PTSD Triggers Present During Independence Day Celebrations

Fireworks detonated during holiday celebrations can have an effect on individuals afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to one Clinically Licensed Social Worker.

Richard Voorhees is affiliated with Pulaski Memorial Hospital. He says former and active military members who have been in combat situations are particularly susceptible to the noise on Independence Day.

“With something like the 4th of July, even though that’s a patriotic holiday, with all the noise associated with it, that can easily produce angry outbursts that they take out on their spouse, on their children, on those around them,” says Voorhees.

Although many veterans reside in the immediate area, Voorhees says few seek help managing their PTSD.

To avoid incidents, veterans can seclude themselves from family or community fireworks celebrations if they believe there’s an emotional tendency to escalate, according to Voorhees. Family and friends of those with PTSD can help with an emotional event by providing instructions on deep and steady breathing prior to seeking medical attention.

Voorhees says it’s important not to blame the individual suffering with the ailment.

“I think if somebody knows somebody that is struggling with it to encourage them to reach out to places that provide mental health services,” says Voorhees. “The more they get encouragement to do so, the more likely it is that they might take that step eventually.”

Fireworks can be set-off in the local area starting on Monday and continue several days after the July 4th holiday.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, around 8-million adults can report PTSD during any given year.