Are you someone who’s undergone abortion recently? Or perhaps you have a loved one or family member that’s gone through the medical procedure. Whichever the case, we can all agree that abortion is quite a taxing ordeal that one can go through. While there are some women who can go through the experience relatively unscathed, there are many who undergo a period of great stress after abortion and suffer what is known as post-abortion depression.
If not treated or managed properly, this type of depression can result in a seriously detrimental effect on an individual’s mental well-being, to the point that suicidal thoughts or attempts at self-harm may manifest. This may also bleed over and cause other harmful physical symptoms, which will only exacerbate the issue at hand.
Post-abortion depression can be caused or triggered by many things. It could be a result of relationship problems that stemmed from or resulted in the abortion itself. The mother may have had moral or religious beliefs that conflicted against the termination of her pregnancy. Guilt may also be an extenuating factor, especially if an attachment to the fetus was made before it was terminated. No matter the reason, post-abortion depression must be addressed thoroughly and quickly, while also being sensitive to the physical and emotional needs of the individual in question.
When dealing with post-abortion depression, it’s essential that professional caregivers, doctors, and therapists should be involved. Only they can truly diagnose post-abortion depression and give the necessary assistance and treatment to address this ailment. However, there are also ways in which the mother and their family can cope with the event. Here are some of those ways.
Take up the cause and show solidarity
One of the best ways to cope with post-abortion depression is for the patient to realize that they are not alone in their struggle, understanding that other women are also undergoing the same ordeal as they are. From there, the patient can turn their grief and negative energy into carrying out activities that can help spread awareness about post-abortion depression. This will help the patient occupy her time in a productive and perhaps even therapeutic fashion, as it will put her in contact with fellow sufferers.
One such activity is to support the cause using promotional materials, such as posters, customized wristbands, enamel lapel pins, lanyards, and more. There are many services online that can help produce these materials in bulk and at very affordable prices. By creating these materials and distributing them, a post-abortion depression sufferer can find catharsis in knowing that she is doing the right thing in spreading awareness about her current mental condition.
Develop a strong support network
A patient should never have to suffer post-abortion depression alone. As such, she should not hesitate in approaching her friends and family for help, to give her the support she needs in order to weather through the worst of her depression. By having a strong support network with her at all times, the patient will always have someone to fall back and rely on for anything she needs, be it someone to talk to or to distract her from her thoughts.
Conversely, the sufferer’s family and loved ones should not wait for them to be approached first before offering their assistance and support. They should seek to provide it at the soonest possible time, regardless of any arguments, infighting, or drama that the abortion itself caused within the family. Such matters should be set aside for later—no amount of arguing or debating will change anything. The patient’s mental health and condition must come first.
Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients
Depression in all forms can cause a sufferer to have no appetite at all or be tempted to gorge on unhealthy foods. Both options are unacceptable, as either one can and will result in worsening the patient’s symptoms and mental well-being, besides their obvious physiological effects. As such, the patent should do their best to eat as healthy as possible. Many studies have linked a healthy diet rich in vitamins and essential nutrients as a contributing factor in improving one’s mental health. If such a diet is not possible at the moment, then adequate intake of multivitamins can suffice for a short period of time but must not be relied on for too long.
Be physically active
Another way of coping from post-abortion depression is to take up regular exercise or simply get in the act of being physically active every day. Engaging in vigorous physical activity not only occupies the sufferer’s attention and mind but also helps their body release mood-boosting endorphins as well as vent stress out in a healthy manner. This should be done with care, however, and only after the patient has been cleared for physical activity by their doctors or GPs.
Take up meditation, martial arts, or other methods of relaxation
Once the patient has gotten into the habit of eating healthily and exercising regularly, they can move on to taking up activities that focus on introspection and relaxation, such as meditation or martial arts. These activities help sufferers of depression learn how to confront their inner thoughts and turmoil with peace, confidence, and tranquility. This allows them to face their underlying feelings of guilt and regret head on. Such activities also help in teaching them ways to combat panic and stress attacks as they surface.
Adhere faithfully and diligently to prescribed treatments
Finally, the patient and their family or loved ones should do all that they can in adhering faithfully to all treatments prescribed by licensed medical professionals, whether it involves therapy, counseling, medication, or a combination of all three. This gives the person the focused support they need to fully recover from the trauma of the event.
Coping with post-abortion depression should always be a team effort
An individual should never have to suffer through post-abortion depression alone. If you’re a sufferer, then go and seek help immediately from friends and family. Don’t be afraid of being a bother to anyone, or being seen as weak—right now, you are vulnerable, and you need all the help you can get. If your family member or loved one is having post-abortion depression, then give them the love and shelter that they sorely need. Moreover, taking up the coping methods listed above should also help massively in dealing with this type of depression. Just remember to consult doctors before trying them out.