Years later, she consulted on a pilot for a television drama based on her life: doctor develops mania after personal catastrophe. Although the show never got off the ground, the experience became a roomful of mirrors and mirror neurons, for who better to teach empathy to a doctor than an actor?
“The actress playing me was trying to pick up my mannerisms. At the same time,” she said, recalling professional lessons learned, “I was trying to pick up hers, because she was much more convincing than I am — she had a little smile that was triumphant, but also just so happy for the patient. I was imitating her imitating me.”
Participants in the trigger warning group believed themselves and people in general to be more emotionally vulnerable if they were to experience trauma. Participants receiving warnings reported greater anxiety in response to reading potentially distressing passages, but only if they believed that words can cause harm. Warnings did not affect participants’ implicit self-identification as vulnerable, or subsequent anxiety response to less distressing content… .
Trigger warnings may inadvertently undermine some aspects of emotional resilience. Further research is needed on the generalizability of our findings, especially to collegiate populations and to those with trauma histories.
Right — but what if you don’t think that being emotionally resilient is desirable? What if emotional resilience is perceived as a failure to feel pain with sufficient intensity?