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Be mindful that fireworks can trigger PTSD in veterans and others

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the nation celebrates its independence this weekend, it’s also a good reminder to remember those who may be triggered by the sound of fireworks.

Fireworks can be a source of anxiety for a lot of people including veterans who live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They say the loud booms can be a trigger, taking them back to an unpleasant place.

It’s not just those in the military who can get flashbacks. UAB Clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow says fireworks can impact anyone who has suffered a traumatic experience. If you plan to shoot fireworks, Klapow says be mindful of your neighbors or those in your household who may be veterans or victims of gun violence.

“Recognize that somebody suffering from PTSD is not just a little stressed out and these fireworks are not just an irritant to them and it can be very distressing,” Dr. Klapow said.

Klapow say this long weekend could be a good opportunity to get to know your neighbors to see if shooting fireworks is a good idea in the neighborhood.

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