Rod Kersh
Person-centred physician

Trigger warning

Ancient Spiral at Newgrange. Photo Rod Kersh.
Ancient spiral at Newgrange, Photo by Rod Kersh

The film contains images which some viewers may find distressing.

The next scene contains flashing lights.

These are the triggers.

I have my own.

It’s a face that pops-up on Facebook.

Someone I don’t want to befriend and never will although is a friend of a contact or two.

And you know, friend on FB isn’t really friend,

Social media has redefined friendship,

Which in the 21st century means anything from ‘brother’ to acquaintance of acquaintance to random person who caught me on the off chance.


That guy is a trigger for me, he brings back bad memories, only, there is no warning.

Life doesn’t come with trigger warnings.

Some people may want to not be peacefully asleep in their beds if they don’t want to be killed.

Perhaps that is too brutal.

I also consider what constitutes a trigger and what does not.

Mostly when I watch these clips, often of war zones or scenes of other calamities I am not shocked.

More often, in my experience anyway, it is not watching that is worse –

‘What unimaginable horrors might be behind this triangle?’

I am fortunate to not experience PTSD or post-trauma as they call it on Israeli radio.

I gather there are thousands on both sides of the divide who will move-on from this conflict with deep psychological scars.

I remember the poem by Saul Tschernichovsky I learned in school, in Hebrew, ‘Ha Talush’ which translates as ‘The Torn’ as in a page that has been ripped from a book and is now adrift; the segment which is forever disconnected and no matter the skill with which attempts are made to put it ‘back together again’ will forever be altered.

A welt, a wheal. Tattooed on the souls of survivors.

And perhaps,

I should be more sensitive to these warnings, thinking less of myself and the more on the happenstance of others.

As to whether there should be more, similar alerts I don’t know.

Life is unexpected.

We accrue resilience through experience.

Sometimes that experience is overwhelming.

About the Author
Dr Rod Kersh is a Consultant Physician working in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. He blogs at
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