PTSD and the 4th of July

July 2, 2020  |  4th of July, Mental health, Ptsd
PTSD overview video

The heat is on as we head toward the 4th of July. Still, we'll be celebrating with virtual family get-togethers, cookouts with our live-in loved ones (or socially distanced family gatherings, too), and then - where they're happening - a fireworks display.

But it's also a time of difficulty for those living with PTSD and other mental health problems that are affected by loud booms. PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health diagnosis that, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, that develops "after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault." For more information, watch this video.

Here's a way to think about it: upsetting memories are normal, or even feeling on eduge or have trouble sleeping after something traumatic happens. Most people get past those feelings after a few weeks.

If those types of feelings continue or get worse, it's time to talk with a professional to find out if it is PTSD. Bear in mind that for some, the symptoms could start later or come and go over time.

If someone you care about may exhibit signs of PTSD, there are ways to help them get through it. A few tips:

  • Listen and show you care. Be a steady, reliable and trustworthy presence.
  • Learn what triggers their PTSD. They can be ordinary to you, but it can remind a perston wtih PTSD of the traumatic experience. Each is going to be unique.
  • Encourage treatment. Offer to go with them if that could help.
  • Be patient. It's not always easy for the person with PTSD to talk about it.

If the 4th of July fireworks make you or a loved one upset, or you feel on edge or have trouble sleeping because of some traumatic memory, call our hotline at (877) 695-6333 right away. It doesn't matter what time it is, day or night. Someone is there to help you.

Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!