top of page

Triggers: The Callous & The Festering Wound

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

When the average person discusses what to do when experiencing triggers, their immediate reaction is usually one of two things:

1. “That’s ridiculous! You should block that person on everything! How dare they say that! Cut them out of your life!”


2. “Don’t be a baby, they didn’t mean it like that. You simply took it the wrong way. Stop being so sensitive.”

If I had a nickel for every time someone imparted these passing words of “wisdom” upon me, I would be retired in the Bahamas rubbing suntan lotion onto my husband‘s rippling back muscles. But alas, that is not my current reality.

Over the years I have realized that the answer is not so black and white when handling all triggers - ESPECIALLY if you are dealing with a mood disorder. What I like to do is start by classifying my triggers into two general categories:

  1. The festering wound

  2. The callous

A festering wound needs more care, sensitivity and attention to heal, whereas a callous gets stronger every time it tears. It is up to you to decide where each of your triggers fall, and here is how I know which is which.

It starts with two simple questions: Can I have a calm discussion with the subject of the trigger about how I am feeling? Or, am I about to have an anxiety attack within the next several seconds? If my immediate reaction is an anxiety attack, then it’s time to remove myself from the situation and tend to my festering wound. However, if I feel calm enough to have a discussion, it’s time to build upon that callous by immediately opening the lines of