Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome
So, you've had an abortion...
Think you're alone?
Post-abortion stress syndrome is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. The process of making an abortion choice, experiencing the procedure and living with the grief, pain and regret is certainly, at it's very core, traumatic. As with any trauma, individuals often try to "forget" the ordeal and deny or ignore any pain that may result.
Following an abortion, many women and men experience initial relief. The perceived crisis is over and life returns to normal. For many, however, the crisis is not really over and significant problems can develop. Sometimes this occurs within days and sometimes it happens after many years.
This psychological response is known as Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS). By age 45, 1 out of every 2.5 women in the United States has had at least one abortion!* Who are these women? They are single women, married women and divorced women. They are your sisters, your cousins, your aunts, your mothers, your neighbors, your co-workers, your schoolmates, they are women you see every day when you go out into the world. These women come from all different age groups, races, socio-economic levels and religions.
So with all these women undergoing this common medical procedure, why isn't there more support for women after an abortion, to discuss their experience? Why so few support groups to talk about your physical and emotional issues afterwards? The fear of political or religious backlash, and the fear of negative reactions from friends or family keeps most women from discussing anything they feel after their abortion.
How you feel after an abortion should not be a 'political' or 'religious' issue - if you have a need for support, or emotional or physical problems, they should be treated just like the issues with any other medical procedure.**
Several factors that increase the risk of PAS include: the woman or man's age, the abortion circumstances, the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion occurs, and religious beliefs.
Women and men who have experienced abortion may develop the following symptoms:
• Flashbacks of Abortion
• Sexual Dysfunction
• Relationship Problems
• Eating Disorders
• Alcohol and Drug Abuse
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Anniversary Grief
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, our pregnancy center offers confidential, compassionate support groups designed to help women and men work through these feelings.
You are not alone.
If you wish to begin the healing process from a past abortion or abortions, abortion recovery counseling is available. Deciding to seek help may be one of the toughest decisions you have to make, but it may be one of the best.
To talk to someone about issues from a past abortion, please call us.
**This is an excerpt from the website After Abortion.
The site was created by a woman who dealt with her own abortion and wanted to reach out to others and help them through the recovery process, too. It's an excellent site and has lots of information and offers support through message boards and chat rooms.