Living With Triggers


What is a trigger? Well for everyone its different. But for me it’s hell!


One day, my daughter decided to skip school. Unbeknownst to her, I happen to be driving through town. I saw her, stopped her and quickly instructed her to go back to school.

Immediately after, I had a panic attack! Yep, she triggered me. I had to stop everything I was doing, pull over and try to collect myself.


I was crying almost uncontrollably, shaking, and my heart was racing. My head felt thick and tingly.

Took about 20 minutes (which felt like a lifetime) to gain my composure.

So you see, I freak out! Triggers are not fun.

Triggers are generally something that set you off. Either into panic or depression. Mine is usually panic.

video store

I was once walking into our local video store, when I came upon an old acquaintance. Mind you this was someone I now avoided. Upon sight of them …you guessed it, that person was a trigger. I freaked out! Heart started racing, I began to sweat, I almost fell to the ground! This was by mere sight of them. Mind you I never encountered this person.

Triggers are unpredictable, you never know what or when you’ll be a victim.

Some people know what triggers them. But most of us are in the dark as to what will set us off.


A simple walk into the grocery store for a few things. I went for my Almond Milk, but jaded by the empty shelf. Instantly, a panic arose. I began to cry, shake, knees felt weak, heart started to race, and palms got sweaty.

Should this have caused such a reaction? No. But to one with bipolar disorder, it certainly does.

Triggers are dangerous, as you don’t really know when they’ll attack.

clothes shopping

I went shopping with my husband for clothes. A seemingly safe outing. I went to try on clothes. Nothing would fit. To big, to small. Then it started! Panic! My nerves were shot, and I was worried I wouldn’t find a thing (as if I didn’t already have a million clothes already) to buy. Would this be my luck all day? Have they stopped making my size clothes? Oh no, have I gained or lost weight? Why was I here again? Who was I with? My does my head hurt?

You see major panic ensued. Irrational thinking, sped up thoughts, and paranoia.


I decided to check out a bipolar based movie called “Silver linings Playbook”, part way through I began to cry. Only I didn’t realize it. Tears were running down my face. Further inn I began to tremble. I began to shake. I finished the movie, and tried to share it with my husband but couldn’t do so without crying. It was to me a powerful movie. That was the first time I had been triggered by a movie.

Sometimes the silliest things cause triggers.


For me, that’s music! Eminem particularly.

One serious issue I have is permanency. It freaks me out! A fear of buying property for fear I’ll be stuck forever, and never be able to move. This triggers me into “fight or flight!”

For each of us triggers are personal emotions and reactions. If you care to share your experiences, please do so in the comments. You are always welcome to DM me via twitter.



Living with type 1 bipolar disorder, PTSD (due to childhood trauma), Rapid Cycling, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Writing about my life experiences.

0 thoughts on “Living With Triggers

  • Avatar
    August 28, 2014 at 12:49 am

    I find that I’m easily triggered by things if I’m already in the middle of a major episode whether I’ve noticed it or not. In hindsight, it will usually be a manic or mixed episode. The things that set me off are typically very predictable, but impossible to avoid. If a person enters my home without my consent, like a landlord, or a coop housing member here, I can be downright dangerous. It’s fight or flight, and when it’s my home I don’t have anywhere to run to. Only aggression is left. One other thing is people being rude. You wouldn’t think it because I can say some really rude, obnoxious things, but I’m actually a very considerate and polite person when I’m in public, when I’m not in the middle of a mental meltdown. I’ve always been. Yet, if somebody cuts in front of a line, or pushes me, or nearly misses me with their car while I’m crossing the street I’ll go into blinding red rage, and it’s extremely frightening to me after it’s done. I’ve had the cops called on me three times for things like that. Twice, I was taken away in cuffs. It’s terrible, and when it’s over I’m left with all the guilt of having done whatever I’ve done, and the anxiety that having a public meltdown will leave you with can last for a very long time. I still haven’t got over my last one. I have trouble even walking my dog because of my last public embarrassment.

    To people who think that is an “anger” problem. I challenge them to get me angry. You can beat the crap out of me and I’ll likely turn the other cheek unless I’m in the middle of an episode. I used to be the go to customer service guy where I worked when I was younger because nobody could set me off. They would send the worst of the worst customers to me because they knew I had a way with them. I wish I was still able to work with people like that. I’m not functionally stable enough for that anymore. I’m more of a liability to a company than an asset anymore.


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