Fireworks can trigger PTSD

Fireworks can trigger PTSD

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Independence Day is supposed to be about celebrating the liberty and sovereignty service members fight for. But it can be tough for some veterans, especially those coping with even mild post-traumatic stress. 

"My dad refuses to go outside during the 4th of July," said Angel Dawn Lopez, a military veteran and employee of Vetstar. "It does trigger and bring back those memories of those incoming bombs, the IEDs, just the unknown of being in that environment in Iraq."

For veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, the flashing lights and loud bangs can trigger emotional, and severe mental distress. Lopez suggests checking with neighbors and family members to see who may have served and who could suffer from this condition before lighting a fuse. 

"If the veteran knows that it is going to occur it is easier for them to place coping mechanisms so they can put in their mind on that, " said Lopez. "I would just go and talk to them and say hey my children they want to do pop some fire crackers, we just want to let you know that at this time, or at this estimated time we are going to be outside popping our fireworks."

About 8% of Americans suffer PSTD at any given time, according to PSTD Untied.Org That's 24.4 million people or roughly the population of Texas. Lopez's organization Vetstar holds workshops focusing on post traumatic stress and addiction each week, for more details visit the following link. http://www.vrcg.org/

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