnings.

I'm not against trigger warnings as I said in my post and I do think that they are useful in allowing people to prepare for upcoming triggers. And yes, sometimes you can afford to not expose yourself to potentially painful content. I often do this with movies or TV programmes.

Where I do agree with the article is that in a university setting you can't always avoid talking ab9ut distressing topics and you also shouldn't. Apart from that sensit9ve topics might be part of the curticulum or more importantly part of wjat is required to understand your field properly, it also allows for the opportunity for students to learn to deal with possibly distressing topics in a relatively safe environment, to talk, discuss and think about them. By all means do announce if possible that the next topic might be distressing and why but dont necessarily get rid of it.

]


This is a really flimsy argument. No one is saying that they expect to never be exposed to distress, but asking so they can be properly prepared to deal with it.

Out of context of course its a flimsy argument. I didn't say that you shouldn't warn students or shouldn't allow them to be prepared for it or provide support to deal with a distressing topic. And I understand the article as saying that students don't want to be exposed rather than wanting to be warned.

Like, people love to talk about exposure therapy but college classes, movies, etc. aren't exposure therapy and shouldn't try to fill that role.

Also, we already have content warnings on music, movies, video games, television shows. Rating systems, for example, provide ample warning as to what to expect in terms of violence, sex, etc. Somehow these warnings have never drawn the melodramatic dislike that trigger warnings seem to be a magnet for.

Yes, I know and as I said in my previous post I do appreciate them.

Fortune
08-20-15, 03:08 AM
The point of trigger warnings isn't to not talk about sensitive topics, but to adequately prepare people for that discussion - and allow them to opt out if they do not feel up to handling it. Informed consent, basically. It's not to prevent all such discussion.

I do read a lot of potentially triggering (to me) stuff, after I see the trigger warning. I read it anyway for a variety of reasons (for example, someone important to me talking about something that I can relate to, and perhaps be supportive about). I know that's not true of everyone, and there are days when I'll just ignore something with a TW on it that actually relates to what can trigger me because I don't have the wherewithal to cope with it right then.

aeon
08-20-15, 04:27 AM
The point of trigger warnings isn't to not talk about sensitive topics, but to adequately prepare people for that discussion - and allow them to opt out if they do not feel up to handling it. Informed consent, basically.

Cha-ching, we have a winner! :goodpost:

cheers,
Ian

Fuzzy12
08-20-15, 10:35 AM
That's not a problem with trigger warnings. If - if - that is really happening, it's because people are being ********, not because trigger warnings are bad.

And yes, it is melodramatic. Like Fuzzy's comment about "How will they learn to cope?" or Flory jumping straight to MySpace, DeviantArt, and Tumblr to dismiss trigger warnings as attention seeking.

A trigger warning is a content warning that is intended to give people the chance to make an informed decision about engaging with that content. It's not a bullying tactic and it's not an attention-seeking tactic.

What the ****? Where did I say that I dislike trigger warnings, let alone, have a melodramatic dislike for trigger warnings? Also, did I not explicitly say in the very same.post that I appreciate content warnings?

Again: I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH TRIGGER WARNINGS. The article, which is what I responded to doesn't talk just about trigger warnings but it claims that students expect not to have to deal with certain topics in case they are triggering. If this is true then I agree with the article that this isn't always necessarily feasible nor should it be. I do think that students need to learn to cope with certain unpleasant topics, if important and if relevant, and if trigger warnings help them to cope with these topics better then that's perfectly fine and if any other support can be provided to help them cope then that is good as well. What is not good is not dealing with a particular topic because it has the potential to be distressing.

Fuzzy12
08-20-15, 10:43 AM
This is seriously annoying the hell out of me. So im going to try to clarify this blasted issue again: My first paragraph relates to potentially disturbing topics (which is what the article talks about, at least in the beginning) not trigger warnings.

In the way it's meant in the article, no, I guess i sort of agree with most of the article (though I didn't read the whole thing). I don't think t I don't think you should necessarily shield students from everything that might cause them distress. How will they learn to cope with their emotions or with distressing thoughts if they are never exposed to them. In limits though. I wouldn't force someone with PTSD to be constantly confronted with their triggers.

As a warning though, I think there is nothing wrong with trigger warnings. I don't see how the surprise or shock favtor helps anyone . Do warn people if you are going to talk about things they might find distressing and ideally, especially in an academic settings also tell them where and how they can get help if they found any of the topics difficult to cope with.

