Aftereffects of Near Death Experience

Posted on December 21st, 2012

Aftereffects of Near Death Experience

Even with the many disagreements regarding the NDE and its etiology, there is consensus that NDEs have profound effects upon the lives of most of those having the experience. According to P. M. Atwater (Johnson, 1990):

  • 65 percent of individuals who have had an NDE make significant changes in their lives
  • 10 percent make radical changes.

According to Skip Johnson (1990), people with an NDE have the following aftereffects as a result of the phenomenon:

Loss of fear of death. People report that they no longer fear the obliteration of consciousness of self. 

Sense of the importance of love. An NDE can radically change people’s value structure. They see the importance of brotherly love. 

Sense of cosmic connection. People feel that everything in the universe is connected. Many have a newfound respect for nature and the world around them. 

An appreciation of learning. People gain a newfound respect for knowledge, but not self-gain. Many often will embark on new careers or take up serious courses of study. 

A new feeling of control. People feel that they have more responsibility for the course of their lives. 

A sense of urgency. Some people realize the shortness and fragility of their lives. 

A better-developed spiritual side. This leads to spiritual curiosity and abandoning of religious doctrine purely for the sake of doctrine. 

Reduction in worries. Some people feel more in control of life’s stresses and are able to be more forgiving and patient. 

Reentry syndrome. Some people have difficulty adjusting to normal life, especially those who undergo intensive changes in values that disrupt their former lifestyle. Some people report developing psychic abilities that can be scary to them and/or family and friends.

Finally, there is evidence that individuals (even if they have attempted suicide) who have had NDEs do not try to bring about an end to their lives to return to the “life beyond.” In fact, most individuals find new reasons for living as a result of these experiences (Flynn, 1986; Greyson, 1997).


Leming, M. R., & Dickinson, G. E. (2011). Understanding dying, death, and bereavement (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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