Trigger words.


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    • #109993

      Anyone have trigger words or phrase that sets you off?
      One of my biggest triggers is “what are you doing? ” because my boss is a colossal (word that might get me banned) every time I hear it I cringe and my defences go up, he “knows” we’re goofing off he just hasn’t caught us yet (such a wonderful work environment)
      When my mother says it, I unintentionally snap at her, I know she’s just curious but I’ve explained to her that if I’m doing something, please don’t ask that question, but as usual she doesn’t understand why it bothers me no matter how many time I explain it.

    • #109997

      I feel sensitive to the innocent (sort of) head shaking “Stacy, Stacy, Stacy”….

      Makes me feel like a child being mocked.

    • #109999

      “Can you TRY not to do [whatever]?”

      Yes, I can try. I’m ALWAYS trying. It’s the trying that makes it not be every 30 seconds.

      There are a bunch more, but that’s the one that springs to mind.

    • #110001

      I don’t suffer from ADD but my husband does. I am on here to try to get a sense of the daily struggles he may face. I often say trigger things to him. Mostly “what are you doing?” and “really?” I will try to be more mindful. It is very challenging for both ends the ADD sufferers and the people who love them.

      • #114108

        Yes. A couple from my
        “ loving” Mom :

        “ Are you going to do ANYTHING today, Tricia?”
        “ Just SIT there , don’t DO anything “
        “ You are a lazy PIG”
        “ You are USELESS “
        “ Look at YOU! DO something with your life !”
        “ I can’t stand to LOOK at you”
        “ There is nothing wrong with you, it’s All an
        “ I hate you more and more every day!”

        Ok ok these are sentences, NOT trigger
        WORDS… but I’m sorry… I needed to get SOME OF THEM OUT 🤷🏻‍♀️

      • #114112

        This is the first reply I’m posting on this site, but how old are you? What your mother says to you is not normal and can actually be classified as abuse. If you’re still a minor, I suggest you talk to your schoolteacher or an adult you trust. If you’re financially independent, I suggest you cut off contact. This is abuse, plain and simple. I don’t know if this will post a new comment here or reply to what I clicked, but this is directed at Tricia Attruia.

      • #114140

        Those are not trigger words, phrases, or sentences.

        They amount to verbal battery.

    • #111955

      My biggest trigger phrase from my husband is “get over it”. It instantly makes me rage and I have to try hard not to snap back at him. What’s worse is we recently discovered that he has a personality disorder – avoidant personality disorder. So AVPD and ADHD – what a combination. We certainly have our share of struggles.

      • #111971

        Ugh! My brother uses that one on me too, and it really makes me mad, especially because he doesn’t practice what he preaches, when I see him or helping him, we’ll be talking and inevitably something I’m upset about and want to vent on will come up, he’ll immediately say “get over it”
        But he’s always complaining about our mother, his wife, his kids, where he lives, and he wonders why I leave as soon as whatever needs doing is done.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Ranma.
    • #112005

      LAZY. My god, I can’t contain myself. I struggle a lot with task completion. It was even worse as a kid. My brain rushes me so much to the next task I always leave some last little bit unfinished. The worst part about lazy is I already know I didn’t finish what I was doing. I have a history of very severe self criticism and hate. Harsh confirmation of that from outside my head is just too much.

      • #114109

        Oh GOD.The husband says the same.
        “ You gotta get over this shit”

        Last week? He gave me a DEADLINE!
        On Friday, he says: “ You have until Monday
        To get over “ whatever all this IS” or there
        Will be consequences “
        ( all THIS= ADD/ Major Depression/ Anxiety/PTSD)

        Yes, ASSHAT, as if it were just that simple, you NO MIND!

    • #112048

      “Make an effort!” (As if I didn’t—every bloody day, hour, minute.)

      “What takes you so long?” (Maybe you simply have no clue about how long things actually take, even for a person without ADHD?)

      Thanks for the question, which got me thinking.


    • #112119
      Dr. Eric

      I kind of run into the opposite.
      As a charter school where parents often left an unhappy situation, we accidentally trigger families by properly using IEP/504 terminology that the family had previously heard in a negative or out of context way to rationalize poor service.

      As a supervisor, I have no tolerance for when a teacher says and stresses “choice” in behaviors.
      As in, “Johnny chose to do…”

      • #114110

        I get THIS one all the time:
        ( I have a high IQ )

        “ Ya know, Tricia, for someone who’s supposed to be so smart- you’re pretty STUPID “

        ** Usually, when I am asking a perfectly appropriate question, that’s over his HEAD..🤦🏻‍♀️

    • #113137

      “Stop making excuses.” This one drives me INSANE! I’m not trying to forget things or tasks. It just happens. When I tell people that I simply lost track of something or forgot it, that’s precisely what happens. But nope, it’s an “excuse” because I’m “not trying hard enough.”

    • #113155

      “you didn’t try hard enough” or “try harder” or “just try to do it” or some variation of implying that rather than having serious issues with getting things done, i’m just not trying. never fails to infuriate me

    • #113158

      Sometimes it’s not a specific word that’s a trigger with me, many times I’ll have a problem and need to talk it out, so who do you usually turn to? Your mother, well a lot of times she’ll chide me, and go on about how she had it so much worse.
      My whole life, my problems are nothing compared to how bad she had it.
      So I guess someones dismissive attitude is a trigger.

