When we think of self defense, we often think of the tools to use, or the avoidance strategies we may employ. If we are paying attention, we might look at the justice system and how they prosecute crimes in our area. We work on our skills and play mental games to prepare our minds for the horror of a violent encounter.
With all this preparation, we would think that we would be mentally, physically and legally prepared for a defensive encounter. But what about the mental aftermath? What about the nurse who has spent her whole life caring for people that had to hurt someone to protect her children? What about the carpenter who was unable to keep his wife from being injured in the fight? We need to be prepared mentally for some of these outcomes, but it may not make it any easier.
Mental health is an important thing to think about when we experience something traumatic. We need to be aware that we have just gone through the abnormal, so our response may not be something we recognize. Understanding that these feelings are normal by reading books like "On Combat" by LTC Dave Grossman is important, but we may also need professional help. Make sure that you have prepared or at least considered a mental health and stabilizing program.
Be well. Be prepared.