Fireworks and Trauma Responses

Ever wonder why fireworks can trigger some military and emergency responders? Keep reading to learn why and how!

How does evolution impact trauma responses?

Our bodies have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. Back in the day when a member of our family group was attacked we needed to remember certain characteristics of our environment to ensure our future protection. These characteristics would then become cues for us to either avoid certain situations or raise our guard (aka hypervigilance). Essentially there is not wrong with hypervigilance. Our bodies are doing what they need to do to protect ourselves. The challenge occurs when we have too much hypervigilance and/or can’t turn it off and this then negatively impacts our lives.

Military/Emergency responders and traumatic cues.

Soldier with gear

People who are in the military or emergency responder professions have higher likelihoods of experiencing traumatic situations. Each of these traumatic experiences holds their place in our memories, senses, and nervous system. The stimuli of these situations (temperature, details, noises, smells, sights, and feelings) acts as cues stored in our nervous system to protect us from future similar experiences – as noted above.

Our brains are very good at storing information and applying this information to various situations. However, our brains struggle to differentiate between similar stimuli and/or where it originated from. Therefore, loud noises of life and those of past traumatic events trigger a similar response.

How does trauma and fireworks go together?

Stress from combat or emergency responder situations often have loud noises associated with them. E.g. bombs going off, gun shots, or noises associated from crashes. Our brains do not separate these stimuli (noises) from one another. So, you can effectively react the same way you did in the past today when other loud noises occur.

Can therapy help me?

Absolutely. If it has been one month, six years, or decades since your trauma recovery is possible. The length of therapy may vary depending on the number of traumatic experiences or the age the trauma was experienced. One of the gold standards for trauma therapy is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Click here to learn more about EMDR therapy and how it works to ignite your body’s innate ability to heal.

How to find the best trauma therapist in Denver, CO?

A simple internet search should bring up therapists in your area. It is important to look over their website to check if they are taking new clients and trained in trauma therapy or EMDR therapy. You could try googling ‘EMDR therapist near you’ to find a local clinician as well. Typically, therapists will offer a 15-20 minute phone consultation. Take advantage of this. During this consult ask questions related to their experience, trainings, and style. This call is to ensure the therapist is a good fit for you but also so you are a good fit for the clinician.

Revitalize Mental Health PLLC has EMDR therapists in Denver, CO.

Revitalize Mental Health PLLC is currently accepting new clients at this time! Click here or call us at 720.295.6703 to set up a complimentary consultation call to determine our goodness of fit. We would be honored to support you in your recovery process.

Location Map: 6000 East Evans Avenue Denver, CO 80222

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