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Old April 26, 2011, 09:37 AM   #1
garryc
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Post Shooting Trauma

This is what to expect after a use of lethal force incident. Machismo will not see you through, John Wayne is a fictional character. Only a narcissistic sociopath would not go through some of this.

http://placerchaplains.com/Documents...g%20Trauma.pdf
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Old April 26, 2011, 03:42 PM   #2
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Heck, I feel some of those things after a tough day in Dallas traffic.
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Old April 27, 2011, 11:10 AM   #3
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Good post. Some of the classes I've taken clearly mention this and try to educate males who posture that they won't have problems.

It's a problem with some and esp. in military and paramilitary circumstances.

We did a study on police attitudes towards PTSD and therapy and it's getting into the police psychology texts - which is really cool.
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Old April 27, 2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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I pray to gods that I never have to experience this. Thank you so much for sharing.
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Old April 27, 2011, 11:51 AM   #5
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Likewise.
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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IMO: The effects on the shooter in a righteous self defense shooting are much overblown. I've been the victim of two home invasions by gun armed criminals. Perps became deceased both times. I never had any of those problems. It's true that sleep was scarce for a few days afterward: Then it was back to normal ever since. Both home invasions happened many years ago and I seldom think about them.
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:17 PM   #7
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thallub, I respect your individual experience as well as your opinion. I'm sure everyone faced with that choice processes it in a way that is unique to that person regardles of the situation that required lethal force. IMO, the affects are not overblown simply because a single person, or even a handful of people, do not experience those reactions.
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:30 PM   #8
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A single experience may not disprove the validity of the aadvice, but this statement is grossly in error:

Quote:
Only a narcissistic sociopath would not go through some of this.
Everyone reacts differently, and different situations evince different responses. To say someone is a sociopath because they are not traumatized by a violent experience is ignorant and arrogant, smelling of its own brand of machismo.

Sound advice to give guidance on how to recognize and deal with psychological trauma, but don't paint everyone and every situation with the traumatized paintbrush.
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Old April 27, 2011, 12:33 PM   #9
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After reading the info in the link I have to ask, is it possible that a person experiencing the worst from that list possibly been in the wrong profession? I thankfully have not had to draw on a person and shoot so I have zero experience in the matter. Just a thought.
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Old April 27, 2011, 01:32 PM   #10
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I shot a guy in Austin,Texas on March 18, 2004, in a bar parking lot, after he
had he had attacked me. He had threatened to kill me and I had it on my cell
phone after he had called me and left a message to that effect. He hit me
in the face, I pulled my gun and promptly shot him, just like I told him I would
if he struck me. I was arrested, of course, and taken to jail. After I had told
my story to the police, I was released. I never had any kind of bad dreams,
regrets, etc., because this guy was a real mean individual and meant what he
said. I think alot of this stuff is overblown. At any rate, it didnt bother me
in the least. I was cleared by a grand jury, and this individual is now serving
time in a Federal prison.
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Old April 27, 2011, 01:44 PM   #11
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Everyone reacts differently, and often the people with the strongest psychological responses are the last ones you would expect. There's never going to be a catchall answer, but the best option is an appropriate amount of time with a mental health professional. Many people don't have their most severe episodes /flash backs until months or years (some cases even decades) down the road, so that initial evaluation and treatment is a huge step in the right direction.

Fortunately for us active duty folks, the military has (finally) started moving away from the mass-briefing with the chaplain and is actually sitting soldiers/airmen/sailors down one-on-one with a pro. Helps a lot.
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Old April 27, 2011, 01:52 PM   #12
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Thanks, that got passed along.
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:04 PM   #13
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The effect is very well documented. You are simply wrong if you think it is baloney. That you want to post that you were unaffected is nice but does not negate the need for the armed person to be aware of a significant risk. One self-report is not evidence for the nonexistence or minimization of the problem, compared to the significant numbers of reports. Research design is your friend.

Also very strong people and competent people can suffer from the effect, so the idea that someone is in the wrong profession is not useful. If you could develop an accurate predictive test of stress disorders, go do so.

