Psychotherapist: Spare A Thought On Bonfire Night!

Bonfire night 2018 is upon us; the night that brings us sparkling explosions and whizzing rockets creating a technicolour light-show.

However, while most of us safely watch the skies in awe there are those who may struggle quietly in their homes with the curtains drawn . . and I’m not just referring to the family pet.

It is no secret that the effects of bonfire night on animals are largely publicised in mainstream media.

Each year more people become aware of the effects of fireworks on pets who receive the explosive sound significantly louder than humans or that they may get too close to the display and risk injury.

Unlike the family pet, there are those who do suffer in the ‘human-world’ who are often overlooked.

Those who may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), high-stress lifestyles and Anxiety problems have been found to suffer heavily from firework displays; as the unpredictable loud bang of a rocket can spike anxiety setting off panic attacks.

This has been observed in military Veterans who when being woken by the displays experience the sounds of gunfire and bomb explosives surrounding them in their own homes.

Help-for-Heroes has documented how veterans experience flashbacks to being under gunfire when hearing fireworks.

Those who have been injured during bonfire nights through accidents or being unsafe may too be struggling to handle the long night of reminders, waiting for it to subside.

Awareness is key to creating a bonfire night we can all enjoy. More people each year are opting to visit professional displays around Preston’s parks instead of buying their own.

This means neighbours who may be suffering will be able to separate themselves from backyard fireworks detonating over their houses.

So, when you’re choosing what to do this Monday, stay safe and have fun but spare a good thought for those around you who may be battling with mental health struggles as they could be your friends and neighbours.

*For those who suffer from Anxiety or PTSD seeking professional counselling and help from organisations is a first step toward tackling the problem.

Richard is a Psychotherapist in Preston. You can contact him on 07572277943 or at

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