NHS Lothian

Avoiding trauma triggers

Making sense of trauma - 2

0 min read

Avoiding things that relate to or remind you of a traumatic event is a common way of managing the impact of trauma:

  • Avoiding things, places and people related to the event. Sometimes you might try to avoid things because they trigger painful memories. For example, you may avoid going out after dark if the trauma occurred at night. It’s particularly common to want to avoid crowds after a traumatic event, even if your traumatic event wasn’t caused by another person.


  • Trying not to think about the event. By its nature, a traumatic event leaves a negative memory, so it makes sense that you would want to avoid thinking about it. Your mind will tend to replay the memory in order to make sense of it, so it can be difficult to keep it out of your mind for very long. Often, people find that it becomes less painful to remember the trauma as time passes.

This is a series of articles covering trauma reactions including: re-experiencing of the trauma; emotional reactions; changes in how you perceive yourself, others and the world; being on edge and high alert,  and increased use of alcohol or other substances.



Urgent Help


If you, or someone you know, is in crisis and in imminent danger of causing harm to themselves or others, call 999 immediately

Help within 24 hours