Medical journal documents case of woman’s psychosis after abortion

A medical journal published this case history of a woman who became psychotic after her abortion. The woman became psychotic after a miscarriage (labeled a “spontaneous abortion”). But she had previously been in a psychotic state as a result of a past abortion. The miscarriage may have triggered the memory of the abortion. While there might be genuine mental illness at work, the episodes are triggered by pregnancy loss.

“Case Report:

A 24-year-old married woman from a nuclear family of lower socio-economic status underwent a spontaneous abortion at ten weeks. Her husband noticed no change in her mental state until 5 days after the abortion when she developed inappropriate behaviour, disinhibition, irrelevant talking, muttering to self, neglect of personal hygiene, loss of appetite and insomnia.

There was a past history of a psychotic illness two years back when she underwent a termination of pregnancy at eight weeks. It was her own decision and she had not expressed any ambivalence or guilt over the termination. There was no change in her mental state until 10 days after the termination. She was diagnosed as suffering from an acute schizophrenic episode and was treated with haloperidol (15-30 mg/day) and trihexyphenidyl (6-8 mg per day) for about 8 weeks when she stopped taking medication, yet remained well. Her first pregnancy and puerpcrium four years back was uneventful. There was no family history of psychiatric disorder. Her birth, early development and schooling was also uneventful.
On mental state examination, she was perplexed and showed signs of neglect of personal hygiene and increased psychomotor activity. Her affect was shallow and she experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. She had ideas of reference. Her orientation and memory were intact. Physical examination revealed no abnormalities and routine blood tests were within normal limits.”

M. S. BHATIA AND R. K. CHADDA “CASE REPORT ‘. RECURRENT PSYCHOTIC ILLNESS AFTER ABORTION” Indian. Psychiat. (1990), 32(4),362-363

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Author: Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a writer for Live Action and a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life. She lives in NJ.

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