I quite like the way they do it in TV programs, ie they give a warning before the start of the programme if a programming contains violent and disturbing content and at the end there are often some support telephone numbers or websites to talk about some of the issues raised in the programme.

How on earth do you interpret "I think, there is nothing wrong with trigger warnings" and "do warn people if you are going to talk about things they might find distressing ..." as a melodramatic dislike of trigger warnings????

KarmanMonkey
08-20-15, 10:53 AM
For me, I think it's important to offer "trigger warnings" in some circumstances.

If I'm running a group, and the topic of suicide comes up, I might pause to suggest some ground rules for the conversation (the big two being "don't talk about means" and "if you have to leave the group, give the facilitator a thumbs up/down sign to let them know if you need support") That being said, about 1/3 to half of the population I support have had at least one suicide attempt, and all are currently struggling in one way or another.

I don't think warning people of content is necessarily disrespectful, it's all about how it's handled. If I presume that someone can't handle a topic, I'm being disrespectful. If I make a general warning about a topic (i.e. I don't single anyone out, and simply state that a certain subject will be covered, and allow people to make their own decisions), then I can be respectful of people's privacy, avoid presumptions about what a person is able to handle, and also respect that some people appreciate being offered such warnings.

I read very little of the article; what I did read was that students requested that certain topics not be taught, or certain words not be in the vocabulary in the classroom... I personally feel that if your intent is to learn to become a lawyer, odds are you're going to be facing far worse situations and language in your practice than you do in the classroom. The profs can try to use respectful language, and mention topics of study in the course outline, but it's up to the student to decide if a subject is one they are not in a position to handle in the moment.

sarahsweets
08-20-15, 11:53 AM
I'll admit I didnt read the article but after this post I will. My concern abou trigger warnings is not that they are used but that they are used for things that have little to do with mental health. I realize its not for me to decide what triggers someone and that its very subjective and individual but it reminds me of when people use mental health titles to explain their behavior. Like recently Ive been really irritated by people that say.." Im like up and down today, a little bipolar" or "I keep losing my keys...how add of me"
In those circumstances its invalidating and belittling to people that are bipolar or add. This has been something I have dealt with on here recently. I guess if anyone can follow me, is I would hate to see the true context and intention of a trigger warning lost in the overuse of them for things that seriously dont need them, but as I said I can see how hard that is to determine.

dvdnvwls
08-20-15, 11:58 AM
A trigger warning is a content warning that is intended to give people the chance to make an informed decision about engaging with that content. It's not a bullying tactic and it's not an attention-seeking tactic.

It's not a bullying tactic ever? It's not an attention-seeking tactic ever? Please re-read the original post where I've already acknowledged that trigger warnings are a good thing.

Your apparent commitment to defending every possible past and future instance of trigger warnings everywhere by anyone, in spite of legitimate questions, seems to be making it difficult for you to participate in this conversation.

sarahsweets
08-20-15, 12:18 PM
Some things I didnt agreee with: And I had to stop after that.

According to the most-basic tenets of psychology, helping people with anxiety disorders avoid the things they fear is misguided.

What kind of degree does the author have and how many patients have they worked with? Exposure therapy is one thing, but exposing a rape victim to say, torture porn isnt going to help them get over rape.
Studies have generally found that it is as effective as antidepressant drugs (such as Prozac) in the treatment of anxiety and depression. The therapy is relatively quick and easy to learn; after a few months of training, many patients can do it on their own. Unlike drugs, cognitive behavioral therapy keeps working long after treatment is stopped, because it teaches thinking skills that people can continue to use.

I would like to see such studies, For me, with bipolar and past trauma, this kind of therapy helped marginally and in reality I still carry the baggage left over from trauma. And through all of my inpatient and intensive outpatient stays and therapy over 16 years, I havent been able to "cbt" my way out of it.
However, there is a deeper problem with trigger warnings. According to the most-basic tenets of psychology, the very idea of helping people with anxiety disorders avoid the things they fear is misguided. A person who is trapped in an elevator during a power outage may panic and think she is going to die. That frightening experience can change neural connections in her amygdala, leading to an elevator phobia. If you want this woman to retain her fear for life, you should help her avoid elevators.
Talk about oversimplification! I cant even believe this was used as an example.
I cant quote anymore and had to stop. It was so long and meds havent kicked in. I find alot of stuff I dont agree with in this article. I can guess at the point of the article-not tp avoid higher learning concepts because the world is oversensitive (according to the writer) but the examples and evidence given completely negates their "point" completely.

