We previously talked about miscarriage guilt and shame in another article Miscarriage shame is all TOO real. And well hidden, now I would like to open the conversation on self-forgiveness.
Miscarriage, especially during fertility treatment, can be a huge source of guilt, anger and shame for a woman who has suffered through it. And through the course of time that these negative feelings and thoughts are carried, profound psychological trauma will follow.
In my practice, I have seen women (and men) struggle with depression, anxiety and trauma after pregnancy loss. These are very real illnesses that, if left untreated, can prove to be very harmful to the family, and even fatal to the individual.
As a therapist, one of my priorities and goals is to make sure that the patient is equipped with the openness, and the tools and information to help her/him recognise these feelings of guilt, anger, grief and shame within, and process these emotions and memories productively, in order to start the healing and repair process.
Not addressing these very emotions and thoughts can lead to severe and life-threatening cases of depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and panic, psychosis and suicidal ideation.
Yes, forgiving oneself on pregnancy loss can help make for a clean and healthy slate for an aspiring mother to try again. But for me, more importantly, the physical, mental and emotional healing that comes after miscarriage (or termination due to a feotal anomaly) can truly save lives.
After pregnancy loss, the mental health and emotional/spiritual welfare of the person who was pregnant can’t be overemphasised. With different factors that influence a sufferer’s reaction to miscarriage, such as family, personal beliefs and morals, age, expectations, religion and socio-economic status, processing anger and depression is highly nuanced and complicated for every woman.
It is vital that women who suffer through pregnancy loss during fertility treatment should be given the social and emotional support needed for them to be able to make sense of their loss. They need help to come to the understanding that it is not their fault and that these negative feelings and beliefs that have been planted in the mind, whether by the self or by others, should be processed and released in order to find forgiveness and emotional healing.
Women are taught to cling to themselves through different “women’s troubles” and to conceal anything ugly and dark and unwomanly. Anything that betrays the purpose of womanhood must be hidden or denied. And too many times, in my practice, I have observed women who have been able to abide by this expectation at the cost of their mental and emotional health.
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and feelings of immense guilt, resentment and shame that are now affecting your health and life, my lines are open and you are welcome to book a consultation. I will be more than happy to guide you on your path to healing and forgiveness. Whatever your objective is after pregnancy loss, I would like to be able to help you through the current confusion and anguish that you may be going through because of your trauma.