You Might Have Post-Traumatic Joss Syndrome

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Title: You Might Have Post-Traumatic Joss Syndrome...
Creator: shipperx
Date(s): Jan. 14th, 2010
Medium: Dreamwidth, Essay, Diagnostic tool
Fandom: BtVS, AtS
Topic: Fandom nostalgia. Spoilers, Seeing Red, character bashing, ship wars and TPTB.
External Links: You Might Have Post-Traumatic Joss Syndrome..., archive link page 1, archive link page 2, Livejournal
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

You Might Have Post-Traumatic Joss Syndrome... was a tongue in cheek diagnostic tool written by shipperx. It referenced several incidents in Buffy fandom, which could have led to the development of PTJS. This list is not exhaustive, and focuses primarily on the experiences of Spike and Spuffy fans.

"Also, this diagnostic is focused primarily on Spike and/or Spuffy-induced PTJS. There are diagnosable Tara, Xander, and Bangel variants of the condition as well. ETA: Oh! And the Cordelia variant!"

The essay references the prevalence of spoilers in later seasons of Buffy, and the impact these spoilers and comments by TPTB had on fans of the series. It received over 130 comments, discussing different fandom experiences, migration between boards, and ship wars.


A Diagnostic Tool for Post-Traumatic Joss Syndrome

  • If you can remember "Kitten Jihad", you might have PTJS
  • If you can remember Mutant Enemy's intentional 'prank' of releasing a spoiler for "Into the Woods" that Spike would be dusted, it could've upped your chances of developing PTJS.
  • If you can remember the mass Spike-fan bannings on forums such as TWOP (going back to when it was MBTV) and/or when it became forbidden to even mention Spike on several forums and Spike-fans being ghettoized on FanForum to a single spoiler thread, you may have been vulnerable to contracting PTJS or a similar disease of 'Spuffy Persecution Complex.'
  • If you were personally insulted (as in an intentional insult posted in direct response to you) by one of the show's writers because you thought there could possibly be a path to redemption for a fictional character, you have a high statistical probability of having developed symptoms of PTJS
  • If, following the spoilers for "Crush" you remember the creation of sites such as BAPS as refuge from the toxic levels of character hatred within the general fandom, you may have had early exposure to external factors that created a suseptibility to PTJS.
  • If you can remember reading the spoilers for "Seeing Red" (and being dismayed, horrified, and heartbroken by them) three months before the episode actually aired and it coloring absolutely everthing that season from February onwards, you stood a chance of contracting PTJS
  • If you experienced a prominent and consistently accurate spoiler source completely wigging out then reluctantly revealing that her (always accurate before) source told her that, as per ME's plans, Spike would never be 'redeemed', the result of this announcement being the acrimonious splintering of the Spike fandom into warring negavista/posivista factions, you lived through a statistical spike in reported cases of PTJS.
  • If you remember the sudden and inexplicable (though at that time temporary) deletion of the entire BAPS website and archive (which comprised some 5000 members) over a (holiday?) weekend due to the aforementioned spoilers for "Seeing Red," you have witnessed visible effects of PTJS.
  • If you can remember letter campaigns and sexual abuse websites put up by Bangels prior to and in the wake of "Seeing Red" and the running joke of 'rappist lover' (yes, with two p's. That's what made it funny) you may have been exposed to conditions that could complicate pre-existing cases of PTJS.
  • If you were repeatedly told that every positive action a character took was entirely predicated on his "trying to get into Buffy's pants" ... even when Buffy's pants were dead and in rapid decay in a coffin underground, you may have experienced the kind of cognitive dissonance that upon prolonged exposure could lead PTJS.
  • If you had been told for three years that hoping for storyline redemption of a fictional character rendered you morally repugnant because that character had no 'soul,' only to find when the character got a soul that virtually everything pertaining to it (either prior or post soulage) took place off screen or was reduced to a comparison with wet towels, you may have been at risk of developing PTJS
  • If you can remember waking up a 5am to read the live feed of "Beneath You" because you knew that the soul-reveal had been re-written and re-filmed at the last moment and you were anxious that the final version might somehow be more traumatizing than the original script... you probably already had PTJS.
  • If you can remember David Fury's "Spike will never be a good person" interview given post-"Lies My Parents Told Me" and released just days after the spoiler that Spike would die in the series finale went out (but prior to the furious Fundy LMPTM backlash that excoriated Fury's fandom shit-stirring ass and which resulted his 11th hour 180 to spite them), it could possibly have triggered a reaction quite similar to PTJS.
  • If you read the NYDBTFSI demise while AtS was still in renewal limbo (and it not having yet been rumored that JM might crossover) while also having read the Bangel snogging in EoD, that could be an exacerbating condition if one had previously developed PTJS
  • If you can remember the purple prose brouhaha and Amazon review spat over Holder's novelization of "Chosen" you may have been exposed to a PTJS irritant.
  • If you remember Fury explaining how Harm-snogging came about in "Destiny", you may have experienced an aggravation of PTJS.