Nearly everyone should be able to recall where they were on September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers were attacked. There were 19 terrorists that hijacked 4 airliners. Following the attack on the World Trade Center, another airliner crashed into the Pentagon and another crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
Many thousands of people have been severely affected by the 9/11 events. The psychological trauma remains fresh in people’s minds even 9 years later. The images and sounds of people jumping to their deaths from the burning towers will never be forgotten by those who witnessed that in person and in the media. Few people really feel safe anymore. For the last several years, fear and trepidation isn’t far from anyone’s mind. Since 9/11 there has been an increase of generalized anxiety disorder, depression and other disorders.
Post traumatic stress disorder increased after 9/11 attacks
Everyone who died that day had someone that loved them. In the blink of an eye, lives were cruelly taken, and the people who loved them suffered profound grief and loss. Eventually, the grief recedes to a far corner of the mind, but the emotional pain is still somewhere deep inside. There were victims whose bodies were never recovered. No one gets truly over that kind of loss, but they learn to deal with it. Thousands of individuals either in the building or somewhere near it when the event happened. Many people have processed their losses and gotten on with life. However, there are many still, who still need mental health support.
The horror was shown on television and almost nothing was hidden from us. I remember watching in horror as victims stepped out on the edge of the towers and jumped to their deaths. I can only imagine what it must have been like for all the people who were actual eye witnesses to that horror. Approximately 19 percent of the individuals most affected by the events of 9/11 suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for at least 5 years after the event. Many still suffer from it.
Many of the firefighters and rescue workers who worked on rescue and recovery suffered from PSTD. I remember weeping as I heard a firefighter speaking about the people who jumped to avoid burning to death. He described in detail what it was like to hear the loud thuds as the bodies hit the ground.
Other health problems associated with 9/11
The intense cloud of dust and debris that filled the atmosphere that day lingered for a very long time. Many people who worked to find the dead and clean up Ground Zero now suffer from terminal illnesses such as cancer and pulmonary diseases. Between 2002 and 2004 approximately 70 percent of the rescue and recovery personnel suffered sinus problems, asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory process in the respiratory system or somewhere else in the body is also a long term illness associated with the aftermath of 9/11.
Another chronic conditions common to the people exposed to the dust cloud is gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). The symptoms of GERD chronic heartburn; sometimes an individual may experience heartburn that might feel like a burning sensation and other someone else may experience pain that could be mistaken for heart pain.
How 9/11 impacted my life
September 11, 2001 will be burned into the memories of people all over the US and around the world. Being a native New Yorker, it was devastating to see the towers fall. I remember the when the Twin Towers were being built. I lived in Brooklyn at the time.
On that morning, I was still asleep. My daughter frantically woke me up to tell me the towers had been attacked by terrorist. I didn’t believe her. I turned on the TV and there was the replay of planes flying into the towers. I know, for me, my eyes well up as I recall the horrible images that will be burned into my memory for as long as I live. I witnessed real terror for the first time on that day.