• Dr. Nelly De Ridder

Eject Mode?

Have you ever felt like ejecting yourself from reality or the situation that you are in? Have you ever felt foggy or could not explain why you are having emotions that don't seem to match the situation that you are in?

It is possible that you have experienced a trigger.

What is a trigger? It is your brain telling you that you are on shaky ground. Your brain is wired to protect you and stores memories and events to reference in order to activate a survival response. It does this by quickly triggering up past events which sometimes can cause a flashback, a strong emotional response or a dissociative response. Unfortunately we do not always know what the trigger is because sometimes it is really innocent like a smell or a sound or a combination of stimuli and sometimes it is obvious like witnessing an event that is similar to a past event or seeing someone who may have been involved in a past event.

What to do??? Identifying the specific trigger and how it relates to a past event is the first step. You can do this by:

1) Ask yourself what emotion you experienced and rate them from 0-100 in intensity.

2) Write down all information about the surroundings: place,time, sounds, smells, scenario, people present, etc.

3) Identify specific physical signs you felt.

Write everything down and see if this helps to identify what the trigger was and what past event it is connected to. It may take several data collecting episodes to develop a pattern that would then lead to identification of triggers. This identification is the first step to disarming them.

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