Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sought Therapy After 'Extraordinarily Traumatizing' Capitol Riots

"I'm doing therapy but also I've just slowed down," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said after the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is opening about her mental health, after the Jan. 6 riots on the U.S. Capitol and the "active insurrection" attempt by former President Donald Trump.

On Friday, the New York congresswoman appeared on the Latino USA podcast and spoke about being in therapy to cope with the trauma she experienced during the insurrection. "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," she said.

"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.' "

Ocasio-Cortez said she "learned this the hard way," comparing the aftermath of Jan. 6 to coping with the death of her father when she was in college. "That happened at a young age, and I locked it away," the Boston University alum continued. "I had to live with that for years, and so, I learned my lesson then. And now, I feel like I've had to take a beat."

Capitol building coup
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump last month. Samuel Corum/Getty

"Oh yeah, I'm doing therapy but also I've just slowed down," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "I think the Trump administration had a lot of us, especially Latino communities, in a very reactive mode."

Ocasio-Cortez previously said she feared for her life during the Jan. 6 riots. "I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive," she said in an Instagram Live a week later, while calling out Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley for encouraging the riots.

"Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren't trying to get me killed," she wrote in response to Cruz on Twitter. "In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign."

RELATED VIDEO: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reflects on Insurrection at the Capitol

Ocasio-Cortez also detailed "huge, violent bangs on my door and every door going into my office ... like someone was trying to break the door down," and recalled hiding in her office bathroom, as rioters broke into the office.

"And then I just start to hear these yells of 'Where is she? Where is she?' " she remembered. "And I just thought to myself, 'They got inside' ... I mean, I thought I was going to die."

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