Abortion and mental health have long been a controversial topic because every woman will react differently to an abortion experience. The Mayo Clinic states, “After a medical abortion, you may have a mix of emotions, including relief, loss, sadness or guilt.”
Because you know yourself and your situation better than anyone else, you can accurately predict how you might feel emotionally after an abortion experience.
Does Abortion Impact Mental Health?
According to the National Library of Medicine, people on both sides of the abortion debate agree that abortion causes negative mental health impacts for at least some women.
Cambridge University reported that women who had an abortion were 81 percent more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health struggle than those who did not have an abortion.
Based on research, we know abortion can negatively impact mental health in some cases.
What Are Some of the Symptoms of Post-Abortive Mental Health Struggles?
A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that women who had an abortion were more likely to abuse alcohol, have suicidal behaviors, abuse marijuana, experience depression, and develop an anxiety disorder.
Women will respond to an abortion experience in unique ways. If you feel like you’re struggling after an abortion, mentally or emotionally, we can help.
How Can You Heal?
It is okay not to be okay. Many others have been in your shoes and found hope and healing. While it can take time, give yourself the grace to move at your own pace.
Here are a few helpful steps you can take to get there too:
- Talk with someone. Bring your story to light, and share your burdens with someone you trust. When you honestly share with someone, you can feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Our team would be honored to lend an ear and listen.
- Process your feelings. Ignoring your genuine emotions can delay healing. Only once you step into your grief, anger, or hurt can you begin to process and move forward.
- Forgive yourself and others involved in the abortion. Forgiveness may sound impossible, but you will find freedom if you choose it. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are okay with what happened, but it does mean you let go of the need to hold onto it.
- Do something healthy. Instead of turning to substance abuse or addiction, turn toward a healthy outlet. Go hiking. Write in a journal. Visit a recovery meeting. Paint a masterpiece. Sit at the lake. Find something that will help you feel like you can still be you.
If you have had an abortion, we are here for you. Reach out to us, and take a first step toward a brighter future.