Hey, all you dudes. Taking another moment to step away from the usual stuff I post to be serious about something I see a lot that is genuinely frustrating to me and to other people.
I wrote a big text wall thing, the last that I will ever write, pinkie promise, about the rampant misunderstandings surrounding panic disorder. Promise. This is the last one. Only gonna post robots and sharks after this. That’s my deal. But it covers everything that I would like to say. I am very blunt and if it hurts your feelings because you still think trigger warning jokes are funny well then ~*~*~*LoOk aT aLL ThE fUcKs I gIVe*~*~*~ you probably deserved it.
Obvious TW for talking about mental illness discrimination, if you have an illness and this is the sort of thing that causes you any sort of anxiety, I do not recommend reading it at all, take care of yourself. In addition, this is not intended to be academic so I recognize that it is not the best source on stuff like this, just a personal account / personal view.
In general unless it is a source of anxiety, I would very much appreciate it if anyone who is still ill-informed about trauma disorders would take the time to read this.
“Ugh, another lecture about triggers??? THIS IS SO ANNOYING!! CAN WE PLEASE BE DONE TALKING ABOUT TRIGGERS FOREVER? SIIIIIGH I DON’T CAAAARE…………..”
You’re absolutely right. That is something we have in common. I would like to never have this conversation with another human being again, personally. I would like to never have to discuss triggers or lecture people about trauma-related mental conditions ever again ever. However, the big difference is that I am sick of talking about this crap because it affects me directly, which is decidedly different from someone being fed up with it because it irritates them for absolutely no apparent reason because they are willfully ignorant, petty and shallow.
I have panic disorder and various trauma-related psychiatric problems. I have had it since I was 12 years old following a series of events I only talk about with people I consider close friends, and exacerbated at various points in my life by other events I also only talk about with people I trust. Unless I told you about my disorders (maybe I posted about it once to make a point? Idfk), it is unlikely that you knew that, because I don’t like to talk about it, and because I conduct my life in such a way that it rarely ever makes itself readily apparent. “Attention whore” is thrown around as an insult against trauma victims a lot for whatever reason whenever they try to defend themselves, but I can assure you as someone with trauma-related disorders who knows many many people similar to myself, the less attention it gets the better.
Sometimes panic attacks are spontaneous and come out of nowhere. Sometimes they are triggered (OH LOOK THERE’S THAT WORD “TRIGGER” THAT EDGY TUMBLR SOLIPSISTS HAVE BEEN USING AS THE JOYSTICK FOR THEIR GAME OF TOTAL DIPSHIT ADVENTURE FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS) by stimuli that the afflicted person associates with a traumatic event in their life. For instance, if someone was raped in the same room as a yellow vase and they remember that vase, seeing pictures of yellow vases or otherwise being reminded of yellow vases could trigger flashbacks, and subsequently a panic attack. Sometimes panic attacks are triggered by phobias. The reasons are long and complicated for why someone would have a panic attack. If someone has to confront you about their triggers it is highly highly unlikely that they are ~making it up~ so don’t fucking fire up google image search for “yellow vase” and go to town, dickhead.
For one thing, there seems to be a lot of misinformation and ignorance surrounding what a panic attack actually is. This is a panic attack. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack
Triggering does not always result in panic attacks. Sometimes it results in anxiety attacks, sleep deprivation, feelings of dread, what have you. I don’t have panic attacks with unmanageable frequency anymore and haven’t for a long time but I do still get anxiety attacks from imagery of rape of domestic abuse. My trigger is very common, but not everyone’s is.
It is not someone ~freaking out and being a baby~ over being triggered (LoL triggers are so dum am I rite??? xD TRIGER WARNING: ANIME AND HOMESTUCK!!! LMAO that was a good one take that tumblr… *plays video gamez and remains pointless and despicable*)
It is literally your brain tricking itself into thinking you are about to die. It is literally a seizure-like sensation that may or may not involving throwing up, fainting, hyperventilating, self-harm, or anything else that a particular person’s reaction entails. It is not a plaything. It can take weeks to recover from. If you try to trigger someone on purpose to make them do this you are among the highest caliber of terrible people and deserve to feel bad about it for a very long time. If you think it is humorous that someone you had an internet fight with is suffering from these, you are a terrible person.
I have had panic attacks myself on numerous occasions. I have been in the physical presence of other people who were having panic attacks. I know what a panic attack is. Don’t tell me you know how it feels, because unless you have had one, you are wrong.
You would think that, knowing that they are wrong, this wouldn’t be a source of conflict. However, on a frequent basis, I will be put in situations where I am forced to deal with…
- Someone without my disorder lecturing me about my disorder and what I should do about it, yes, hello, thank you, I’ve been handling this the right way for ALMOST A DECADE, and the right way is not JUST MAN UP, DUM DUM.
