Friday, February 22, 2008

Passive suicide? I wonder

Those of you who've been there, done that, and burned the t-shirt, or who have counselled women who have:

I blogged earlier today about Shirley Hollis, who ignored severe cardiac symptoms after an abortion and ended up dying as a result.

It isn't unusual for a woman to die because she failed to seek treatment when she was suffering alarming symptoms after an abortion. It's particularly problematic in women with undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies.

It's also been documented, by the CDC among other researchers, that women are more likely to die violent deaths -- homicide, suicide, or accident -- in the aftermath of an abortion than demographically matched age-mates who had not undergone abortions.

I once listened to a National Abortion Federation meeting in which nurses lamented how difficult it was to get patients to seek care for post-abortion symptoms. At the time I placed the blame entirely on the abortion lobby's success in getting people to internalized the idea that abortion is ludicrously safe -- that no harm can befall the woman as long as she goes to a legally operating abortion facility.

But maybe in some of these cases we're not seeing women who really think their symptoms aren't serious. Maybe in some of these cases the women are actually hoping that the symptoms are very serious indeed. If at some level some of these women are refusing to seek care because they're hoping that they'll die.

Has anybody seen any research on this, or is anybody able to comment on it from personal experience or from witnessing such behaviors in somebody else?

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7 comments:

Seven_Shades_of_Red said...

A 35 month study done on 4,000 women from Suicide Anonymous discovered that almost half of those who commited suicide had undergone an abortion. 1,400 of those were between the ages of 15-24.

GrannyGrump said...

If I recall correctly, that's double the number of post-abortion women in the general population.

Though I wonder if their "1 in 4 women has had an abortion" number is correct. Some women are having so many abortions they offset those who don't. It's sort of like yeah, 1/2 of all marriages end in divorce, but that doesn't mean that half of all people who walk down the aisle end up divorced. Eight couples need to stay together just to offset Liz Taylor statistically! So if one woman has 5 abortions, there have to be 20 women who don't undergo abortions to offset her statistically to keep the number of abortions at 1 per 4 women of childbearing age!

Rachael C. said...

I haven't had an abortion, but I can speak regarding my own personal experience with moderate recurrent depression with moderate-severe episodes. When I'm in a severe episode, I begin to neglect basic self-care: hygiene and nutrition (I'm just not hungry) and really just lack the energy, but also I feel soo far down and bad about myself during those times, I think "What's the point?" of taking care of myself, seeing my counselor, or getting help. If not for learning to recognizing the symptoms in myself and the intervention of others, I probably wouldn't of been here today.

GrannyGrump said...

Now you've got me thinking of going to the DSM-IV and seeing if there's any sort of "reactive disorder" in which failure to care for oneself is a symptom.

Those nurses lamenting that the women wouldn't seek care really did care about their patients. If it was impressed upon them that some women are in danger of just becoming totally indifferent to their own lives in the immediate aftermath of an abortion, they might push for something -- better screening, one could hope, or at least educating the friend or family member who comes to the facility with the woman -- to make sure that either the at-risk women are getting real care, or at the very least that they've got somebody who knows, "Just call the ambulance. She might not be rational after the abortion and will need somebody to do the right thing by her."

Seven_Shades_of_Red said...

Remember, this was a 35 month study so it was almost 3 years worth of information. Almost 2,000 of the 4,000 who committed suicide were post abortive over 2.11 years.

The reason I mentioned this was because of the psychological affect abortion has on women. The pain and grief is intolerable to the point they take their own life.

Rachael C. said...

Now you've got me thinking of going to the DSM-IV and seeing if there's any sort of "reactive disorder" in which failure to care for oneself is a symptom.

Oh, why do you say this? I hope not in relation to my story because it's just my one personal experience and my depression is caused by biological and genetic factors. Also, I would caution you on using the DSM-IV amaturely, unless you have the proper knowledge to use it. From speaking with women who are seeking treeatment, currently doctors and therapists who recognize negative emotional reactions after an abortion classify it more as depression or a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

GrannyGrump said...

I'm not thinking of anybody in particular, Rachael. Just wondering if the behavior of fatally putting off needed medical care in a crisis fits an established pattern.