Many women overlook the mental health risks while weighing the risks of abortion against the benefits. Though not as obvious as the physical effects of abortion, the mental health risks are just as important to consider.
There is no way to accurately predict how a woman will respond mentally to an abortion. Some women may feel only relief, but many women experience feelings of grief, sadness, loss, guilt, shame, or anger. These feelings can be present soon after the abortion procedure or might surface months or even years after.
Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome
Following an abortion, women are more likely to develop mental health struggles like depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, eating disorders, or suicidal behavior. Some mental health professionals refer to these struggles as post-abortion stress syndrome (PASS).
While anyone can experience PASS, you might be more likely to experience it if you have the following risk factors:
- Beliefs that are contradictory to abortion
- Feeling pressured into an abortion by another person or your circumstances
- Wanting to have children someday
- Having a history of mental health struggles.
What Do I Do if I Am Struggling With My Mental Health After Abortion?
If you are struggling with your mental health following your abortion, know that you are not alone. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Reach out to a trusted friend to share your experience. Other tips for prioritizing your mental health while you are struggling can include:
- Speak with a professional counselor to assist you with processing your trauma and feelings.
- Seek out a social media group for women healing from abortion.
- Find a support group for women recovering from trauma.
Whether you are looking for more information about your options, or you are looking for healing and hope after an abortion, The Southern Ohio Pregnancy Center is here for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.