Hot dogs, cherry pie, and fireworks are all staples when it comes to age 4. goesNS July, but what may be a fun form of celebration for some, can be a reminder of traumatic events for others.
PTSD, Fireworks, and the Fourth of July
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental illness that occurs after a traumatic event such as war, abuse, or a natural disaster that affects approximately 8 million adults each year.1 Symptoms often include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression that can suddenly be triggered by something that reminds the person of their traumatic experience. Mental health care is often needed to help the person manage their symptoms and move forward with their life.
With loud noises, bright lights, and lots of crowds, fireworks can mark July 4thNS PTSD. For those who have experienced gun violence or veterans who have been in combat, the boom in fireworks can remind them of gunfire and their traumatic experiences. PTSD photosensitivity is also a common problem, so the flashing colors of the fireworks can make symptoms worse. Large crowds can also be a trigger in some cases.
What to Do About a Loved One’s PTSD on July 4th?
When someone you care about has PTSD, it’s hard to know what to do, especially on more triggering events like July 4th, but just knowing how your holiday celebrations could affect their mental health, can make all the difference.
Just because someone has PTSD doesn’t mean they can’t use fireworks anymore. Just think about that person. Give them plenty of time to prepare mentally or distance themselves from the fireworks if they choose. If possible, set off fireworks in a more secluded location and try to avoid any of the over the top noisemakers.
It is also important not to annoy or dismiss the person about their mental health. PTSD can seriously affect a person’s life, but because of the stigma that comes with it, some people will never seek treatment for PTSD. Your support and understanding could be the gentle nudge your loved ones need to finally get help and move their lives forward.
How to cope with July 4thNS PTSD
For some people, their PTSD and July 4th go hand in hand, but it may not have to be. When fireworks on the 4thNS are a PTSD trigger for you, try these tips to avoid an attack and manage your symptoms.
It can be difficult to avoid fireworks entirely on July 4th, but staying indoors is a better way of muffling the sound and avoiding the flashing lights. That doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself at home all day, but at night when the celebrations begin, it’s okay to slip in until it’s over.
The good thing about the fireworks on 4NS by july if you have ptsd you know they are coming. Take some time to prepare mentally in the days leading up to your vacation. When the trigger is expected, it is less shocking and has less power. You can even start planning for the fourth. Find out where in town the big fireworks are taking place, figure out where to start the festivities more comfortable, and focus on ways to distract yourself.
Seek support from others
You don’t have to be 4. battleNS from July PTSD alone. Reach out to loved ones for support and be open to your concerns. If they know in advance, you can be warned of situations well in advance and plan accordingly. You can also change their plans to make you more comfortable. Once you start feeling triggered, your friends and family will also be there to comfort you.
Practice relaxation techniques
Because PTSD and July 4th can go hand in hand for some, it’s important to know what to do if you’re feeling excited or overwhelmed. Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, mindfulness, visualization, and meditation can all help you combat heightened feelings of anxiety or panic before they get out of hand.
Everyone is different. While July 4th fireworks may go off for some people, others may be alerted if someone walks up to them at a grocery store. No matter what your triggers are, at Vertava Health we don’t want you to deal with PTSD on your own. We offer psychological treatment for veterans and others struggling with this and other illnesses. These programs give you the tools you need to better manage your symptoms so you can get on with your life. Contact us today to learn more or to get started.
Thank You For Reading!