Epilepsy Talk

People Talk About Their Out-Of-Body Experiences | July 22, 2020

Alterations of consciousness are critical factors in the diagnosis of epileptic seizures. Some people report sensations of separating from the physical body, experiences that may, in rare cases, resemble spontaneous out-of-body experiences.

New research has linked these experiences to instabilities in the temporal lobe, and to errors in the body’s sense of itself — even in healthy individuals.

With simple partial seizures, some people report having out-of-body experiences. Time may seem distorted as well.

These out-of-body experiences (OBE) can vary from person to person, but they often involve the sense of floating above one’s actual body and looking down. For neuroscientists, the phenomenon is a puzzle and an opportunity: Understanding how the brain goes awry can also illuminate how it is supposed to work.

Among the patients who have had out-of-body experiences, some reported “being attracted by a spiral, like in a tunnel.” Others described “entering my body, like in an envelope, from the top.”

“Seems to be that all of us can be placed somewhere along a sliding scale, based on how unstable or erratic our temporal lobe is, and some people are more prone to these experiences,” said study researcher Jason Braithwaite of the University of Birmingham.

People speak of their own experiences:

“The best way I can describe it is that it was like watching television in your mind.”

“First experience: Young teenager, lying on my bed,  focused on a point on the wall, felt myself floating, went through a wall like in the movie Ghost.”

“I used to have ‘night terrors’ starting at around age 6 until age 9 or 10, always after some sort of feverish state. I would go to sleep and soon awaken to the feeling of my body expanding and vibrating beyond it’s apparent physical limitations, this would be accompanied by a rumbling sound, gradually growing louder in my head. It was like the engines of a jumbo jet starting up until eventually it would drop into a continuous high pitch tone which would finally fizzle.”

“This paralysis lasts for a few minutes. I then return to normal. I have no warning when these episodes will occur. They do not link in to any particular life event, illness, etc. I have experienced them over more than three decades, but not for the last couple of years.”

“My back was on the ceiling and I was looking at my body laying there, and it was very freaky. While out-of-body I was just staring at my nose and freaking out a little but something told me you are gonna be alright.”

During these times I was out-of-body 6 to 8 hours and felt a great sense of urgency to get back asap. I could not go into buildings, homes or cars. I could see or sense the essence in those locations. I could locate a person very fast if I had something personal of theirs, especially if they wore or had it on the person recently. I could sense what I call their essence. It was more of a floating experience.”

“I saw the trees get smaller, then I knew I was in space because I saw the earth, then I saw our solar system, the speed increased to a point where there was no speed. I was in a new place so far away in locale from Earth that none of our published research has disclosed.”

“I found myself in a tunnel whose walls were fuzzy, like a white thick fog and slightly illuminated, like under a cloudy overcast. I was stationary. I asked myself if there was an end to this tunnel. Then I was transported through this long tunnel of which I first saw no end, then an extremity of a blackness of space, then a star, then several. I got out of the tunnel to find myself in a space full of stars.”

“I looked up to my bedroom window and in the next moment I was standing next to me.”

“The floating feeling feels like something is taking me away. I don’t know how else to explain it. Taking me away, or trapping me, and immediately I have an overpowering urge to fight it. That’s where the paralysis part comes in. I feel like I’m under a hundred feet of water, or like I have chains around me. I try to move my arms and legs and I can’t or if I do manage to, it’s with an incredible lethargy and it’s so slow, so feeble, that it’s useless. Sometimes I try to shout or scream, and I can’t make any sound come out. “

“Almost anyways, my body locked and it felt like i just slipped out of my body. My surroundings were blue and I was standing beside my bed and it looked the same as reality but I woke in excitement.”

“It’s the weirdest thing ever. It’s like your hypnotized.”

“Interestingly though, several years ago around 2002/2003 I went through a phase of a span of about 2 to 3 years of having intense OBEs multiple times a week, and sometimes multiple times per night. But over the years and currently, they have become less frequent (or my awareness of them have decreased). It’s almost like I “been there, did that” kind of thing, almost as if I needed to have those experiences at that time in my life. I accept and embrace the OBE experience for what it is, very real to me and a life/belief changing experience.”


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  1. […] People Talk About Their Out-Of-Body Experiences — Epilepsy Talk […]


    Pingback by People Talk About Their Out-Of-Body Experiences — Epilepsy Talk – Epilepsy & Cerebral Palsy — July 22, 2020 @ 9:33 AM

  2. I’ve got temporal lobe, left side, I had that experience which saved me from suffering the pain I was in after having a convulsive seizure holding the boiling kettle. I was floating up near the ceiling, wondering who was that daft person who wouldn’t stop screaming, looked down, saw a young woman lying on a bed with a man kneeling beside her. I came round in an ambulance puzzling the crew as I wasn’t in shock. I found out I’d dropped the kettle down my front with severe scarlds down my arms tummy, , groin, passed out screaming , mum had called our GP when the usual 1st aid soak scalds in cold water didn’t work, that was me on the bed, the man the gp who was pumping me full of morphine but it wasn’t working on me. They were very painful and took a long time to heal, leaving me with bad scars, my left hand was so bad I can’t work on knitting, my favourite hobby. It is amazing how the body can look after itself

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by Gail Barry — July 22, 2020 @ 11:47 AM

  3. It is amazing…as is your experience…as is the fact that you’re alive.

    Thank goodness you’re a survivor!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 22, 2020 @ 2:04 PM

  4. I always feel that there is definitely something uncanny going on with existence. I suppose we could rationalize seeing stars or outer space as a phenomenon of the brain, but people actually seeing themselves? Like post 2-Gail Berry-seeing herself after she was burned. I wonder if somehow the spirit escapes in rare circumstances, as though something is going haywire in the laws of nature.

