Fireworks can be a trigger for veterans living with PTSD

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Fireworks will light up the sky in most areas tonight and tomorrow night, but for some, those fireworks can cause stressful flashbacks.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can happen after a person suffers a severe traumatic event. Many war veterans suffer from PTSD – because they have experienced trauma. Smells, and loud sounds, like fireworks, can trigger that event. The trauma is stored in the long term memory along with emotions connected to that event.

"The adrenaline and those emotions are then triggered with the memory and they feel that they are right here in the present. It's absolutely as real as being there," said professional counselor, Lenore Bolig.

While fireworks are legal in some areas, it's important to remember a veteran living with PTSD may be close by.

"You need to stop and think if it's going to affect your neighbors peace and quiet in their home. And your neighbor could be a veteran. The whole purpose of the holiday is independence day and the only reason you can celebrate is because of what those veterans went through," Niki Gawith, who's father suffered with PTSD.

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