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Trigger Alert! Do NOT Read – Content May Invoke Unwanted Emotions Part 2

Mental Health humor hare-trigger emotionsOriginally posted in 2008 - I Have to edit the text from "emontions to "emotions".  And I tweaked the image a bit.

Title: Hare Trigger Emotions.

The Last 6 Mental health Humor Cartoons

earthquake-and-tsunami-and-meltdown-oh-mySilver Lining Cloud

Mental Health humor charlie sheen winning stigma losing Mental Health humor waiting in doctors office in Alaska with BiPolar Bearsmental health humor Falling asleep at the computer

We are continuing the topic of: if being concerned about our triggers makes us less concerned for others?! (In reference to one line in a comment on the post Earthquake, and Tsunami, and Meltdown Oh, My, “Happy should not come at price of caring.“)

We, those living with mental health issues, need to know our triggers and how to avoid/deal with them or they can control us. This is why understanding our own illness is important!  Part of understanding is recognizing triggers.  When we are able to recognize our personal triggers, we can learn how to cope effectively/successfully with them.

Whether we are living with a mental issue or not…we all have limitations in one way or another. (Does that make us selfish?) Most of us want to help our fellow man! What we would like to do and what we “realistically” can do, may be, two entirely different things.  So, does modestly recognizing our limitations (acknowledging our triggers) make us less caring?

The problem, that I was focusing on in the cartoon, is the MEDIA OVERLOAD of all the negative and traumatic events coverage…showing not just the NEWS, but  sensationalizing the death and hopelessness! It’s not enough anymore to report the news.  They have to show you the video a thousand times of a building collapsing with people inside dieing right in front of you… Or tsunami sweeping away building and houses like twigs with an untold number of people still probably in them.

The Haiti earthquake is responsible for 220,000 deaths with bodies still being found in the rubble 15 months later…While Japan’s death toll could go up to 15,000, it does not match to Haiti.  Its economy might be the hardest hit, with billions of dollars lost and billions more to rebuild. With so much bad news, anyone could get depressed over it. It is how we deal with it or rather, how we allow it to effect us that could determine our emotional well-being.

For many people, this overload can trigger episodes of Bipolar, Depression, PTSD and others extreme stresses! Would we want to add to the sufferings of family and friends by bombarding them with all of the negative media blitz? NO, of course not, but that is what triggers can do… That is why we need a balance.

I got an e-mail today:

Thank you for the sensitive humor this cartoon and your blog portrayed, as disasters like this do trigger me. Usually this time of year I am pretty chipper, spring fever with the proper level of medication is very pleasant. But with this, what is going on in the Middle East, not to mention right here in our nation, has really got me just plain scared. Like you mentioned though, I try to avoid reading about it, (I don’t watch the news) and I have the solace of prayer. Thank you again for always touching on these important subjects that we all think of to a certain degree, but don’t always share with others. We know it is healthier to share our concerns and fears with those we trust. – T.K.

It’s hard for some who deals with mood disorders & self-esteem on a good day, to watch all this go on, especially when you feel powerless to help. As someone who was once politically active, to have to just turn it off & focus on myself is heartbreaking, especially when people who don’t understand talk down to me like I don’t care & am just sitting back letting them roll over us. Every day I struggle with finding a reason not to end my life. That’s my fight these days. I don’t have the energy to worry about “the bigger picture” too. – J

I hope this explanation helps people understand triggers better… They are not self-absorbed reasons to abandon caring for others.  Rather, they are real, emotional flashbacks of  trauma that need to be recognized in order to be dealt with to maintain our mental health recovery!



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Trigger Alert! Do NOT Read – Content May Invoke Unwanted Emotions Part 2

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2011). Trigger Alert! Do NOT Read – Content May Invoke Unwanted Emotions Part 2. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Mar 2011
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