Fireworks Can be a Reminder of War for Veterans with PTSD - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Fireworks Can be a Reminder of War for Veterans with PTSD

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As we make plans to celebrate our country's independence this Fourth of July, many of our veterans suffering with post traumatic stress disorder, will avoid the holiday. 

Dr. Anthony Mancini, a PTSD expert at the Erie VA Medical Center, says fireworks can be a reminder of war.

"I've had this described to me on numerous occasions where a firework will be set off and a veteran will dive, they'll hit the ground like they're going into their foxhole or whatever it was when they were in combat situations," said Dr. Mancini.

The loud noises and even the smell of fireworks can trigger traumatic memories, and cause symptoms like anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and hyper-vigilance.

Mancini says there's no time frame for PTSD, and says it can develop year's after the incident. If you do plan on setting off fireworks this Fourth of July, be mindful of who may be nearby.
   
"Realize that you might be causing them harm, psychological harm, as well as physical harm by doing that," said Mancini. "And remember why you're lighting off fireworks, it's to celebrate our country and you have the veterans to thank for that."

Veterans who think they may have PTSD and need treatment, can contact the VA's Behavioral Health Clinic at 814-860-2038.

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