The 4th of July holiday can be a frightening time for veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)
The sounds and smells of fireworks can take veterans back to being downrange on the battlefield; when they are actually home, in the United States. Veterans with PTSD may experience nightmares, have negative thoughts about themselves, avoid situations or become hyper-aroused.
Sometimes veterans even become ashamed of these feelings and are not comfortable talking about the experiences they encountered during their time of service.
Raising awareness that veterans may have this type of experience can help us not to take it personally. If you know a veteran who shows some PTSD symptoms; techniques such as mindful breathing, listening to music or joining a support group; can help them manage their symptoms.
Veterans fought for our freedom. As a community, we can show our support and gratitude this 4th of July by remaining courteous to veterans in the community and honoring their request to refrain from shooting fireworks in close proximity to their homes.
If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD and in need of professional help, please call 352-374-5600 to reach our 24/7 crisis line. Meridian counselors are experienced in using evidence-based treatments during the PTSD recovery process; and are ready to help.
We wish you all a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!