WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF)-When the 4th of July weekend rolls around, you may watch fireworks go off throughout the valley for people to enjoy. But for others, the experience isn’t exactly enjoyable.
For some combat veterans, it’s more stressful than anything, and the post-traumatic stress they deal with doesn’t help.
PTSD can happen to anyone at any time. Often times, you hear fighting in the military can cause it, but an accident, natural disaster, or assault can affect someone just as much.
And according to director John Looney from the Vet Center in Wheeling, it needs to be dealt with.
“PTSD can be very debilitating if not addressed.”John Looney from the Vet Center in Wheeling
He says trauma can cause unpleasant feelings. That includes sadness, depression, and anger, also lack of sleep.
But depending on how long those feelings last, Looney explains those feelings from trauma can eventually turn into PTSD.
“It (trauma) usually goes away within 6 to 8 months. PTSD goes beyond that. It goes for a lifetime.”John Looney from the Vet Center in Wheeling
And if left untreated, the symptoms usually worsen.
“If you don’t address it, you tend to isolate yourself. It’s like holding your thumb in that Seven Up bottle, you can’t pay attention to everything, and you get anger because someone distracts you .”John Looney from the Vet Center in Wheeling
As the symptoms escalate, triggers continue to persist, and for combat veterans with PTSD, fireworks can trigger those feelings.
Avoiding triggers like that is one thing, but seeking clinical help is more important than anything.
“We all can talk about it. We all can admit to having traumas in our life, and we can talk about that. It’s something that, as a culture, we need to recognize and deal with, and we’re doing that.”John Looney from the Vet Center in Wheeling