Fireworks can Trigger Unpleasant Feelings for Veterans Battling PTSD

Tonight's Big Bang fireworks show down at the lakefront remind us that there are some people, like certain combat veterans, for whom fireworks displays can  be a problem.

A psychologist at the VA center tells us that for some veterans who are battling post-traumatic stress disorder, fireworks can trigger unpleasant feelings or memories.   

Dr. Sam Shepard reminds us that this does not apply to all veterans and he says it's unusual for those veterans to react by lashing out.

“These  reactions tend to be more internal, feeling distress, feeling anxiety, feeling uncomfortable, maybe very sad or upset, but it's rare that someone's reaction to a firework would put anyone else at risk,” said Dr. Shephard.

Dr. Shepard says if veterans are struggling, the VA Center has services for them 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

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