What are symptoms of distress?
Possible symptoms include indicators that are physical, emotional, spiritual and/or relational.
Possible Physical Symptoms
- Excessive bleeding
- Fertility complications
- Increase risk of miscarriage in subsequent pregnancies
- Sleep, appetite and sexual disturbances
- Mutilation of female organs and/or genitalia
- Untreated severe bleeding or infection
Possible Emotional symptoms, indicative of Post-Traumatic Stress:
- Self-destructive abuses of drugs, alcohol, food
- Cutting, self-mutilation
- Neglecting health
- Unexplained depression, crying, or rage
- Bringing on unwanted consequences (absenteeism or incompetence resulting in job loss)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Preoccupation with pregnancy or getting pregnant again
- Trigger events produce an increase in symptoms. These events can include the following: Mother’s Day, a baptism, Christmas, pregnant women, menopause, the sound of a vacuum cleaner, a baby crying, the sight of doctors’ offices, bleeding, fetal pictures, the smell of cologne, food, disinfectants associated with the abortion, a touch from doctor, or intercourse.
Possible Spiritual symptoms:
- Feeling aliened from God
- Withdrawal from Lord’s Supper, church, pastor and church friends
- "If the people at church knew, they would think I’m such a hypocrite"
- Inability or reluctance to pray
- Survival guilt "It was me or you and I chose me"
- Inability to believe God’s forgiveness is for her; despair of God’s mercy
- Anger at God for not stopping her pregnancy or for not stopping her from having the abortion
- Belief that God will punish her
Possible Relational symptoms:
- 80% of the intimate relationships leading to pregnancy end after an abortion
- Friendships and familial relationships become more stressed due to complicity in the abortion decision or due to the shame and secrecy of having the abortion
- Repeatedly entering and/or sustaining destructive and abusive intimate relationships
- Inability to bond properly with current or future children
Looking for Help?