Abortion: Emotional Consequences

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Update Date 12/05/2020
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Abortion is not just a medical procedure. It does not make you un-pregnant. You still have a baby, just that baby is taken from you. Losing a baby is never easy, even if you do not have the chance to meet your baby yet. Emotional consequences are to be expected. That is why it’s important to take good care of yourself after an abortion, both physically and psychologically.

The trauma caused by an abortion

The trauma that follows an abortion is considered as a type of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is likely to surface months or years after the event. Common symptoms include:

−Self-destructive behavior (Suicidal tendency, substance abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, relationship abuse, workaholicism)
−Relationship problems (Divorce and family breakdown, bonding problems, child neglect or abuse, sexual dysfunction, family violence)
−Replacement pregnancies (either repeated pregnancy termination or atonement pregnancy)
−Mental disorders (postpartum depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders, phobias, addictions, mood disorders, emotional breakdown, hallucinations)
−Anger disorder, excessive crying, low self-esteem, persistent tiredness, problems concentrating, physical pains, flashbacks, hopelessness, social withdrawal
−Problems being around pregnant women and young children
−Inability to keep a job and make decisions

Who is more likely to suffer mentally and psychologically after an abortion?

−Teenagers and young adults
−Victims of sex crimes
−Women who are forced to terminate their pregnancies
−Women who have difficulty making the decision
−Women who do not have a strong support network
−Women who have given birth before
−Women whose abortions are due to medical concerns
−Women with developmental or psychological issues
−Women who abort during the second or third trimester

How to deal with emotional consequences after an abortion?

−The best thing you can do to manage emotional consequences is to seek help. It’s important to working through your thoughts and emotions.
−Time is your best bet. You need time to let yourself heal physically and mentally. Make plans to avoid repeating the same situation. It takes a lot to come to terms with your loss.
−If you have relationship problems, try talking to your partner. Be honest and open about what you are thinking and feeling.
−You will need a non-judgemental environment and someone you can trust to talk things through.
−If you are religious, start the process of reconciliation or talk to your religious leader (a priest or a monk, for example).
−You may find it soothing to think about your baby. Give them a name. Write them a letter. Or, you and your partner can do something special in loving memory of your baby.


You might also want to read:

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Read also:

    Sources

    Abortion Trauma ... and Healing. https://www.abortiongrief.asn.au/abortion-trauma.php Accessed April 9, 2017

    Abortion Follow Up Care (Emotional). http://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/abortion-follow-up-emotional/ Accessed April 9, 2017

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