Triggers and the Acronym TROUBLED

Triggerguard and triggerWhat are triggers?

Triggers are events that trigger your craving for porn. Triggers create that moment when the brain begins to pump a small amount of chemicals in anticipation of acting out on the addiction. You will often feel slight uptick in your heart rate the moment a trigger happens. Triggers tend to be subtle and may not be noticed if they are not actively being monitored. However, with time someone can become sensitive the triggers and learn to identify the instance when they occur.

Triggers are often made of two parts. One is a reminder of the porn and the other is a state of mind that would make the Limbic System overactive.

Part 1:

The first part of the trigger is the emotional state of the person. The Limbic System is the cause of the addiction (read Porn Is NOT Your Problem: Brain Chemicals Are). The Limbic System being overactive will make mountains out of molehills. The Limbic System has a way of making uncomfortable feelings and changing them into life and death situation with the only solution being the chemical high achieved from viewing porn.

The emotional state of the person will often dictate the vulnerability of the Limbic System to be put into life and death mode. The acronym TROUBLED is used to describe some of the emotions one might feel that would put the Limbic System in an overactive state. TROUBLED stands for:


Any of these feelings can cause the Limbic System to fight for survival. The Limbic System will identify the chemicals produced by the addiction as the optimal chance for survival and will make a desperate plea to the rest of the brain to seek out those chemicals thus creating a trigger.

Part 2:

The second part is a reminder of porn. This can be anything from billboards, to T.V. commercials, to a simple advertisement on the internet. Marketers know that “sex sells” and will often use sexual imagery to sell a product. These simple advertisements can cause triggers in someone who has a compulsion for porn. Even our own memory can pull up an image that would cause a trigger. An attractive girl at school/work can cause a trigger. Almost anything can cause one to be reminded of porn. Controlling the outside world is impossible. Controlling the reminders of porn is impossible.

Although we have no control over the reminders, it is important to note that triggers need a reminder of the addiction to happen. If one knows that they just saw a reminder of porn, then the person can be on the lookout to see if a trigger happens. Knowing that a trigger is probable will allow the person to being monitor for a trigger. This is very usual information.

The faster a person knows a trigger has occurred the faster they can take steps to counteract the chemicals that are being produced in the brain. This will also allow limiting the amount of chemicals released. With lower levels of chemicals in the brain the person is much more likely to be able to overcome the trigger than if the person has allowed the trigger to happen and allows the brain to become awash in chemicals. When the brain is awash with chemicals fighting off the trigger will be close to impossible. Something you have already experienced.

Being controlled by an addiction is not fun. However there are effective activities you can do to limit the power of triggers. To get more information on how to resist the Limbic System’s chemicals get the RAMP Solution to porn addiction. You can get the audio here:

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