The mental health effects of abortion are unique to every individual that experiences abortion. Emotions resulting from abortion can range from relief to grief, sadness, anger, guilt, and shame. While some women may struggle with their mental health immediately after an abortion, others may not have any mental health struggles for years afterward.
No one can predict how you might respond mentally and emotionally to experiencing an abortion. Before you decide to abort, consider discussing your feelings with a counselor.
Mental Health Risks
Studies have shown that women experiencing an abortion are at a higher risk of mental health struggles. These struggles can include the following:
- Substance use disorder
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Symptoms of mental health concerns can include:
- Feeling sad or down
- Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
- Excessive fears or worries or extreme feelings of guilt
- Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
- Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
- Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
- Major changes in eating habits
Some women may be more at risk of developing mental health struggles than others. Risk factors include:
- Feeling forced or pressured to abort
- Holding beliefs that oppose abortion
- Wanting children in the future
- A history of mental illness
Mental Health Effects on Support Persons
Abortion doesn’t only affect the woman choosing to terminate her pregnancy. It can also affect her partner, her family, and her friends. After a loved one chooses abortion, those close to her might struggle with feelings of loss and resentment. Unaddressed, these feelings can impair their ability to support the woman through her struggles.
If you have experienced an abortion and are struggling with your mental health, Hope Place offers free post-abortion care. Contact us today to schedule your free appointment. Let our compassionate team provide you with the support you need in a judgment-free space.