Monday, July 11, 2011

Out of Body Experiences

Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are typically associated with individuals who have certain kinds of dissociative or post traumatic disorders. Though people who are generally in good health also report having OBEs, the experience is poorly understood. Often, out-of-body experiences are met by others with skepticism and stigma.

A new study, published in the July 2011 issue of Cortex, has shown that OBEs are related to anomalies in the neural systems in the brain's temporal lobes - and that the body's sense of itself, called body awareness, misfires. Data from this study has enabled scientists to better understand how normal "in-the-body" mental processes work... and why, when they break down, they produce such striking experiences.

We know that epilepsy, headaches and seizures have a basis in brain neuro-circuitry, but psychological disorders also greatly influence the workings of the brain. Trauma, anxiety, depression and dissociation can have a profound effect, with out-of-body experiences being one of them.

Now science backs this up.




16 comments:

MyThought said...

I had a out-of-body experience once. It was as if I was watching myself without being able to interfere. That was scary eventhough it just lasted a few seconds..

Dr. Deb said...

I had two. One as a young girl and not too long ago. It was quite a detached experience and I could feel my body's nervous system somehow malfunctioning. Scary, for sure.

Xmichra said...

I was in a car accident once and had an experience like that. I also was on hour 71 of labor (having my baby) and had a similar experience... though I'm fairly sure that was totally drug induced.

kenju said...

I've had two; once during tonsil surgery when I was four (up at the ceiling, watching the surgeon) and during my wedding (when I was in the balcony of the church watching myself get married.)

Suzanne said...

I agree in your analysis, which science backs up. I also appreciate the medical information and it being written in words easily understood; thank you, Dr. Deb.

The body and the mind are in harmony when functioning together as a whole and as matter; materiality, or physical existence. Consciousness is neither tangible nor truly explainable, which I believe is best recognized in this light. Sartre’s Quote: “I think, therefore I am.” Thusly, our existence is remarkable.

Suzanne McMillen-Fallon, Published Author 2011
“For as awareness is, so is God consciousness.”
http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Mommy’sWritings.html (currently not active)
The Mommy’s Writings Series
Mommy, would you like a sandwich?
Book 1

Lily said...

My OBE pertains to my abuse. I hear it's pretty common, especially in children, to have your mind "shutdown" and retreat in this way. At least science backs it up!

yogurt said...

I have read similar explanation for near death experiences - temporal lobe stimulation.

Wanda's Wings said...

I am so glad there is a reason for some of my out of body experiences. I am so worried about be totally crazy that I usually won't even talk to my therapist about them. Thanks for the information.

Dr Vin Family Doctor Australia said...

In my practice,when my patients present with dissociative events or "out of body experiences", I generally refer them for a MRI of the head and an EEG to exclude any organic problems. Understandably, These events can be quite distressing for them.

Dr Vin
MBBS FRACGP Australia
www.doyouhavedepression.blogspot.com

Dreaming again said...

I only had one that I'm aware of, in the middle of a traumatic event. Kind of odd that I can describe in detail the Out of body experience, but what I was *feeling* in the moment is a mystery to me.

Jenna said...

When I gave birth and the Dr. started cutting an epiosotomy (against my clearly stated will - thus without consent), I stopped being present. Next thing I remember is being in the corner of the room and seeing me holding my baby. I have no re-collections of actually given birth and holding her for the first time (no feelings, memories etc.) just that view of myself from the distance. I have never told anyone because I am afraid to be labelled 'crazy', it's not that it was a near death experience or something.
So this post is somewhat re-confirming to me, just knowing that it happens to more people. Have to admit that I do have a csa history and that day was extremely traumatic & triggering for me (and still is, even years later).

Casdok said...

Very interesting.

Raine said...

This was a very interesting post

survivor said...

3 yrs ago i also had an out of body experience though iv never been sure that is what it was called.. id been drink spiked and attacked, during the attack my son came looking for me, apon seeing me i suddenly was looking at myself through his eyes but feeling the feelings of silent screaming within my own body.. i apparently then suffered a seizure and my heart stopped, i spent a couple of days on a ventilater, the feeling of being out of my body has never left me....

Psych Client said...

I can't say I've had out of body experiences unless zoning out during trauma is the same thing. I'm gone mentally but my body is still there.

I have temporal lobe epilepsy, headaches, in fact, had a severe one on Friday. Usually when it rains but I'm being traumatized in an outpatient program.

I find this post very comforting though because I keep thinking what the heck is wrong with me?

Anonymous said...

I have them all of the time and am slowly learning not to leave myself. Whenever I panic I tend to leave myself automatically. Unfortunately, I need to stay present to confront things so that certain situations no longer impose a threat.