How TV Ruined Me
Actually, a lot of different mediums can trigger me, but television specifically is a gateway trigger. There’s something about TV that doesn’t sit quite well with me. It incorporates audio and visual moving images, so it’s definitely a trigger to my psychosis, as well as, my anxiety and depression. Here’s why TV is a trigger for my Schizophrenia diagnosis.
Television has always been groundbreaking in what it can convey. It's always broken barriers and it's always gone beyond what our imaginations can think of. That’s a part of what makes it so detrimental, too.
With all the different kinds of shows out these days, TV can show all kinds of things. You've got reality TV, you've got action movies, you’ve groundbreaking dramas and romances, and the list goes on.
Many of these types of TV shows, even if not related to a psychosis trigger, can actually trigger someone with a severe mental illness. One type of show in particular is the paranormal reality shows. Whether they are of true to nature or just a blip in the fake, intense reality TV world, they can bring up a lot of emotions.
For someone like me who has dealt with having paranormal, or even supernatural psychosis events, seeing that sort of stuff does a number to my brain. That’s just one of many. That’s a very obvious one, I would think, considering even to someone who doesn’t deal with Schizophrenia, it could be scary, too!
Then we have dramas. If there is a fictional movie or fictional tv show that involves severe mental illness, or talks about the topic of suicide, that can also be a trigger. When you think of someone who may or may not be in a good state of mind and they see something portrayed on TV relating to what they are going through, it’s a very slippery slope. When someone sees that, it can trigger how they are able to perceive the situation and almost how they apply television to their own personal being.
I remember watching “Girl, Interrupted” as a teen and going through having been in a psychiatric facility. Wow! As a teen, I felt so connected to the movie, and even still do to this day, but at that time I couldn’t quite see the disconnect between movie and reality. When it showed graphic scenes of someone going through the thick of a mental health episode, I felt like I needed to connect to that in some way. I was unable to separate myself from the movie.
Even though that is then and this is now, I now know how unable I am to separate myself from triggering visuals and audios, and I know now that I need to ultimately just completely separate myself from TV altogether sometimes.
It’s become way better now that my life has more mental stability in it, but there was a time where I did not turn my TV on for 7 years straight in my 20’s. I still saw news articles online and even picked up a newspaper to buy from time to time, but I steered clear of the news, movies, and tv shows. It was just not something I could stomach, having to go through the worst mental health episode in my life at the time when I was in my mid-20s.
Having said all that, I do watch tv from time to time now. I know when to turn it off, though. I know when to separate myself and when my anxiety is kicking in. I think that’s the most important factor in having anything that triggers those responses that can be detrimental for you. This is something to think about.