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Avoiding PTSD triggers during patriotic holidays

About 13 million Americans have been directly impacted by PTSD.

As Independence Day draws near and Americans prepare to commemorate their country by illuminating the sky with fireworks, it’s important to consider that the loud explosions may trigger fear and apprehension in some individuals.

About 13 million Americans have been directly impacted by PTSD, a significant mental health condition that emerges following exposure to major traumas such as combat, interpersonal violence, childhood abuse, or life-threatening accidents.

“These events can be difficult for millions of individuals because fireworks create sights, sounds, and smells that can activate flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety, all symptoms of PTSD,” said Rosecrance’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Raymond Garcia.

Getting past the loud sounds, flashes, and smells of fireworks may be difficult but not impossible.

Friends and loved ones who are aware of a loved one’s triggers can offer support by helping them practice mindfulness techniques during an event or when an unexpected fireworks display happens.

Those affected by fireworks consider these tips to prepare for expected and unexpected fireworks:

  • Avoid events where fireworks displays are planned.
  • Invest in earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.
  • Focus on building mindfulness techniques to stay grounded in the moment.
  • Plan ahead if going out by asking or researching if fireworks will be lit at an event

Rosecrance Behavioral Health can offer hope, healing, and a way forward for individuals who are struggling with their mental health or substance use.  Call 888.928.5278 to begin your journey today.

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