For those with mental illnesses, Halloween can be a challenging and frightening holiday. Potential triggers lurk everywhere for those who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). From bowls with hidden grabbing hands, to faces obscured by masks, and people jumping out to yell trick-or-treat, the day can be full of situations that can trigger flashbacks or other intense responses. Living with PTSD is a challenge on a daily basis, but when you add things that go bump in the night, giant spiders, and horror movies on TV, the day has the potential to be more harrowing than happy. For more information, please keep reading or call Legacy Freedom. We offer Raleigh, NC PTSD therapy that you can depend on.
Celebrating Halloween With PTSD
Here are some tips to enjoy the holiday and avoid negative triggers:
- Turn off the light. For many with PTSD, surprises are a trigger. Instead of listening to knocking or the doorbell ringing all night, turn off your porch light and find an alternative way to spend the evening. Head to the movies and enjoy having the theater to yourself, read some Edgar Allen Poe for a fun, vintage fright, or volunteer your time at a nursing home or church where you can enjoy the costumes in a well-lit environment.
- Take the kids out early. Being a parent and having PTSD at Halloween isn't easy. Make a commitment to take your kids out trick-or-treating until the sun goes down. Use dusk as your signal to head on home and count your candy before it gets dark. The kids won't miss out on any of the fun and you'll be home early enough to start a new Halloween tradition like popcorn and "The Great Pumpkin" before bed.
- Fill up your DVR. Halloween night is full of scary shows and movies on TV. If those are triggers for you, load up your DVR with the most recent episodes of your favorite shows and save them to binge watch on Halloween night. Don't forget to grab a few pieces of candy from your kids to snack on!
- Party responsibly. Headed out to a Halloween party and worried about what you'll find? Don't skip the party, just make a plan. Adding alcohol to an event where you might be triggered is a recipe for disaster. Instead, skip the cocktails and bring your own beverages. Being sober and in control of yourself means that if you are feeling uncomfortable and you need to leave, you can. Take a supportive friend or loved one with you to the party for extra support.
- Choose decorations carefully. Decorating your home can be one of the most fun parts of the holiday. Be careful not to choose any decorations that are fine in the light but could trigger you in the dark. Save spookier items for display outside your house, away from your usual line of sight. If there are simply some decorations that you can't use anymore, offer them to a friend or neighbor for their display.
Raleigh, NC PTSD Therapy You Can Trust!
When you are ready to begin your journey to healing, Legacy Freedom is ready to help you with quality Raleigh, NC PTSD therapy. Our care team works with you to create a care plan that is focused on you and your needs. Whether you have been diagnosed with PTSD previously or have a history of struggling with anxiety, depression or eating disorders, we can help. Call or click to connect with Legacy Freedom of Raleigh today!