MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dealing with the many emotions of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks can be difficult and complicated.
Dr. Quentin Gabor, a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota, says it’s possible for Minnesotans to experience some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, even if they’ve never stepped foot in New York City.
Gabor says anniversaries can be profoundly powerful, because memory is the recreation of an experience.
“[9/11] kind of fundamentally change[d] our view of reality and our view of safety and the integrity of our lives and what can happen,” Gabor said. “For a lot of us, it was astoundingly surprising.”
Commemorating the anniversary and acknowledging the painful emotions helps.
Gabor also recommends seeking the support of loved ones when dealing with trauma, as well as “finding the value of life, finding what’s really important, being kind to other people.”
Children may not understand why something that happened long ago can elicit such strong emotions.
Gabor advises relating to them through a bad or traumatic experience that may have caused sadness in them.
“If parents can, with this and all emotions: talk to their kids to recognize when they have emotions, help them identify them, help them learn how to cope with them,” he said.
Living a healthy lifestyle with exercise and without intoxicants can be another effective way to cope with trauma, Gabor says.
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