JD and I have been reading a series of books on subjects like Vietnam Veterans, PTSD, Killing, Mindset, combat stress and the like.
In these books and others they advocate the importance of cooling down, talking, destressing and being around like-minded and understanding individuals who can help the rationalization and healing process of post-combat trauma.
Police officers, after being involved in shootings, have mandatory periods of rest or even psych evals, comrades they can talk to and people who can help them cope with that they have been forced to do and their department often tries to keep press filtered through the office rather than the officer.
The military has unit-wide debriefings and Chaplin meetings, welcoming family and friends and associations who welcome soldiers home to praise and "thank yous" and general acceptance for what the military personnel has been required to do in the line of duty.
This is all in attempts to protect the mind of the person that had to do the killing and that vulnerable period when they are trying to justify, rationalize and come to terms with what he was required to do. The second guessing and the reliving and the psychological trauma can be lessened by the support and comfort and time to analyze and heal
Even still these people can face isolation and oppression from those who do not completely understand which can lead to feelings of guilt and shame that can ultimately lead to further psychological problems.
These kinds of protective measures are obviously lacking in the civilian sector when a civilian is required to defend him or herself from an aggressor and the psychological toll, even if no charges are files and the police find his or her actions completely justifiable, can be hard to handle.
There are no local groups supporting post-shootings and there will likely be press and local citizens and even family who will accuse and second guess rather than support and comfort.
Most of us have immediate aftermath plans involving contacting a lawyer and how we would handle the police, etc. But do you have a plan for dealing with the psychological trauma?
Do you plan to take off work? Do you have someone you could talk to? Do you have plans for dealing with those who would accuse you of murder and second guess you and your decision? Do you know what you might experience and the thoughts you might have to address? Do you know what signs to look for that might indicate a serious problem such as severe depression or post-traumatic stress? Does your family (or at least your spouse) know what to look for so that even if you can not recognize these things in yourself you have someone who can identify these issues and get you help? Have you committed yourself to getting help if you or your family thinks you need it?
Do you have a psychological plan?