The Anniversary Effect! Does It Indicate You Aren’t Yet Over Your Trauma? | Here’s how you can deal with it

Last Update on November 26, 2021 : Published on November 27, 2021
The Anniversary effect

One of the most common examples of the anniversary effect is you start acting weird around the time of your loved one’s initial death anniversaries. Losing someone is traumatic for most people and when that time of the year returns you start to have all the reactions, thoughts and feelings return.

What Is The Anniversary Effect?

What Is The Anniversary Effect

Anniversary effect also known as anniversary reaction is a phenomenon where you have similar feelings and thoughts about a life event at every anniversary of the traumatic incident. It happens to a lot of people. Anniversary effect can be triggered by time, date, season or anything that is in some way similar to that day.

According to some studies, if you are facing the anniversary effect then there is a high chance that you haven’t recovered from the traumatic incident yet. It can be dangerous for you to live with those harsh, painful memories. Let them go!

Anniversary effect is a signal that you haven’t healed from the trauma yet. I recommend that you meet with a mental health professional so that your healing process can be successfully completed.

What Are The Symptoms Of The Anniversary Effect?

What Are The Symptoms Of The Anniversary Effect

Other than having disturbed thoughts, feelings and emotions during the same time of a significant event, you might have other symptoms too…

You can have these symptoms as well. Anniversary effect is not a psychological disorder but can lead to one. Hence, it is better to manage the anniversary effect on time. Here’s how you can do it…

How To Deal With The Anniversary Effect?

How To Deal With The Anniversary Effect

1. Acceptance:

acceptance can solve most of our problems. When it comes to feeling and emotions, acceptance is the key. Make an effort to accept the reality, it will help you move on.

If you are over it and the past doesn’t affect you anymore, the anniversary effect will also gradually fade away

2. Prepare yourself:

If you know that anniversary effect happens to you, make sure you prepare yourself for it. If it gives you stress, start practicing stress management techniques at least a few weeks before the effect is going to hit you.

Make sure you infirm your friends and family about it so that you have a supportive environment around you to sooth you.

3. Stay away from the media:

if the trauma is caused because of a natural calamity or a global event, it’s better to stay away from anything that can remind you of the time. No television, newspaper or phone near you.

Just spend some time with your friends and family and do things that you love the most. If possible go out for a vacation with your loved ones during that time.

4. Express your feelings:

if you feel vulnerable and the anniversary effect really gets to you, try to open up about your thoughts and feelings to your friends and family. Expressing your feelings can really help you lighten up.

Suppressing your feelings will only strengthen the anniversary effect and make you even more miserable. Don’t bottle things up, let them out!

5. It’s temporary:

you should always keep one thing in your mind, anniversary if just temporary. This means it will pass, there is no need for you to be so heavily bothered by it. I understand there are feelings involved but this too will pass.

Therefore, go with the flow, don’t block your feelings. Let them flow in because it’s certain that eventually they will have to leave. Just be patient!

6. Commemorate:

although it is difficult to face the reality, sometimes it is better to look them in the eye and stand tall. It’s okay to be offensive sometimes.

Address all related emotions and you will slowly realise that coming to terms with them is not actually as difficult as you thought they could be.

7. Self-care:

lastly, self care is a must. You really need to take good care of yourself. Spend time with your friends and family. Take a break from your monotonous routine, go on a holiday.

Do all that you want to learn or all the things you enjoy. Paint, read a book, go parasailing, try new things. Just take care of yourself!


The Anniversary effect can really rile up all the emotions that you might have bottled up, which is a good thing actually. Because then you will get a chance to face them and let them out of your system.

Anniversary effect is an indication that we still haven’t gotten over some incidents that scared us. Let us all leave the past behind and stop hiding the scar. It’s a medal to the war we won. Once we learn to move on, the anniversary effect will definitely stop bothering us!

I hope you found the blog helpful. Anniversary effect affects more than 80% of the world population and only a few know how to deal with the anniversary reaction. Share this blog with as many people as possible so that we all can benefit from the information.

Thanks for reading!

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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