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Trauma Triggers By Simmi Puri….

Picture taken and edited by Simmi Puri

Simmi’s summer reading included a book about death where the main character finds her dead sister. Obviously this was too much for Simmi to process. Simmi was excused from reading the book and did not partake in any of the group discussions. Instead, Simmi’ s assignment was to write an essay about her personal experience with trauma. Simmi wanted me to share her essay with you all…

Honors American Literature, 4th Period

04 September 2021

What is Normal?

In the photograph Trauma Triggers, Simmi Puri addresses those that have PTSD and uses rhetorical appeals and various visual techniques to posit the idea that normalcy may not be what everyone perceives it as.

The subject of the picture is the darkness and pain you get when seeing a trigger that brings up past trauma. The purpose of this picture is to remind people that what may seem normal to you may not be normal to other people. According to the Recovery Village, PTSD affects about 3.5% of US population in a given year. It is estimated that 5% of adolescents experience PTSD. Encountering a traumatic experience can also increase a person’s risk to committing suicide. 14.3% of people who experience a loss of a loved one can develop PTSD. PTSD was previously categorized as an anxiety disorder; therefore, they have many aspects in common. Anxiety, PTSD, and depression all tie in together. One thing they all share in common is that people can get more irritable, hopeless, and lonely. Since most people have not faced a disturbing experience, they wouldn’t think to help others with what is known as triggers. Though some people have not been through traumatic experiences, PTSD is a relevant topic to todays’ society.

Sprinting out of her room, Simmi Puri went to her sister’s room. “She’s sleeping!”, she. thought to herself. She walked closer only to realize that there was white foam on her sister’s face. “MOM!! MOMM! MOM” she shrieked as she ran to the stair banister. Her mom came running upstairs as Simmi was pointing towards her sister’s room, speechless. Few moments later, her whole family ran upstairs. In the moment in time, Simmi felt so lonely. One sister on the phone with 911, the other giving CPR, her mom saying a prayer holding the cold body’s hand, her dad yelling, franticly ripping out his hair, and Simmi standing there hearing the sirens. Simmi’s depression got worst and she became more and more irritable.

Simmi Puri’s photograph Trauma Triggers would be most effective in common places to bring awareness to the topic. By having the firetruck in the background shows that it is the main trigger in the photo. In this case, the firetruck is a symbol of the sirens that Simmi heard that day. The black cloud around Simmi evokes a sense of darkness that she felt while seeing the fire truck pass by. The creator catches one eye by making Simmi smaller than the rest of the people, making her seem weak and vulnerable in the state that she’s in. The rest of the people are also significantly more blurred out than the rest of the picture, resembling the fact that they are not drawn to the fire truck and they are going about their day. In the photo, Simmi is on the ground kneeling down to show the point that she is distraught. Simmi Puri also adds people casually walking around to make it apparent that what effects people with PTSD won’t affect other people. The angle of the photo was taken to show what is happening in the community as a whole. Simmi Puri created the photo in a certain way to convey the message that a small thing like a fire truck siren can make one crumble down into pieces while others will be perfectly ‘normal’.

Ultimately, Simmi Puri’s photo Trauma Triggers expresses that it is normal to be triggered by small things even if it doesn’t seem normal to others. Furthermore it makes the reader more aware to the subject of being open-minded and vigilant by asking him/herself; Is this person panicking? Does this person seem to be worried at a little thing that wouldn’t seem to bother me? Is this person portraying any signs of immediate sadness?

Works Cited

The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab. (2021, August 26). PTSD Facts and Statistics: The Recovery Village. The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from

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Nisha Goyal
Nisha Goyal
Apr 07, 2022



Rishi Flower
Rishi Flower
Jan 09, 2022

Im speechless. Sending love and prayers, and the strength to brave this storm.


Caren Baker
Caren Baker
Oct 19, 2021

There are no words-just tears streaming down my face.

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