Abortion takes an emotional toll on many women. Temporary feelings of shame and guilt are common, but they usually subside quite quickly. However, women, especially those who have dangerous backstreet abortions, are usually not told about post-abortion emotions, and this can cause a spiral of heightened feelings of anxiety and even cause depression. Even though this is a rare condition, it does occur, and it’s essential to seek treatment. In this article, we’re going to help you understand and recommend effective coping methods.
Medical News Today explains that ‘the issue of planned termination is a controversial one, and so is the question of mental health following a termination. The important thing to remember is that each person’s experience and response will be different.’ Therefore, never think that the way you feel is your fault. You are not alone; there are people to support you.
Contributing factors to post-abortion depression
- The taboo and social humiliation associated with abortion. Please read our article about how to fight abortion stigma.
- You may feel you’ve made the wrong decision.
- You may think that you can’t speak to anyone because they won’t be able to relate to how you’re feeling.
- Emotions from your past that you have repressed may come to the surface. E.g., if you’ve experienced sexual abuse.
Coping mechanisms for post-abortion depression
Therapy is considered to be the best treatment for post-abortion depression. There are counsellors who specialize in this field and will help you deal with the emotions you’re feeling. In conjunction with therapy, there are different things that you can do to facilitate the healing process. Women on Web suggests that you should
- Be reminiscent of the fact that you are brave – you made a difficult decision.
- Remind yourself why you decided to have an abortion.
- Remember you made the best decision you could under the circumstances.
- Allowing yourself to express any sadness and grief that you are feeling will help it to diminish. You won’t always feel this way.
- Write your feelings down in a journal which no one else will see.
Marie Stopes WILL help you.
Marie Stopes is the world leader in women’s sexual and reproductive health. It’s our mission to provide you with the necessary information to let you know that you don’t need to be ashamed about having an abortion; in fact, it’s your human right. You can find out more by familiarizing yourself with our Blue Ribbon initiative.
As mentioned above, we provide safe abortion services as well as HIV and STI screening. We also offer two Women’s Wellness packages which include a variety of tests to assess your health.
Please schedule an appointment at your nearest centre. We guarantee you’ll be assisted by accredited professionals who can help and recommend the best treatment depending on your personal circumstances.