Anniversary reactions in Gulf War veterans: A naturalistic inquiry 2 years after the Gulf War

Authors

  • C. A. Morgan III,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520
    2. National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Connecticut, West Haven, CT 06516
    • 116A, VAMC, 950 Campbell Ave., West Haven, Connecticut 06516
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  • Peter Kingham,

    1. State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794
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  • Andreas Nicolaou,

    1. National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Connecticut, West Haven, CT 06516
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  • S. M. Southwick

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520
    2. National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Connecticut, West Haven, CT 06516
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Abstract

The goal of this study was to assess the occurrence of anniversary reactions in Gulf War veterans 2 years after the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm. Subjects were administered questionnaires and asked to identify specific months of best and worst functioning, and months of least or most symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Negatively experienced months were compared to documented dates of exposure to traumatic events during the war. Anniversary reactions occurred with a frequency greater than chance and were seen most in individuals exposed to a greater number, and to more severe types, of traumatic events. This suggests that anniversary reactions are etiologically linked to traumatic events and may be a part of the syndrome of PTSD.

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