Fireworks Trigger My Schizoaffective Anxiety

July 4, 2024 Elizabeth Caudy

Fireworks are very bad for my schizoaffective anxiety. I wanted to write about my struggle because this post will be published on the Fourth of July, a holiday known for its fireworks. So, let me tell you about how fireworks trigger my anxiety.

Before Schizoaffective Anxiety, I Loved Fireworks

Before anxiety, I used to love fireworks. I have an especially vivid memory of the summer I was 14 years old, before my freshman year of high school, when I was a teenager but still very much a kid. My parents took my brothers, Billy and John, and me to Disney World. There were fireworks at the Magic Kingdom in front of the big castle every night. One night, when we were there, we watched a parade of Disney characters. I was smiling at Alice from Alice in Wonderland because I just love both the Disney movie and the original books, and she waved at me. I was so happy. The last whole year of my life when I was genuinely happy was when I was 14 years old.

Fireworks and the Fourth of July were fun for me as a kid. Before John was born, our parents would take Billy and me to the Lake Michigan beach in our suburb of Chicago with a picnic basket, and we would have dinner and watch the fireworks with my grandparents and family friends. Later, when we would watch them with the neighbors, I laughed as, after the display, someone would always stand up and shout about it being our tax dollars at work. (As I got older, this pundit would greatly annoy me.)

Fireworks and the Toll of Schizoaffective Anxiety

Strangely, I still enjoyed fireworks after I first developed schizoaffective anxiety. Despite the symptoms, I enjoyed the vibrant displays into my 20s and early 30s. I remember seeing "3-D" fireworks with my husband, Tom, and a friend when Tom and I were first married. To this day, I am not sure why these fireworks were more "3-D" than normal fireworks. We were given special glasses to view them, though.

Now, fireworks set off my anxiety, no pun intended. Not to brag, but I remind myself of a cat because of how I react to fireworks. Cats and dogs find the sound of fireworks painful with their sensitive hearing. I can’t stand the loud, booming noises either. Luckily, when my family gets together for the Fourth of July, no one goes to see the fireworks anymore. We sit around and drink coffee (decaffeinated coffee for me–many other things besides fireworks rev up my schizoaffective anxiety).

I wish I could say more about avoiding fireworks because of my schizoaffective anxiety, but there’s not much to add because, well, I avoid them. I’m not very social, and, as I said, I spend the Fourth of July with my family, so I don’t put anyone out or make myself feel bad by avoiding them. It is what it is, as they say. I did have fun writing this and reminiscing about all the times I used to enjoy looking up at the sky into the light show of fireworks, though.

I share more about how fireworks impact my schizoaffective anxiety in my video below.

See Also

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2024, July 4). Fireworks Trigger My Schizoaffective Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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