    • #113185

      My biggest peeve is “no offense, BUT…<something meant to be offensive>”

      It actually doesn’t have anything to do with my ADHD but I hate the hell out of it.

    • #113215

      I also get “stop making excuses” but it comes from family members who should, but obviously don’t, comprehend the daily struggles for someone with ADD/ADHD. Consequently, when I try to explain how ADD affects my life, I hear “stop making excuses and just do it.” At some point or another, I’ve heard all of the other trigger phrases too because I try to educate those around me to the fact that ADD/ADHD is a REAL thing.

      This reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on the back of a pretty, new Land Rover one day: “ADHD is just bad parenting.” Want to guess how hard it was to control the impulse to floor my truck and ram right into that woman?

      Luckily, I had taken my ADD medication that morning to control such urges…

      • #113223

        That’s what angers me the most, their unwillingness to educate themselves and understand the hell we go through, having to live in their neurotypical world, why is it we can understand them and their problems but they can’t and won’t understand ours.

    • #113815

      My personal triggers are “you aren’t the only one you know.” I understand you’re trying to say I’m not alone, but it sounds like “hey everyone else has it and deals with it, you should be fine.” :/

    • #113855

      My biggest trigger is “well…are you going to answer” to any question that I am trying to form a cohesive response to. My SO and my family do not understand that an immediate answer may not always be a cohesive answer, or that my impulsivity may not allow me to respond immediately with an answer that will not start an argument, because I did not realize the way I mean things and the way I say them are not always aligned.
      I pause sometimes mid sentence to allow my head and my mouth to catch up to one another….and I get greeted with this and it will never not produce any result than me shutting down entirely or making my head spin because I lose all train of thought.

      • #114111

        I particularly despise:
        “ What about YOUR life , is SO SO

    • #113863

      ‘You’re so slow, I don’t know what’s wrong with you but you have to fix it.’

      I’m not sure if it can be fixed, even at 30 I still struggle with learning new things quickly but I only know that if I put in a few times more effort than other people, I will get it eventually.

    • #113971
      Ella C

      OMG YES!! Any obvious critical comments like that trigger me for several reasons. I get triggered because 90% of the time I know what I did wrong or that I was impulsive or I wasted time. And I beat myself up for it. And to have someone else throw it back in my face isnthe last straw lol. My mom is probably the worst culprit of this. It’s not even that she is trying to be unkind, it’s just that they have no idea what it’s like to deal with what we deal with.

      Anyways that was random and I dunno if I answered your question or not… but I have ADD so that’s just how it is for me 😂

    • #113975

      When people use the word “Kiddos” instead of kids or children. Kiddos is not a word. Kiddo is a nickname for one child…”Hey Kiddo!” it makes my skin crawl every time.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Mel514.
    • #113978

      I honestly get triggered when people assume my responses. Don’t call me defensive and don’t call me sensitive. I may be sensitive but I’m not so overly sensitive to where everything triggers me. I’m not so sensitive that i cry at everything that is said to me hurts my feelings. I have built quite an armor!

    • #113984

      WhatEVER! What’s the matter with you?
      You don’t know what you’re talking about!
      I’m waiting! Well? If you’d stop acting like that…. note**I ask a lot of questions to get clarity, so I can understand and respond appropriately. I will go in shut down mode when family & friends smart mouth me for asking questions. I also need structure, so, if you expect me to take responsibility for something, I want to know exactly what I’m expected to do. This irritates others, and THAT is a trigger, as I’m called bossy and a control freak. I just want to know the rules, so I don’t screw up!

    • #113985

      “Why don’t you just do it this way?” Obviously because I am doing it a different way, which may look ridiculous and inefficient but it works too so get off my back about it, lol.

    • #113987

      Luckily everyone I care about is super supportive and understands my ADHD. A lot of words do trigger me though “lazy, slow, stupid, irresponsible”. The worst for me lately is meeting new people. My social anxiety as I get older is getting worse. Have you ever tried to play a super complicated board game at a dinner party with a group of neuro typical adults?! The last time I attempted I was nearly in tears even before the game began. As they were going over the rules my head was spinning. I looked around and it seemed everyone else understood. I was the only one blankly staring at the board completely panicked on the inside. It has made me hate board games.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by aer2342.
    • #114005

      My spouse has inattentive ADHD and I have a pretty severe anxiety disorder that obvious clash quite a bit. I try really hard to understand his ADH but I am sorry to admit that I am guilty of using a lot of these trigger words when my anxiety ramps up. Except I have to say that I would NEVER call my S.O. lazy. People with ADHD are trying so much harder than everyone else even with just the smallest things. That is NOT lazy.

