Some women feel relief after an abortion, while other women find it a painful and difficult experience to move past. If you are experiencing feelings of guilt, anxiety and depression, you are not alone. 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.
Recent research is demonstrating that abortion can be responsible for at least some profound long-term emotional disturbances in a woman’s life. Post-Abortion Stress is the term used to describe a woman’s inability to:
- Process the fear, anger, sadness and guilt surrounding her abortion experience
- Identify and grieve the loss that has occurred
- Come to a place of peace with God, herself and others involved in the abortion decision
Symptoms of Post-Abortion Stress
- Guilt, anxiety or psychological numbness
- Depression (unexplained feelings of sadness; sudden uncontrollable crying episodes; poor self-concept; sleep, appetite or sexual problems; reduced motivation; conflicts in relationships; thoughts of suicide)
- Anniversary grief (on the anniversary of the date of the abortion or due date of the aborted child)
- Flashbacks of the abortion
- Preoccupation with becoming pregnant again or anxiety over fertility and childbearing issues
- Interruption of the bonding process with other children
- Survival guilt
- Eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse or other self-punishing or self-degrading behaviours
- Brief reactive psychosis
If your abortion is still on your mind and heart, no matter how long ago it took place, we would like to help you heal and move on to a happier chapter in your life.
Here at the BPCC we offer one-on-one or group sessions in post-abortion recovery. “Living Colour” is a post-abortion recovery and healing program. This program offers you help in the process of emerging from the “grey zone” of unresolved loss into a life of colour, freedom and joy. For more information, please visit our Living in Colour page. You can take the first step on your healing journey today. Contact us to schedule an appointment with a trained post-abortion peer support worker.
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice.