June was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, but for many, July is the time when their PTSD becomes hard to manage. Specifically, the Fourth of July and its booming fireworks displays can trigger a myriad of negative reactions for all those who have served in the military or witnessed gun violence.
More than 13 million Americans suffer from PTSD, according to a recent study. It is important to know that if you are struggling with PTSD, you are not alone.
Here are some tips for you to manage your stress levels this 4th of July:
- Use noise canceling headphones. With advancements in technology, noise canceling headphones are no longer as expensive as they used to be. If you can find an affordable pair, it’s worth the investment to make sure you can at least feel like you are further away from the chaotic noises of the Fourth.
- Research fireworks schedules. Prepare for the fireworks by knowing when and where they will be going off. Being surprised by fireworks is one of the common ways for PTSD to be triggered in July. One challenge to this, however, is that your neighbors do not always post a schedule of when they will be lighting off fireworks, so do yourself a favor and have a conversation with them. Even just a text from a neighbor a few minutes prior to their fireworks show will help you have enough time to get physically and mentally prepared.
- Put up a sign in your front yard. One group named Military with PTSD ships out free signs for veterans that asks neighbors to please be courteous about their fireworks routines. These signs also help with initiating a conversation with your neighbors, as it can be hard to want to discuss your PTSD with them. You may not be able to get a sign in time for this 4th of July, but Military with PTSD ships out signs all throughout the year and partners with VA offices around the country that will also help with providing signs so you can be prepared for the next big holiday. Otherwise, you can try making your own sign!
- Seek treatment. Here at Havenwood, we know the importance of treating PTSD. We provide treatment for individuals ages 18 and over experiencing severe psychiatric symptoms. Our experts at Havenwood use evaluations, observations, medical management, and therapy to provide rapid stabilization. Plus, Havenwood is the only VA approved facility in the Upstate, so our team is experienced with assisting those that have served our country.
Make sure you prepare for the July 4th this summer in order to reduce the risk for adverse effects from PTSD. If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental health disorder, contact a treatment facility for help. To learn more about the breadth of services offered at Havenwood Behavioral Health, visit havenwoodbehavioral.com or call us at (864) 660-6217. With proper treatment and support, you can overcome mental illness.