Fortune
08-20-15, 06:00 PM
How on earth do you interpret "I think, there is nothing wrong with trigger warnings" and "do warn people if you are going to talk about things they might find distressing ..." as a melodramatic dislike of trigger warnings????

It was this comment:

How will they learn to cope with their emotions or with distressing thoughts if they are never exposed to them.

That's not really something for anyone who's not a person's therapist to decide.

I admit that part really stood out to me and I didn't fully read the following sentence, but I still think it's still a somewhat problematic argument. I am sorry for calling what you said melodramatic.

Fuzzy12
08-20-15, 07:29 PM
No worries. Apology accepted. :)

Stevuke79
08-25-15, 10:03 AM
I definitely think that trigger warnings are over used and glamorized,.. and I think this has a destructive effect.

It's similar to the effect it has when someone says, "I can't find my car keys at the moment... must have ADHD... Oh there they are!"

As someone who struggles with ADHD and triggers, I find both of these very belittling of something very real.

I think that's what others in this thread are also trying to say.. and I think some of our words are being twisted.

Like it seems to me that a lot of the antipathy people have for trigger warnings is tied up in the stigma that mental illness has...

I mean it shouldn't surprise me that people on this forum are still characterizing mental illness as immaturity, attention seeking, and other character judgments..

How invalidating?! I think your comments are unfair and dismissive, ... It's a shame because I used to not expect that from this forum.

Everyone who's views your are dismissing has said explicitly that they do appreciate trigger warnings. So please don't twist the point of view into one that's easier and more convenient to knock down.

We should be able to have a discussion, no matter who disagrees with one side of it.


As I said, I also think that trigger warnings are overused and definitely a bit glamorized... and I live with my own triggers and understand them very well. And that is why I find their over use and glamorization so belittling. (it's like my ADHD analogy, which I think many of us can relate to)

Fortune
08-25-15, 09:35 PM
I definitely think that trigger warnings are over used and glamorized,.. and I think this has a destructive effect.

It's similar to the effect it has when someone says, "I can't find my car keys at the moment... must have ADHD... Oh there they are!"

As someone who struggles with ADHD and triggers, I find both of these very belittling of something very real.

I think that's what others in this thread are also trying to say.. and I think some of our words are being twisted.

I struggle with triggers, real actual trauma triggers as well as triggers related to other mental illness and I think you're twisting what trigger warnings are meant to be - which is a warning that content might be upsetting for some people. Obviously not every trigger can be accounted for because anything can be a trigger.

How invalidating?! I think your comments are unfair and dismissive, ... It's a shame because I used to not expect that from this forum.

My comments are dismissive but they are not unfair. People in this thread - including you at this point - have dismissed the value of trigger warnings and the validity of other people's triggers.

What is invalidating is saying that accommodations that help people cope with their triggers is "overuse" and "glamorizing."

Everyone who's views your are dismissing has said explicitly that they do appreciate trigger warnings. So please don't twist the point of view into one that's easier and more convenient to knock down.

We should be able to have a discussion, no matter who disagrees with one side of it.

Except that they talk about things like trigger warnings being used to silence people which is not what they're used for and should not be the baseline for discussing whether trigger warnings are good or bad. The article dvdnvwls linked to is nothing but a titanic straw man, and your comments about trigger warnings being "overused" and "glamorizing triggers" do little but add straw to that man.

In any event, I have not prevented anyone from having a discussion. What I have done is disagree with perspectives stated here. That is part of a discussion - people are allowed to disagree with each other. A good discussion is not restricted to discussions where only people who agree with each other contribute.

As I said, I also think that trigger warnings are overused and definitely a bit glamorized... and I live with my own triggers and understand them very well. And that is why I find their over use and glamorization so belittling. (it's like my ADHD analogy, which I think many of us can relate to)

They're not glamorized, you're reading things into them that aren't there. I have never seen anyone glamorize triggers, but I have seen people genuinely triggered because they weren't expecting something to trigger them. I have been one of those people on many occasions, and I appreciate warnings when and where possible. It's not glamorizing, it's accommodation - something that is all too often denied people with any kind of disability including mental illness.

