Did you know that abortion is one of the most common medical practices and one of the main contraceptive methods in certain countries out there? Due to lack of spread information, women most often don`t consider that it would be appropriate to make some “pre” and “post-abortion” psychotherapy sessions, reason for which suffer a trauma whose consequences may vary from depression to episodes of psychosis.
So, sometimes, when forced by circumstances, a woman needs to opt for an abortion to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. Other times, a miscarriage may occur and the pregnancy is lost. Among the known physical implications that may appear in such situations, there are also some psychological ones, which no matter the reason of such a situation, it affects the mother – and lots of times not only her – in an irreversible manner.
Far from judging or involving the religious or philosophical aspects of an abortion, it will always have some bad consequences on the mother, no matter how much she would want this to happen. Still, the decision of an abortion should always remain the strict issue of the 2 parents and not of the external factors, because in some cases even keeping the baby may involve some tough problems, which for some people may be impossible to bear. Thus, the only ones who have the right to weigh the pros and cons are only the 2 parents and they shouldn`t be affected by external sources. Unfortunately, this is also the reason for which we cannot treat the problems of the decision, especially each person and situation is unique in its own way and, therefore impossible to predict what factors will or won`t influence this.
Of course, in the attempt to study the psychological issues which arise when a task is interrupted, lots of variables need to be taken into consideration, but now we`ll discuss the most common ones and we`ll try to offer you some methods to solve them.
Table of Contents
Unwanted Child & Giving Up on Him
One of the most common situations is the one of an unwanted pregnancy, due to an unprotected sexual contact. However, lots of times parents are caught in a difficult situation as a young age, uncertainty of the relationship with the partner, social or financial state that doesn`t allow to raise a child, the fear of parents or of what the world will say, and so on. The situations can be multiple and in different forms. Still, we cannot help it not to notice the common denominator: unprotected sexual contact, even when the appearance of the baby would represent a big issue. In one word, a lack of maturity and understanding of consequences!
Of course, there are also situations when the child appears due to an accident, like for example, the breaking of a condom. However, these aren`t quite rare and, usually, find their solving through the responsibility of the 2 partners.
Therefore, a young woman who didn`t reach her complete stage of maturity development and who dreams of conquering the entire world, as we all do at a young age, see all these plans shattered by the appearance of an unwanted child. The fear of abortion, maternal instinct, some religious beliefs, might make her give up on this thought; however, there are also those cases when the step is made and the young woman needs now to confront with the psychological implications of an abortion.
The weeks and months that follow will be very colorful from the point of view of emotions that the young woman will feel. If, before the abortion, she considers that through this procedure will sense a relief, the reality will contradict her, due to the overwhelming feelings that will appear. Therefore, the most frequent post-abortion signs in such cases are:
- Partner separation.
- Fear that she won`t be able to become a mother again.
- Impulsive decisions.
Lots of these feelings will disappear in the following months. However, a lot of times they stick for years after the abortion is made. The younger the woman is, the more accentuated these feelings are.
Desired Child & Lost
Unfortunately, abortions don`t occur only from accidents. Often, parents who waited and planned the coming of a child into the world need to give up on him from reasons of health. While in the case of an unwanted child, the reason of his abortion is an intrinsic one, in this case, parents assist helplessly without having something to say.
That`s why, the case of these parents is much worse, due to their maturity, can be solved in a less harmful way for their psyche. These parents manifest all the other symptoms outlined above, but there are other signs that occur, like:
- Lack of concentration.
- Dramatic changes of personality.
- Affective psychosis.
- Schizophrenic reactions.
- Memory loss.
- Loss of interest for the activities carried out.
- Lack of motivation.
In these cases, the family will be able to follow 2 rounds: try to conceive another child or develop a fear of this, which may lead to lack of sexual intimacy and, thus, shaking the couple`s stability.
Sense of Guilt
It`s not a secret that lots of the women who suffer a miscarriage or who choose to practice abortion suffer of a sense of guilt. Studies outlined the fact that this guilt splits into 2 main categories: on one hand, the assumed guilt due to the feeling of failure evolved from miscarriage and, on the other hand, the fault of the actual abortion, for whatever reason. One of the reasons why the psychological effects of abortion need to be treated with exactly the same seriousness as physical effects are treated is that unhealed trauma can be transmitted to the future child. It`s essential for a woman to have support if she wants to assume her abortion and to manage to go through such a painful experience so as to create a relationship that will be healthy with her future child.
It`s exactly because the important of this particular trauma has been realized in the United States, abortion counseling is “a must” in lots of states.
Like the loss of a loved person, abortion brings the same moods of mourning. From acute aggression to tearful days and ultimate acceptance, abortion always needs some time to heal.
Especially when it comes to women who want children very much, abortion is a heavy blow that feeds fears and questions that seem to never end about what may happen with the next pregnancy, or whether or not it can still exist.
What Effects Does an Abortion Have on the Father?
Lots of the articles that deal with the subject of abortion forget that the situation actually involves 2 persons, and not only the mother and her problems. Indeed, although the ones of the father are less obvious and probably much smaller, they also have some weight in the way the situation affects both parents.
If the father took place to this decision, the consequences experienced by the mother may be transmitted to the father as well. He may also confront with depression, anxiety, remorse, feelings of fear and guilt, or resentment.
The couple will confront with an emotional distance, the appearance of tensions due to the mental change of the two, disappointments, as well as psychotic or neurotic states which may on occasion degenerate. This is why some couples that went through an abortion got separated after this has happened.
How to Keep Family Balance after an Abortion?
Supporting your partner is the most essential source of mental healing in the case of an abortion. The couple need to look at this moment not as a loss, but rather as an experience that helped in consolidating the relationship between them. A couple that manages to overcome such an experience can truly be considered a strong and mature couple.
Lots of couples choose to avoid to talk about this experience, but of course is an extremely harmful move for everyone`s psyche. The expression of feelings – healthy communication – is a crucial step when wanting to overcome an abortion without too many complications.
However, lots of times, this kind of steps aren`t sufficient, and in the front of older conflicts, an abortion might erase the life of the family as a couple. Thus, it`s advisable to get professional help, like a psychotherapist. A few sessions of couple psychotherapy may solve not only the issue of abortion, but also some conflicts from inside the family.