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The Lingering Mental Toll of 9/11

We are so lucky to have so many brave men and women who were willing to step up and help in recovery efforts when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 occurred. We sometimes take for granted their courage and forget how psychologically and emotional debilitating their jobs were. In fact, research shows that workers and volunteers involved in the recovery process of 9/11 have much higher levels of psychological distress than the general population.

The study found that about 62% of the workers and volunteers had a “substantial” stress reaction, 11% had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), about 8% had depression and around 5% had panic disorder. Those who suffer from PTSD are more likely to have lost family and friends, had their work and family lives disrupted and have children with behavior problems. In fact, the workers’ and volunteers’ stress levels and mental health impairment were comparable to those of Afghanistan war veterans.

Did you or someone you know work on the clean-up and recovery process of 9/11? How did it affect you/him/her and what helps in overcoming the resulting health diagnoses?  [HealthDay]    

Posted: 5/23/08