As far as being overused, I would rather people err on the side of caution - an excess of trigger warnings is better than a dearth by any means. Similarly, I would rather see "too many" wheelchair ramps as opposed to "not enough." These two things - trigger warnings and wheelchair ramps - are in the same general category of accommodation, and if there's one thing no one can seriously suggest with an ounce of truth, it's that "society sufficiently accommodates disability." It doesn't.

What the article dvdnvwls linked actually is, is backlash against the idea that accommodation of people's triggers is a good thing. Hence the "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" about trigger warnings being used to silence people, because it sure as heck ain't the truth.

Fortune
08-25-15, 09:41 PM
I mean I have literally never heard anyone say or seen anyone write "I'm triggered" in the same way people say "I'm so ADHD today" or "I'm so OCD because I am a neat freak" or "I'm so bipolar". I just haven't. It's not a thing that appears to happen. I actually rarely see people indicate that they've been triggered, but I have seen people indicate that something might trigger them and ask for advance warning. I have no reason to assume that they're lying or exaggerating.

dvdnvwls
08-26-15, 12:14 AM
The fact that one individual happens not to have seen something is not any kind of indication that it doesn't exist.

Stevuke79
08-26-15, 03:27 PM
My comments are dismissive but they are not unfair. People in this thread - including you at this point - have dismissed the value of trigger warnings and the validity of other people's triggers.

We have all said multiple times that we all thing that triggers are valid and that trigger warnings are valuable.

The question was are they overused and sometimes inappropriate. For instance the examples in the article where discussion has been silenced or people with certain views are stigmatized because their messages contain "trigger warnings".

To say that we deny and dismiss the validity of trigger warnings is a straw man argument. No one is saying any such thing.

In any event, I have not prevented anyone from having a discussion. What I have done is disagree with perspectives stated here. That is part of a discussion - people are allowed to disagree with each other. A good discussion is not restricted to discussions where only people who agree with each other contribute.

We can all disagree but let's talk about the subject at hand and not the people we disagree with.

You claimed that those who disagree with you "stigmatize mental illness". That has to do with the people you disagree with and not the actual subject. (Because we're discussing triggers and not Stevuke79 or any other member... therefore anything to do with the member is irrelevant, including whether or not we stigmatize mental illness. As a side note, I believe that I do appreciate the validity of mental illness and triggers, and I struggle with both of these things. I don't have to tell you that it hurts for someone to try and tell you otherwise,.. and in any case such a suggestion has no place in an honest discussion.)


We should all stick to the subject at hand and not talk about our opponents.

midnightstar
08-27-15, 05:05 PM
I think it depends what the trigger warning is on because say for example on facebook I'm on several groups and one of the groups I had to leave because the trigger warnings were so silly, like say for example "Trigger Warning - I'm out of milk and have to run down the shops" or whatever.

I mean trigger warnings about mental illness etc is fair enough but some "trigger warnings" seem to only be there to make whatever is said stand out, particularly on social media.

Stevuke79
08-27-15, 05:16 PM
Brilliantly said midnight, from begining to end. I wish I had managed to say it as well as you.

Triggers are an important concept, and like most things are usually valuable and appropriate. But based on content and context are sometimes misused inappropriately and unfairly.

I think it depends what the trigger warning is on because say for example on facebook I'm on several groups and one of the groups I had to leave because the trigger warnings were so silly, like say for example "Trigger Warning - I'm out of milk and have to run down the shops" or whatever.

I mean trigger warnings about mental illness etc is fair enough but some "trigger warnings" seem to only be there to make whatever is said stand out, particularly on social media.

Greyhound1
08-27-15, 06:07 PM
Trigger warnings have the opposite intended effect on me. In stead of it protecting me from being exposed to my possible triggers, I am overly compelled to read it.

I don't think, I could avoid reading a thread with trigger warnings which could potentially bother me. That just makes me want to see it even more. It becomes personal now, I have to know even it hurts or angers me.

Flory
08-27-15, 06:12 PM
Trigger warnings have the opposite intended effect on me. In stead of it protecting me from being exposed to my possible triggers, I am overly compelled to read it.

I don't think, I could avoid reading a thread with trigger warnings which could potentially bother me. That just makes me want to see it even more. It becomes personal now, I have to know even it hurts or angers me.

This is common with me too can't look away , I often think they are misused with this in mind almost like click bait.

That as many others have said is not to take away from mental illness or "stigmatise anybody" I have and continue to struggle with mental illness.

There's a place for them when used appropriately but I also think it's better to just put something like (contains info about , weight, cutting or whatever)