• anniversary reaction;
  • trauma;
  • Gulf War


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.