Can You Get Over Killing a Person?

Zimmerman could suffer nasty symptoms for years
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2012 1:37 PM CDT
George Zimmerman, during a court hearing Thursday April 12, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.   (AP Photo/Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel, Pool)
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(Newser) – A murder victim suffers the worst possible fate. But what about psychological damage to the killer? Therapists who work with them—be they police officers or possible self-defense gunmen like George Zimmerman—have one piece of advice: Relive the incident slowly in your mind, reports Slate. And when you question whether you could have avoided pulling that trigger, the therapist steps in with another message: Stop judging yourself, and remember it was a split-second decision.

The key, experts say, is to stop obsessing over the past and return to the present. Even if the killing was indefensible, psychologists want you to learn from the event and change your behavior for next time. Killers who obsess over the incident can suffer from symptoms such as headaches, nausea, appetite loss, panic attacks, and insomnia—sometimes for years. Zimmerman himself seems to have lost weight, and was behaving so weirdly that his first lawyers dropped him.

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