When it comes to the decision to terminate a pregnancy, it is rarely an easy one to make. In many cases, it may not even be the individual’s preferred choice. Regardless of what led to the decision of the abortion, one can have many mixed feelings after the procedure.
You Are Not Alone
One thing that can help people feel better is to know that other people have gone through the same procedure and conflicted emotions. In the US, around half of all pregnancies are unplanned. This is one of the leading reasons for choosing to terminate the pregnancy. While this is one reason to make this decision, social, financial, or relationship pressures can also be major factors in one’s decision making process.
Once the decision has been made, most people report feelings of relief, calm and happiness to regret, loss, and grief depending on their unique situation. Many people feel the negative feelings and show signs of depression.
According to researchers for the American Psychological Association (APA), they say “it is important that women’s varied experiences of abortion be recognized, validated, and understood.”
For those that are feeling depressed, getting after abortion support is one of the best things they can do to learn to deal with and come to terms with these negative emotions.
In 2011, research showed that there was a moderate to high increase to the risk that someone who terminates a pregnancy will experience mental health problems. They determined that terminating a pregnancy can increase the risk by as much as 81 percent, and attributed as much as 10% of that risk to the actual pregnancy termination itself.
Depression vs. Grief
When you lose a loved one, most people experience grief. These feelings of sadness, loss, and regret are also very common place feelings after a pregnancy loss. If these feelings subside over time, you are mainly dealing with grief instead of depression.
However, if these feelings of sadness and loss worsen over time, this would be a good indicator that you are dealing with depression. For those dealing with depression, there is medical help that can be provided to help one feel better and return to their normal self.
For someone is who depressed after having an abortion, there are several ways to treat their depression. A few of these ways include:
- antidepressant medication
- support groups or retreats that involve the help of a social or group health worker
- healthy eating
- exercising regularly
- learning how to relax through the use of relaxation techniques
The key is talking and working with people who have experienced these same depressing feelings and working with them to manage your depression to be able to live a functional life again. There are many after abortion support services and groups that can help women find their self-worth and turn what they may view as a negative experience into a source of strength.
As you can see, if you’ve had an abortion, you don’t have to navigate your feelings alone. Seek help from those that understand and can help you feel better.