Academic journal article Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

Survivors of Infamy. (Career Perspectives)

Academic journal article Perspectives in Psychiatric Care

Survivors of Infamy. (Career Perspectives)

Article excerpt

The events of September 11, 2001, will live long in the psyche of those closest to the victims, the rest of the American people, and many of our friends and supporters throughout the world. Mass murder has its own dynamics and reactions, which must be addressed in caring for both survivors and the community at large.

Never have so many people been present to such events, either as eye witnesses or via real-time media coverage and frequent replays. The horror of watching the second plane hit the World Trade Center or of people falling or jumping to their death engendered feelings of shock and disbelief--that what we were watching was really a new sequel to "Die Hard."

The reactions of survivors of those killed will be the same as for survivors of any murder victim. People described feelings of disbelief and shock, fear and anxiety, anger or rage, uneasiness, difficulty sleeping and eating, and poor concentration. The shattering of their assumptions brought loss of a sense of control and fears about present and future safety--fears that are realistic and geared toward survival. Many people have experienced additional losses--homes, businesses, jobs, medical insurance. …

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