9-11 Causes Long-lasting Sensitivity

9-11 Causes Long-lasting Sensitivity

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Ed Yeates ReportingTwo years later, people are still feeling anxious and fragile, enough so to seek professional help.

The assassination of John Kennedy, the Challenger disaster, bombings -- behavioral scientists have seen how people react at the height of many national tragedies. But they admit 9-11 is proving different. It's lingering psychologically, even among those who were never there.

David Tomb, M.D., University of Utah Department of Psychiatry: “9-11 is somewhat unique and we're still trying to figure out just how long lasting that's going to be."

University of Utah research psychiatrist Dr. David Tomb and his colleagues are seeing patients again at this anniversary. They're very sensitive people who have internalized 9-11 with renewed anxiety and depression. And they do not necessarily have post traumatic stress disorders.

Tomb: "I have seen a number of people whose anxiety, whose depression, much to my surprise, had been under very good control, are losing control. They're relapsing."

Why? 9-11 goes beyond the collapse of two towers, two years ago. For these people, it's a whole world still in turmoil with too much uncertainty.

Tomb: "That frequently is all it takes to once again bring to mind these very sensitive individuals how fragile life is and how difficult life can be."

Dr. Tomb's advice to this special group -- avoid watching the media's vivid coverage of the anniversary. Wait for it to pass.

Dr. Tomb says for most of these folks, the anxiety should diminish as media focus on the anniversary becomes less intense, especially in anniversaries to come.

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