In my politically conservative view, someone is triggered when any viewpoint that is shared and followed by the left is challenged, usually with reason and facts, by someone on the right. It's also my kid's latest fad to claim being triggered at the slightest misalignment from the norm, and for her it's a bit of a joke as well.
Being triggered, as a deep psychological response, is actually a serious condition. "A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma." (What Is A Trigger, https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-a-trigger/). It's different for everyone, as are the corresponding individual reactions. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a prime example of this condition.
The things that truly trigger me are incidents of real human suffering. It's not as if I personally have suffered, but I feel empathy for those victims, and as a former police officer, I often feel helpless because the suffering I'm witnessing is through a video that is well beyond my reach. I've caught myself watching something traumatic, someone actually being hurt, and experiencing the literal pain inside of not being able to do anything about it. It's like nothing I've ever felt. I shake. I grit my teeth. I cry. I get angry. REALLY angry. And in that moment, my mind is perfectly clear, which, in and of itself, is a bit scary knowing I could rationalize any angry reaction. So I've learned to avoid those situations as much as possible.
I remember feeling triggered when a co-worker years ago told me about Susan Smith, who in 1995 horrifically drown her own kids in her car. I didn't want to know the details at all, or read about the story (I had a hard time just now researching it for her name and date). I felt like that watching the Dallas Police shooting live last year. I've never gone back and watched again. I feel that way about the Islamic extremist videos of beheadings and tortured deaths. I tried watching once - I don't recommend anyone watch them unless it's your job.
Don't even get me started on what happens to me when I think of anyone harming my children.
I'm avoiding watching the latest video making the rounds - that Chicago torture video where apparently a group of young black adults broadcast, on Facebook Live, their torture of a young white mentally disabled man. Holding the victim hostage, with a knife they cut his scalp, burned him with cigarettes and kicked him, all while shouting “Fuck Donald Trump! Fuck white people!” I know how angry I'd get if I watched it, knowing there's not a damn thing I can do about that anger except swallow it, letting it tear me up inside. It's not about race, or politics for me. It's about the purposeful, gleeful way in which it was broadcast, and the pain and humiliation suffered by that man and his family.
I genuinely understand the outrage my friends on the right have over the lack of outrage from the left over this video. I'm sorry that I can't actively participate in that fight. But it IS valid. It's going to take decades to reverse the damage of intolerance and division that progressivism has taught, and still teaches, in this country.
I just pray no one out there is triggered enough to actually retaliate. It won't help to turn that ship. It'll only make things worse.