Managing PTSD Triggers During Independence Day Celebrations

By: VGFS
Tuesday, July 4, 2023

The American Tradition of celebrating Independence Day brings people together, but the mental health of those who have served in the Armed Forces can suffer due to stress and the reminder of wartime. 

Fireworks, large crowds, bright lights, and certain smells and sounds of explosives can bring back traumatic memories for veterans. Fifteen out of every 100 veterans who served in Vietnam suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). About 30% of Young’s peers in the service will experience PTSD in their lifetime (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs 2021). 

This holiday season, here are some tips for veterans:

Talk With Your Neighbors

Find out from your neighbors if they plan to light fireworks. This can help with planning ahead to minimize the risk of increased anxiety or panic attacks. If you do not feel comfortable talking with your neighbors, ask a family member to talk to them instead.

Create a Relaxing Environment

Plan ahead of time to figure out what you want to do or have during the holiday. Some ideas include:

  • Sitting in a hard chair or on a flat surface with your back up against the wall. This can make PTSD sufferers feel safer.
  • Create a soothing music playlist or a favorite movie for distraction.
  • Find activities to keep busy, such as a good book or board game
  • Find a deep breathing exercise 
  • Avoid crowds 
  • Acceptance & Gratitude

Don’t be critical of how you may react. Friendly reminders that you are okay, the fireworks are temporary, and you are safe are ways to be good to yourself. 

Veterans and their friends and family are encouraged to call the veterans crisis line if there's a concern about PTSD. PTSD looks different for every person. Some of the signs to look for include, but not limited to, clenching teeth or fists, pacing, shortness of breath, and strong emotional reactions.

For more information, you can reach out to us, where you can schedule a consultation and talk about your counseling needs. 

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

Sources:

  • https://www.va.gov/new-jersey-health-care/news-releases/independence-day-celebrations-can-trigger-ptsd-in-veterans/
  • https://www.pharmasiteresearch.com/blog/ptsd-triggers-independence-day-cope
Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Your Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Fascinating Myths and the Truth Behind Them

Understanding cremation reveals countless misconceptions about the ancient practice. Cremation has been around for centuries but it remains surrounded by mystery. You might be surprised to know th...

Reflecting on Black History Month, The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

During Black History Month, we celebrate African Americans and the role they have played in building this country, as well as recognize their achievements. Diversity and inclusion are essential in...

Need an Alternative to Traditional Funeral Flowers? Here are Eight Smart Options.

Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional funeral flowers have emerged as a growing trend in end-of-life services. As more people become conscious of their environmental impact, they are seeking wa...

Winter Heart Attacks: Why They’re More Common and How to Avoid Them

The colder months bring more than just frosty weather—they also bring a greater chance of winter heart attacks. The winter season is usually associated with cozy blankets, warm fires, and snowy ou...

Condolence Messages: How to Find the Right Words at a Difficult Time

It’s very common to have a hard time finding the right words when composing condolence messages. Whether you are posting to an online sympathy board or sending your condolences by mail, knowing wh...

Looking to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2024? Here Are Five Inspiring Ideas.

Martin Luther King Day is an annual celebration of Dr. King’s immeasurable contributions. Celebrated in the United States on the third Monday of January, the holiday is a time when the nation paus...

New Year, New You: How To Work On You This Year

Every year, millions of Americans set goals to be better.  For some, that means working out more and eating vegetables.  For others, that means reading more and watching less television....

Six Unexpected Causes of Pneumonia: Are You at Risk?

From unusual sources to overlooked factors, the causes of pneumonia are more surprising and wide-ranging than you might imagine. Pneumonia, a common yet potentially serious respiratory infection, ...

Here’s Why Funeral and Estate Planning Should Be Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

The decisions we make in funeral and estate planning shape our legacy of love and deliver unparalleled peace of mind. New Year’s resolutions are the things we vow to do to better ourselves in the ...

Celebrate the Spirit of Your Loved One with Personalized Holiday Memorials

Personalized holiday memorials create a special space for remembrance during the festive season. As the holidays unfold, our thoughts naturally turn to the loved ones who, though absent, remain ev...