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Depression

What are common stages of grief?

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Different people experience different types of grief. A person is likely to feel a variety of emotions while grieving.

While grief is for everyone a very personal experience, there are often parallels between the experiences of the people.

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote a book called On Death and Dying in 1969 which introduced the scientific community to the phases of death and dying, or the “one common denominator.” The stages she was talking about became the five stages of grief that many people today recognize.

There’s no way to experience sorrow, however. A person doesn’t automatically go through the stages and end up resolving their grief. The stages may vary, however, and some people may not even experience all the stages of grief.

The following sections explain the commonly accepted stages of grief and how they may vary depending on a person’s type of loss or circumstance.

Stages of grief

Meeting friends or family may help a person cope with grief.

Dr. Kübler-Ross identified five stages of death and dying:

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance

Initially, the steps were only terms to better explain the death and dying process. Mourning is typically a part of that process, though.

The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation states that those stages are not linear, and that they have been misunderstood by the public over time. We also note that the book itself is not a research paper, though it is often quoted as such by individuals.

Today, those five stages of mourning are now widely accepted by people and organizations alike. We today use them to describe the feelings a person can experience following loss-involving circumstances such as:

  • the death of a loved one
  • the loss of a job
  • a relationship ending
  • a diagnosis of cancer or another serious illness

The American Cancer Society describe the five stages of grief as follows:

Denial

Denial is typically the first stage of grief which occurs just before or after a loss. Characteristic experiences include anxiety, emotional numbness or shock. During this stage, a person can avoid remembering or conversing with others about the loss.

Anger

By general, people regard rage as the second stage of grief. This may last days, weeks, months, or even longer.

A person may typically experience anger and frustration, which can manifest by various ways. We can, for example:

  • cry
  • feel agitated
  • feel weak
  • engage in activities that are aimless
  • feel lonely
  • feel isolated

Bargaining

Bargaining is typically the third stage of grief, and often is the shortest. A individual can attempt to find sense in the loss during this period, and reach out to others to discuss it.

Acceptance

The final stage of grief, acceptance often happens as a person begins to come to terms with the loss. In most cases they start moving on with their lives and do not care about the loss.

Remember that not everyone is going to go through all the stages of grief. In different times, a person can experience the stages too.

Different situations

There are many situations where a person’s emotional emotions can be clarified through the stages of grief. This can help them understand, for example, that what this feel is normal, and they can help others who want to offer support.

The following sections explain some circumstances where, as well as what to expect, a person can feel grief.

Loss or bereavement

It’s common for a person to feel the grief after a loved one’s loss. Anyone suffering a person’s or pet’s loss can go through all the stages of grief, or may experience only a few of the stages.

It’s not uncommon to deny death to a person who grieves. It is also normal to get angry with the person for dying, or for failing to take adequate precautions to keep healthy.

In other situations, a person may blame for the loss and go through scenarios that might have stopped the person from dying. Depression can also cause the grieving person to have self-doubt and not know how to go on without the victim.

We may finally accept the death and appreciate the time they’ve had with the loved one.

Divorce or breakups

Once a relationship ends, a person can feel grief — especially if the breakup has been unexpected or unwanted. A person may feel like their former partner is just upset during a divorce or separation and will be back to normal the next day, denying the breakup happened.

We may have anger at the other guy, too. A individual who experiences a relationship loss can also go through the negotiation stage. For instance, they could think they could have prevented the breakup if they had spent more time with the person or had better addressed their needs.

One person can even get discouraged and wonder how without the other they’ll go on. Ultimately, they can agree that it was necessary to break up or divorce, and that without the relationship they are better off.

Job loss

A job loss may trigger a response which can include all five stages of grief. A person can feel like their employer made a mistake, and when they come to their senses, they may bring them back.

A person may also start looking back at their job performance and thinking what they might have done differently, or they may think they won’t be able to go forward without their work.

They may finally come to accept that the job wasn’t a good fit for them, and elsewhere they’ll find a better chance.

Bad news

Receiving bad news, like diagnosing a terminal disease, can also cause a person to grieve.

A person may at first reject the news, assuming it can’t be correct. We might get angry with the doctor, family members or others. Depression cycles are common, as well.

Finally, a person may accept the outcome and realize that they still have time with others, or that they can move on from the news that changes life.

Coping

There is no common grievance coping mechanism. A person may find different strategies are working well for them, while others are not helping at all. In order to find one that works it is important to try different strategies.

