66°F
Sponsored by

Fireworks spark PTSD episodes for some veterans

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 - Utah) Utahns are gearing up for one the biggest holidays of the year – Pioneer Day. But for some veterans, the night of celebration can trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 - Utah) Utahns are gearing up for one the biggest holidays of the year – Pioneer Day. But for some veterans, the night of celebration can trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“You just come out of a combat zone, where [there are] explosions and bad things happen,” said Robert Welsh, a Vietnam War Veteran. “That stays with you. Those noises mean something.”

It has been 46 years since Welsh served in the Army, but fireworks in July can still send him into a PTSD episode.

“If you have PTSD, you have it,” said Welsh. “It doesn't go away.”

With 160,000 veterans in Utah, Welsh is not alone.

“A lot of times they'll have that automatic startled response,” said Ashley Greenwell, a clinical psychologist with the Veterans’ Affairs Office. “Their heart's racing, they're sweating. This is absolutely a tough time for them.”

It is also a time for friends and family to be a little extra aware.

“You don't go around advertising it,” said Welsh. “You don't stencil, I have PTSD on your forehead.”

“I think one of the important things to remember is talking with the veteran,” said Greenwell. “Seeing what their preferences are. You might have a veteran that says ‘it’s fine, this isn't a problem.’ Or you might get some useful kind of guidance, [for example] ‘let's do something else this year.’ It’s really on a case by case basis, talking with your loved ones.”

There are resources available for veterans if they do need some extra help.

Every Tuesday at 11am, there is a PTSD Clinic at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center where any veteran is welcome without an appointment.

There is also a 24-hour crisis hotline: 1-800-273-8255.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus
local-businesses.png
cars.png dixie-local.jpg
Click Here for Your Chance to Win Utah State Fair Tickets!

Top Stories

Popular Stories on Facebook