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Anniversary reactions: Trauma revisited

Abstract

This article is intended to acquaint the reader with a phenomena known in the psychoanalytic literature as “anniversary reactions.” Conceptualized as ensuing from incomplete forms of mourning, these reactions may be evident in various forms including somatic symptoms and diseases, depression, psychosis, suicide, and homicide on the anniversary date of a significant past traumatic event. This article identifies various manifestations of anniversary reactions and familiarizes the reader with some of the elements thought to constitute them: trauma, incomplete mourning, identification and an unconscious sense of time. A clinical vignette is presented and discussed.

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Gabriel, M.A. Anniversary reactions: Trauma revisited. Clin Soc Work J 20, 179–192 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00756507

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00756507

Keywords

  • Traumatic Event
  • Somatic Symptom
  • Clinical Vignette
  • Incomplete Form
  • Psychoanalytic Literature