Experienced an Abortion?
Did you know:
- 43 percent of all American women will have an abortion at some point during their lifetime?
- More than a million American women will have an abortion this year
- Hardly anyone who has had an abortion will talk about it.
There is hope for healing after an abortion.
Symptoms of Post-Abortion Trauma:
- Guilt (results from violating one’s own sense of right and wrong)
- Anxiety (headaches, dizziness, pounding heart, abdominal cramps, muscle tightness, difficulty sleeping, etc.)
- Avoidance behaviors (of anything remindful of pregnancy and children)
- Psychological “numbing” (the unconscious vow to never let anything hurt this badly again can hamper the ability to enter fully into an emotional, intimate relationship)
- Depression (sad mood, sudden and uncontrollable crying episodes, deterioration of self-concept, sleep and appetite disturbances, reduced motivation, loss of normal sources of pleasure, thoughts of suicide)
- Re-experiencing events related to the abortion (persistent thoughts and flashback memories or nightmares involving themes of lost or dismembered babies)
- Preoccupation with becoming pregnant again (representing an unconscious hope that a new pregnancy will replace the baby that was aborted)
- Anxiety over fertility and childbearing issues (being convinced that God will punish by withholding future pregnancies)
- Interruption or disruption of the bonding with present and/or future children (underbonding or overbonding with other children, whether born before or after a woman has an abortion)
- Self-abuse /self-destructive behaviors (eating disorders, alcohol and /or substance abuse, cigarette smoking, abusive relationships, promiscuity, failure to take care of one’s self medically)
- Anniversary reactions (an increase in symptoms around the time of the anniversary of the abortion, the due date of the aborted child or both)
- Brief psychotic disorder (a psychotic break with reality lasting for a short period of time within two weeks of the abortion)
Read through the following self-assessment to see if you have symptoms of post-abortion trauma.
- Have you changed as a person since your abortion? What were you like before your abortion?
- If your sister or best friend were thinking about having an abortion, would you tell her not to have one?
- Did you have your abortion in spite of believing it was wrong at the time?
- Which of the following problems have bothered you since your abortion:
- I struggle with eating disorders.
- I find myself in abusive relationships.
- I’m having more frequent unprotected sexual activity.
- I’m using drugs and/or alcohol to distract myself from my pain.
- I often feel so sad that I can’t handle my responsibilities.
- I often think about hurting myself.
- I keep having the same nightmare over and over.
- Do you shut down or feel numb when you’re in a highly emotional situation?
- Do you experience explosive emotions?
- Has your relationship with God changed since your abortion?
- Do you feel you must hide your abortion or your feelings about it?
- Have your relationships with men changed? If yes, in what way?
- Do you avoid people or situations that remind you of your abortion?
- Did someone pressure you into having the abortion? If yes, what is your relationship like with that person now?
- Do you feel like you’re all alone with the emotional pain you are feeling?
- Are you interested in joining a support group for women who have had abortions to work through some of these problems?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be suffering from post-abortion syndrome. We don’t offer a bandage or a quick fix. We offer support and the help of women who have been there and have been healed. Deciding to seek help may be one of the toughest decisions you will ever make. But it may be one the best!
There is no need for you to continue grieving silently. Let us help you to “Surrender Your Secret” and begin healing the heartbreak of your abortion.