The 9/11 terror attack was perhaps the worst in American history. Two decades later, the harrowing memories are still afresh. If you are a survivor, you probably recall the fearful moments every day of your life. Some struggle with health issues like respiratory conditions, cancer, or digestive problems. PTSD, sleep deprivation, and depression are even more common for residents, visitors, and responders who were at Ground Zero on a fateful day. While you cannot expect to erase the memories and reboot life, there are ways to regain control over your emotions and life. Here are some valuable tips that 9/11 survivors can rely on to deal with the trauma.
Accept your feelings
Anyone witnessing a disaster of such a magnitude is bound to feel overwhelmed. Panic would have been the first reaction. You may feel anxious about going through a similar experience again. Anger is another evident response, as you want the guilty person to pay back for your suffering. You may also experience immense pain and grief for your suffering and losing friends and colleagues. The mix of emotions can affect your mental peace and sanity if you do not manage them. Therapists recommend accepting your feelings and starting your healing journey from there. Acceptance takes you a step ahead toward closure.
Talk about your pain
Bottling up about your emotions sounds easy for survivors as they feel lonely. You believe that no one can connect with your struggle because they were not there and did not see, feel, or experience what you did. But talking about your pain opens the doors to normalcy. Narrate the incident to your partner or a close friend, and recall everything you went through. At times, talking about traumatic incidents can help you get them out of your system. Trust the listener because they will surely be open to doing their bit to get you out of the trauma.
Know your rights
Another tip to get over your suffering and start afresh is by knowing your rights and claiming them. Survivors and first responders suffered from severe health issues due to the exposure to toxins in the air during and after the rescue operations. Thousands of cases of different types of cancers, respiratory problems, and digestive issues continue to be reported years after the attack. Even more, survivors suffer from PTSD decades later. But the silver lining is that you can claim compensation from the 9/11 funds. The best way to do it is by collaborating with 9/11 attorneys who can help you seek maximum coverage for your suffering. The financial coverage of your medical treatment goes a long way in helping you resume normalcy.
Since PTSD is a mental health condition, you may require proper treatment for it. Talking to a partner or friend does not always help. You must recognize the need for professional help and seek counseling therapy sooner than later. An expert therapist can help you deal with deep-seated fears and inner demons. Do not hesitate about going to them because PTSD can worsen into chronic depression if you overlook its signs and fail to get treatment on time. You may end up losing weight, missing out on sleep, and even affecting your relationships and work productivity. But timely and correct treatment can get your life back on track.
Join a support group
The 9/11 disaster affected thousands of victims and their families. You may easily find a like-minded person around the corner. Talking to them makes it easy to share your emotions and deal with them. Consider joining a support group online as you can get help and give it to people experiencing the same trauma and struggle. No one can understand the pain better than the ones who have been through it, and you can find plenty of such people in local communities and online chat groups. Share experiences and be there to listen if someone needs to talk. Just being around the right people may speed up the healing process.
Dealing with the 9/11 trauma is not easy, considering the physical and emotional suffering you may have sustained as a survivor. Even people who lost their loved ones likely experience the same level of suffering as the victims. Although nothing can make up for the loss or get the event out of your memory, you can try to start afresh. Learn to celebrate life because you survived after seeing death in its face. Also, commit to being the best version of yourself and living life with a new purpose.