Some women feel relief after an abortion, while other women experience strong negative disturbances. Some of these reactions may be immediate. Some occur many years after the abortion. Post abortion grief can be related to a woman’s age, length of pregnancy, previous mental health, religious or cultural beliefs, or whether she was pressured into an abortion.
Post Abortion Stress is described as the inability to:
- Process the painful thoughts and emotions about a crisis pregnancy and subsequent abortion – guilt, anger and sorrow.
- Identify the loss that has incurred.
- Come to peace with self and others.
Symptoms of Post Abortion Stress may include:
- Feeling compelled to conceal an abortion
- Experiencing prolonged depression
- Psychological “numbing”
- Experiencing disturbing thoughts about babies and abortion
- Having lingering guilt and shame
- Believing you are unworthy
- Avoiding relationships or struggling with intimacy
- Reacting physically and emotionally when abortion is mentioned
- Anxiety over fertility or childbearing issues
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Engaging is self-destructive behaviour
- Having thoughts of suicide
Women come to the centre hoping to resolve feelings of guilt, anxiety and depression. Women also inform us of secondary symptoms such as flashbacks of the abortion procedure, addictions, eating disorders, self harm, anniversary syndrome, unable to feel forgiven by God, preoccupation with becoming pregnant again, and interruption of bonding with future children.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing Post Abortion Stress, contact our Post Abortion Community Services at 604-525-0999 or email@example.com. Individual counselling, support groups, and abortion recovery weekend retreats are available.
Counselling services are free and confidential.