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A woman holding her head in grief

Unpacking Emotions After an Abortion: The Need for Grief Counseling

Going through an abortion can be one of the most challenging decisions you ever make in your life. People have their reasons for an abortion. Sometimes, they don’t feel ready to start a family. Other times, they’re not considering children to be a part of their immediate futures. Regardless of the reason, there are a lot of emotions to unpack following an abortion.


According to research published in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal, most women who have an abortion don’t experience any mental health difficulties immediately after. However, while most women don’t experience any such problems, some do endure feelings of loss. These women often go through the stages of grief as they try to come to terms with the loss they’ve experienced. In addition, sometimes, external factors like culture and family force more pressure on them, deteriorating their mental health.


Contrary to popular belief, abortions are more common than most people think. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 5 percent of US women will have an abortion by 20. Moreover, another 19 percent have an abortion by 30. Likewise, 24 percent of women report having an abortion by the time they’re 45.


Therefore, given that abortion is more common than most people believe, you would think there wouldn’t be a stigma attached to it. However, that’s not the case. Many women often report feeling alone and isolated after having an abortion. They refrain from telling other people because they’re worried about the societal backlash that’ll inevitably follow. Going through these issues can further compound problems for women, necessitating grief counseling.


Why You Need Grief Counseling Following an Abortion

While research shows that most women don’t experience significant mental health problems after an abortion, some do. If you’re feeling depressed, anxious, guilty, helpless, and more, you’ll need to see a licensed counselor. Getting grief counseling following an abortion can help you cope healthily with your loss. Here’s how:


Acceptance

The first thing you’ve got to do is come to terms with your feelings. You’ll have to accept that you’ve undergone an abortion. You might want to take some time to grieve. Regardless of the case, you’ll likely want to let time heal some of your wounds.


Exploring Your Circumstances

Some women often feel guilt after getting an abortion. While feeling guilty might be a human feeling, you’ve got to realize that you did what you thought was the correct thing to do. Many people often get an abortion because they don’t feel they’re ready to become parents. Likewise, sometimes, people get an abortion because they don’t believe they’re settled enough to provide their children with everything they need. Regardless of the circumstances, you shouldn’t feel guilty. A licensed counselor can help you realize that your decision shouldn’t have a bearing on your conscience.


A Place to Vent

There are no two ways about it. Getting an abortion can be a traumatic experience for some women. If you feel traumatized, you’ll have emotions bubbling underneath the surface. You’ll need to express these feelings safely. Otherwise, they could result in more problems down the road. The good news is that a counselor will listen to all your venting without judgment. In addition, they’ll help you by providing you with coping strategies to help you alleviate your anxiety and guilt. Likewise, they’ll also recommend creative outlets to channel your feelings healthily.


Stress Management

Some women often report feeling stressed out after an abortion. A licensed counselor will help you soothe your mind and body by recommending stress management practices and techniques. Likewise, they’ll tell you to consider physical exercises like Tai Chi and Yoga to aid with stress minimization.

A woman grieving on a pier

Get Grief and Loss Counseling to Help You Navigate Through These Trying Times

Calming Streams is an online counseling service that aims to help people with challenges in their lives. We provide individual counseling in Douglasville, GA. Moreover, we also give counseling for stress, domestic violence, emotional abuse, special needs, and more.


Contact us for more information or book an appointment with us today.