Mental Health

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Trauma related disorders can be treated and help is available.


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