Many people who have near death experiences appear to have a more positive attitude in general towards life than they did before their experience with death. They also usually have other significant effects and transformations.
Psychologist Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., and author of The Omega Project, wanted to determine whether or not there are any distinguishing characteristics between people who have had near death experiences and those who have not, says James Mauro in the Psychology Today article “Bright Lights, Big Mystery.” Ring has identified a consistent set of “value and belief changes” among NDRers that include the following:
- More self-esteem
- More compassion for others
- More self-understanding and sense of purpose
- More desire to learn
- Elevated spirituality
- More concern about the ecology
- More intuitiveness and psychic ability
- More physical sensitivity
- Diminished tolerance to alcohol and drugs
- Diminished tolerance to light
- Feeling as if their brains have been altered to encompass more and a feeling they are using their whole brain and not just a small part of it
Family, friends and many experts of near death experiences have documented these changes including Bruce Greyson, M.D., clinical psychiatrist and associate professor at the University of Connecticut who studies near death experiences and Raymond A. Moody Jr., M.D., author of Life After Life. In his book, Moody asserts that of the 15 common elements reported by NDEers, two include “effects on lives” and “new views of death.”
EFFECTS ON LIVES – Many people who have had near death experiences feel more aware and reflective, compassionate and more concerned with philosophical issues. Many also claimed they seemed to acquire more intuitive or psychic abilities.
NEW VIEWS OF DEATH – Moody explains that many who experienced NDEs reported not being afraid of death anymore, even though it would most likely be painful.
Effects on Self-Esteem and Compassion for Others
Probably one of the most profound and detailed after effects of life after death experiences comes from Betty J. Eadie. In her book Embraced by the Light, Eadie notes that the most important message from her experience is the concept that love is the most important thing for the living, both for others and themselves. Eadie writes, “I was told again, not in words this time but by understanding, that the most important thing I could do in life was to love others as myself.”
NDEs and Depression
Eadie also describes going through depression after her near death experience. She explains that her spirit was affected by its return to her physical body. She regretted coming back from the spiritual world. In her grief, she became tired and weak. She lost interest in her earthly life and found it difficult to take care of herself and to deal with everyday responsibilities.
Phyllis M.H. Atwater, an expert on near death experiences, states that most people who have a NDE experience a period of depression. Fortunately, the depression is usually short-lived.
Near Death Experiences May Help Others in Therapy
Overall, most people who have NDEs report positive effects. The more deeper the experience, the more after effects a person usually has.
The effects that people have after experiencing a NDE may be used to help others in therapy. According to John Sappington, M.D., professor of psychology at Augusta (Georgia) College, “NDErs routinely seem better adjusted, more at peace and content with themselves and the world after their experience. Disregarding, for the time being at least, how they got that way, and focusing on the changes themselves” (Mauro). Sappington asserts that the effects of life after death experiences are important because there may be many things people can learn from others who have had NDEs that can be used in a therapeutic setting.
International Association for Near Death Studies
If you are looking to find more information about the effects of life after death experiences, the best place to get free information is the Web site iands.org. This link goes directly to the section about after effects of people who have had near death experiences. The International Association for Near Death Studies also has a lot of additional information collected by near death studies experts.
Mauro, James. “Bright Lights, Big Mystery.” Psychology Today. July 1992, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p54.
Moody, Raymond A., Jr. Life After Life. HarperCollins Publications. 2001.
“Did I Really Die?” WebMD.