I had never heard the term anniversary reaction before today, but I decided to type a few things into DuckDuckGo, and there it was. Why did I do that and what is it? Read on.
As I’ve written about elsewhere I experienced a very traumatic event a few years ago. Basically it turned out to be non-life threatening, but I didn’t know that at the time. And it shook me to the core. Slowly I’m making my way back, but around September every year, I get very easily overwhelmed. I get sad easily. I feel much more pain from my back injury. I get poor sleep. I feel stressed out and nervous far beyond what I usually do (and since my accident, I have felt more than I used to to begin with) and so on. September usually isn’t a very good month for me. Which has struck me as strange, since, end of the summer holiday, I very much love fall and late summer.
Then, via TV and friends, I stumbled across PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now, first of all, my reaction when I started to look at my self through that lens, my feelings were very much along the lines of: no way! I haven’t been blown up or anything. I haven’t watched comrades die by the hands and IEDs of terrorists. And I haven’t. And I don’t think I have PTSD. I think I may well have had a mild form of it, and I am just now realizing that could very well be why my physical therapist at work recommended seeing a therapist. But there is still something about September.
Now, I haven’t really explored this issue before partly because this is only the third year of living with this, and I had appendicitis last September and in severe pain anyway. But this year it’s been pretty bad again. So as I said, I did a little ducking (can we please make that a verb for those of us in the Google-skeptic camp, and autocorrect would love it!) on PTSD lite. Who knows, right!
Up cropped [anniversary reaction]. Basically it is some, or all, of the symptoms associated with PTSD, only in less severe form. And it ca crop up around the anniversary a traumatic event. And that night in September 2014 was certainly that!
As far as I can tell for now, there isn’t that much to do other than finding strategies for yourself. What may work for you may not work for me. I will be careful not to binge eat or drink to much, I will keep on meditating, and I will not be as reluctant to take pain medication as I usually am (most of the lighter stuff does little, and I don’t want to risk getting hooked on the stronger ones).
- [Anniversary Reactions To A Traumatic Event: The Recovery Continues]
- [Anniversary Reactions: Research Findings]
- [Anniversary Reactions]
This information will probably not in and of itself change my feelings, affect my pain or anything like that. But it is an explanation that does explain a lot. And it makes it easier to move on with helping my self heal!