AOC Is In Therapy Over 'Extraordinarily Traumatizing' Capitol Riots

by Madison Vanderberg
Samuel Corum/Getty

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks about going to therapy to cope with the traumatic events of the January 6th coup

On January 6, 2021, an angry mob descended on the Capitol building at the behest of former President Donald Trump, who refused to accept that he did not secure the 2020 vote. Five people died during the events of the Capitol insurrection and many more members of Congress and Capitol staffers were left with the memories of that traumatic day. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she’s now in therapy to process the events of that day as she hid in an office bathroom while violent mobs charged past and broke into her hiding place.

Ocasio-Cortez says that people aren’t talking enough about how traumatic it was to be inside the Capitol that day as a member of Congress.

A mob of angry and violent conservatives, many of whom already use violent rhetoric when speaking about the lawmaker, broke into the place where Congress works, with an intention of violence.

“You have this transition period of escalating violence, which really culminated on the 6th, for which was an extraordinarily traumatizing event that’s not really being discussed,” AOC shared on the Latino USA podcast.

We now know how that day ended and know that AOC and her fellow members of Congress ended up okay, but to experience that in real-time, and to not know that you’ll get out alive? It’s true, that as a nation, we really don’t discuss the seriousness of what occurred that day, which has been obscured with talks about “QAnon Shamans” and the other unhinged personalities arrested that day. I mean, panic buttons were removed from Rep. Ayanna Pressley‘s office before the insurrection and we haven’t really gotten an update on that terrifying bit of intel.

“I’m doing therapy [now] but also I’ve just slowed down,” she added. “I think the Trump administration had a lot of us, especially Latino communities, in a very reactive mode.”

“After the 6th, I took some time and it was really [Rep.] Ayanna Pressley when I explained to her what happened to me, like the day of, because I ran to her office,” AOC explained. “And she was like, ‘You need to recognize trauma. And this is something that you went through, but we’re all going through. And it’s really important to pause after that, because that’s how you process it.'”

In an Instagram Live a week after the coup, AOC detailed what it was like that day, how she truly feared for her life and hid in her office bathroom as rioters broke into the office.

“I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive,” she shared in the IG Live. “Huge, violent bangs on my door and every door going into my office…like someone was trying to break the door down…And then I just start to hear these yells of ‘Where is she? Where is she?’ And I just thought to myself, ‘They got inside. I mean, I thought I was going to die.”

In addition to therapy, AOC is now doing a ton of backpacking and urban hiking in New York as another way to unplug and stay grounded.