Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). PTSD is the result of having suffered an event so stressful and so traumatic that the person is taken beyond his/her ability to cope in a normal manner. Victims of PTSD are unable to simply resume their lives where they left off before the traumatic event. Instead they experience a variety of reactions that do not go away merely with the passage of time. Although the symptoms of PTSD (and PAS) are varied, and although they may not surface for years after the trauma, they are nonetheless real and should be dealt with.
Although abortion is legal in the United States (and other countries), the events leading up to and including the abortion itself are often of such a traumatic nature that PTSD is often the result.
Following are some of the symptoms of Post-Abortion Syndrome:
- Depression and Thoughts of Suicide
- Sad Mood
- Sudden and Uncontrollable Crying
- Deterioration of Self-Esteem
- Disruption in Interpersonal Relationships
- Sleep, Appetite, and Sexual Disturbances
- Reduced Motivation
- Thoughts of Suicide
- "Anniversary Syndrome" (An increase of symptoms around the time of the anniversary of the abortion and/or the due date of the aborted child.)
- Re-experiencing the Abortion
- Preoccupation with Becoming Pregnant Again
- Anxiety over Fertility and Childbearing Issues
- Disruption of the Bonding Process with Present or Future Children
- Survival Guilt: ...the decision boiled down to a sorrowful conclusion: "It's me or you, and I choose me."
- Development of Eating Disorders
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Other Self-Punishing or Self-Degrading Behaviors: abusive relationships, promiscuity, failing to take care of yourself medically or deliberately hurting yourself emotionally and/or physically
- Brief Reactive Psychosis: an episode of drastically distorted reality within two weeks of the abortion
If three or more of the symptoms listed above describe what you have recently experienced in relation to an abortion, it is likely that you are experiencing Post-Abortion Syndrome.
If so, there is hope for you. Click here for more information. For more information see "Help for the Post-abortion Woman" by Teri Reisser, M.S., and Paul Reisser, M.D.