Abortion and Psychology

Abortion is a heavily controversial topic. Apart from the moral argument, as to whether it is acceptable to terminate a pregnancy, there is the argument pertaining to psychology and how this can be impacted following an abortion. Some symptoms are not uncommon following an abortion and in some cases may lead to depression. 

The thought and decision processes which lead to abortion are not simple or straightforward. Following the procedure, people may have mixed feelings. A significant number of pregnancies are unplanned, which may lead to abortions. The reasons for an abortion are varied and may include social, financial, physical, mental health and relationship problems.

The emotional process following an abortion may range from relief to sadness, grief, regret and depression. If the feelings of sadness are strong, constant and severe, these may be signals of depression. It is important to keep in mind that different people, will have varied reactions.

Whilst there may be some who would feel that it is the right decision, a number of women endure episodes of remorse, sadness and grief. First off, a termination in pregnancy will lead to an interruption in the hormone cycle, which can create negative feelings.

The American Pregnancy Association lists a number of pertinent sentiments following the termination of a pregnancy. These may include, guilt, anger, shame, remorse, regret, loss of self-esteem, nightmares, loneliness, relationship strain and suicidal thoughts. When enduring such extreme feelings, it would be ideal to seek immediate help.

Signs of depression may include a feeling which may be described worse than sadness, having trouble focusing and making decisions, irritability, lack of energy, sleep and interest in sex. People who suffer from feelings of depression following an abortion are encouraged to seek treatment, as it can help to process the entire trauma. Such treatment may include consistent support and medication, such as antidepressants.

Research conducted in 2015 indicates that people who already have a history of mental health problems have more chance of experiencing negative emotions following the termination of pregnancy. Research compiled a few years earlier indicated that there are increased chances, reflected via significant percentages, of mental health problems following an abortion.

There are other factors which may increase the chances of depression following an abortion. These may include dire financial situations, a history of violence, drugs and alcohol. This may also be the case if abortion was forced upon or undertaken in later stages of the pregnancy, together with limited support from the partner.

What is your view on abortion?

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