Did Independence Day Cause Your Distress? Here's Why You Should Talk About It

Posted byCounseling WiseonAugust 26, 2019

Independence Day is traditionally a time of fun, family, friends, and celebration. It’s easy to get excited about the idea of family cookouts, block parties, and beautiful fireworks. 

But, for veterans, Independence Day isn’t always a carefree holiday to get through. 

Some of the sounds, smells, and experiences of this holiday can serve as triggers for veterans who have experienced the nightmare of war or experienced any active fighting. 

Crowds can feel paralyzing. Fireworks can flashback to gunshots and bombs. Even smells of smoke might stir up bad memories. If your holiday didn’t go as planned and these issues took over, there is nothing to be ashamed of. 

However, you should talk about it. Here’s why.

Experiencing Triggers Year Round

Independence Day might not have been fun for you, but it could be a sign of something more severe if you experience similar triggers regularly.

People with PTSD or those who have experienced a traumatic event often struggle with flashbacks. You might also deal with insomnia and low self-esteem. 

People respond to triggers in different ways. If anything in your life causes these debilitating symptoms, however, it can become an even bigger problem. 

Fighting the Stigma of PTSD

There are many reasons why people with PTSD or those facing emotional triggers choose not to seek professional help. Some people don’t think anyone can help them. Others feel they can take care of the problem on their own or it will get better over time. 

Plenty of PTSD-sufferers don’t get help because they’re embarrassed and don’t want to open up about their problems. 

The issue with keeping these symptoms to yourself is that, without treatment, they will often get worse over time. 

PTSD and other psychological issues are ubiquitous. It’s not your fault that certain things trigger negative emotions within you. But, not seeking out help because you’re afraid of the stereotypes associated with this disorder is only hurting, rather than helping. 

How Can You Get Help?

There are several approaches to treating PTSD and managing the symptoms. The most common treatment solutions consist of trauma-focused therapy. Some people even choose to take medication, which can help with the more extreme symptoms. 

There is even a treatment solution called “talk therapy,” which encourages communication between the patient and therapist. Talk therapy can help you to release some of the fears you’re holding onto and resolve some of the underlying issues. 

No matter which type of treatment approach you choose, the goals remain the same. Talking about your distress and getting professional help will assist you in managing your symptoms and learning the skills to face your triggers. Over time, the goal is to restore your self-esteem and help you live as normal of a life as possible.

You don’t have to be fearful that every Independence Day from here on out will cause you distress. You can have fun and enjoy the holiday with family and friends. That goes for every other day, too! Thankfully, that’s possible. 

When you’re willing to talk about the distress you face due to trauma, you can get the help you need. If you’re sick of letting triggers derail your life, feel free to contact me.

These feelings and actions are part of the recovery process. With help, you can learn how to manage them. More importantly, though, you can learn how to let go of distress, and find freedom from the confines of what happened in the past. 

For more information on PTSD, click here to go to my PTSD Counseling page.

I am here to partner with you to transform your life. If you are ready to transform your life, please contact me to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation.

About the Therapist

Gay A. Hunter, M.Div., LPC-S, is a licensed professional counselor who graduated from Brite Divinity School at TCU. She is committed to partner with you to transform your life. She owns a private practice in Fort Worth, TX. She specializes in online therapy. She is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. To find out more about Gay click here


Gay Hunter