Many people were affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It affected people in different ways even if they did not lose a friend or family member. Those constant images that were flashing across the television screen just took a toll on people’s minds eventually and many even developed certain ailments. You did not have to be right at the scene. The pictures on the screen were enough to see the terrible disaster.
My mother developed an anxiety disorder soon after. I did not understand her condition just until recently and nine years have passed by since this tragedy took place. There were times when she did not want to listen to the news at the dinner table. When my dad was alive, we watched the news every night while eating. I would tell her that we have to know what is going on in the world so it is important to listen to the news. I realize now that I was very insensitive and it is because I did not understand what she was going through. It was only until last week that I finally realized that she got this anxiety disorder from 9/11. All along I thought it was from the stress of taking care of my sick father, whom eventually died from Lou Gehrig’s Disease just six months later. I came to this realization when the television showed the images of 9/11 on the ninth anniversary. She told me after that it bothered her and that she could not watch anymore of it. Then it hit me suddenly that her anxiety disorder developed from this tragedy.
My advice to anyone suffering from anxiety is to avoid watching the news. Let us face reality. The local news is nothing but troubles, crimes and tragedies. Hearing about these things day in and day out will only add to your problems and it will take you a very long time to get well. Now, that I understand what my mom is going through, we do not watch the news anymore. I am always on the computer and I get enough news so I do not feel like I am in the dark on things. Someone who is dealing with anxiety cannot bear to hear certain things. Just recently, my mom happened to hear of a terrible accident on the highway not too far from where we live. As much as I tried to keep this information from her, she walked up to the computer and saw the headlines. I was so upset because as soon as she saw those headlines, it bothered her very much.
Also, avoid television programs that are not pleasant. Even a nice family show such as Little House on the Prairie or Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, can have sad themes at times. If someone gets hurt or dies, this will bother someone suffering from anxiety, especially since my mom’s disorder began from a mass of people being killed.
Avoid people who are negative and who talk about problems and troubles. You may even have to tell them that you cannot hear a certain story or talk about a certain issue because you are suffering anxiety currently. If they are a real, true friend, they should understand and change the subject immediately.
It took my mother over a year to get well and she still at times gets her days. Help yourself to get better faster by following these few steps.