A near-death experience would seem to be a life-changing event, but it turns out that this is not generally the case.
Seeing events flashing before your eyes, observing a bright light at the end of a tunnel or feeling as though you are floating above your own body are just some of the things commonly described by patients who have had a near-death experience.
But do such experiences represent genuine evidence that there is something more after we die or are they simply illusions produced by the chemistry of the dying brain in our final moments ?
While we may never know the answer to this question, one thing we do know is how such experiences have impacted the lives of those who have gone through them.
According to a new study, however, NDEs do not always have the impact that you might expect.
To find out more, researchers monitored 19 people following a near-death experience and then followed up with each of them a year later to see how their lives had changed.
While the patients reported life-changing thoughts and symptoms relatively soon after the event, a further 12 months later the NDE seemed to have had little long-term impact.
This was surprising considering that NDEs “are typically reported as transforming and may be associated with negative emotions”, the researchers wrote.
As things stand, however, a lot more research will need to be done to confirm the findings.