Emotional Recovery After 9/11: 5 Things You Can Do to Feel ‘Normal’ Again

It’s been nearly 19 years since September 11, 2001 — the day that the entire United States stood still. The victims of the attack and the first responders who survived the horrors of that day have the events of 9/11 indelibly etched in their minds. Although nearly two decades have passed since that fateful day, many people are still trying to put their lives back together.

If you’re struggling to recover from the devastation of 9/11, then you need to know that you’re not alone. Not only are there many others in New York and abroad who can relate with your struggle, but there’s also hope and help for you. Continue reading to learn things you can do to get back to “normal” again.

Get the Healthcare You Need

Many of the first responders and survivors of the attack on the World Trade Center have physical and mental health issues that haven’t been treated. If you’re suffering from an injury or mental disorder as a result of trauma, then your first step should be to get treatment. You shouldn’t underestimate the connection between your health and peace of mind.

Trying to cover medical expenses without health insurance is challenging. Even if you do have a health care insurance policy, there’s no guarantee that your insurer will cover all of the treatment you need. If you have a disability, then you may qualify for a Medicare health plan. Research online to check your eligibility, get Medicare insurance quotes, and get additional information about ways to cover your medical expenses.

Even with Medicare, you may still need to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or sign up for a Medigap policy to cover all of your health care needs and costs. Also, first responders and other victims of the attack qualify for the World Trade Center Health Program.

Get Compensation

In 2019, President Donald Trump signed a bill that guarantees the United States Government will permanently pay into the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The WTC victim compensation fund is for first responders, surviving victims, and the families of deceased victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The WTC victim compensation has safeguards to prevent claimant fraud and will look closely at each individual case. With that in mind, you may need an attorney to help you get through the application process and prove your eligibility. Even though the money won’t heal all of the wounds caused by your trauma, it can help ease financial burdens caused by this tragedy.

Surround Yourself With Loved Ones and People Who Can Relate With You

One of the worst things you can do after a traumatic experience is to isolate yourself. You don’t want to seclude yourself and let negative thoughts and anxiety run rampant through your mind.

It’s important to be surrounded by people who love and understand you. You should consider attending group therapy sessions for people who have survived traumatic events.

Reclaiming your peace of mind is hard work, but having support makes a huge difference. Even on days where you don’t feel like leaving home, knowing that love and moral support are only a phone call away is reassuring.

Visit Ground Zero

Many people get over their trauma by meeting it head-on. When you’re able to face your fears, then you strip them of their power over you. If you’ve avoided Lower Manhattan since 9/11, then you should visit the crash site with your support group. Visiting the crash site may take you back in time to the tragedy, but feeling the emotions of that day can help you to process and get over them.


Post-traumatic stress disorder results when someone relives a traumatic event cyclically in his or her mind. One of the most effective ways to manage PTSD is to meditate. Meditation is an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. The practice cultivates mindfulness by helping practitioners to live in the moment rather than dwell on past or future events.

Naida Sheppard

Associate Editor

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