Trigger (Warning)

Psychiatry (Sciences), 1988

Anything which might upset a fragile, infantilised, or sheltered person who has never been to war.

In medical science, individuals who had been through extraordinarily shocking circumstances (e.g. war) and had been diagnosed with trauma often re-experience the same symptoms on a conditioned Pavlovian basis. The post-Vietnam concept of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD, or “Shell Shock”) was entered into the DSM-III in 1980 through activism by Chaim Shatan, Robert Lifton, and their psychiatric colleagues. The contemporary usage of a “trigger warning”, according to Andi Zeisler, co-founder of feminist publication Bitch, originated on the community forum of Ms. Magazine’s website in the late-90s. By 2002, it had spreadto LiveJournal amongst teenage girls posting “pro-ana” blog articles.