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Beneath the Vest: How cumulative PTSD impacted a New York cop after 9/11

A former NYPD officer discusses how repeated exposure to trauma took its toll on his mental health and his family


By Police1 Staff

OC87 Recovery Diaries is an interactive website that features stories of mental health, empowerment and change.

In the third of a three-part series with first responders titled “Beneath the Vest: Conversations about Mental Health,” former NYPD officer Ron Griffith talks about responding at Ground Zero, where he was unable to rescue any of those affected by the tragedy, including his own colleagues. The repeated exposure to trauma gradually began to affect him; he was hurting, but he didn’t know what to do with the pain.

Ron describes how his personality shifted, and he became a controlling, angry person. He says he wasn’t aware of this change until his family left him, and all he was left with cumulative PTSD.