The events of September 11, 2001, exposed hundreds of thousands of people in New York City and beyond to distressing experiences, events and images. Studies conducted after 9/11 suggest that rescue, recovery and clean up workers; friends and relatives of victims and survivors of the WTC attacks; and those who repeatedly witnessed the events on television and in newspapers are at greater risk of developing long-term 9/11- related psychological problems.
Psychological Impact of the WTC Attacks
- People exposed to traumatic events such as the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath may experience emotions such as fear, helplessness, or horror, especially if the events include serious injuries or death.
- Most people exposed to the WTC attack showed some signs of stress in the immediate and short-term aftermath of the event. This is a normal reaction that usually disappears in a few weeks. Some people, however, continue to experience stress or their symptoms worsen, even years after the WTC attacks.
- The most common long term mental health conditions seen in those exposed to the traumatic events of 9/11 are post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, general anxiety disorder (GAD), and substance use disorders. A person can suffer from more than one of these conditions.
- Trauma related disorders can be treated and help is available.
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