Some general coping strategies include:

  • reaching out to friends or family for support
  • taking comfort from faith or spirituality
  • joining a support group
  • seeking individual counseling
  • accepting individual feelings and emotions
  • becoming aware of the triggers of the grief
  • exercising often and eating a healthful diet

How to help someone

Some people might feel awkward spending time with a human who is mourning. That’s normal. Not everyone knows how to console someone person instinctively. We may not be in a position to communicate, or may not know what to say or do.

In some situations it can make a difference to just reach out to the grieving person. There is no straightforward way to help another deal with their sorrow. Sometimes a person may want to engage with a friend or loved ones in normal activities. Other people might just want to sit with them in silence.

Outlook

Grief will include several ups and downs, as a person will probably have several emotions to deal with. A person may go through all or only some of the stages of grief, and may not experience all of the stages in the order above. The grieving process also has no timeline.

A grieving person might want to seek help from friends to family, support groups, and individual therapy. A person who supports them will be able to reach out to the person and let them know that they are there to care for them.

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Bipolar

What to know about unipolar depression

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Major depressive disorder is also known as unipolar depression. The term “unipolar depression” refers to a type of depression that does not cycle through other mental states like mania. Bipolar disorders, on the other hand, cause in times of both depression and mania.

Unipolar depression, on the other hand, does not imply that a person is always depressed. People who suffer from major depressive disorder may go through periods of remission followed by periods of depression relapse. They may also feel better when their circumstances change, especially if they have atypical depression, a kind of major depressive disorder.

One of the most prevalent mental health diagnoses is unipolar depression. It can cause physical symptoms as well as substantial trouble managing everyday tasks and relationships, in addition to a melancholy or gloomy mood. In the United States, 7.8% of all people had at least one major depressive episode in 2019.

Continue reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for unipolar depression.

What is unipolar depression? 

unipolar depression

Major depressive disorder is also known as unipolar depression. This mental condition has an impact on both mental and physical health.

The following are the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder:

At least five of the following symptoms must be present:

  • Concentration issues: A person may find it difficult to concentrate, pay attention, or think coherently. It’s possible that some people will have cognitive fog.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide: An individual may experience intrusive thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide.
  • Depressed mood: On most days, a person feels sad or depressed for the most of the day. They can be feeling empty, hopeless, melancholy, or unsure about the future. These symptoms can appear in youngsters as behavioral difficulties or irritability.
  • Loss of pleasure: Activities that a person used to enjoy may now provide little or no pleasure.
    Weight or appetite changes:. Without attempting to gain or lose weight, a person may gain or lose 5% or more of their body weight, or suffer changes in appetite, such as eating too much or too little.
  • Sleeping issue: A person may sleep excessively or insufficiently.
  • Fatigue: When a person is physically and emotionally weary, it might affect their motivation and ability to complete everyday chores.

Only if a person’s depression symptoms are not caused by bipolar disorder or another medical condition will they be diagnosed. Their symptoms must be distressing and not be the result of medication or a physical ailment. They must also have never gone through a manic episode.

Secondary symptoms can cause as a result of depression’s symptoms, such as:

  • trouble studying or excelling at school
  • difficulties with self-care
  • trouble getting or keeping a job
  • relationship conflict

People who are depressed have a distorted vision of the world, which can affect how they think and feel about other people and themselves. Interpersonal difficulties, low self-esteem, rejection sensitivity, and other issues may arise as a result.

Causes

Major depressive illness is a multifaceted condition with genetic, psychological, social, and interpersonal causes. Depression is caused by the interaction of several factors. For example, a person may have a genetic predisposition to depression, which is subsequently activated by trauma or stress, resulting in symptoms.

Researchers aren’t sure what causes sadness, but they do know that changes in brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters play a part. Antidepressants work by affecting brain chemicals including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, implying that these chemicals play a role in mood.

The following are some of the risk factors for developing unipolar depression:

  • some medical conditions, including thyroid disorders
  • family history of depression
  • trauma and adverse childhood experiences

How does it differ from other forms of depression?

The main distinction between unipolar depression and bipolar depression is that a person with unipolar depression simply has depression rather than the cycles of depression and mania that bipolar illness, or bipolar depression, is known for.

People who suffer from bipolar depression have bouts of depression comparable to those who suffer from major depressive illness, but they also have moments of mania, when their mood is extremely elevated. A person may be unusually happy during manic episodes. They could make rash or hazardous judgments, such as overspending money.

People who suffer from unipolar depression are not constantly depressed. Some people may look to be cheerful, act to be happy, or have periods when their depressive symptoms improve.

Atypical depression, a subtype of major depressive illness, is more likely to be persistent. It does, however, respond better to changes in circumstances, which means that when a person’s position improves, they may be happy and have less symptoms. This is not to be confused with the mood cycling seen in bipolar depression.

Depression does not always take the form of major depressive disorder. Other types of unipolar depression that don’t entail manic episodes include:

  • Postpartum depression: Following the birth of a child, this type of depression develops.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: This sort of seasonal depression is more common in the winter.
  • Persistent depressive disorder: The symptoms of this chronic form of depression are usually milder than those of major depressive disorder.
  • Psychotic depression: A person suffering from this sort of depression causes psychotic ideas. Delusions and hallucinations are examples of psychotic beliefs that are divorced from reality.

Symptoms

A low and depressed mood is a symptom of major depression. A person’s perception of the world may be largely negative, resulting in cognitive distortions that negatively impact their relationships, work, and school performance.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of depression:

  • unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • low energy
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • feeling hopeless about the future
  • being unable to get pleasure from hobbies, relationships, or other previously enjoyed activities
  • trouble thinking clearly or making decisions
  • slowed movements or speech
  • feeling restless or pacing
  • brain fog
  • thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • eating too much or too little

Secondary difficulties, such as unemployment or low school performance, might cause as a result of depression symptoms.

Treatment

Antidepressants come in a variety of forms, with the best option dependent on a number of criteria. These are some of them:

  • the subtype of major depression
  • the side effects the person feels they can tolerate
  • the person’s overall health

Before getting relief from their symptoms, a person may need to take many drugs or different dosages of the same prescription. Working with a skilled psychiatrist and discussing side effects and other treatment problems may speed up the relief process.

Psychotherapy techniques, particularly those developed to treat depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy, can assist a person in better coping, implementing positive lifestyle changes, and managing life with depression.

Therapies that directly stimulate the brain, such as electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, may also help, especially if other treatments are ineffective.

Some people find that changing their lifestyle, such as exercising more, eating a well-balanced diet, practicing meditation, or taking up a new activity, is beneficial.

Outlook

Depression is difficult to cure and often chronic, thus a person may go through periods of remission before relapsing.

A complete depression treatment plan that combines medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes may help a person manage better through relapses of depression.

According to a 2019 study, several characteristics boost the chances of depression remission. These are some of them:

  • less chronic depression
  • not experiencing complicated grief
  • not having a history of childhood adversity
  • a better quality of life
  • less severe depression
  • employment
  • less anxiety

Conclusion

Major depressive disorder is also known as unipolar depression.

It can have an impact on a person’s relationships, profession, education, and sense of self, among other things. Myths about depression might make it difficult for people to get help or seek it.

Although significant depression is difficult to treat, it is possible to achieve remission, especially when a person has access to thorough and experienced care.

People who are depressed should get mental health treatment as soon as possible. A person can often be referred to a qualified and supportive mental health practitioner by their primary care physician.

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559078/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519712/table/ch3.t5/
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278584618300514
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558998/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/unipolar-depression
  • https://www.dovepress.com/atypical-depression-current-perspectives-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-NDT
  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991044/
  • https://www.dbsalliance.org/education/depression/types-of-depression/
  • https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression
  • https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18091079

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Depression

Depression support groups: All to know

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Depression support groups come in a variety of forms. There are several unstructured internet forums. A moderator can also be found in online and in-person groups to help steer the discussion.

Support groups give an emotionally safe space for people to vent their thoughts, share ideas, and learn useful knowledge. Many of them are available for free.

Some high-quality data shows that internet support groups are useful in reducing depressive symptoms, according to a 2017 research. People who have used them have said that they:

  • Reduce isolation.
  • improve daily functioning.
  • This increases the likelihood of seeking professional help.

Depression is frequent in the United States, affecting around 4.7 percent of people aged 18 and over.

This article examines the benefits of depression support groups, including online, in-person, and speciality groups. Other types of assistance are also discussed.

Depression support groups

Online groups

A few online support groups for depression are included below, along with some of its advantages.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

An anonymous peer-to-peer support group for people suffering from depression and anxiety is offered by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Individuals and their families may share their stories and interact with others in a secure environment.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

For people suffering from depression or bipolar illness, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) offers online peer-led sessions. After registering with DBSA, individuals can attend planned sessions to learn coping techniques and provide hope to one another. A updated list of meetings for each day is available on the website.

Mental Health America

MHA (Mental Health America) is an online forum where people may talk about a variety of mental health issues, including depression. It is available to persons who have the condition as well as their carers.

Depression Forums

Volunteer moderators who have either experienced depression or have a loved one who has it moderate the Depression Forums. The forums cover a wide range of topics, including medicines and relationships. There’s also a “water cooler” where members may talk about whatever they like and get to know one another.

