Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PTSD/PASS - Pain after abortion

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be experienced in women post abortion especially if they have kept their story silent. There is even a more specific name for this syndrome - Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS).

Some of the symptoms are:
  • Guilt which may be centered on the woman feeling she made a morally wrong choice or just fear of what others might think. This guilt can lead the woman into thinking the bad things that happen to her are just punishments for the mistake she made.
  • Anxiety in general or focused on fertility and whether or not she will be able to get pregnant again. 
  • If the woman does get pregnant again, it may be to "replace" the lost child or the pregnancy may be anxiety filled with fear of losing the child in or out of the womb. She then may experience problems bonding with the child post birth.
  • The woman struggles to relax and feels tense or has issues with dizziness, rapid/pounding heart beat, upset stomach, headaches, constant worrying, or sleep issues.
  • Avoiding children or pregnant women to avoid thinking of babies, pregnancy, or facing the emotions that may be stirred up by seeing or being around children. Related to this, is not being able to hear anything related to abortion or even being able to say the word "abortion".
  • Numbness and/or depression where feelings and emotions are suppressed to the point that the woman really doesn't feel/express joy anymore. The woman may shy away from others and fail to establish strong friendships. She may even turn to alcohol or drugs to numb her emotions.
  • Flashbacks to the time of the abortion or nightmares of the abortion and/or of children being harmed.
  • Suicidal thoughts or just feeling that her life would be better if she just died. 
If you are experiencing some of the symptoms above, please seek help. You are not alone.

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