9/11 Giving Back and Emotionally Remembering


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Maybe find a clever card to thank your local station firefighters.

In 2010 congress declared September 11th the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Each year hundreds remember the tragedy of 9/11, where they were when they experienced the tragedy, images seen, people lost, and lives changed. Therapists have known for years about the “anniversary date” phenomena. Our physical and emotional systems remember dates and times of year where difficult things happened. While cognitively we might have forgotten, or would like too, our systems will not. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, agitation, irritability, and overwhelm increase during a month or time of year that was particularly difficult. A child who was abused during the fall season will show signs of stress as an adult each fall. The same is true of all of us that witnessed the fall of the twin towers and the attack on the pentagon. While some where closer to others, all were impacted and our systems experienced dread, fear, and mourning. Congress did a great thing 2010, and while it may feel small to some, it’s helpful to all. By giving back on this day we combat the loss of control our system felt and is reminded of each year. We can take action, we can in a productive way channel our emotions. So today make a moment for yourself to do something, even if its small. It will help you feel more grounded. Because through remembering and action we feel power.

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Patricia O’Laughlin, licensed therapist and Art Therapist, providing EMDR and therapy to individuals, couples, teens, and adults. Silver Lake/Los Feliz, Los Angeles. therapy@patriciaolaughlin.com or (323)761-2221.