Why Me?! How Do I Deal With This?
Written By: M.T.B.
Artwork by: Diego Walcopz
Studies show that 4-5% of the population of the western world has experienced an NDE. Other studies suggest that 15-35% of individuals who have come close to death have also had a Near-Death Experience (NDE). Furthermore, scientists have been able to evaluate and list patterns experienced by those who have NDEs. This has made it easier to identify and describe associating factors in these experiences, while the question – “Why do they happen to specific individuals?”- is still considered a mystery in the scientific community.
According to studies conducted in the western world, there is no evidence that sociological patterns affect Near-Death Experiences and Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs). Data shows there is no bias towards race, income, religion, mental health, gender, etc. People from different backgrounds have NDEs, OBEs, and similar spiritual experiences. NDEs can happen to healthy people, and to those who have never heard of Near-Death Experiences (Gabbrd and Twemlow, 1984; Greyson, 1991; Irwin, 1985; Ring, 1980; Sbom, 1982).
Let us examine children who have NDEs. Children are not as vulnerable to sociological factors. For example, children are just beginning the journey in the understanding of religion, ethics, society, etc., and the overall cultural effect is much less than adult experiences. Nevertheless, children have NDEs that are identical to adults. Point— it doesn’t seem to matter who you are in society, or what you are exposed to in society. An NDE can affect anyone, and the similarities that define these experiences will exist.
In my research, I have discovered that many people have problems coming to terms with their NDEs. Some of these spiritual experiences may be hard to accept— perhaps they are unpleasant, or confusing. Regardless, how you respond is within your control. Even though we do not understand why people are susceptible to spiritual experiences (NDEs), one of the most important factors is how you handle the situation.
One of my first NDE interviews within the medical field was a psychologist who stressed the importance that spirituality is incorporated into therapy. The psychologist explains that he has had positive results when the issues of spirituality are discussed, and that this is particularly true with NDErs. Some statistical reports also verify this idea. Having an NDE does not make you crazy. Many people find these experiences unsettling, and they are often reluctant to share their experience, because they are afraid they will be labeled as “crazy,” or “mentally ill.” Seeking out a therapist who understands that these experiences occur will help put you at ease, and resolve any conflicts that arose from the NDE. Although this may seem as if it is directed toward those who have had negative Near-Death Experiences, I have found that this is not always the case. Many people do not know how to process NDEs. Above all else, I want you to know that you are not alone! The medical community may not fully understand why people have NDEs (at least not at this point – although there are hypotheses), but you are in full control regarding how you respond to it!
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