PTSD: How to Identify and Manage Triggers

Once known as things like shell shock and battle fatigue, post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is now better understood than in the past. We know that while soldiers are often sufferers of PTSD. It can affect anyone who has undergone a traumatic experience. PTSD is serious and isn’t something that’s going to resolve on its own. With specialized treatment, however, recovery is possible. One of the most difficult parts of living with PTSD is learning how to identify and cope with triggers. Here are some strategies that might help.

Identifying Triggers

There are two types of triggers that might initiate PTSD symptoms: internal and external. Internal triggers are thoughts or feelings that you have that lead to PTSD symptoms. While internal triggers may be easier to control than external triggers, they may also be more difficult to identify. You’ll have to start by practicing self-awareness. You need to know what kinds of thoughts or feelings you’re having in order to evaluate whether or not that particular feeling or thought is a trigger. Common internal triggers might be anger, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, pain, muscle tension, and increased heart rate. External triggers are events or experiences outside of your body and are often out of your control. These might be certain noises, places, conversations, arguments, smells, dates, or anything else that causes PTSD symptoms to flare up.

Managing Triggers

Avoidance is how most people with PTSD deal with the trauma. However, by avoiding the triggers the anxiety will escalate. The most effective way to deal with your triggers is to look for quality PTSD treatment near you. Each person suffering with PTSD is going to experience it differently and have different triggers as well as different effective coping mechanisms. At a PTSD treatment center you’ll find the help for your particular situation


Author Bio

Dr. Laura Tanzini, DrPh, MA, MFT

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a highly educated and accomplished professional with a background in biology and psychology. She received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside, an MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a Board Certified Professional Counselor, Integrative Medicine Clinician, and PTSD Clinician. She has worked in multiple medical hospitals, mental health institutions, and inpatient eating disorder clinics. Also, Dr. Tanzini has written scholarly papers and spoken on various topics related to nutrition, stress, menopause, obesity, depression, anxiety, and human development.