      I am wondering what those of you with ADHD might appreciate from your non-ADHD loved ones. How can we apologize for the sometimes insensitive things we say out of frustration? And are there words of encouragement or other things we can do that would be more helpful? For example, when my S.O. zones out in a conversation, what would be more helpful than saying “Hello? Are you in there?” to bring him back? I have tried just patiently waiting, but sometimes he will completely forget that we were talking at all.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by sarahd8941.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by sarahd8941.
    • #114019

      Trigger words and trigger facial signs for me. My mother’s words “you are so dumb!” She used the phrase during my teen years is when I remember it. I would tell her not to call me that. Or she would roll her eyes at me as did my ex husband. Mom would also say, “You can’t do anything right!” So when I hear someone using those phrases I often try to let them know how damaging those words can be. I am 64 and it never goes away

    • #114027

      “Don’t or can’t you learn?” This is a trigger for me. Somethings I just can’t do! Why can’t they learn that!!

    • #114055

      I shut down when people ask about media and stuff that I like. My ADHD makes me get completely, embarrassingly obsessed with shows, movies, books, etc to the point that it’s all I can think about for weeks or months or years at a time. So when people say something like “oh, don’t you like that show?” even casually in conversation, I always feel defensive and can’t help but assume they’re mocking me.

    • #114057

      Lets go lets go LETS GO! Drives. Me. Up. The. WALL!!!!

    • #114060

      My trigger is being reminded to do things when I’ve actually for once remembered it.

      I understand people are only trying to help me and I feel awful after snapping at them or getting defensive. Because 9/10 I do need to be reminded its just the times when I do remember it really gets to me.

    • #114062

      When I was a kid, I hated “That’s not the way you’re SUPPOSED to do it!” Now–from boss about getting my time sheet in on time: “You’re so intelligent—why can’t you do this simple thing?” From husband when I stomp around the house cursing, looking for my missing [fill in the blank–keys, wallet, iPhone, etc]: “Stop spreading your negative attitude to the rest of us.”

    • #114063

      And one more, from friends: “I think I may have a little ADHD because…[friend names something like misplacing keys or forgetting to buy something at the store that they do, like, twice a year but I do every week].

      • #114149

        Heard that. Drives me nuts too. Mostly when my father does it. It diminishes the efforts those who actually struggle. I employ deliberate means to keep track of my keys, my eye glasses, my wallet, and my phone. They have their own little places they live. When they get left elsewhere it takes me forever to find them. I’m sure I’m not pointing out a cute anecdote when I say I’ve found my keys in my refrigerator. So, yeah, an occasional, “oops, I misplaced my keys. Must be my ADD.” is very poorly received

    • #114066

      Mine is like yours. Just a simple what are you doing or what are you up to sends me tumbling down a spiral of rage. I have always felt that even as a young child. I feel talked down to; as if I am doing something I am not supposed to. I was mentally abused by an older brother and my mother growing up. Always referred to me as too “stupid” or a “trouble maker”, when I knew I wasn’t. Today, my wife can be the unlucky recipient of that same wrath and I feel terrible when words come out that I know I do not mean. It is almost impossible to relate how out of control my mind is at times and words or actions can be sorely misunderstood. An apology later always sounds disingenuous and my wife gets very annoyed when I tell her it is an ADHD symptom.

    • #114031
      Dr. Eric

      “Everyone has it these days.” or any related quote like “who doesn’t…”

      • #114090

        Yes! I usually get “doesn’t everyone have a little ADHD?”, Um, no you don’t….do some research and see what it actually is before you make that assumption. No one would ever claim to be “a little” bi-polar or diabetic but people think it’s ok to treat ADHD the same way. Drives me INSANE!!!

    • #114099

      My trigger words are “calm down”, “be quiet” and “stop talking” or “you’re too loud.”

      These drive me insane because a lot of the times that people tell me to “calm down” are times I feel like I’m perfectly calm. I’m not raising my voice, I’m not upset, my body language is low-key and yet other try to project their issue onto me.

      The others bother me because no matter how much I try, I just cannot control the volume of my voice. Even when I’m whispering I’m being too loud.

    • #114103

      I hate when people tell me to calm down. I am sorta a hyper person anyways but it just sounds annoying when people say Calm down. I am trying and I don’t think people understand. I do Pilates and yoga and I think it helps.

    • #114113

      My trigger is when my husband says “are you actually listening?” My Brain is going a million miles per hour with thoughts and he wants an instant reply to a stupid question. Or when my kids laugh and say “oh, let me guess you got distracted?” if I forget anything at all – then I get all sulky and upset and wonder why I bother doing anything!

    • #114120

      I work as a customer service rep and one of my trigger phrases is “You people”. The other thing that can be a trigger is when I’m talking to someone and they constantly repeat themselves over and over again, like I didn’t hear them the first time or when someone asks “are u listening to me” just because I dont look at u doesn’t mean I’m not listening to you. The other thing that bothers me is when my boyfriend gets mad when I dont come outside and just sit with him, he doesn’t understand that I have a hard time just sitting that I have to be doing something else with my hands.

    • #114146

      “Why can’t you just…”

      Wake up now, fall asleep then
      Begin with A, finish with Z
      Remember this, forget that
      Start this, stop that
      Come now, leave then
      Go there, get here
      Turn left, look right

      When someone asks me those questions, I remind myself to
      “Hear me, ignore them.”

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