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Coping with PTSD on the 4th of July

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If you or someone you know has PTSD, it’s likely that fireworks and other 4th of July festivities can be worrisome. While Independence Day is supposed to be a celebration, we recognize that a lot of people struggle with the nature of the festivities. Here are some tips so your PTSD doesn’t stop you from enjoying your holiday.

Do some research. If you’re not sure when the fireworks in your town are set to go off, look up firework show times online. If you’re concerned your neighbors might have sparklers or other fireworks that they’re setting off themselves, ask around. Knowing about the fireworks before they happen can reduce stress and make you feel prepared.

Cancel out the noise. Decrease the chances of fireworks startling you by muting them out with noise-cancelling headphones or ear plugs. If you don’t want to wear anything on your ears, playing some of your favorite music at a high volume could be helpful too.

Get out of the chaos. If you live somewhere where you can escape to a trail, beach, or remote field, try it out. Your friends and family might opt to escape the crowds as well, so be sure to offer them an invitation if you’d enjoy company.

Keep your pet nearby. If your dog or cat has a hard time with fireworks as well, they could be comforting to have around. They may also need a support system to get through the holiday, so you can reassure each other.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for having a reaction. You are not alone, and it is completely understandable that someone who has experienced trauma has a hard time with fireworks, flashing lights, and loud noises.

We hope these tips are helpful to you during your holiday! If you feel as though you would benefit from seeing a therapist for your PTSD, please go to to get matched with a therapist who specializes in what you’re going through.

Last Updated:
First Published:
July 2, 2019
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