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Women and men who have had an abortion often experience guilt, sadness, chronic depression, fear and/or anger in the aftermath. These feelings are commonly referred to as Post-Abortion Stress (PAS).
According to research, approximately 40% of women in abortion recovery programs suffer intense PAS, while 80% will manifest some PAS symptoms. Symptoms reported by women participating in abortion recovery programs include:
- 92% experience emotional deadening/numbing (described as either feeling less in touch with one’s emotions or feeling a “need to stifle their emotions”.)
- 82% experience intense feelings of loneliness and/or isolation
- 86% describe an increased tendency toward anger or rage. (48% reported that they became more violent when angered.)
- 86% fear that others will learn of their abortion or experience a greater sense of fear for unidentified reasons.
- 75% report less self-confidence.
- 73% report some sexual dysfunction. (Increased pain during intercourse, promiscuity, frigidity or loss of pleasure.)
- 63% experience denial of doubt or negativity regarding decision to abort. (Average period of denial of any doubts or negative feelings about their abortion was 5.25 years after abortion.)
- 58% suffer from insomnia or nightmares.
- 56% experience suicidal thoughts.
- 53% begin or increase drug and/or alcohol use to deaden their pain.
- 39% report eating disorders that commenced after their abortions.
- 28% attempt suicide.
Guilt, preoccupation with the anniversary of the abortion or due date, depression, sadness, anxiety, a sense of loss, crying spells, regret, helplessness, inability to relax, marital stress and fear of failure are among the feelings commonly described by those who have had an abortion. Sometimes those who have had an abortion are not aware of how the experience has affected them, but nonetheless are exhibiting many of the above PAS symptoms.