- Entire groups of people laughing at and trivializing facets of my disorder, not mine personally because I don’t talk about it, but in public, marginalizing people who have these disorders in the first place. Jokes about people who need trigger warnings (eg: TRIGGER WARNING: HETALIA xD, by the way people who are triggered by fictional characters, while few and far between, are likely triggered by concepts represented by those characters, not the characters themselves. So you can stop now.), people calling people who ask people not to make rape jokes because they were raped “attention whores”, “sensitive”, “LIGHTEN UP!!!!!! xD”, all kinds of crap
Marginalized people in general, whether they are marginalized on the basis of skin color, gender identity, sexuality or personal illnesses or anything else, do NOT have the luxury of avoiding uncomfortable situations like this. They don’t. The assault is constant, and deeply defeating.
The answer is not to tell them to avoid confrontations with stuff like this because I guarantee that does not work. The answer is to shut the fuck up, shut your mouth, learn something, change your own behavior. You can either learn from what real people are telling you or throw a self-absorbed cool teen tantrum. The choice is yours.
People with trauma-related disorders are not “too sensitive”, in fact we have to force ourselves to cope with awful things twice as hard as the average person to keep up the façade of not being afflicted at all.
In fact, If you think I am “too sensitive”, here is something you should probably consider, consider it more than you have considered anything else in this wall of text: I, and people who are like me, have had to insincerely dismiss or even laugh along with frustrating ignorant comments about ~~crazy people and sensitive babies~~ for the purpose of not offending the boisterous, obnoxious trogs expressing these sentiments for years. All you boisterous, obnoxious trogs out there, on the other hand, throw a giant posturing cool kid tantrum when politely asked to RECONSIDER A VERY VERY SMALL FACET OF YOUR WORLDVIEW AND PERSONAL BEHAVIOR FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOMEONE WHO IS DIFFERENT FROM YOU. Now you tell me who the “sensitive” one is.
Here’s the part of my textwall where it gets a little uncomfortable for people with mental disorders, because we are all very familiar with this sensation:
Mentally ill people (of any variety) are forced on a day to day basis to accept that the love and affection that their friends, peers, family and even partners will have for them is entirely conditional and directly proportionate to how well they can suppress their disorders. If they cannot be suppressed the mentally ill person will be alienated, either with discomfort or with sadistic humor on behalf of the people alienating them, depending on how they let it slip.
This is a struggle that is balanced against immeasurable odds and despite the CONSTANT STREAM OF ALIENATION AND CASUAL DISCRIMINATION AND RISK OF LOSING THEIR JOB NO MATTER HOW SANE THEY ACT IF IT GETS OUT AND AGGRESSIVE IGNORANCE THAT MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE FACE ON A REGULAR BASIS, they still cope.
If you think discrimination against and ignorance towards the mentally ill is not a massive presence in society then I invite you to purchase a copy of The Roommate and set it on fire.
Don’t use the words “trigger” or “trigger warning” for any purpose other than to mark something that may be triggering to someone else. Just don’t use it. It’s not a plaything. It’s not yours to abuse. I don’t care how innocuous you thought your “TRIGGER WARNING: ANIME XD” hivemind meme HONK FART WHOOP funy joek was, when it enables this attitude that you can just fuck around with this stuff. You could very well be enabling someone who will go on to send someone to the fucking hospital shoving harmful imagery in their face. You have the option to not do this and your life will not gain or lose anything. There are plenty of funy irony joke for you.
Last of all, people with trauma-related disorders are just like anyone else. They want to live healthy and normal lives like anyone else. They are not pedantic shrill weirdos who go around policing peoples’ behavior for unwarranted reasons. It doesn’t take as much as you think it does to accommodate them. Just use your brain and don’t be a motherfucker. That’s really the only excuse I’ve ever heard in opposition of accommodating people with trauma disorders. “Well they should just __________________________, so that we can be motherfuckers. It’s not our problem!!”
And that’s the end of it. If you took the time to read this and you will meet me and other afflicted persons halfway, I deeply appreciate your willingness to listen. If you thought I am being WAY 2 SERIOUSE BOUT THE NINNERNET and want to spam me with abuse, you may do that as well, I have dealt with much much worse than insecure tumblr teenz in my life and it is no skin off my nose.
And don’t be a baby and come to me telling me about how I DON’T KNOW BETTER WEH I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS STUFF but you know it hurts people. You knew it hurts people. Step 1 to getting better about shit like this is to stop excusing yourself, stop giving yourself permission to do this shit. Don’t waste my time caterwauling and dragging your knuckles through shit that is literally as easy as just stopping doing it.
Thank you for your time.