August 1972

Seesaw Response of a Young Unmarried Couple to Therapeutic Abortion

Author Affiliations

Berkeley, Calif
From the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley. Mrs. Bar-Din is a psychiatric social worker at Home Health and Counseling, Richmond, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(2):251-254. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750260093015

The seesaw response of a young unmarried couple to a therapeutic abortion is reported. Initially during the year and a half following the abortion, the young woman was essentially symptom-free while the young man went through a severe psychological illness. The sequence of events seemed, remarkably, to recapitulate (in anniversary timing) the major events of conception, abortion, and expected delivery. It was when the young man had recovered that the young woman, in turn, became overtly disturbed and sought help 18 months after the abortion. Both the psychodynamic meanings in this interplay of stress responses and the implications for improved abortion counseling are adumbrated.