Ptsd symptoms worsen over time and people do not

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PTSD symptoms worsen over time and people do not recover (McNally, 2014, 2016; Rosenthal et al., 2005). In line with these criti- cisms, studies have uncovered some of the negative side effects of trigger warnings. First, compared to the unwarned, those who receive trigger warnings report greater negative affect and anxi- ety before viewing the potentially distressing content (Bellet et al., 2018; Bridgland et al., 2019; Gainsburg & Earl, 2018). Second, people who receive trigger warnings avoid the content more (Bridgland Previous: Welcome to PSYC100 at Queen’s University Next: Why Science?
sence of documented benefits. Finally, trigger warnings may af- fect people’s beliefs about their own resilience versus vulnerabil- ity. In one study, compared to unwarned participants, people who viewed trigger warnings rated themselves, and people in general, as more emotionally vulnerable following traumatic events (Bellet et al., 2018). In balance, we think trigger warnings likely do very little to make tough content easier to consume. Further, we are concerned about the potential unintended side effects of such warnings. For those reasons, trigger warnings are not used in Principles of Psychology. If not trigger warnings, then what? There are ways to cope with potentially upsetting content that do not involve trigger warnings. Strategies that we recommend in- cluding: Looking ahead at the syllabus Reading keywords at the end of each chapter to see if con- tent may be difficult Connecting with a member of the instructional team if there is a specific area you are concerned about If you know you will encounter information that may be distress- ing, some strategies for engaging with that content include: Bringing a friend or family member to lecture on a day where content may be difficult Planning light and fun activities following what may be a difficult lecture Using coping and relaxation techniques, described below Previous: Welcome to PSYC100 at Queen’s University Next: Why Science?
Coping and Mental Hygiene. Coping means dedicating time and conscious effort to the management of your stress levels and problems that you are faced with. Stress can surface as a result of many factors, including home- work, exams, work, volunteer positions, extracurricular activities, and prob- lems in family and peer relations. When we are coping, we are utilizing tech- niques and engaging in activities that will help us minimize the effects of these stressors on our wellbeing. A significant part of coping is recognizing the importance of mental hy- giene. You are likely familiar with the term hygiene , which refers to practices we engage in that are important for maintaining our health and preventing diseases, such as showering and brushing our teeth. Mental hygiene follows the same general principle, referring to practices we engage in that are im- portant for maintaining our mental health and preventing psychological conditions such as burnout and mental illness.

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