Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD, Carlsbad Therapy

Coping with Triggers

Finding Inner Peace


“A trigger is anything that sets you off emotionally and activates memories of your trauma. It is particular to you and what your experience has been. Triggered, we revert to the feelings and behaviors we had in the traumatizing situation.”


Stress, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD Triggers

Finding inner peace and happiness is the goal for most, especially for those who suffer from PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety or depression. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop in anyone who has witnessed a traumatic event or has experienced the trauma first hand. Whether trauma comes from negative childhood experiences like physical abuse or abandonment, or the traumatic event was experienced in a car accident, natural disaster or violent personal assault… it is important to realize just how badly PTSD can affect our every day lives! PTSD is something that causes REAL SUFFERING in many people. With PTSD come triggers… A trigger is a negative reaction that is set off by something or someone, which causes that person to literally be in another place and time… the negative reaction often can be so bad the person who is triggered can become detached or estranged from people all together! A trigger can be set off by something as simple as the tone in someone’s voice to a loud noise or sudden movement near someone’s face…


“Danger itself invokes the rescuing power.”


Coping with Triggers

Triggers can cause unprovoked fear or distress that makes maintaining close relationships difficult. For some individuals triggers may be all around you. Triggers can be cued either internally from a thought or feeling or externally provoked by a stressful situation or environment. One way to cope with internal and external triggers is by increasing your awareness. Become aware of the specific thoughts, feelings and situations that cause you to become triggered and take steps to limit the amount of and impact of your triggers. Think of when your PTSD symptoms come up and ask yourself questions to identify what has triggeredyou… was it something internal or something external that caused you to become triggered? Below is a list of internal and external triggers that can cause symptoms in an individual with PTSD:

Becoming Aware of YOUR Triggers

External and Internal Triggers:

External Triggers:

Seeing someone who reminds you of a person connected to your traumatic experience or event.

Certain smells or sounds.

Witnessing an accident.

An anniversary, holiday or the ending of a relationship.

A place that is similar to something from your past experience.

An argument you have with someone.

Watching a show or movie that reminds you of your traumatic event or reading about something that happened in an article.

Internal Triggers:

Feeling vulnerable,

A racing heart,

Anxiousness or anxiety,

Sadness or depression,


Feeling alone or lonely,

Feeling abandoned or used,



Feeling out of control,

Or having pain or muscle tension… and so on


“I want to be happy but something inside me screams that I do not deserve it.”