Unless you can go read the psychological, criminological and police literature on stress effects and then do your own meta-analysis, spare me. Some people still think the world is flat.
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:16 PM   #14
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I am sure its well documented, but what I reported was how I felt about it.
I can only report what it did to me, not some other person. The guy I shot
was a crazed,drug fueled animal, and I feel nothing about the fact that I shot
him. This was MY reaction! Its been 7 years now, and I still wouldnt care if
the sorry sob died tomorrow, or at the time I shot him. I cant speak for other
people, but I can speak for my own reaction to a shooting.
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Also very strong people and competent people can suffer from the effect, so the idea that someone is in the wrong profession is not useful. If you could develop an accurate predictive test of stress disorders, go do so.
Please excuse me for posting a thought, good or bad as it may be.
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:31 PM   #16
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I never shot anyone or at anyone; I know a couple of my marines that did(over-seas) They are tough minded guys, well trained and with more discipline and morale then I ever had, but both of them experienced some remorse as they have expressed to me and a few of our old friends. Of course the fellows they shot were not "drug crazed" or felons and certainly not "home invaders" 2 times in one life time WOW! IMO It is not in any way a weakness to experience such regrets, no matter who it was; quite the contrary I would think, again that is just my inexperienced opinion.
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnero
It is not in any way a weakness to experience such regrets, no matter who it was; quite the contrary I would think, again that is just my inexperienced opinion.
Just so... and while "narcissistic sociopath" might be putting it a bit strongly, I think one could argue that a person who did not experience those regrets might be in the wrong profession...
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Old April 27, 2011, 02:48 PM   #18
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I don't know....

I think there's nothing wrong with guys having remorse afterward, and that it probably is normal.

But of the people I know who've been involved in such, I think there's more instances of survivor's guilt (for those who've lost teammates) than remorse over shooting hostiles. I've heard guys second-guess any number of things, but generally not whether they should have shot.
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Old April 27, 2011, 03:05 PM   #19
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One can have a thought and state something is overblown. However, knowing something about the area, I will correct generalized statements that fly in the face of science. Since this is a very serious issue, I state things quite firmly.

About sociopaths, there is evidence that they show no remorse and have no qualms about killing.

As an aside, legal studies show that if you put forward NO Remorse in a criminal case (yes, all your shoots are good and righteous ), the jury is not sympathetic to you. Thus, in an ambiguous shoot - I caution you on what you say.

To summarize my lecture mode:

1. A personal experience does not prove anything about the general risk. A case study provides impetus for further careful research. Such research shows the risk.

2. We cannot predict who will suffer a stress disorder before the event. Wish we could.

3. There are people who show no emotional consequence or strong affect after taking a life. Sociopaths may be like that. Does that imply all those who didn't get a stress disorder are sociopathic - no, it doesn't. But some could be.

Class is over.
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Old April 27, 2011, 03:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
but what I reported was how I felt about it. I can only report what it did to me, not some other person.
But that's not what you originally said. What you originally said was:
Quote:
The effects on the shooter in a righteous self defense shooting are much overblown
Which is a generalized statement
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Last edited by GregInAtl; April 27, 2011 at 03:56 PM.
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Old April 27, 2011, 03:26 PM   #21
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No sir, that is NOT what I said! I said "I think alot of this is overblown"
EXACT words! You might get someone to help you READ my original statement, as you have added a few words to it that I did not say!
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Old April 27, 2011, 03:30 PM   #22
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Dave Grossman's excellent book "On Combat" discusses this at length.

Not everyone suffers from PTSD or other problems. In fact, we are told by society that we surely must "feel" bad when we must defend ourselves, so people winning gunfights sometimes do but it is also very often not the case.

It is also true that cops and soldiers who are told by colleagues that they did the right thing suffer far less than those who aren't validated in such a way. This is why so many Vietnam vets suffered from PTSD. Their actions weren't validated when they came home.

I have never been in that situation, either as a civilian or when I was in the Army, but I have close friends who have been in lethal encounters and who have not suffered lingering after effects. They are far from being sociopaths. They just chose not to let the actions of bad people affect the rest of their lives.
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Old April 27, 2011, 03:43 PM   #23
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My nephew was in afganistan and Iraq, had some bad fire fights under his belt. He was de briefed one on one, he said he hated to have to do what he did, but if he didnt something wores might come down the line. He seems OK, isnt as brash or acts as ballsy, I mark it up to maturing and growing up in a sense.

Buds were in Nam dont talk about it much, my Uncle sent pics from the battlefield and enjoyed the hunt. Diferent folks take it in differently. Some cant pull a trigger on a deer, some cant wait to kill one.

One Uncle was driving a boat in Omaha beach landing went nuts, saw his friends blown up, body parts floating in the boat, after 4 or 5 he just went in circles till they got to him, he is still in a home to this day.

Uncle Ray was also in ww2 he is in a home due to alzheimers.
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Old April 27, 2011, 03:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hartlock
No sir, that is NOT what I said! I said "I think alot of this is overblown" EXACT words! You might get someone to help you READ my original statement, as you have added a few words to it that I did not say!
You are correct, I had you mistaken with someone else on this thread that said that. My apologies.
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Old April 27, 2011, 04:13 PM   #25
hartlock
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Hey, no problem, Greg. had me wondering there for awhile. I had to go
back and read my post to see if I really did say that!
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