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Even though no one I know has been hurt, since the attacks Sept. 11 I've been scared and anxious. Am I the only one? Is it normal to feel this way?

Don't Panic!... Terror tips for the terrified

According to experts, it's normal to be anxious and worried. I'm worried, too. Since Sept. 11, I've been experiencing fear, anxiety, grumpiness, changes in appetite, inability to concentrate, memory loss, nightmares and memory loss. According to many psychologists and therapists, it's a perfectly normal reaction for cowards like us.

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Of course you're scared. Beginning Sept. 11, hijackings, collapsing skyscrapers, anthrax, economic tailspin and war replaced the less fearsome Gary Condit and sharks as national obsessions. And to compound our fear, nobody in our government seems to have a firm grip on how we're gonna get out of this mess. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are still alive and no one has been arrested for the anthrax attacks. It's all pretty frightening, particularly for lily-livered wimps like us.

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The key to getting through this is to take care of yourself as much as possible until some semblance of normalcy returns to daily life. Even we chickens will get through this. Here are some of the things that you can do to feel better:

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1) Exercise to alleviate your physical anxiety. President Bush works out all the time and his approval ratings are sky high. Coincidence? Buy a punching bag, tape a picture of bin Laden to it and get to work. It'll be like Operation Enduring Freedom: The Home Game.

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2) Keep busy and be productive. Don't sit around quietly dwelling on events that you can't influence or change. Whatever you do, don't get a job writing a weekly column about the war.

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3) Talk to people and share your fears and anxieties with them. Don't be afraid to cry. Your feelings won't go away if you bottle them up, you cry-baby.

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4) Have terror sex. Several articles I've read assert that uncertainty about the future has caused certain among us to indulge in making love, not war. Because I'm a gentleman, I will not divulge the details of my own personal war-related romantic activities, except to say that the next time I hear the Edwin Starr song that asks, "War: What is it good for?" I'll be able to offer at least one good answer.

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E-mail your war questions to andisheh@creativeloafing.com

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