Fireworks terrify those suffering from PTSD - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fireworks terrify those suffering from PTSD

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
LAKE ARTHUR, LA (KPLC) -

Firework booms are sounds many of us associate with Fourth of July.

But for those who served in combat or experienced trauma, it's far from the pretty displays we see.

"It sounds like gun shots."

For Kevin Hidalgo, an army veteran, Independence Day isn't about celebrating the freedom he fought for.

“I'll actually lock my door and close my windows,” Hidalgo said.

Counselor Davis Woodward says these noises are not something people suffering from PTSD can adjust to.

"Fireworks can really exacerbate the underlying anxiety people with PTSD experience,” Woodward said.

Hidalgo says he keeps ear plugs handy during the holiday, it's one of the only ways he can keep himself calm when he hears the fireworks.

“If I don't have the ear plugs, and I hear things popping, I will get my gun I’m serious, I might panic.”

PTSD is a condition many will never understand.

"People have heard the name PTSD but probably don't know the symptoms,” Woodward said. “So imagine being in a situation waking up with all of these jarring noises, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety to people.”

Both Hidalgo and Woodward suggest veterans place signs up in their yards warning people they suffer from PTSD.

They also ask that anyone using fireworks understand the condition, know who may be around them at the time and are respectful to those who may not be able to handle the noise.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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