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Keeping veterans in mind this 4th of July, fireworks can often trigger PTSD

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jul 02, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS — Fireworks and 4th of July celebrations can present a challenge to veterans, especially those who suffer from PTSD and other illnesses.

The bangs and loud noises can trigger memories of combat.

Behavioral therapists with Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center say that for many veterans, it's hard for them to enjoy fireworks.

They say that if you have a family member who is a veteran, it's important to have a plan to help them if they are around fireworks so that they feel more relaxed and aren't feeling threatened.

"Something to help your mind and body realize I am not under threat, I am safe, and if I do find myself in that heightened place, a quick release and back to stasis," said Kirsten Belaire, Director of Behavioral Health at Mt. Carmel.

Belaire also recommends thinking of alternative ways to celebrate the 4th with veterans instead of watching fireworks, since for most of the year veterans aren't exposed to them and aren't prepared for them.

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