Understanding and Coping with PTSD Triggers

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Rahul Shivkumar
Mar 13, 20232 min read

Understanding and Coping with PTSD Triggers

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a condition that can develop after a traumatic event, such as military combat, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. PTSD can cause a range of symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, and intense feelings of anxiety and fear. One of the biggest challenges of living with PTSD is coping with triggers, which can trigger a range of symptoms and make it difficult to manage day-to-day life. In this article, we will discuss what PTSD triggers are, how to identify them, and strategies for coping with them.

Understanding PTSD Triggers

PTSD triggers are reminders of the traumatic event that caused the condition. They can be external, such as a sound or smell, or internal, such as a thought or feeling. Triggers can cause a range of symptoms, including anxiety, flashbacks, and intense emotional reactions. Some of the most common triggers for PTSD include:

  • Sounds: Loud or sudden noises, such as fireworks, gunshots, or car backfires, can be triggering for people with PTSD.
  • Smells: Certain smells, such as smoke, can be triggering for people who have experienced a traumatic event.
  • Sights: Seeing something that reminds the person of the traumatic event, such as a person or place, can be triggering.
  • Touch: Certain sensations, such as being touched or hugged, can be triggering for people with PTSD.
  • Thoughts or feelings: Certain thoughts or feelings, such as guilt or shame, can trigger PTSD symptoms.

Identifying PTSD Triggers

  • Identifying PTSD triggers can be challenging, as they can be different for each person. However, some common signs of a trigger include:
  • Intense emotional reactions: When a person experiences a trigger, they may feel intense emotions, such as fear, anger, or sadness.
  • Physical reactions: Triggers can also cause physical reactions, such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing.
  • Flashbacks: A trigger can cause the person to have vivid memories of the traumatic event, which can be distressing.
  • Avoidance: Sometimes, people with PTSD will avoid certain places, people, or activities that remind them of the traumatic event.

Coping with PTSD Triggers

Coping with PTSD triggers can be challenging, but there are strategies that can help. Here are some tips for coping with triggers:

  • Identify your triggers: The first step in coping with PTSD triggers is to identify what triggers your symptoms. Keeping a journal or talking with a therapist can help you identify your triggers.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, can help reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
  • Create a safety plan: Having a safety plan can help you feel more in control when you experience a trigger. This plan can include things like taking deep breaths, calling a friend, or engaging in a relaxing activity.
  • Talk to a therapist: Working with a therapist can help you develop coping strategies for dealing with PTSD triggers. Therapists can also help you process the traumatic event and work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to your symptoms.

Dawn Health's Therapy Offering

If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, it's important to seek help. Dawn Health is a therapy provider that offers no wait lists and insurance coverage for those seeking therapy. Their team of licensed therapists specializes in helping people with PTSD and other mental health conditions. With Dawn Health, you can receive therapy from the comfort of your own home, making it easy to fit treatment into your busy schedule.


PTSD triggers can be challenging to manage, but there are strategies that can help. Identifying your triggers, practicing relaxation techniques, creating a safety plan, and seeking therapy can all be effective ways to cope with PTSD triggers. If you are struggling with PTSD, it's important to seek help from a licensed therapist who can provide you with the support and guidance you need. Dawn Health's therapy offering is an excellent resource for anyone seeking therapy for PTSD, as they offer no wait lists and insurance coverage, making it easy to access the care you need. Remember, with the right support and coping strategies, it is possible to manage PTSD triggers and live a fulfilling life.

Dawn's Therapists are Here to Help

Dawn's Therapists are trusted by thousands and available as soon as today. Fill out Dawn Health’s questionnaire to get started right from your phone or computer — no in-person visits necessary. Quality, affordable therapy that's covered by insurance is available when you begin with Dawn.

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Rahul Shivkumar

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