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What do you when you see distressing content? (possible TW)

Hey everyone, 


Sometimes when we're on the forums, or through a notification, we may read something distressing to us. It can be difficult to distance ourselves and move on after reading it and that's okay. There are some steps that you can try when you're feeling distressed about a post, though sometimes not every step will work for everyone. 


On the forums, you can absolutely either email or "report" the post if you have found it triggering and we will do our best to support you. 


Another important step is to use your own safety plan. A safety plan is essentially a list of people you can contact when you feel unsafe or upset, as well as activities or distractions that you can do to help cope with the thoughts. BeyondBlue has a fabulous app here that guides you in creating your own safety plan on apple, android or web Smiley Happy While not all distractions work for everyone, those strategies are a great place to start in coping with the negative feelings. (here's a list of distractions


If you're still unsure on what you can do to cope with distressing content, check out ReachOut's article on 9 Tips for Coping with the Hard Stuff for some excellent suggestions on what you can do. There is also this article here on dealing with bad world news that also includes some excellent suggestions. 


ReachOut does it best to keep the forums a safe place for everyone. But the reality is, being triggered is an inevitable part of life online (and life offline for that matter!). The best thing we can all do when it comes to our triggers, is put strategies in place ahead of time that we can use when it happens. 
Sharing your strategies could be really helpful for others, this thread is a space for you to do so! 


I am finishing with ReachOut this week, say good-bye here. I'll miss you all!

Re: What do you when you see distressing content? (possible TW)

Hey @Bananatime04 , I think  you were interested in reading this thread Smiley Happy 

Is it helpful? 


I'm leaving ReachOut on the 5th of June Smiley Sad Say goodbye here

Re: What do you when you see distressing content? (possible TW)

Thanks @Jay-RO and @gina-RO! It’s still triggering to think about it but I’ll try to distract myself today and I’ve got gymnastics from 4-7 so I’ll be distracted then. Thanks

Re: What do you when you see distressing content? (possible TW)

Hey @Jay-RO thanks so much for sharing this Smiley Happy Very helpful, I'll be sure to come back here when I can reply with some things that've helped me Smiley Happy

Re: What do you when you see distressing content? (possible TW)

Hey Smiley Very Happy

This is such a wonderful thread, I'm really excited to hear other people's coping strategies and all that for this Heart


As a very sensitive person I get triggered a far bit from some posts. As @Jay-RO said, being triggered is inevitable. It's not that the post is breaching the guidelines but that some of the stuff will trigger me feeling upset, flashbacks and thoughts. It's definitely not the person's fault, I just have to know when it's time for me to take a break from the forums and take some time to focus on me Smiley Happy


Some things that have helped me include:

1. Logging off, once I'm triggered, everything becomes a trigger Smiley Sad So it's better to move on to something else.

2. Chat to a helpline, this helps me to feel safe and also chat it out and help decide on some self care to do.

3. SELF CARE! Honestly this helps me so much, just looking after me and putting me before anything else really helps lift my mood.

4. If I choose to stay around on the forums, I go to the more light hearted sections and distract myself there Smiley Happy

5. Just do something that distracts you and keeps you focused.

6. And lastly, use one of my safety plans if I'm feeling unsafe Smiley Happy

Re: What do you when you see distressing content? (possible TW)

This is a fantastic conversation! I'm quite emotionally sensitive, especially when I'm seeing a person face-to-face, which means that I can become distressed by certain themes in movies. In those situations, I try ground myself back into the present by observing the physical environment around me, and reminding myself of exactly what I can see or am touching, how it feels, what I can smell, etc. I've had to do this for a couple of movies, like The Boy in Striped Pyjamas and Possibility.

For example, I might touch the underside of my chair, and remind myself: "Yup, that's a chair; the chair feels cold". Right now... "My lips feel really dry", "This cushion is really soft", "My feet are on a carpet and it feels rough", "My phone is my pocket", stuff like that.


EDIT: Interestingly, if I'm in a comfortable position and want to deeply resonate with the emotion I'm reading / viewing (being sensitive can be a fantastic, positive quality!), I will choose to not use this grounding strategy and fully experience the emotion instead.

Re: What do you when you see distressing content? (possible TW)

@Bananatime04 distracting yourself is a great way to cope with recurring thoughts, is there anything in particular you like to do when you distract yourself? Gymnastics, or any scheduled event, are also great for distractions, thank you for sharing! Smiley Happy


@annabethxchase that is a fabulous list of things that help you! Smiley Happy Self-care is definitely so important and can greatly help in distracting or lifting out moods. Thank you so much for sharing! Smiley Happy

@nyke grounding techniques can definitely be helpful in coping with distressing thoughts. It's great that when you feel comfortable, you allow yourself to experience what you're feeling. It's important to be comfortable and ready as well before we reflect over negative feelings. Thank you for sharing what works for you! Smiley Happy


I am finishing with ReachOut this week, say good-bye here. I'll miss you all!