Post-Abortion syndrome is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. The process of making an abortion choice, experiencing the procedure and living with the grief, pain and regret is certainly, at its very core, traumatic. As with any trauma, individuals often try to “forget” the ordeal and deny or ignore any pain that may result. Many simply don’t relate their distress to the abortion experience. At some point, however, memories resurface and the truth of this loss can no longer be denied. During these moments, the pain of post-abortion syndrome reveals itself in the hearts of millions of lives. pregnancy options
The symptoms of post abortion syndrome will not necessarily appear at the same time, nor is likely that any woman will experience the entire list. Some may occur immediately after an abortion and others much later. If you can identify with more than two of these symptoms, it could be that you are experiencing post-abortion syndrome.
Below are the symptoms that describe post-abortion syndrome, as described by Dr. Paul and Teri Reisser in their book, Help for the Post-Abortive Woman (now entitled A Solitary Sorrow):
1. Guilt. Guilt is what an individual feels when she has violated her own moral code. For the woman who has come to believe, at some point either before or after the abortion, that she consented to the killing of her unborn child, the burden of guilt is relentless. There is little consolation to offer the woman who has transgressed one of nature’s strongest instincts: the protection a mother extends to her young. In fact, many post-abortive women believe that any unhappy events that have occurred since the abortion were inevitable because they “deserve it.”
2. Anxiety. Anxiety is defined as an unpleasant emotional and physical state of apprehension that may take the form of tension, (inability to relax, irritability, etc.), physical responses (dizziness, pounding heart, upset stomach, headaches, etc.), worry about the future, difficulty concentrating and disturbed sleep. The conflict between a woman’s moral standards and her decision to abort generates much of this anxiety. Very often, she will not relate her anxiety to a post-abortion syndrome abortion, and yet she will unconsciously begin to avoid anything having to do with babies. She may make excuses for not attending a baby shower, skip the baby aisle at the grocery store and so forth.
3. Psychological “numbing.” Many post-abortive women maintain a secret vow that they will never again allow themselves to be put in such a vulnerable position. As a result, often without conscious thought, they may work hard to keep their emotions in tight check, preventing themselves from feeling the pain of what has happened, but also greatly hampering their ability to form and maintain close relationships. Cut off even from themselves, they may feel as though their lives were happening to another person.