Said one woman: "I'm going to live my life day by day, you never know what's going to happen."
Across the country priorities are shifting and people are seeking comfort in the guilty pleasures that no longer seem to produce guilt:
Says Dr. Scott Saunders of the University Of California at Los Angeles: "Most of us are more anxious now than we were before September 11. Until we learn other ways to deal with that anxiety we are going to go to the simple ones which is eating, drinking, smoking and a host of other activities many of which are unhealthy."
Some are devouring donuts, even one man who said he was diabetic. Others are looking for a short term relationship.
The result of the nation's noshing is being seen at weight loss clinics across the country. Diet guru Richard Simmons says some of his clients have gone back to square one: "We are returning now to eating the candy bars, the french fries, the mashed potatoes, the macaroni and cheese."
Mental health experts say the constant anxiety and stress following September 11th is now compounded by new fears. The lack of airline safety, the potential for an anthrax attack or retaliatory actions by Osama bin Laden.
"Human beings don't like not understanding or knowing what's going to happen and we don't know what's happening or what's going to happen at this moment," says Dr. Saunders.
While many are indulging because it may seem to be the one aspect of life they can control, mental health experts say it won't last forever. When Americans learn to process the changes in their lives brought about by the terror attacks, they will most likely give up these temporary vices.
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