Should A Woman With Bipolar Disorder Have An Abortion?
Abortion, a woman’s choice, is not a hard procedure to acquire. In general, for those who have some money, all that’s necessary to get an abortion in North America is setting an appointment. What many women don’t realize when they’re making this choice – and of particular concern to those with bipolar disorder – may be the potential of intense, negative psychological consequences following abortion.
In the 1970s, in Vancouver, Canada, women considering abortion had to first get the permission of their doctor, a gynecologist, and a psychiatrist. Some women discovered that it was the psychiatrist who nixed the procedure, telling them they just weren’t able to handle the trauma and that it would impact them for the rest of their lives.
Since then, things have considered the opposite extreme. Now that abortion is becoming both legal and mainstream, it’s commonly considered nothing more than a straightforward procedure.
A female at the abortion clinic will probably not find out of the chance of severe negative psychological aftereffects. Nearly all women considering an abortion won’t be informed of the documented risk factors of abortion, both physical and psychological. Unfortunately, these hidden risk factors can be even more severely damaging to a woman already suffering bipolar disorder.
The possible negative psychological impact of abortion goes on several names: Post Abortion Syndrome , Post Abortion Stress Disorder, Post Abortion Stress Syndrome, Post Abortion Stress, and Post Abortion Trauma. It’s categorized as a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Clinically the recognized diagnosis is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with abortion as the stressor.
While ladies in post-abortion counseling have reported over 100 negative symptoms, the people most concerning to women with bipolar disorder will be the tendency to activate in self-destructive acts. In a report of 100 women who suffered PAS, findings reported feelings of self-hatred as most common, followed by substance abuse, and alcohol. Some women reported becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol following abortion. 60 percent of the ladies reported suicidal ideation, and 28 percent attempted suicide – 1 / 2 of which attempted suicide twice or even more.
Generally the first symptom of PAS is denial. If and when this wears off, there might be grief, followed by depression, anxiety, irritability, and low frustration tolerance resulting in the possibility of explosions of anger and even violence. There could be too little emotional connection, withdrawal in relationships, and sexual promiscuity.
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Those familiar with bipolar disorder will recognize these possible aftereffects as potentially serious complications in this illness. The girl with bipolar disorder is already at risk for some, if not these psychological problems before she’s an abortion. Having an abortion may actually be what pushes her on the edge, and drives her to get rid of her life in suicide.
Those who pressure the woman with bipolar facing an unplanned pregnancy into abortion could be well-meaning, but are uninformed about the danger of what they are attempting to convince her to do. They may think she is ruining her life and the life span of the child by going through with the pregnancy, and consider abortion to become a easy and simple solution. Unfortunately, as the studies show, it isn’t quite so simple. Abortion may actually end up being the factor that ruins the life span of the girl predisposed to mental illness.
Even those that refute the existence of Post Abortion Stress/Trauma will admit that usually the women most negatively impacted by abortion are those people who have lower self-esteem in the first place, those who underwent the abortion in circumstances of extreme pressure or abandonment, and those who had a mental illness before abortion.
In other words, even those that argue against the possibility of a negative traumatic impact following abortion are saying that women who aren’t stable in the first place may experience this same negative psychological effect. This brings us back again to the abandoned logic of the 70s, when psychiatrists had to OK abortions.