External events or occurrences, such as panic, anxiety, disappointment, hopelessness, or low self-esteem, can act as triggers or stressors for mental illness. Reacting to triggers isn't necessarily bad, but if one doesn't recognize them and respond accordingly, they can escalate quickly to something worse, i.e., an official mental health condition diagnosis. 

To help you become more conscious of your triggers and establish management measures, it is highly recommended to meet with a mental health specialist, like a psychotherapist or a psychopharmacologist in Boston. It will also help to be familiar with the most common triggers for mental disorders.

4 Types Of Mental Health Triggers

1. Internal Triggers

An internal trigger originates from within the individual. A memory, a physical sensation, or an emotion can all be examples.

When you're exercising and your heart starts to pound, it can remind you of a period when you were fleeing an abusive partner. The following are some more common internal triggers:

  • Anger
  • Panic
  • Worry or anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Physical pain
  • Muscle tension
  • Feeling left out
  • Feeling helpless
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling like you've lost control of your life or tasks
  • Recollections of a traumatic incident

2. External Triggers

External triggers might be people, places, or situations that are outside of the person's control. An example is being caught up in the news about war or the tragic loss of life due to geopolitical events. Such situations can trigger a series of panic or psychotic episodes.

3. Trauma Triggers

A traumatic trigger is any object, event, or person that recalls a terrible memory or experience. For example, someone who grew up with an abusive and alcoholic parent may have issues with items that relate to his or her childhood, like bottles, cigarettes, or pointed objects. The person may also be triggered by people who look like their guardian.

4. Symptom Triggers

Pre-existing symptoms or unhealthy habits can also trigger mental health illnesses. For instance, lack of rest and sleep can be a predisposing factor for insomnia and can also be a stressor to an eating or bipolar disorder.

Other Common Triggers:

  • Being overworked or overwhelmed with work
  • Family issues
  • Financial problems
  • A relationship breakup or issue
  • Being yelled at
  • Extremely loud or shocking sounds
  • Sexual harassment
  • Being teased or criticized
  • Constantly being alone
  • Being near or around a person who has treated you badly
  • Being exposed to the substance or habit that once became an addiction
  • Death of a loved one

How Triggers Develop

Mental health professionals still have not determined how triggers develop. Some believe that a traumatic incident is stored separately and differently in the brain than from a non-traumatic experience. When the brain is triggered, it may associate an old trauma with the present. 

As a result, the body exhibits the original symptoms it had in response to the original trauma. There is also the concept of traumatic coupling, which is when a trigger arises from a traumatic experience. It causes a person to relive it and the symptoms that come with it.

Learn How To Cope With Triggers

Occasionally, trying to evade a triggering situation is logical. But if doing so impairs one's ability to think clearly or work, then assistance should be sought.

Luminous Vitality Behavioral Health helps individuals faced with mental and emotional problems in Massachusetts through virtual pharmacological treatments and psychotherapy sessions. You can book an appointment with us via our Luminello page or leave us a message on our website.

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