It’s difficult to predict how exactly a woman will feel following an abortion. Every situation is different, and women may feel a range of emotions or very few. Some women feel regret and sadness, while others feel profound relief. 

It can be helpful to pinpoint how you may feel by considering past mental health experiences and your mindset going into the procedure. If you find yourself struggling after an abortion, know that there is hope. You can find healing. 

Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome

For those women who do struggle emotionally, they may experience a variety of emotions, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance use disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicidal behavior/ideation

Post-abortion stress syndrome, or PASS, is the name some experts have assigned to the “potential psychological aftereffects of abortion.” Like other traumatic events, abortion can cause long-lasting mental health consequences.

Symptoms of PASS may include:

  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Suicidal thoughts

Recovery from this condition is possible, but the more willing a woman is to talk about her past abortion, the more likely she is to find long-term healing. 

How Can I Heal From Mental Health Issues?

If you suffer from mental health issues like PASS, your first step is to seek professional counseling from someone trained in post-abortion recovery. Together, you will unpack these painful emotions and learn how to process them. 

Many local pregnancy centers also offer post-abortion recovery programs, which often include group counseling. Talking with other women who have experienced abortion can help you lighten the mental load and find community. Engaging in self-care activities can also help your mood during this time. 

If you are considering abortion, Rockingham Pregnancy Care Center offers various free services such as options consultations and peer counseling to get the clarity you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about these resources. Hope starts here.