If you’ve recently had an abortion and are struggling with difficult emotions, you’re not alone. While the mental health effects of abortion aren’t often publicized, recent studies reveal the negative emotional impact that abortion has on many women.
One such study found that many women who underwent an abortion had “deep feelings of loss, existential concerns, and declines in quality of life. More specifically, common negatives included feelings about termination of a life, regret, shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, compromised self-appraisals, and self-destructive behaviors.”
If you’re experiencing any of these feelings, there is hope. Read on to learn different strategies you can take to get on a path toward healing. Or, if you want to speak to someone in person about what you’re going through, contact PHC of Central Missouri today to speak with one of our qualified counselors. All appointments are free and confidential.
Talk about Your Feelings and Experience
Have you shared your abortion experience with anyone? If not, talking about what you went through and how it made you feel can be healing.
If you’re worried about talking to someone, thinking through these questions can help you prepare:
- Who do I know that will listen to my feelings and experience without judging me or trying to give me advice?
- What do I want to share? (Will I tell them why I got an abortion and what I’m experiencing now? Or will I keep the details more general?)
- Where do I feel most comfortable telling them? In public? In private?
If you can’t think of any trusted friends or family to talk to, speaking with a counselor or support group can be equally as beneficial. At PHC of Central Missouri, we have a team of trained counselors who are here to listen.
If talking to someone about what you’re going through feels too daunting, journaling can be another cathartic option. Journaling is the self-reflective act of putting your thoughts and feelings down on paper. This simple exercise can have powerful effects—the more you write, the more you will uncover why you’re feeling a certain way and how you can move forward.
To get started, grab a pen and paper and answer the following questions:
- What emotions am I struggling with most lately?
- What makes these feelings worse?
- What makes them better?
- What is one positive change I can make in my life right now?
- What would healing from my abortion experience look like? (Try to think of tangible examples.)
If you’re struggling after an abortion, you’re not alone. At Pregnancy Help Center of Central Missouri, we’re here for you. Contact us today to be connected with one of our caring team members who can help you get on a path toward hope and healing.