Depression Understood

People with depression may use Depression Understood to communicate with others in a variety of ways. These include live chat rooms that are available 24 hours a day, as well as forums where people may post messages for others. In addition, Depression Understood gives people the tools they need to launch their own blogs.

Livewell Foundation

People with depression are welcome to attend peer-led Zoom meetings hosted by the Livewell Foundation. On the website, it displays the weekly meetings and subjects, and members may attend the ones that interest them.

The Livewell Foundation does have some attendance limitations, such as a “no observer” policy, which means that family members and caregivers are not permitted to attend.

In-person support groups

In-person support groups provide all of the advantages of online support groups, plus the added benefit of face-to-face connection. A person’s doctor is an excellent source of information about local in-person support groups.

Some of the most well-known mental health organizations have ties to the following in-person choices. Each website provides a search function for finding a group in a certain location.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

The ADAA maintains local and online support groups, although they are not available in every state. If a local group is not already accessible in a certain location, the organization also provides information on how to create one.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

In-person groups are offered by the DBSA in a variety of places. During the COVID-19 epidemic, however, many of the organizations turned to social media, email, and online meeting spaces to stay in touch.

Mental Health America Affiliates

In addition to online support groups, the MHA provides in-person support groups. Some groups are led by peers, while others are led by mental health professionals.

Specialist groups

There are a variety of organizations that offer help for certain forms of depression or to specific demographics. There are additional groups for carers and family members. Here are a few to think about.

Postpartum Support International

People who experience depression during pregnancy or after childbirth can join Postpartum Support International‘s online support groups. It also has a section for people who are having trouble conceiving or have had a miscarriage.

National Alliance on Mental Health Family Support Group

Any adult who has a loved one with a mental health condition is welcome to join the National Alliance on Mental Health Family Support Group. Once a week, once a month, or twice a month, the groups meet for 60–90 minutes. They offer a number of advantages, including assisting members in developing stronger coping abilities.

OK2TALK

OK2TALK is a platform for young people and teens with mental illnesses to speak with one another. It’s a safe place to talk about your challenges, your rehabilitation, and your hope.

Daily Strength

DailyStrength (DS) is a support group for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental condition that can lead to despair. With approximately 9,000 members, the DS community is rather active.

How to choose a group

Finding a support group that a person loves is a very individual experience. Before attempting one, people should think about if they prefer:

  • a group that helps people with any type of depression, or a specialized group
  • a group that allows family members and caregivers, or one that only allows people with depression
  • an online or in-person group
  • a group that is free-form, or one that is moderated by a mental health professional

It may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you. It’s fine to quit one group and join another if it doesn’t seem right.

Other options

Support groups can be a beneficial supplement to a person’s treatment, but they are not a substitute for treatment. Doctors usually prescribe talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two for this.

Talk therapy can assist a person in processing their emotions and learning to regulate them in a healthy manner. It can also educate someone coping techniques or assist in the discovery of the condition’s underlying root causes.

There are many different sorts of talk therapy, so just because a person doesn’t like one style or one therapist doesn’t imply it won’t help. Finding a therapist with whom a person can form a positive relationship is important.

Depressive symptoms may be alleviated with medication. People may take these to make it easier to start talking therapy. People may find it beneficial to continue taking them indefinitely in some cases.

Depression medications can have negative effects, and they usually take 2–4 weeks to work. Symptoms such as suicidal thoughts may temporarily rise in young people under the age of 25. In the first few weeks after starting these drugs, it’s important to keep a careful eye on young people who are taking them.

Even if a person’s symptoms are severe, depression is generally curable. People can talk to a doctor about their alternatives in order to determine the best strategy for them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, depression support groups may provide people with friendship, empathy, and a secure place to talk about their feelings. Although in-person groups are not available in every place, anybody with an internet connection may participate in online groups.

Support groups offer various advantages, but physicians advise using them as a supplement to treatment rather than as a replacement.

Sources:

  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression
  • https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/depression.htm
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/depression-support-groups
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608809/

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Abortion

After an abortion: Here’s how to look after yourself

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After an abortion, proper self-care is important for physical and mental health.

According to one estimate, approximately one out of every four women will have an abortion before the age of 45.

Abortion is a relatively risk-free operation when conducted by a medical practitioner. People should, however, be mindful of what to expect physically and mentally later.

Continue reading to learn more about what to expect following an abortion, how to care for yourself, and when to seek medical help.

Gender and sex exist on a spectrum. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to the sex assigned at birth. To learn more, visit here.

