you’re fine. 🙂 It’s always better to ask and learn than it is to assume (imo).
it’s not that people didn’t ever get offended/triggered by things before, it’s that people are speaking up about them now and defending themselves.
I don’t have any triggers, so I don’t know that I can properly answer this question. But I’m going to try: anyone, if I’m wrong, please correct me.
I don’t think it’s that words like “depressed” are triggering, but it’s more disrespectful to say “I’m so depressed” (especially over fairly minor things like not getting a shirt you wanted or losing your favorite pen) when that person doesn’t actually suffer from depression. They can be sad, and upset, and hurt, but depression isn’t just a feeling: it’s an actual problem with serious side effects. I personally have anxiety, and when someone says “that’s giving me so much anxiety” it makes me feel kind of annoyed because it’s like…are you having a panic attack right now like I do? are you breaking down crying like I do? are you overthinking this as much as I do? or are you using my mental illness as an adjective because you’re over-dramatic? I understand we all experience things differently and have different symptoms so they could have anxiety and I don’t know, but I hate when someone throws “panic attacks” or “anxious” or “anxiety” around so carelessly when they don’t actually suffer from it and get what comes with it because it’s become so romanticized. Anxiety consumes my grandma: she can’t go outside for long, she can’t mow her lawn, she can’t turn the lights on, she can’t have bread in her house, she can’t drive herself anywhere because it makes her so uncontrollably, uncomfortably nervous. So it just irks me when someone says “I’m literally having a panic attack” when they are clearly not having a panic attack because I’ve gone through them: they’re actually things, not figurative language. And they’re not pretty. And they suck. And they shouldn’t be so normalized because then that normalizes my mental illness so no one takes it seriously.
(went off on a little tangent there, my bad.)
anyway, I don’t think words like that are triggers, or at least they aren’t for me. It varies from person to person though and can be completely unpredictable. “Trigger” is a term for describing a sensation or an experience or anything–in this case, a word–that sets off or triggers a traumatic memory. It’s something that might cause someone to inflict self-harm because it reminded them of a time so terrible. It’s sort of like PTSD in the sense that something can happen and you can get taken back, like war veterans and fireworks. Triggers differ for everyone and sometimes people don’t know what theirs are, but they’re usually associated with things we already think are bad, like rape.
as for the Halloween thing, I’m definitely not qualified to answer that and I don’t feel like it would be right for me to try.
hope this helped some, and don’t worry you didn’t sound mean. have a great day!