Can We Please Stop Treating Triggers as a Joke?

Can we please stop with the trigger joke nonsense? Triggers suck. They’re not funny. And joking about them downplays how serious they are. I mean, did you know it’s possible to be funny without being an asshole? Mindblowing, right? Besides… have you ever seen a trigger joke that’s actually funny? Yeah, me neither.

Nowadays, according to Urban Dictionary, the word “triggered” is often used to mean:

  • Pissed off
  • Getting filled with hate after seeing, hearing or experiencing something you can’t stand.
  • An individual’s unwillingness to accept that people have different opinions. Often associated with the SJW (Social Justice Warrior).
  • When someone gets offended or gets their feelings hurt, often used in memes to describe feminist, or people with strong victimization.


The actual definition of a trigger is anything that reminds a person of a past trauma. For example, fireworks may cause a veteran to have flashbacks to being in a combat zone. Their reaction can be physical (hyperventilation, tenseness), emotional (fear, panic), mental (flashbacks, difficulty concentrating) or behavioral (hypervigilance, hugging themself). Anyone who has experienced trauma may experience triggers and they are not exclusive to people who have PTSD. More information on triggers can be found here.

This is the same type of thing that happened with the word “retarded.” It used to be a medical term, but then people started using it as an insult. Trigger jokes are almost exclusively for making fun of people who are deemed “oversensitive.”

So let’s put an end to this nonsense. Mental illness is not a joke.

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