Following an abortion a woman may experience initial relief that the perceived crisis is over . For many women, however, the crisis is not over it has just begun. Months and even years later, significant problems can develop. Many women and men find it very difficult to cope as they experience unexpected emotions and feelings.
It was like an out of body experience. It was like watching this happen from outside my body. I felt powerless to stop it.
Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS)
is the name that has been given to the psychological aftereffects of abortion, based on PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Post-Abortion 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 can be very traumatic. As with any trauma, individuals often try to “forget” the ordeal and deny or ignore any pain that may result. Many simply don’t relate their distress to the abortion experience. At some point, however, memories resurface and the loss can no longer be denied. During these moments, the pain of post-abortion syndrome reveals itself.
The symptoms of post abortion syndrome will not necessarily appear at the same time, nor is it likely that any woman will experience the entire list.
Some may occur immediately after an abortion and others much later.Any event that causes trauma can indeed result in PTSD, and abortion is no exception.
Possible Post Abortion Symptoms
- Difficulty Bonding with Partner or Children
- Eating Disorder
- Bouts of crying
- Feels like I “left that person behind”
- Inability to forgive yourself
- Intense grief / sadness
- Anger / rage
- Emotional numbness
- Sexual problems or promiscuity
- Eating disorders
- Lowered self esteem
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Nightmares and sleep disturbances
- Suicidal urges
- Difficulty with relationships
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Multiple abortions
- Pattern of repeat crisis pregnancy
- Discomfort around babies or pregnant women
- Fear / ambivalence of pregnancy
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, our center offers confidential, compassionate support 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, we offer one-on-one support, counselling and a monthly post abortion support group. 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 contact us. All contact made with us is strictly confidential.
I remember before being called into the procedure room. I was told to empty my bladder and in the toilet I said goodbye knowing they were my last few moments with my baby.