Navigating Trauma Triggers

When the News Hits Too Close to Home: Navigating Trauma Triggers in Today's World

The constant barrage of news can be overwhelming for anyone. But for those who have experienced trauma, exposure to triggering stories can be particularly upsetting. These stories can resurface buried emotions, leading to flashbacks, anxiety, and difficulty functioning.

Understanding Triggers:

A trigger is anything that reminds you of the traumatic event you experienced. It could be a specific image, sound, smell, or even a situation. When you encounter a trigger, your brain can feel like it's reliving the trauma all over again. This experience can be particularly strong if you’ve developed post-traumatic stress and haven’t processed the trauma memory in therapy.

News as a Trigger Minefield:

The news is full of stories about violence, accidents, and other potentially traumatic events. These stories can be triggering for people who have experienced similar events in their past. For example, someone who was in a car accident might be triggered by an article about a fatal crash.

Protecting Yourself:

While you can't control the news cycle, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to triggers:

  • Be Selective with Your News Consumption: Limit your exposure to news, especially graphic or violent content. Consider getting your news from trusted sources that focus on factual reporting.
  • Curate Your Social Media Feeds: Unfollow accounts that frequently post triggering content.
  • Talk to Loved Ones: Let your friends and family know that you're working on managing your triggers. They can help you avoid triggering conversations or situations.
  • Practice Self-Care: Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. These activities can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being.
  • Have Coping Mechanisms Ready: When you do encounter a trigger, have some coping mechanisms in place to help you calm yourself down. This could include deep breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, or listening to calming music.

Remember, you are not alone. Many people experience trauma triggers from the news.

Seeking Support:

If you're struggling to cope with trauma and finding yourself isolating or avoiding usual activities, it's important to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with tools and strategies to manage your symptoms, help you process the trauma and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

At Ramsay Mental Health, we have a nationwide team of experienced and compassionate mental health care professionals who specialise in treating trauma. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment options to help you heal and move forward. So, no matter the level or support you need, we can help.

Important: If you are feeling unsafe and require immediate help, please call 000 if you need immediate counselling support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Taking care of your mental health is important. If you're struggling, reach out for help. There is hope for healing.