What is Post-Abortion Syndrome?
There are many negative emotional reactions that have been connected with abortion. Some experience grief, others experience self-destructive behaviors like eating disorders, sexual dysfunctions or substance abuse.
A widely used term for these emotional problems is “Post-Abortion Syndrome.”
What are the Symptoms?
Women suffering from Post-Abortion Syndrome may exhibit many signs:
- Anxiety disorders
- Outbursts of anger or rage
- Aggressive behavior
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nightmares or sleeping disorders
- Recurrent and intrusive thoughts about the abortion or the aborted child
- Flashbacks to the abortion experience
- Feelings of intense grief or depression on the due date of the aborted pregnancy or the anniversary of the abortion
- Repression or denial of feelings about the abortion
- Withdrawal or estrangement from others, especially those involved in the abortion decision
- Inability to maintaining loving or trusting relationships
- A sense of hopelessness or futility about the future
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Suicidal thoughts or acts
- Other self-destructive tendencies
Who is Vulnerable?
Women may experience abortion as a traumatic event for several reasons. Many are pressured or even violently forced into unwanted abortions by husbands, boyfriends, parents or others. In a major survey of American women who had abortions, 64% said they were pressured to do so by others. Even those women who have a compelling reason for abortion may still see the abortion as the violent killing of their own child. Their feelings of fear, anxiety, and pain about the abortion procedure itself are compounded by feelings of guilt and anguish about the death of their child.
Is there Help?
If you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from Post-Abortion Syndrome, don’t try to handle it alone. Women experiencing Post-Abortion Syndrome may need counseling in order to work through their feelings about the abortion and the trauma surrounding it. You should seek out a counselor or support group. It is helpful to find counseling from those who have a specific expertise with Post-Abortion Syndrome. Healing is possible.