Emotional Effects of Abortion

Symptoms of Post-Abortion Distress in Women

A woman may experience emotional or behavioral changes after experiencing child loss from abortion. Symptoms may not necessarily appear together, nor will any particular woman experience all of them.

Emotional/Psychological Symptoms

Guilt
Unable to forgive
Emotionally numb
Shame
Grief/Sorrow
Unworthiness
Self-condemnation
Feels degraded/abased
Anger/Rage
Depression
Anxiety/Anguish
Loneliness
Bitterness
Confusion
Fear’s God’s punishment
Regret/Remorse
Hopelessness
Helplessness
Panic
Frustration
Feels exploited
Self-hatred
Despair
Feels rejected
Horror
Fears/dreams about losing a child
Flashbacks and/or nightmares
Fears another pregnancy or infertility
Feels inferior
Fears failure

 

Behavioral Changes

Secretive
Sleep disturbances
Crying spells
Divides time into “before” and “after” the abortion
Avoids baby reminders
Reduced motivation
Struggles to complete tasks
Struggles with time management
Loss of normal sources of pleasure
Self-punishing and/or self-degrading behavior
Develops eating disorders
Alcohol and/or drug abuse
Suicidal impulses
Promiscuity or frigidity
Loss of interest in sex
Marital stress
Abusive/tolerates abusive relationships
Compulsive collecting/hoarding
Withdraws from others
Difficulty with all types of intimacy
Changes in relationships
Wants replacement/atonement child
Damaged mother/child relationships
Over-protective of living children
Fails to bond with subsequent children
Cutting
Damaged feminine concept
Anniversary/due date reaction