Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, any person can make a decision, which they may regret later. This can include a variety of things, from engaging in physical violence, using money for unwanted purchases, driving under the influence, saying things that were unintended, acting out foolishly, or having sexual contact that was previously undesired or unwanted.
Because being under the influence impairs cognition and judgment, it is not uncommon to make poor decisions when using drugs or alcohol.
Devastating Consequences for Choices Under the Influence
The result of making decisions and choices while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to devastating consequences, some things that cannot necessarily be undone. This can be a difficult thing to live with, depending on the severity of the consequence from impaired decision making. Some women who are under the influence may have an unwanted pregnancy, which may be the result of engaging in sexual contact – whether intentionally or non-intentionally.
Becoming pregnant when not planned or expected can be a challenging situation to cope with. Many emotions and thoughts are triggered by pregnancy and the responsibility that is suddenly felt by carrying for baby.
For some women who have an unplanned pregnancy, they may turn towards the option of abortion as a means to un-do what has happened. Unplanned pregnancy can be an extremely difficult thing to cope with, and some women may feel as though abortion is their only solution for dealing with this type of situation.
Acting Impulsively without Realizing
Any experience that results in increased stress and anxiety can lead a person to act impulsively. A woman who discovers her unplanned pregnancy may be anxious to find a way to terminate the pregnancy.
There is also the possibility that while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, a woman moves forward with the process of abortion, perhaps not fully aware or conscious about the ramifications of her decision.
Whatever the circumstances of how abortion occurs, this can lead to many more consequences for a woman who has endured the loss of her baby.
Emotional Fallout from an Abortion
Whether a baby was planned or not, an abortion can be a traumatic event for any woman who has undergone this procedure. Some women may not immediately feel any reactions from their abortion, though this is something that will stay with her for a lifetime.
Some common emotions experienced as a result of abortion include intense feelings of:
A woman may develop more severe complications following an abortion, which can interfere with daily living and might include self-harm urges, suicidal thoughts, severe depressive disorder, insomnia, loss of interest in food, inability to care for herself or family, withdrawal from intimacy, disturbing dreams and nightmares, social anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction, anxiety disorders, and more.
Finding Help and Support at Every Step
If you are a woman who has endured an abortion and who is struggling with the after effects, please know that you are not alone and that there is help and support for you. Severe emotional and medical complications can arise as a result of having an abortion, and it is crucial that you seek out support to help you through this time.
It is possible to rebuild your life, one step at a time, and this process begins by being aware of your struggle and reaching out to someone who can help guide you to the resources you need. Begin by confiding in a person you trust and talk with them openly about what you are experiencing. You may consider confiding in your doctor or another health professional that you have a relationship with.
These professionals can likely direct you to support groups or other specialists who have worked with women post-abortion. You may feel as though your life has been shattered to pieces, but by seeking out help and support, you can begin the process of slowly piecing your life back together again.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Have you struggled with the consequences of a poor decision made under the influence of drugs or alcohol? How did you come to terms with this decision, and what did you to seek out help and support yourself through this process?
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 12th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com