4th Of July Can Be A Traumatic Event For Veterans

4th of July is just around the corner, a day of pride for all Americans, a day when their nation got independence. This day is commemorated with brilliants shows of fireworks, people from far and away come together to watch and participate in these shows.

Unfortunately the very people who fought for America’s freedom cannot handle the stress brought by the explosion of fireworks.

Loud noises can cause flashbacks and anxiety attacks for Veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress, warn counselors at the Billings Veterans Center. The sounds, reminiscent of war, can traumatize a veteran.
Americans are known to purchase thousands of fireworks in the week’s leading up to the celebration.

Sadly most people are not even aware of the stress it can cause, to someone as nearby as a neighbor.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while, but they don’t have PTSD, with time and good self-care, they usually get better. But if the symptoms get worse or last for months or even years and interfere with your functioning, you may have PTSD.

“A lot of vets are very humble,” said Doug Bell, a readjustment counselor for the Billings Veteran’s Center. “They don’t advertise that they have PTSD. Most don’t even advertise that they have an adverse reaction to it. They’ll just quietly even stone faced be taking it inside but be getting torn up.”

Veterans can protect themselves by trying to avoid fireworks this holiday, perhaps going somewhere more remote where they won’t be distressed, suggests Bell.

The Billings VA center is open any time to veterans who need someone to talk to about PTSD.


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