Few people tackle the mental healthiness of post-abortive women because mental health can be a sensitive and challenging topic. Add in the controversial dilemma of abortion, and you will find most want to avoid the conversation.

However, it is an important topic because the mind matters. Your mental health is something you will carry with you for your entire life, and if you wrestle with it, your life can be more burdensome.

If you are considering an abortion, ask yourself the following question:

How Does the Physical Procedure of Abortion Affect the Mind? 

A study in New Zealand found that “Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors, and substance use disorders. This association persisted after adjustment for confounding factors.”

A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry reported dramatic changes in mental health in women who had an abortion. The study examined medical information from 877,000 women, of which 164,000 had an abortion; the women who had an abortion were 81 percent more likely to experience mental health struggles. 

They were:

  • 34% more likely to develop an anxiety disorder
  • 37% more likely to experience depression
  • 110% more likely to abuse alcohol
  • 155% more likely to commit suicide
  • 220% more likely to abuse marijuana

And a study published by Cambridge University found that women who had abortion experience were at an 81 percent higher risk for mental health issues than those who did not. 

What Are the Symptoms of Post-Abortive Mental Health Struggles?

Common psychological side-effects post-abortion can include:

  • Wondering, “What If
  • Regret and shame
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Anger towards those associated with the abortion
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Nightmares
  • Addictions to drugs or alcohol
  • Self-harming behaviors like eating disorders and cutting

What Can You Do About It?

If you have already had an abortion and are struggling with one or more of these symptoms, there is hope.

You can move past your abortion with hope and peace. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Talk about it. Consider professional counseling, especially if you are self-harming or contemplating suicide. Counseling can help you come to terms with your abortion and stop coping with harmful methods.
  • Allow Yourself to Feel. You don’t need to brush aside or shove down your mental health struggle. Admit it and allow yourself to be sad, angry, or hurt. It is ok.
  • Forgive yourself. If this is difficult for you, reach out to our clinic. We can help you process your unforgiveness and help you move forward.
  • Find a healthy outlet. Take up hiking or journaling. Do yoga. Paint your feelings. Do things that you enjoy.

If you are considering abortion and wondering if it will affect your mental health or have already had an abortion and are struggling emotionally or mentally, give us a call. We can answer your questions and help find the best options for you completely free. We have helped many others in your shoes and are here for you too.