From kids to adults: How 9/11 impacted them

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PEORIA (WEEK) — From classmates crying, to fears about what it meant for their parents, the terror attacks from 20 years ago still resonate today with young people. An event they learned about by watching it in school or hearing about from their teachers, is still being processed.

“To me it was just like wow something big is going on, but I didn’t really know the magnitude of it,” said Peoria resident, Cara Schuck.

September 11th, 2011, Schuck was 11-years-old. When she came home from school, her parents told her what happened.

“It is something that is scary, but we’re safe,” Schuck said.

Child Psychiatrist at UnityPoint Health, Dr. Kapil Aedma, said that reassurance is key in helping children process traumatic events.

“They naturally can get confused by looking at the response, everybody is in shock and it can be pretty traumatic for them,” said Dr. Aedma.

Dr. Aedma said witnessing the events of 9/11 was likely harder on children who were already experiencing anxiety or other mental health disorders.

“Immediate affects might have been there, classic symptoms of PTSD, nightmares, flashbacks,” said Dr. Aedma.

Peoria resident, Katarina Belt, was nine years old. She said she knew something was wrong, but had no idea what she was about to experience at school that morning.

“This girl was sobbing kind of in the coat closet, just terrified that a plane might fly into the school and that was just really confusing to me,” said Belt.

Belt’s dad was in the military. She remembers being more scared about what this meant for her dad.

“20 days after 9/11 my dad was deployed and he couldn’t tell us where and that was pretty scary,” said Belt.

Both women said the experience changed them forever.

“But you never know because it did sound impossible for a plane to fly into these buildings and it did happen,” said Belt.

“I think even like growing up knowing that that’s a possibility has always been on the back of my mind,” said Schuck.

Dr. Aedma said everyone deals with trauma differently. And anyone struggling should reach out for help.

“There is help there through counseling, through medications that can help them do better,” said Dr. Aedma.

The post From kids to adults: How 9/11 impacted them appeared first on WEEK.

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