When the Terror Won't Stop

Written by Dr. Dorree Lynn


The New Reality

The planes bursting in air causing mayhem and destruction gave Americans a rallying point to come together, to hoist our flags and to be patriotic. As was appropriate, we joined as one nation. Though stabbed with shock, we reacted bravely and generously. We felt buoyed by a united congress singing God Bless America. We harkened to Bush, Pataki and GiuIiani's entreatments to be strong, resolute and steadfast. We tried to live our lives as we had before. Most of us wanted to, few were completely able to.

We understood that those immediately and intimately affected, those living in Washington, DC, New York or Pennsylvania, those who lost a loved one or knew someone who did, would probably have a more traumatic reaction that those untouched or living elsewhere. But no one prepared us for our own anxiety, depression and restless nights. We reached out to loved ones, to family, to religion and to community. Instinctively, we understood that we needed allrepparttar help we could get and give. We did everything we should. So, why are so many of us still experiencing distress? Why are so many of us still afraid?

One recent survey said that seventy-five percent of Americans are now depressed. Fifty percent say they are having trouble sleeping. And, that does not include those who are feeling more tearful or who are experiencing bursts of unfocused anger, or those whose insides are chaotic or who are unable to concentrate as well as they did before September 11th. The New York Times reports an increase in heart attacks. Stress does nasty things to our bodies and our minds.

As a practicing psychologist, last week wasrepparttar 126321 most stressful that I can recall. Normal solid citizens came to see me, expressing upset of every dimension. Most were finding their sleep disrupted, some wanted to sleep allrepparttar 126322 time. They were worried about their children's futures. Would sons and possibly daughters have to go to war? What kind of country would we become? What would happen to our freedom? Fear of flying, germ warfare, a TV program on how to fit a gas mask to your face … where willrepparttar 126323 next attack be, will my money be gone and maybe my job? The terror had only begun.

The economic situation didn't help. Some knew people who had been laid off. Some were afraid of losing their own jobs. Others felt a deep humanitarian concern and worried about having to fire those in their charge. Where wouldrepparttar 126324 jobless go? What kinds of jobs would be open to them? People talked about diminishing 401Ks and buying or selling stocks and homes. They spoke of dreams shattered. And, because dreams are ephemeral, they take a long time to mourn.

Althoughrepparttar 126325 media offered endless explanations about how people might feel, almost everyone thought it applied to someone else. Few understood why they were in such a funk. Aboutrepparttar 126326 best I could do was to tell people that their response to abnormal events was normal, that they were not going crazy, and that they were not alone. We talked and talked and I advised people to do simple things, talk, hug your loved ones, find community, pray and talk some more. This time-period will berepparttar 126327 worst part. Becoming accustomed torepparttar 126328 fact that life has changed and that we are vulnerable takes getting used to. Accepting a new normalcy isn't easy and takes time. Eventually, for most, symptoms should ease. For others, even with medication, symptoms will continue and their terror won't end.

Shattered Illusions

Written by Dr. Dorree Lynn

Man isrepparttar only animal that finds his own existence a problem he has to solve and from which he cannot escape. Inrepparttar 126320 same sense man isrepparttar 126321 only animal who knows he must die. Eric Fromm

The bombing of New York’s twin towers andrepparttar 126322 Pentagon in Washington, DC as well asrepparttar 126323 hijacking of four U.S. planes that resulted in thousands of murders has shattered our soul’s sense of safety. Never again will we be a nation secure inrepparttar 126324 illusion that as a country and as individuals, we are protected and sheltered. We are a people accustomed to viewing pyrotechnic towers as an every day event on bothrepparttar 126325 big and little screens. Few of us are prepared forrepparttar 126326 reality of burning towers forever flattened. New York’s crushed geographic landscape is a metaphor for an enemy’s attempt to destroy our country, our economy, our spirit and ourselves.

But, it will not work. Witnessrepparttar 126327 resolute and dignified way those ofrepparttar 126328 big apple continue their lives. A big bite has been taken, but with nary a New York raspberry heard,repparttar 126329 great city wends its way. So doesrepparttar 126330 less flamboyant Capital and so does our nation.

But, will we move forward unscathed? No! Never again will we get on a plane without our stomachs churning or our hearts skipping a beat. Few of us will enter a crowed building in a major city without wondering if we will emerge safely. We will continue to live as normally as we can, much asrepparttar 126331 English during World War II continued to plant their gardens’ while bombs were exploding about them. That is as it should be, for even under duress life must go on.

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