advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Is It Normal for the Anxiety of 9/11 to Come Back Again?
Just when I thought life was getting back to normal after September 11, the terrible news of the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl came out. I can't understand why the death of a man I never knew brought back all the emotional turmoil that followed the events of September 11. Is this abnormal?
A
Answer (Published 3/11/2002)

Updated 4/19/2005

Many millions of Americans have experienced a cascade of strong emotions since September 11th, 2001 - feelings ranging from shock and anger to numbness, depression, and helplessness. Physical symptoms such as sleep disturbances, fatigue, loss of appetite, chest pains, and upset stomachs can also be manifestations of the emotional impact of the terrorist attacks.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Mood Support - Do you feel stressed out? The B vitamins may help - they help support adrenal function and also calm the nervous system and alleviate stress. Learn more, and get your free, personalized vitamin recommendation today, at Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor.

All of these reactions are consequences of the losses we've all suffered - the disruption of our lives and the alteration of our views of the world as a result of the attacks. Roxane Cohen Silver, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine, and an expert on how individuals cope with major life losses, sees the after-effects as profound and maintains that the terrorist attacks "interrupted the rhythm, cycles and entire social fabric of our country." And she predicts that the consequences could last months, years, and for some people, the rest of their lives.

The answer to your question is that what you're experiencing is not abnormal, and you're certainly not alone in feeling as you do. It isn't surprising that the vicious murder of Danny Pearl rekindled your emotional response to the events of September 11.

My colleague, grief counselor Deborah Morris Coryell, author of Good Grief: Healing Through the Shadow of Loss,(Shiva Foundation, 1997), says that it seems to her that we store our grief memories so that they can be easily reawakened by fresh reminders, in your case, the relatively fresh grief due to the terrorist attacks was rekindled by Danny Pearl's death. She says that it is important to understand that grief and grieving are not diseases, but normal and healthy responses to the experience of loss.

I can only encourage you to talk about your feelings with your family and friends. A strong support system, close family ties or membership in a religious organizations are key to coping successfully with any loss, including the losses we all suffered as a result of the terrorist attacks. It is also important for you to recognize - and for those around you to understand - that there is no "normal" time for working through your emotional response to our national tragedy.

Beyond that, I would urge you to eat well and exercise regularly and try to counter anxiety and stress with relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, visualization, or guided imagery.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related Topics

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here