Symptoms after an abortion

Symptoms after an abortion

Abortion can come in a variety of forms. A doctor will advise on the best method for a person’s medical needs and pregnancy stage. Abortion comes in a variety of forms, including:

  • the abortion pill
  • vacuum aspiration
  • dilation and evacuation, or D&E

A person’s regular menstrual period should return in 4–8 weeks after the procedure. They may, however, experience irregular spotting or bleeding at first.

In the days and weeks after an abortion, some people experience powerful emotions and mood swings. This can be caused by a sudden change in hormones, as well as a person’s feelings regarding their abortion or pregnancy.

Abortion can be a difficult emotional event, and people may need support from close friends in the days and weeks following the surgery.

When a woman ovulates, she has a chance of becoming pregnant. This might happen before the first menstruation or shortly after an abortion. If a person wants to avoid pregnancy, he or she should utilize contraception or refrain from sex.

Symptoms that commonly occur after an abortion

Regardless of the form of abortion, people may experience symptoms. However, if a woman has an abortion later in her pregnancy, the symptoms may be more severe.

Following an abortion, you should expect to experience the following symptoms:

  • light vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • pain and cramping
  • painful or swollen breasts

How to care for yourself after an abortion

A person may feel exhausted and depleted in the days following an abortion.

Physical care

Pain from cramping — similar to menstrual cramps — is common.

After the procedure, people should be driven home by a friend or family member. They may wish to take the next day or two off work if feasible to ensure that they get enough rest. They should strive to stay away from physically and emotionally challenging activities.

The cervix takes some time to close after an abortion, putting the person at risk of infection. They should avoid the following for two weeks to limit the risk of infection:

  • using tampons
  • having penetrative sex
  • putting anything in the vagina
  • using swimming pools

It is equally important to look after oneself following an abortion. Although the operation is generally fast, physical recovery can take several days or weeks. It is possible to try:

  • massaging the stomach and lower back
  • using a heat pack
  • taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetimenophen (Tylenol)
  • attending follow-up appointments

Emotional support

Making the decision to have an abortion is a difficult one, and it may be an emotionally draining affair.

Hormonal shifts worsen this following the surgery, resulting in mood changes. The levels of progesterone and estrogen in a person’s body gradually drop after an abortion. This can result in poor mood and mood changes.

Hormone levels will normalize once a person’s menstrual cycle returns to normal.

However, some people have continuing emotional issues that should not be overlooked. Abortion is linked to increased risks of depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and other mental health issues.

Additionally, people with a history of mental health issues may be more susceptible to these side effects.

If someone is experiencing mental health people, they should take time from work, talk to family and friends, and see a doctor.

Rrecovery time

The time it takes to heal from an abortion varies from person to person.

If an abortion is performed in the first trimester with no complications, the patient will most likely recover in a few days.

Late-term abortions may take longer to recover from. Recovery may take many weeks if complications arise. However, this is improbable, given just 2% of people experience difficulties as a result of an abortion.

Medical attention following an abortion

In a few weeks, most people who have had abortions will have a follow-up appointment. Further medical attention will not be required if there are no signs of problems.

People who are experiencing any symptoms of problems should see a doctor very once. Some abortion complications may necessitate a trip to the emergency room, though this is uncommon.

When should you see a doctor?

Many abortion clinics offer a 24-hour advising line to help people figure out if their symptoms require medical attention. If you have any of the following symptoms, call the advice line, your local emergency services, or go to the emergency room:

  • have increased or excessive bleeding
  • experience severe back or abdominal pain
  • are feeling dizzy or faint
  • have a fever
  • have foul-smelling discharge
  • experience nausea and vomiting

Outlook

For the vast majority of people, abortion is a simple medical procedure with no long-term consequences.

Some people are concerned that abortion will have long-term consequences. Doctors, on the other hand, largely agree that having an abortion has no effect on a person’s future chances of becoming pregnant or on the probability of pregnancy difficulties.

Abortion is a tough decision, and it is natural to feel a variety of emotions as a result. If a person is experiencing emotional or physical problems as a result of an abortion, they should see a doctor.

It’s important to remember that having an abortion can be both mentally and physically challenging. The abrupt change in hormone levels, along with the emotional stress of deciding to have the surgery, can make recuperation difficult for many people.

During this period, people should seek support from close friends and family members. They can also seek help from close relatives and friends, as well as an abortion support group.

Summary

Abortion can be a physically and emotionally demanding procedure. While most people recover in a few days, there are several issues to be aware of.

They should also seek assistance from family and friends, as having an abortion can be emotionally draining.

Sources

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6207970/
  • https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2017.304042
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322533
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK304195/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430793/

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