Someone who suffers from a mental illness may not always experience their symptoms except in certain circumstances. People with mental health problems often have specific triggers that produce their symptoms or worsen them. It is normal for people to react to triggers but it is important to get help and support before the triggers lead to a downward spiral or a mental health episode.
Patients receiving treatment for a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder will all have certain mental health triggers. During treatment they will need to learn to identify their own personal triggers so that they can prevent an episode or have a plan in place if symptoms do occur. Becoming familiar with triggers can make them more manageable so that they don’t control your mental well being when they come up.
Triggers can differ between each individual but some common triggers include stress, frightening news events, break ups with a significant other, family conflict, anniversary dates of a trauma, financial problems, being judged or teased, spending too much time alone and many others. When someone who has a mental illness experiences one of these triggers they may suddenly become very depressed or anxious and find that they are having trouble coping with their normal daily tasks.
It is crucial to develop a plan for how to deal with these kinds of triggers so that they don’t worsen symptoms too severely. Patients can make a list of actions or activities that help them minimize the effects of triggers such as going for a walk, talking to a friend, practicing relaxation exercises, or writing in a journal. As long as you know certain tactics that can help alleviate some of your symptoms quickly, you can prevent triggers from disrupting your normal routine.