PTSD Triggers & The 4th Of July
Sometimes a traumatic or intense event can impact you even years later. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health disorder that affects millions of Americans and people worldwide. From military veterans to survivors of natural disasters, gun violence and even sexual abuse, PTSD can take root in anyone after an intensely negative and disturbing experience. This disorder can also make survivors endure feelings of flashbacking to their trigger event over everyday life situations, making recovery difficult. PTSD triggers can also be events most people find harmless. One such example is many Americans’ favorite summer holiday: the Fourth Of July.
PTSD & Triggers
PTSD triggers can come from both internal and external sources.
Internal triggers can be described as feelings or bodily sensations, such as:
- Feeling angry, anxious or sad
- Strong memories
- Racing heartbeats
External triggers come from things or experiences outside of you and your body:
- Specific locations
- Real or fictional situations that remind you of your traumatic experience
- Large life events
PTSD survivors don’t have full control over what may or may not trigger a response. They also can’t always control their own feelings or outside environment, making recovery difficult with many setbacks.
The Fourth of July
For most people, the Fourth Of July is an innocent holiday meant for family and friends to gather and celebrate. However, this loud and visually explosive night may be a nightmare for others in your community. While the noises and colors may be enough alone, the unpredictability of fireworks is what really affects PTSD survivors. People also like to celebrate for days both before and after the holiday, making it an extremely popular time for fireworks. Between the unpredictable fireworks schedule and the explosions themselves, military veterans and gun violence survivors are high-risk.
How To Help PTSD Survivors Cope
PTSD is a complex mental disorder, and you can learn more about what it is on our previous blog here. But through understanding and compromise, you could help make this holiday fun for everyone in your neighborhood.
- Instead of setting off fireworks over the course of days, plan to celebrate only on the Fourth of July.
- If you know someone in your neighborhood with PTSD, warn them if you have plans to celebrate past 9 PM. Or even take the time to check on them!
If you or someone you know needs help managing their PTSD symptoms or suspects they have PTSD, make an appointment with one of our providers today. Find the correct provider for your needs in our directory https://www.ccmhhealth.com/providers/.
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The University of Michigan Medicine. https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/psychiatry/news/archive/201907/coping-ptsd-during-fireworks-season