Possible symptoms include indicators that are physical, emotional, spiritual, and/or relational.
Possible Physical Symptoms:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fertility complications
- Increased 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
- Self-destructive abuses of drugs, alcohol, food
- Cutting or 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: Special days like Mother’s Day, Christmas, or a baptism; the sound of a vacuum cleaner or a baby crying; menopause or bleeding; the sight of pregnant women, fetal pictures, or a doctor’s office; the smell of cologne, food, or disinfectants associated with the abortion; a touch from a doctor; or intercourse.
Possible Spiritual Symptoms:
- Feeling alienated from God
- Withdrawal from Lord’s Supper, church, pastor, and church friends
- Feeling like 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 real; despair of God’s mercy
- Anger at God for not stopping the pregnancy or for not stopping the abortion
- Belief that God will send punishment
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.
- Victims repeatedly enter and/or sustain destructive and abusive intimate relationships.
- Victims have an inability to bond properly with current or future children.