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Psychic Wounds Last for Those Touched by 9/11
Date:9/8/2011

he many ongoing health effects of the attacks and subsequent cleanup. "But PTSD, in my mind, will be the number one killer of 9/11 responders. The stress, compounded by the financial devastation, compromises the immune system and that expedites your death."

The flip side, of course, is the remarkable resilience displayed by some -- like Feal -- who turned the awful situation into opportunities to heal and help others.

Jay Winuk co-founded MyGoodDeed.org, a non-profit organization helping establish Sept. 11 as a recognized day of service, in honor of his younger brother Glenn, who died when the South Tower collapsed. Glenn Winuk, 40, was an attorney and volunteer firefighter who lost his life trying to evacuate others.

Winuk, who lives in Putnam County, N.Y., feels the 10-year anniversary is gratifying because it's re-focusing attention on the nearly 3,000 people who were lost on that day, each with his or her own inspiring story.

"At the same time, it's very bittersweet," said Winuk, a public relations professional. "I think of my brother every day and miss him every day. It's not as though the 10-year anniversary brings me back to something I pushed aside. [But] my brother was murdered in a mass murder by terrorists, and that changes your life."

From hurt comes healing

Billie A. Pivnick, consulting psychologist to Thinc Design partnered with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said responses such as Winuk's and Feal's might offer an extra layer of protection against pervasive psychological damage stemming from such a trauma.

"What getting involved in these organizations does is help turn passive helplessness into active mastery," said Pivnick, who also runs a private practice in New York City. "To the degree that they've been able to reverse this sense of helplessness, they're not stuck in trauma."

Feeling "stuck" in post-Sept. 11 emotions -- having nightmares, endlessly replaying the day's ev
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