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See also: warning, squick
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Triggers are things that cause a strong, heavy emotional response in a person. These usually occur after something traumatic has happened to them.
Triggering material has the potential to remind a person of a traumatic event. [1]

Some common triggers include sexual assault, abuse, self-harm, and addiction. Visual media such as vids and animated gifs may also require warning for physical triggers. Quick cuts and flashing lights, for instance, may trigger migraine headaches.

Much attention has been devoted to triggers and trigger warnings recently (see, for example, the numerous rants at FFR about the lack of trigger warnings and/or the wrong kind of warnings).

Some people appear to think that a trigger is simply something that one dislikes or is squicked by.

Triggers and trigger warnings can be a controversial topic. (People who don't warn, people who demand warnings the author doesn't agree with, people who don't believe in triggers, people who don't want to be responsible for another person's mental well-being, "how do you survive in the real world if you're such a delicate snowflake," the misuse of the term, etc.)

In response, some fans include a warning policy on their journals or archives stating what, if anything, they warn for. Some authors who don't include warnings invite potential readers to contact them directly for more detailed information about a story if they are concerned about potentially triggering content.


  1. I would like to talk with ya’ll about trigger warnings. (Accessed June 25, 2011)
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