How Can I Prepare For A Trauma Anniversary?

In our previous Q&A, we discussed a trauma anniversary and the phenomenon of “The Anniversary Effect” among survivors of trauma. Trauma lives inside of the nervous system in the body, affecting all of the ways the brain and the body operate. In the very same fashion that a child who was once bit by a dog immediately jumps back from a dog who barks toward them, someone who has experienced a significant traumatic event feels an impulse to back away from life when life becomes reminiscent of said traumatic event. Like hair raising on the arms, a certain time of year sends the trauma alert throughout the body. As a result, we might experience symptoms of PTSD, certain symptoms of our trauma, or other manifestations of the effects of our trauma. Flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety, changes in social patterns, and changes in other patterns of our daily lives, are common. Additionally, we might experience emotional turmoil and upset, feeling as overwhelmed and in anguish as we did right after the traumatic event occurred- even if we have south therapy and/or treatment.

Mark The Month (And The Month Before) On Your Calendar

Though it might seem that trying not to think about a trauma anniversary might be best, the reason PTSD and other symptoms of trauma manifest is because neither the body nor the brain forgets a traumatic event. Create space to create more compassion and empathy for yourself by setting your own reminder that the anniversary of a traumatic event is coming. You don’t need to count down as if you will be overcome on that specific day or at the specific time. What you do need to do is make time for as many self-care activities as you can, make sure you are supported, and that your support network knows that a difficult time of year is coming up for you.

Consider Taking A Few Days Off

Unfortunately, trauma can be incredibly fickle. Despite our planning, preparing, and self-care efforts, the effects of a trauma anniversary might be more impactful then we were anticipating. As an effort to give ourselves all of the time, attention, and nurturing we need to cope with the painful reminder of a painful time in our life, we should consider taking off work, school, or freeing ourselves of other responsibilities. Easily, we could power through the day and not let “the past win”. Easily, the emotions will still live in our body and demand our attention eventually. Give yourself the gift of healing and you will be the better for it. In our next Q&A we will discuss more self-care strategies for a Trauma Anniversary.

Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).