Difficult feelings

The suffering caused by abortion can be about many different feelings, such as  depression, anger, grief, guilt and shame. It may be very clear to you which feelings you are struggling with and why. Or you may feel confused as it sounds like several feelings are troubling you. Whatever your unique experiences and initial reactions may be, understanding your feelings is the first step to healing.

Depression and Anger - if you are depressed, you may not be suicidal, but your life may be full of suffering. You may feel worthless and hopeless, and you may get no pleasure from activities you used to enjoy. Anger and depression are often related. You may have a short temper and find yourself getting mad with anyone who is close by.

Grief - Deep sadness and intense longing for the one you have lost, emptiness, confusion, anxiety, sleeplessness and poor concentration are all signs of grief. Grief is a complex and often confusing set of emotions. Grief can come and go in waves.

Guilt - Guilt is the most common negative emotional response to abortion. Guilt is that deep-in-your-gut feeling that you have done something that has violated your moral code, or your understanding of right and wrong. You might feel that you have hurt yourself or let yourself down.  Perhaps you find yourself replaying the events in your mind, second-guessing whether abortion was the right decision. Or perhaps believe that you have disappointed or betrayed your partner, parents, or other loved ones.

Shame - Shame feels close to guilt. Shame can be accompanied by feelings of inferiority, embarrassment, humiliation, self-consciousness, and self-disgust. Many women report feeling humiliated after an abortion, often because they never expected to find themselves in this situation.

It is normal for women to experience a wide range of difficult emotions after an abortion. Each woman is unique, and understanding your own emotions and reactions can help you begin to let go of the pain and start to heal. By allowing yourself to mourn, and by acknowledging the loss and hurt that accompany abortion, you will start to heal. The important thing to know is that you can and will feel better, and seeking counselling can be a very important first step in that process.


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