Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 22, 2008
Abortion trauma affects men too
Post-traumatic stress disorder common among males
By ALICIA TORRES
"We have to learn about men, we have to study them and find out what helps them, what brings them to healing."
- Thomas Golden
Men are involved in an abortion decision in many ways, and the level of their involvement affects how much guilt they feel afterward, according to the speakers. Many men know about and fully support the decision, while others may not know until years later that they lost a child to abortion.
In the 35 years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, more than 40 million abortions have been performed.
Psychologist Vincent Rue said studies indicate that men involved in abortion are very likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Rue, director of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss, said 41 per cent of men responding to an online survey about their abortion experience met the full diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
For men suffering from an abortion, the disorder is a haunting condition, he said. Men may be plagued by nightmares, become severely overprotective of their families and in extreme circumstances take their own lives.
Speaker Golden said women tend to process grief by recalling events with close friends, while men are wired to taking action to process their grief.
"When our father died, my brother and I built a box in which to place his ashes. It was during that time together in the shop that we confronted the loss of our father, through the stories we shared and memories recalled," he said.
Men who have suffered abortion need to process in a similar way, added Golden, founder of www.webhealing.com, the first website for grieving people.
"We have to learn about men, we have to study them and find out what helps them, what brings them to healing," he said.
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