Counseling appointments increase after Fourth of July for veterans with PTSD

WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) -- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for military combat veterans can get stirred up by fireworks during the Fourth of July.

"When it comes unexpectedly, it reminds them of gunshots, bombs, things that are not as pleasant," said Todd Stage, a licensed clinical social worker at Compass Counseling in Weston.

But what happens when things quiet down?

Stage said more veterans with PTSD will seek therapy after the holiday.

"Their stress level just couldn't come down, so they'll seek out extra counseling to help bring that stress level back under control. but it's pretty hit or miss on the individual's experience over the Fourth [of July]," Stage explained.

No matter which end of the spectrum the symptom severity falls under, the best advice Stage has is to ask for help, because it's never too late.

"Going into the source of stress and beating it, versus kind of running away from it or hiding it, it's only going to make the source of the trauma that much stronger," Stage added.

Stage also has experience working with veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs. He said the VA as a whole has gotten a lot of experience through the last couple of wars, so the department can also be a resource for medications and counseling.