Thursday, February 11, 2010

Symptoms of Post Abortion Syndrome

Okay, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. Today you might recognize someone you know. Or you might recognize yourself.

Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS) can be classified under the heading of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. It results from a person having suffered through an experience so traumatic she is unable to resume a normal lifestyle. Symptoms of PAS include:

  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Depression
  • Re-experiencing events related to the abortion
  • Preoccupation with becoming pregnant again
  • Anxiety over fertility and childbearing issues
  • Interruption or disruption of the bonding with present and/or future children
  • Self-destructive behaviors and anniversary reactions

Many women experience nightmarish visions of the abortion procedure, their minds replaying the event on a regular basis. Others are brought to tears by a song, a scent, or even a television drama that reminds them of their desperate act. When your memories and pain are interfering with your daily activities, you may be suffering from PAS.

How do you know if you need counseling? Perhaps your abortion was years ago—or decades. According to my friend Timm Glover of the Middle Tennessee Medical Center, the key to knowing when and if you should receive counseling can be guided by how you answer these questions:

Does the memory of your abortion experience interfere in your ability to function on a day-to-day basis?
Do you contend with a sense of unforgivable guilt?
Do you struggle with an inability to pray or to sense God’s love and presence in your life?
Do you deal with persistent feelings of unworthiness?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, I urge you to tell someone--your husband, your best friend, a sibling, your OB, or your child's pediatrician. Ask that person to help you do something about it. You are not alone, okay?

Tomorrow: Do I Tell My Kids about My Abortion?


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