We are a large, diverse community. We all come from different backgrounds and have different kinds of needs in terms of support.
To provide information and support, we make policy designed to meet the needs of most members. In the course of discussions between members, we provide “individual support.” But overall, this is a group experience.
Some current conversations have been about trigger sounds appearing in posts. We have rules and guidelines in place that cover this. Please review them if you want to know the official policy.
What some people advocate is a ban on all videos that contain triggers. This sounds good, of course. No one wants to come to a group for misophonia and get triggered. Avoiding triggers sounds like good common sense but it’s not that simple.
Each person has a unique trigger set. This means that what triggers one person may not trigger another. In other words, what triggers YOU may not trigger ME. And what triggers me may not cause you any problems at all. Misophonia can a subjective and selective experience.
The admin and moderators cannot determine what are “official” triggers. Nor can we find out what percentage of people would get triggered by a particular sound. Let’s say the goal was to see if it is a majority or not… We can only remove the most obvious and overt examples of gratuitous triggers we come across. Often, those are the ones that get many posts. Or the ones that show the most obnoxious visuals and contain the most excessive sounds. Which we routinely do. Add to the mix the fact that we have a media-rich host (Facebook) which promotes the use of images and videos.
We all know firsthand that the world is FULL of triggers. And yes, it would be nice if this was the one place where people could go where there were no triggers. Many people wish for this. But I can see no way to make this 100% trigger-free without becoming what I will call a “silent group.”
The problem with a silent group is that it isn’t practical. Nor would it actually solve the problem.
Silent videos would contain visual triggers. So, then we’d have to ban videos altogether. Images can also be triggers. In the early days, this group featured a cover image of a guy biting into an apple! As you can imagine, people did NOT go for this. So, do we ban all images? Since words themselves can trigger people, we’d have to ban, uh – words? OK, I’m taking it to the extreme there. But I’m making a point. For some people, just reading about a trigger is too much. Reading about a trigger causes them to actually take on the described trigger. Where does this leave us?
What it comes down to finding solutions. We need to be an active, dynamic, misophonia support group. To that end, we put policies into place to promote a group experience. Our policies do not, however, guarantee a 100% trigger-free experience. We simply cannot offer this. No group (that I know of) can.
Sometimes, when the topic of avoiding triggers comes up, people get instructions on changing their settings. This is an act of support. It is not meant to marginalize or ignore a person’s support needs.
To wrap it up, we will continue to follow the current group policies:
Over-the-top gratuitous trigger-laden posts (especially audio/visual) will always be removed. Trigger warnings are encouraged and a thoughtful way to warn people about a potentially triggering post.
Gratuitous Posting of Obvious or Excessive Trigger
Formerly posted images & videos known to trigger members will be routinely removed. All other posts that contain a trigger should have a trigger warning clearly noted at the beginning of the post. Placing possible triggers in a comment rather than in the post itself would be a gracious gesture.