Learn About the Mental Health Effects of Abortion
Remember the days of childhood…. maybe as a little girl you dreamed of growing up to be a doctor, or a writer. Maybe becoming a star volleyball player or the first in your family to graduate college was your aspiration. Maybe one of those reasons contributed to your abortion. Perhaps you didn’t feel that continuing the pregnancy would allow you to do what looked bigger to you at the time.
What you may not have known is that there would be emotional repercussions after your abortion and you may find yourself struggling now. Whatever your childhood dreams were, having emotional trauma after an abortion was probably not on that list. But here you are now, and you probably just don’t know how to process the very real emotions you are experiencing.
According to the National Institute of Health, women with a history of abortion do experience “elevated rates of mental illness compared to women who haven’t had an abortion. Some women, particularly those who’ve struggled with mental illness before their abortion, are at the greatest risk for experiencing mental health problems afterward. Sadness, grief, and feelings of loss are common, along with depression and anxiety. You can’t go back and undo the procedure, but you can learn how to move forward with hope and healing.
TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLES AND ABORTION
Denying your feelings and hiding your reality won’t help you heal. When you stuff feelings, they become like an untreated disease that hurts you and will fester until it consumes you. You probably feel like you can’t talk about your abortion because people won’t understand, but as many as 45 million women have had an abortion. So the odds are pretty good that there are others who would understand and have a similar experience as what you might be going through.
Here at the Pregnancy Care Clinic, we offer one-on-one time with a client advocate who has experienced abortion herself. We offer a program that is called “Her Choice to Heal” and it’s a powerful tool to move you toward a healthy place and a healthy way to deal with the trauma you may have experienced. All sessions are free of charge and confidential.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO GRIEVE
A popular saying today is “it’s ok not to be ok”. Although it may not be commonly talked about on social media or in our culture, many women who have abortions have experienced emotional trauma in the aftermath. Sometimes it happens immediately and sometimes it takes years. You are not alone in your feelings. One study found that up to 39% of women experienced post-traumatic stress issues after their abortion.
Many post-abortive women do not allow themselves to grieve because they feel they don’t have the right to grieve for something they chose. But that is a lie…it is good and healthy to recognize the loss you are experiencing and walk through the stage of grief. Not processing your hurt can lead to your heart likely becoming hardened by your experience. Putting up walls to protect yourself can actually lead to more internal damage. Speaking to a client advocate or a mentor can help you to walk through the valley of grief and come out on the other side with hope. Don’t hesitate to call today for an appointment.
WHAT OTHER THINGS CAN YOU DO?
Sometimes writing in a journal can help you process your emotions. Also, finding stories of others who have found healing after an abortion can be helpful. Find out what helped them to find freedom and hope. A quick google search can offer stories of how others have dealt with their trauma.
Forgiving yourself and others who may have played a role in your abortion is very difficult to do, but it is the key to freedom. We have helped many women who have walked your path and we are here to help you go through this. Just remember you are not alone! You do not have to be defined by your abortion experience(s), as there is hope for a life lived with passion through a soft and forgiven heart.