TW/CN: This post will be talking about specific triggers and content to address the need for TW’s and CN’s. We are touching on a lot here but no details.
Slight Spoilers for Mad Max: Fury Road
Why not both!?
In all seriousness though this is going to be a blog about Trigger Warnings and Content Notice/Warnings.
Trigger warnings are for those of us who maybe have PTSD or other adverse reactions to things that trigger us due to past experiences. This can be because of any manner of things. Trauma is a very individual and personal thing. PTSD is something many of our Veterans have, you can also get PTSD from rape and abuse, you can get it from a horrible car accident, maybe you were in a natural disaster. This said everyone’s triggers are different. If everyone has such wide varied triggers why should you care?
Because you can still minimize harm for people by using things we widely know cause someone to be triggered. Let’s talk about being triggered. Anyone watch Mad Max: Fury Road? When Max is seeing things that are not there, when he is having these “flashes”. Those are akin to what I have experienced as flashbacks. Flashbacks are when someone with PTSD gets triggered and will basically relive an event, or parts of it. This can be very scary and be visual and auditory hallucinations that are SO REAL when it is happening. Flashbacks and nightmares and other adverse symptoms of PTSD can also re-traumatize us. (I will be writing a more in-depth post on just Mad Max: Fury Road and PTSD blog post!)
Trauma doesn’t go away and trauma will re-traumatize us again and again. Getting triggered and having flashbacks or hallucinations can and will re-traumatize us. This is why Trigger Warnings are so important.
Let’s talk about that minimizing harm again. This is what Trigger Warnings do. They minimize harm. Content Notice/Warnings do around the same thing, but are not specific to PTSD related issues. Content Notices are great for content that you know might be harmful to a marginalized group or persons. This is where things like a Content Notice for racism, sexism, homophobia, maybe violence towards animals. All come in handy and can help people that have to deal with enough of this bullshit, that maybe they don’t want to deal with it right now.
TW’s and CN’s are about minimizing harm, but more importantly it is about letting us choose what we consume. Regardless of what is is, maybe a news article, or a movie, or even a book. I have the right and responsibility to myself to choose to not consume media or new that deals with rape, assault, domestic violence, violence in general. As someone with PTSD I know this doesn’t end well and I choose and have a right to my own health, mental well-being, and physical safety.
Here is a list that someone else has started that is trying to gather common triggers and things that would need warnings or notices. This is a pretty great basics list as well as many specific ones that are still widely common. If you would like to learn please go look so you can try to make your content sharing safer.