Abortion is a trauma. It is an event significant enough to trigger a stress response known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are certain symptoms of PTSD that exhibit themselves more often in mothers and fathers bereaved by abortion and this is sometimes referred to as Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS).
You may read through these symptoms and find yourself feeling relieved. You have not suddenly changed your character, you are not going crazy, you are struggling with trauma. 

The British Journal of Psychiatry published a study in 2018 which concluded:

"The results of this analysis indicated that women who have had an abortion experienced an 81% higher risk of mental health problems of various forms when compared with women who had not had an abortion."
View the study here.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists term president 1990-1993 Professor Andrew Sims had even said that:

"There is nothing so detrimental to a woman's mental health as abortion."

One of the most effective ways to deal with traumatic events in our lives, is to talk about them. PASE is a growing community of women who are ready to listen because they have been where you are now. There is a way to healing and recovery.
Some of the symptoms of PTSD can be seen below. If you're living with some of these, be encouraged that there is a way forward towards healing. 

Reliving aspects of what happened


  • Vivid flashbacks  (feeling like the event is happening right now)
  • intrusive thoughts or images
  • nightmares
  • intense distress at real or symbolic reminders of the trauma
  • physical sensations such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling
  • Anniversary grief

Alertness or feeling on edge


  • panicking when reminded of the trauma
  • being easily upset or angry
  • extreme alertness, also sometimes called 'hypervigilance'
  • disturbed sleep or a lack of sleep
  • irritability or aggressive behaviour
  • finding it hard to concentrate – including on simple or everyday tasks
  • being jumpy or easily startled
  • self-destructive behaviour or recklessness
  • other symptoms of anxiety 

Avoiding feelings or memories


  •  you have to keep busy
  • avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma
  • being unable to remember details of what happened
  • feeling emotionally numb or cut off from your feelings
  • feeling physically numb or detached from your body
  • being unable to express affection
  • using alcohol or drugs to avoid memories

Difficult beliefs or feelings


  • you can't trust anyone
  • nowhere is safe
  •  nobody understands
  • blaming yourself for what happened
  • overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness, guilt or shame