Emotional Risks Of Abortion
Depression, regret, and remorse are a few of the emotional risks of abortion that a woman can and probably will experience after choosing to terminate the life of her child. The impact of terminating the life of a child will have a negative effect on the life of the mother. Grieving may be postponed if the clinic that performed the procedure convinced the patient that the fetus was not really a live human being but instead was a blob of tissue. A patient who believes this lie can go for awhile and seem to be unaffected by what has been done. However, studies have shown that many women will experience psychological problems that lead to emotional problems. The emotional risks of abortion can lead to a diagnosis of severe depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and abnormal behavior among other things. "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee" (Isaiah 49:15).
A feeling of hopelessness can occur along with guilt and even rage. Emotional risks of abortion will affect the mother and may affect all of those who were involved with the decision within the family unit. A father may grieve and have the same types of emotional problems that the mother does. If the woman is single then the grandparents or siblings may be involved. Anyone involved with this decision are bound to be affected negatively. Having an abortion can cause relationships to change and unfortunately they will not change for the better. If both the father and mother to be are struggling with the decision they might place the blame on one another. Anger will surface and eventually a break down of the family unit will take place which can lead to separation and divorce.
Making a decision to terminate the life of an unborn child will cause a person to experience distance from God. Sin always puts a barrier between a person and God. The Bible is clear about the sin of murder and how precious children are in the sight of the Lord. "Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Psalm 127:3). The inability to forgive self can lead to extreme guilt and numbness which are emotional risks of abortion. Nightmares and difficulty sleeping can add to a person's ability to cope. Avoidance of the subject of babies can result or an over-interest in babies can occur. Excessive behavior or compulsive behavior might surface as one tries to cope with the termination of a pregnancy.
Studies have shown that post-abortion patients complain with many types of ailments. Some of those include: nervousness, flashbacks, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, and the feeling of a loss of control. Other emotional risks of abortion are intense fear, the feeling of being trapped, anxiety, and outburst of anger. Avoidance behavior results in denial and withdrawal from society and other family members. Sometimes the mother to be will experience hopelessness where her attitude about life in general will feel diminished. She may not have expectations towards life. This could have a negative effect on a career, marriage, or in taking care of other children and may eventually lead to suicidal thoughts. Some studies have shown that up to 30 percent of women experience thoughts of suicide after having an abortion. At least half of these will attempt to end their life.
Terminating a pregnancy can cause a woman to turn to substances that make her temporarily feel better. This may include an increase in cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse. Some women will go to the family doctor and with a diagnosis of depression, the physician may prescribe anti-depressants. The anti-depressants may help but the root of the problem will remain. Emotional risks of abortion may seem to subside for the women who take anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. This happens because the drugs can make life seem less real. So the thought of committing murder may not seem so devastating while on the meds. However, this can change after the meds are taken for awhile and a different drug may have to be prescribed because the feelings of depression return.
Eating disorders are associated with those who have had abortions. When a woman feels little control over her life she will often exhibit behavior that makes her feel more in control. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa will cause a person to lose weight. This can give a person the feeling of control over her own life. Emotional risks of abortion include self-destructive behavior resulting in eating disorders, substance abuse, and other types of addictions. The guilt will get worse as the person tries to mask these feelings. Self-destructive behavior will add to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Psychological counseling will usually have a positive effect on self-destructive behavior. Additionally, seeking Christian counseling can help the patient to realize that she can seek forgiveness from God for sin and that she needs to forgive herself.
Some women do not exhibit signs of guilt after abortion. This may be because they are refusing to deal with it. Emotional risks of abortion can surface when a woman has to deal with another crisis in life though this may not happen for many years. Repressed feelings can cause other symptoms such as make believe illnesses or behavioral problems such as being obsessive. Crises that can bring out emotional symptoms from an abortion can be minor or major. Examples might include the youngest child leaving home or a change in a job. Repression or denial will eventually surface. Having an abortion will affect the lives of those who are involved in negative ways if the feelings are not dealt with positively. Avoid all of these by making a positive decision to carry a child full-term, get some help through Christian counseling, pray and seek God, and do not forget to do research to find out alternative solutions.
