Fireworks and PTSD

Today is the beginning of a long 4th of July weekend! The holiday lands on a Monday this year, so for many, the holiday began yesterday.

I understand the fun and enjoyment some people may have from setting off fireworks. Although there are many legal fireworks here, there is a never-ending supply of both legal and illegal varieties lying in wait for the excited revelers to buy just across state-lines. There you can purchase the big ones, the percussion of which shakes the houses in the neighborhood. For those who are buying them and bringing them back to their quiet neighborhood streets, it’s a dream come true.

Unfortunately for some of our combat veterans, it can also be a nightmare come true. For those vets with post-traumatic stress disorder, that string of firecrackers sounds like automatic weapons fire, and the big explosions sound like the IEDs that threatened so many of their lives.

Flashbacks are a horrible reliving of past traumatic events for these heroes. When you are setting off these illegal fireworks, chances are there is someone hearing them who is struggling with their combat-related trauma.  If you are unable to resist the urge to set-off those huge explosions, then please consider driving out somewhere that is less populated.

For many dogs, the sounds reverberating off the other houses can often make them disoriented.  Their stress level becomes unbearable with some of our animals running away or getting lost. There are numerous stories on facebook right now from shelters talking about how many dogs come to them during the 4th of July weekend, who aren’t tagged and are traumatized by the noise of the fireworks.

Try talking to your neighbors who are setting off the big ones, or write them an anonymous letter. Many people don’t know that they are harming some of our vets, scaring our little children, or making our animals shake with fear.

People who suffer from PTSD, (whether it is combat-induced or other trauma related) will do what they can to take care of themselves over the weekend. I’m trekking off the boundary waters canoe area for 4 days. Unfortunately, my therapy dog needs to stay behind, but my husband will take good care of her.

In many neighborhoods where I live, the 4th of July has gone from, the ooh and ahh of a fireworks display at the local parks, too many houses on almost every street  having their own sunup to sundown fireworks/firecrackers celebrations. Please be courteous when setting off your fireworks and firecrackers at your home this weekend. Be thoughtful not only of our veterans but also the small children, elderly, pets, and others who may suffer from illness and startle easily.

PTSD & Firewords

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
image from google

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Fireworks and PTSD

  1. atribeuntangled July 5, 2016 / 11:53 pm

    It was lovely. No boats, just canoes and no noise for 4 days. Hope your 4th was peaceful as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wonderdaze July 3, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    I went on a retreat for the long weekend too, to avoid the noise and crowds and confusion the 4th brings. I hope you are peacefully canoeing through the cattails in the boundary waters and avoiding the loud boaters!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. atribeuntangled July 2, 2016 / 1:35 am

    Yes I totally agree about the planned fireworks display. We had to get our dog tranquizers this year. Take good care my friend. 💜 Alexis

    Like

  4. Singledust July 1, 2016 / 10:58 pm

    i agree Alexis! its common to set off fireworks here for the numerous festivals we have and it very disturbing, some people are really inconsiderate of their neighbours and set it off at odd and ungodly hours. my poor fur baby gets so shaken as he doesn’t understand and i cant get to him before it does as its so random. i like a fireworks display i am prepared for or anticipate not these random bursts in the peaceful suburb. thank you for bringing this to light.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. atribeuntangled July 1, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Yes, besides flashbacks, that dang startle response is one of my most frustrating symptoms! Heres to a peaceful weekend my friend. Alexis

    Like

  6. Nancy J July 1, 2016 / 4:13 pm

    This is so true. I watch comedy on TV (loud) when I hear firecrackers. I still jump at the turn of a door knob or a knock, loud noises startle me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. atribeuntangled July 1, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Thank You for reading this and your feedback. Im glad you have ways to try and avoid. Hopefully this will be a continuing conversation to bringing awareness. Have a great weekend! Alexis

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Courage Coaching July 1, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    Great post! I am still startled by loud bangs, or loud sounds in general..I always avoid these as much as possible!It’s great you are talking about how difficult it is for us PTSD sufferers! Have a great weekend x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Queen Bee July 1, 2016 / 3:02 pm

    What a perfect antidote to all the noisy shenanigans! FAB. Catch up when you back 🙂 I’ll do a vid message for you before then so you have something nice for when you get back xxx big love back at ya!

    Like

  10. atribeuntangled July 1, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    (HUGE SMILE) Thank You Q B. In the wee hours (4 am) I will be off to canoe and camp in the woods for 4 days. I will catch up with you on Wednesday. Big love to you until I get back. 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  11. atribeuntangled July 1, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    Thank You! fireworks celebrations have changed a lot in the past few years, and those of us with PTSD, or many other illness’s and animals can find it a painful time. I’m all for celebrating, I just would like people to be mindful about it. Starting and keeping a conversation open is so important. Thank You for your comment. 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Queen Bee July 1, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    Good point 🙂 You’re doing a good job of spreading PTSD awareness here. Take care of yourself amidst all the jumpy noise pollution party xxx hugs xxx QBee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brunette Budgets July 1, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. My husband has PTSD and last year it was very stressful during the time that fireworks were being shot off in town. While this is a time for celebration, this is also a time where the issue of noise and PTSD is overlooked by civilians.

    Liked by 1 person

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