Sorrow, guilt, hopelessness, regret… these are all possible symptoms of post-abortion stress that may be linked to depression. If these are feelings you’ve been experiencing after an abortion, know first and foremost that you’re not alone. Many people face similar outcomes. There’s help and healing available! Perhaps your response to the abortion was a gut-wrenching surprise, or maybe you sensed beforehand that your post-abortion recovery process would be difficult to navigate. Whether your pregnancy ended yesterday or fifty years ago, our dedicated team at Restore After Abortion is here to partner with you on your healing journey.
Restore After Abortion is a free post-abortion recovery program that exists to help women, men, and teens find hope in the wake of a challenging abortion experience. We offer small group and one-on-one formats to process your unique circumstances and lean into a bright future.
Learn more about Restore! We’ve been a trusted resource for over twenty years.
How Do I Know if I’m Experiencing Clinical Depression?
Mayo Clinic defines depression as, “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” Depression may or may not be triggered by a stressful event, such as a difficult abortion experience. Are you experiencing some of the following symptoms most of the day, nearly every day? If so, you may be coping with major depressive disorder (aka clinical depression).
- Feelings of sorrow, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Irritability, or bursts of anger
- Loss of interest in or enjoyment of activities
- Sleep problems (insomnia or over-sleeping)
- Appetite changes (under-eating or over-eating)
- Feelings of nervousness or agitation
- Slowing of thought process, speech, or physical movement
- Sensations of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty with concentration or decision-making
- Thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains that can’t be explained by another condition.
These symptoms are serious, and very likely won’t go away on their own. They can make day-to-day functioning extremely difficult. Most individuals feel better after seeking treatment through professional counseling and/or medications. If you think you may have clinical depression, getting support is absolutely critical- whether symptoms began before your abortion or afterwards.
It’s Important to Address Any Form of Post-Abortion Stress
Everyone responds differently to abortion. Even if your symptoms don’t fit the criteria for clinical depression, you may feel occasionally or consistently “low,” stressed, or regretful. The symptoms noted above may crop up sometimes. Post-abortion stress can actively interfere with daily activities or loom beneath the surface of a person’s consciousness for years. It can look more like a grieving process- whether you’re mourning the loss of the pregnancy, the loss of a future you’d envisioned for yourself, or something else. Your post-abortion response may not fit a particular mold, because human beings are emotionally complex. It’s important to take seriously any symptoms of depression or general post-abortion stress.
Compassionate Care When You Need It
As with clinical depression, seeking care for any form of post-abortion sadness or stress is key. This may require a leap of faith, because it’s hard to talk about a difficult abortion experience. But Restore After Abortion is a safe, confidential space to process the past and look to the future alongside supportive individuals who’ve faced similar circumstances. It’s never too late to find hope. You haven’t missed your chance to acknowledge how abortion may have affected you, and take tangible steps toward healing. Unconditional compassion and a supportive community await you at Restore.
Do you feel like there’s no hope? Like you’re not worthy of healing? Like the world would be better off without you? These are lies! You have inherent, one-of-a-kind value, and a vibrant life to live. You’re fully capable and worthy of healing past wounds, maybe even utilizing your experiences to enrich the lives of others. There’s light at the end of this tunnel- whether you’re feeling that right now or not. Our team at Restore would love to be a part of your unique healing story.
Schedule an appointment today! We offer opportunities to connect in-person or virtually.
* If you think you may harm yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 immediately. You can also reach out to a suicide hotline.
Mayo Clinic. (2022, October). Depression (major depressive disorder). Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007