4th of July fireworks can affect PTSD sufferers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

4th of July fireworks can affect PTSD sufferers

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The beautiful colors and loud booms signify the freedom our soldiers sacrifice so much for. But for post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers, the fireworks can be a harsh reminder of their time in combat.

Ty Oswald, a veteran and the director of the Huntsville nonprofit Bearded Warriors, said often the Fourth of July isn’t too rough on folks because they know the fireworks are coming. Still, he offered a few tips for people with PTSD to use on July 4.

"When you first get back from deployment, you're going to be a little more on edge than someone who's been back several years," Oswald said.

He suggests putting headphones on, watching a movie indoors or distracting yourself in some other way.

"The Fourth of July, New Year's Eve, they're all planned firework-centric holidays,” Oswald said. “Knowing everybody is going to be out shooting some sort of firework, whether they're small or large ones, you can take the individual precautions. That way, you can get yourself distracted in some way so you're not triggered to have a reaction."

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