Happy 4th of July and Holiday Hours
July 1, 2021:
We wish you and your families a very Happy Independence Day, and while this is perhaps the first holiday where you are able to enjoy the company of large gatherings, we hope you will remain safe and respectful during your celebrations. The tradition of colorful fireworks filling the night sky creates beautiful family memories. For some Americans, however, the sights and sounds of these colorful explosions trigger unwanted memories.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or “PTSD” effects many Americans. The disorder is most frequently related to veterans, however just as many civilians suffer from PTSD. Traumatic experiences including, but not limited to, car accidents, childhood abuse, or domestic violence. Chris Mallard of Penn Medicine shared the following statement about how unexpected fireworks can be a trigger, especially on the heels of a pandemic:
“We know that stress in general drives up symptoms for PTSD and most mental health conditions. So anyone with PTSD is going to be more on edge right now because we’re in a pandemic, people are experiencing financial strain, and there has been increased violence and unrest in the city. To top it off, we now we have these nightly occurrences of these really triggering stimuli in these unexpected sounds. I think anybody with PTSD and perhaps people in general are more likely to be on guard right now.
In terms of fireworks, individuals with PTSD, as well as any combat veteran regardless of their PTSD status, are more likely to be triggered or respond to this kind of stimuli. So we have a loud, unexpected noise, often under the cover of darkness. If we think about what a combat scenario looks like, you’re expecting incoming fire and explosions that you have to be on guard for, that are often happening at night. And fireworks serve as a very significant reminder of these experiences, PTSD or no. So this really does impact people. It really disrupts sleep. It increases stress. I would say it is a pretty significant stressor for people.”
Given what we now know, we hope that you will enjoy celebrations including fireworks in legally designated areas avoiding residential use. You can find further education on the topic in this helpful Penn Medicine News article, The Over Looked Effects of Fireworks.