Hiya everyone! I hope you’re all well!
Trigger warnings are such a taboo topic at the moment, at least on social media. Many people believe that we need them and many people do not. My opinion is that they can be very important and crucial for someone to have access to, in many cases.
An argument that I often see against the use of trigger warnings is that we don’t have them in the real world so why are they readily available online? My simple answer is really think about it because we do have trigger warnings and have done for quite a while. A short but sweet example is age certificates on books, movies or music. For instance, at the back of DVD cases, there’s an age certificate stating how age appropriate the movie is and what the content is. This acts as a warning in case any of the viewers find certain scenes upsetting – a trigger warning.
Trigger warnings in the millennials eyes are typically used to warn someone of anything they may find upsetting, whether it be because of trauma or because of mental illness. They are for “special snowflakes” because they sometimes may be the difference between someone relapsing with self harm or suicide idealisation and not.
Trigger warnings are specific for each individual person and it’s important to not judge them because there may be a genuine reason why someone wants a warning on it. For example, I tend to search for trigger warnings around suicide and self harm because I’m in recovery for those things. And even though I do class myself as well into recovery and if I did relapse, I wouldn’t be back at square one but I do not want to risk it. I may be feeling particularly fragile one day and if I saw a scene about self harm, it may tip me over the edge. That’s literally all trigger warnings are, to protect someone and they are 1000000% no different to the warnings you get for movies.
My question is, why would you want to get rid of trigger warnings and lead people into relapse or force them to relive unbearable traumas? There are many cases where you can see the topic and prepare yourself for the situation. For instance, Netflix’s To The Bone has very obviously stated that it’s about eating disorder recovery so it’s kinda obvious that someone in recovery or recovered from an eating disorder may find the movie particularly delicate. Whereas, some you cannot tell as much. Even though Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is about a girl killing herself and leaving tapes for people who contributed to her pain, you don’t expect to see the scenes they produced. If you haven’t watched it, there are multiple scenes of graphic rape and let’s not even mention the incredibly graphic suicide scene.
Some may argue that if people are gonna watch mental health related movies, they’ve gotta expect certain subjects such as suicide to arise but that’s not the point. 13 Reasons Why is about the aftermath of a girl killing themselves, you wouldn’t expect to see the actual suicide scene and even if you did, you wouldn’t expect it to the degree that 13 Reasons Why depicted it.
Anyway, today’s post isn’t about that show, you can find my post over here if you really wanna read it. My point is, trigger warnings are necessary and if you don’t think they are, be grateful that you don’t need them. Simple as.