Emotional Effects Of An AbortionEmotional effects of an abortion include numbness, fear, loneliness, low self-esteem, denial, insomnia, and depression. Repressing guilt feelings over having an abortion can lead to numbness. After the numbness, one may go through a period of denial. Holding feelings in can increase one's tendency to feel anger and rage especially when seeing other mother's with their children. The emotional effects of an abortion will not just go away. A female needs to seek counseling so she can reconcile her own pain. Without counseling there is a chance that the symptoms will excel over time to include a feeling of loneliness. Fear can be present because she will not want anyone to find out about her abortion. This fear will lead to isolation and an even greater feeling of loneliness and despair. Eventually a woman who has had an abortion will suffer with depression along with having insomnia and nightmares. "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matthew 9:35).
Not being able to sleep will add to the depression to the point that hopelessness and thoughts of suicide may occur. Emotional effects of an abortion are very serious and every woman thinking about terminating a pregnancy should consider what kind of emotional, mental, and spiritual effect it will have on her life. Some women have been known to develop mental disorders from not reconciling their emotions after terminating a pregnancy. Some of the common ones mentioned in various studies include obsessive compulsive disorder, major personality disorder, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders. Post traumatic stress disorder is one of the major occurrences with women who have terminated a pregnancy. The trauma of the ordeal may be relived over and over.
Post traumatic stress disorder does include several major symptoms. Symptoms may include outbursts of anger, irritability, aggressive behavior, extreme responses when startled, anxiety attacks, intense grief, avoidance behavior, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, destructive tendencies, and suicidal acts. Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms may not show up for years after having an abortion. Women may have relationship problems resulting in divorce or a break-up. Studies have shown that there is a higher risk of child abuse in the home of mother's who have had an abortion. Drug abuse and alcohol abuse are common. All of these symptoms can lead to job loss, auto accidents, and violent behavior. Emotional effects of an abortion should not be taken lightly.
Studies have shown that most women will feel relief right after having an abortion because they were so distressed over having another child. Some women feel that they have been forced into having the procedure. Others may feel relief right away but then guilt feelings take over. Emotional effects of an abortion affect every woman differently. Sometimes it depends upon one's religious beliefs, moral character, and previous psychological problems. If a female believes God's word and that terminating a pregnancy is murder then she will have great difficulty dealing with her decision. The same would be true for someone who has a high standard of morality and personal ethics.
Most all women will experience a feeling of loss and mourn for the lost child. The grief should subside over time and will if the female can reconcile her feelings. For some women this will happen but for others the feelings will increase and lead to behavior changes. This is one good way to judge the emotional effects of an abortion and if one needs to get counseling or not. A change in one's personality is one indication that something is definitely wrong. Feeling angry all of the time and not being able to sleep are other indications that counseling should be sought. Chronic crying and sadness are warning signals. Losing interest in social activities and family time are indicators that one is withdrawing.
Physical complications from having an abortion can precipitate psychological problems. Not being able to have more children can cause a female to be depressed and suffer with other emotional effects of an abortion. Subsequent miscarriages because of physical complications from terminating a pregnancy can take a toll and add to guilt feelings. Feeling confused all the time and not being able to make simple decisions are indicators of emotional distress. Some women who suffer with emotional effects of an abortion may have physical symptoms because of their distress. The symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, exhaustion, withdrawal from relationships, and thoughts of suicide. Becoming complacent with no desire to do anything will be obvious in one's behavior. A female may just lie in bed all the time letting all of the daily chores pile up. She may not have any desire to eat, bathe, dress, or talk to anyone even those she is closest to. The inability to forgive self over having an abortion can lead to thoughts of suicide or actual suicide attempts.
Women who find that they are having difficulty coping should seek professional help. Also, taking one's problems and cares to the Lord can bring about healing and restoration. The Lord is merciful and forgiving. He loves you no matter what sin that you've committed. The main thing to remember though is that He wants us to ask for help. Reading His word everyday can bring about healing and renewal of one's mind. Spending time with Him in prayer will make a big difference in how you cope with life everyday.