Fireworks may trigger PTSD symptoms in veterans - FOX34 Lubbock

Fireworks may trigger PTSD symptoms in veterans

LUBBOCK, Texas -


Fireworks are a staple of celebrating the nation.

But for the men and women who have fought to protect her, loud noises and lights from fireworks could bring back some bad memories.

"Veterans, especially who have been in combat, they struggle with transition back into civilian life," Keith Rivers, mental health coordinator with VetStar Lubbock, said.

Fireworks can trigger symptoms of post traumatic stress, such as flashbacks and nightmares, Rivers said.

"At three or four o'clock in the morning, waking a combat marine or army veteran out of sleep that 'ratatat' of fireworks going off can bring back an episode," he said.

David Turpin, who served with the Texas National Guard in multiple hot-spots around the world, said everyone is affected differently.

"For me, I didn't have a problem with it, but for some, it is beyond that, it's a real scare," Turpin said.

Rivers suggest communicating with neighbors before setting off the firecrackers.

"Veterans can let their neighbors know, that they just be respectful, and shoot the fireworks off outside the city limits," Rivers said.

The advocates emphasized this is not to dampen anyone's fun or stop celebrations, but severe post traumatic stress can lead to other side effects, like self harm.

If you know a veteran who is struggling with post traumatic vet stress, contact VetStar at 806-470-9317.

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