Managing the holiday fireworks around people with PTSD
ROCHESTER, Minnesota (KTTC) – The sights and sounds of fireworks can be an extremely powerful trigger for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can be particularly problematic on holidays like Independence Day, where fireworks are part of the traditional celebration.
“Fireworks are particularly, I think, difficult because they are loud. If you break them down they are often loud, they are often bright. They also occur somewhat unexpectedly and under the guise of l ‘darkness,’ the Veterans Administration said. Psychologist Matt Kaler, program manager of the PTSD clinical administration team. “These characteristics correspond quite closely to what veterans might see in a fairly common combat scenario. It is something that these sights and sounds could be reminders of for people who have lived through various generations of conflict over the century. latest.”
According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately eight million Americans have the disease.
“People who suffer from PTSD struggle with sleeping problems in general, and I think trying to hold fireworks at times that are unlikely to disturb is a good rule of thumb, too,” Kaler said. .
A Rochester fireworks salesman agrees that sleep disruption is a major problem. He says his company’s products come with a rating scale to rate sound and brightness, which can help people avoid triggers.
“That way if you really don’t like anything loud, or anything that has a strobe effect that might set off anything, you can sort the different fireworks before you buy to make sure it doesn’t. ‘affects anyone who couldn’t like loud noises or flashes of light that could possibly trigger something they’re working on,’ said Austin Coon, TNT tent operator in Rochester.
Another option to avoid triggers is to be good neighborly and let people know when the fireworks are going to be triggered.
“Usually it’s enough to let everyone know they’re nearby, sometimes even inviting them,” Coon said.
“Being able to tell your neighbors about it. Use neighborhood forums to communicate your needs like the next door app for example,” Kaler said.
Kaler also says veterans still enjoy the 4th a lot.
“I actually don’t remember hearing a veteran tell me that he wished people weren’t celebrating. I think many consider this a very important and important holiday that they treasure,” Kaler said.