I appreciate you thinking about things like this…
I think the idea of a word filter is a bit on the extreme end for me. A simple, “hey, some people might be upset about the content of this <movie>, <TV show>, <article>, etc…” is perfectly fine. We demanded them for children — we have TV MA with an explanation of why to empower parents to filter what their children see and/or to what they are exposed.
See, since much of my trauma happened in my childhood, I don’t know all the words, phrases, sights, smells or other sensory perceptions that might trigger me. So a word filter would probably just make me more vigilant and jumpy. A warning doesn’t do that for some reason — it seems benign. Which is why I don’t understand why they are an issue for anyone.
That all said, I think a word filter would be helpful to some people who are just trying to get their legs planted. One thing I learned through this process is that we have to go at our own speed, but going too fast CAN cause significant damage and set a person back on their path to remission.
And, what many people do not understand about PTSD, TBI and other brain injuries like it, is that they are NOT CURABLE. We can go into a ‘remission-like’ state, which means we have less symptoms, longer periods without flashbacks or disassociation, are practicing self-care and maintaining a stable emotional state. We are still very much at risk for symptoms to resurface especially during times of great stress.
Like for me right now. I have come so far in my healing that it only took me 3 hours to realize that I was taking on too much and that if I pushed myself to do everything right now, I would get very sick and end up in the hospital. So I worked with my doctor to come up with a plan to keep myself emotionally and mentally stable despite my current stressors.
I had to give something up for the time being to make it work, but I am healthy enough now to ask for help when I need it BEFORE I end up in the ER… And that, my friend, is HUGE.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, because a year ago, I wouldn’t have realized the same thing. I would have been in a very different place and I did end up having to stay overnight in the hospital because I had some external stressors going on. But also, 2 years ago, or at the beginning of my journey with this, I might have ended up in the hospital because of a movie I saw that showed things that triggered me. In fact, I checked myself into an out of state inpatient treatment facility 6 months after I was diagnosed because of things I saw that I was not ready to deal with…
Then I stopped watching live TV altogether.
At any rate, my long form point is that everyone with this brain injury is different and their path to remission-like states are just as variable. At one point on my journey, if I was prepared in advance to see something triggering, I wouldn’t get triggered. Before I worked on my current situation with my doctor last week, I was in a place where no amount of warning would have helped me avoid a flashback or dissociative episode.
In any case, a warning would help me. It isn’t too much to ask. The person or organization putting out the content is the simplest way to manage this — the onus for communication should always be on the communicator and not the receiver — in my humble opinion.