Nightly explosions and fireworks in Kensington leave veterans experiencing elevated PTSD symptoms

Dr. Leah Blain is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in trauma recovery and the clinic director at the University of Penn’s Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic who has been treating veterans with PTSD for several years.

According to Blain, when stress is worsened over time and then agitated by unpredictable variables like a pandemic, national unrest, — or a barrage of nightly explosions and fireworks — it can create an unstable environment for people with PTSD.

Veterans who have PTSD may experience increased anxiety, agitation, insomnia, and flashbacks, or nightmares, which makes them feel like they’re experiencing the traumatic event again, Blain said. When someone is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, their cortisol (the primary stress hormone) levels increase, which can bring a person to an increased state of anxiety and agitation. This makes a person’s response to anxiety and fear trigger a lot more easily, she added.

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