When you think of the Fourth of July, you likely think of barbecues, backyard games, laying in the sun, and fireworks, but for many, this holiday can be a stressful time of year, especially for those with Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD).
Fireworks can be triggering and can bring symptoms to the forefront—extreme vigilance, nightmares or insomnia, negative mood, intrusive thoughts, and avoidance to name some.
PTSD is not solely a result of trauma experienced during combat and can affect both adults and children. Trauma can come in many forms, from natural disasters to violent attacks, accidents, abuse, witnessing traumatic events and more.
About 8 million adults will have PTSD at some point in their liv. Women are twice as likely as men to be affected by PTSD. And 36% of people with PTSD experience serious symptoms.For children who have experienced trauma, 3% to 15% of girls and 1% to 6% of boys develop PTSD.
With the holiday fast approaching, if you suffer from PTSD and feel comfortable speaking with neighbors, you can find out when and if they are going to be using approved fireworks, allowing for planning around the event. As a reminder, If you live in Aurora, Colorado, there is a Stage 1 Fire Restriction, which bans all recreational fireworks.
If you are currently receiving care for PTSD, ask your provider about coping methods such as relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing, talking to friends and loved ones and exercise to name some.
If you are planning a Fourth of July celebration that includes fireworks, remember to be kind to those around you, considering both people and pets.
If you or someone you know has experienced trauma and needs support, we’re here. Call us at 303.617.2300 to get started with a mental health professional.