Fireworks and PTSD: A Guide

Fireworks and PTSD: A Guide

In mental health, Recovery by Tree House Recovery

Most men will encounter some kind of trauma in their lifetime because most human beings on earth will encounter some kind of trauma in their lifetimes. Trauma is a broad term which can take on many meanings. Typically, the word trauma takes on a air of severity, like war, violent crime, traumatic injury, death, or loss. While these life events are indeed traumatic, there are many other kinds of trauma which can influence a man’s life.

Our life experiences shape who we are, how we see ourselves, and how we see the world around us. Fears and phobias are simple examples of more moderate traumas. A particularly scary interaction with a dog in early childhood might be traumatizing enough to permanently or at least long term change the way a man sees dogs. His connection to dogs is influence by trauma. His relation to the world in which dogs exist is influenced by this traum

Unfortunately, men’s trauma can take on forms more severe than the unnerving sound of a growl or a bark. Trauma in men’s lives might have involved yelling, screaming, door slamming, guns shooting, glasses breaking, bones smashing, and other loud, disruptive noises. His trauma might have included bumps, thuds, and booms, which vibrated through or against his being. Men might have faced physical violence or abuse in their lives which causes them to easily be on edge. Men also may have courageously fought in battle as brave members of our military service.

During fireworks shows, like the thousands of fireworks displays taking place on July 4th, men’s sympathetic nervous system gets triggered naturally, due to the adrenaline of fireworks exploding, and because fireworks exploding triggers their experiences with trauma. Trauma lives in the sympathetic nervous system by creating a chaotic chatter between brain and body which shuts down normal functioning.

Managing PTSD And Trauma On Fourth Of July

If you find yourself uneasy on July 4th, you are not alone. Millions around the world are triggered by fireworks. Here are a few tips to help you manage any symptoms of trauma which may arise.

      • Let your loved ones know that this is a tough day of the year for you
      • Don’t feel like you have to show up to fireworks shows because everyone else is
      • Take advantage of your Oregon surroundings and celebrate your freedom by taking a camping trip to a quiet, remote, firework free zone
      • Buy earplugs or noise cancelling headphones if you are staying home and in the proximity of local fireworks
      • Inform your immediate neighbors that you live with PTSD and would appreciate that no fireworks be lit in the street right near your residence
      • Spend extra time on self-care, especially the practices which help activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Look to yoga, mindfulness, exercise, and meditation
      • Take care of your brain and body by staying hydrated, eating regularly, and taking your vitamin supplements

Sobriety in Portland can’t be beat. With a city full of local culture and a culture focused on local nature, life in recovery in Oregon is a constant adventure. Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon offers men’s treatment programs inspired by the nature of the Pacific Northwest and the innovative approaches to treatment. We’re transforming men’s lives, inside and out. Call today for more information: (503) 850-2474