    The only one I’ve experienced is the feeling of watching television in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Hetty Eliot — July 22, 2020 @ 6:02 PM

  5. I think the spirit may have a life of its own. Perhaps that’s that’s what’s responsible for these paranormal experiences.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 22, 2020 @ 6:07 PM

  6. I don’t have epilepsy but my daughter was diagnosed 3 years ago. Epilepsy doesn’t run in our family (that we know of). 30 years ago while I was in my 20’s I also had two OBE’s and my experience were very similar to the descriptions I read here. I haven’t talked about these experiences because they are unfathomable, and they are life challenging. Unforgettable. It feels like it must have been a dream, but it wasn’t . And you know it. My first experience involved floating up, with my back against the ceiling and looking down at myself sitting in a chair. I wasn’t afraid, and while I didn’t have any control to stop what was happening, I remember thinking logically I needed to stop and somehow wake up. On the other hand, I recall being aware of being attracted to some light – as in an aura and I do remember a distinct feeling of a tugging and a pulling sensation that was very gentle. I remember watching myself calmly and having this conversation in my head that I needed to get back and I was trying to figure out how I could do that. In a 2nd experience, it occurred during the night when I was in bed. I awoke and had a similar experience but as the other person described, I had no use of body. My physical body felt writer down by heavy chains, dead weight, futile. I vividly remember looking down from the ceiling again and seeing my pets sleeping soundly next to me. I knew everything must be well because the pets were resting soundly and not bothered. OBE is something unforgettable. I’ve always wondered in the back of mind if there is a connection with whatever was happening to me then (at my daughters age) to her diagnosis of JME. Coincidence? Stress? Sleep deprived? We don’t have any answers for JME.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jill — July 23, 2020 @ 6:51 AM

  7. It seems like others have had the floating sensation, from some accounts above. It sounds kind of relaxing.

    Holding down by chains sounds downright scary,
    but I guess the pets were a sign of peace.

    It’s all very much a mystery. Some believe in it, some don’t. But I’m sure those that don’t have never been there before.

    And yes, stress or trauma can cause an O.B.E.

    A frightening, dangerous, or difficult situation can provoke a fear response, which might cause you to dissociate from the situation and feel as if you’re an onlooker, watching the events taking place from somewhere outside your body.

    Other factors have been linked to out-of-body sensations.

    A personal history of migraines, anxiety and depression have also been associated with more frequent reports of the sensation, according to the recent study.

    Other research, led by psychologist Andra Smith at the University of Ottawa in Canada, describes the case of a woman who could deliberately trigger an out-of-body sensation, suggesting that it may be possible to do so through meditation.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 23, 2020 @ 9:29 AM

  8. I’ve lost loved ones in the past and one I was giving the eulogy to one family member and I knew it was going to extremely difficult!! However one I got up there it was almost as though I stepped out my body and just watched myself until I finished then stepped back into my body. Another time (more recently) I lost my brother (him and I were VERY VERY CLOSE WE NEVER REALLY LEFT EACHOTHER!! Lol because he lived next door to me and all of our children were the same age and we married in the same year). He passed away and as I was in front of my house I had a seizure and fell down 4 cement steps and ended up with a major concussion (still haunts me now). However when I landed at the bottom of the steps he was standing above me telling me “let’s go sis!! And put his hand out to me. I remember telling him “look at him (my husband) I love him too much same with my babies and your babies and grandchildren as well!! I can’t I’m sorry, but I love you”. I woke up the next morning and realized I now have a major concussion and have lived with it since. The same thing happened when I lost all of my old people and occasionally even now, but I never talk anyone anything except my husband, children (sometimes) and best friend. 🙏🏼🦅😇🙏🏼💗

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — July 29, 2020 @ 11:10 AM

  9. My great grandparents and grandma used to tell me “we know you get frustrated because of your epilepsy and sometimes think of something not so good!! BUT PLEASE PROMISE US YOU WILL NEVER EVER DO ANYTHING YOU CAN’T TAKE BACK!! Because WE WANT TO MEET YOU AGAIN AND WATCH OUT FOR YOU WHEN WERE NO LONGER HERE ON EARTH IN BODY!! And please know as long as you are here and have children and your children have children we will always be here too!!!!! Because we live in all of you because you are all a product of our beings 🙏🏼🦅😇❤️😇🦅🙏🏼❤️”. I promised them I would never do anything dumb!!!!!!! Because I know SOMEDAY WE WILL MEET AGAIN!!!!!!! 🙏🏼🦅😇❤️😇🦅🙏🏼❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kathy S.B — August 10, 2020 @ 11:24 PM

  10. This is going to be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by epileptologist98 — August 11, 2020 @ 6:14 AM

  11. i have had two out of body experiences one was at night and a majestic force entered my lower back and asked me if i wanted to travel of course i did through the back of my head and the next was at night in bed and it was like a ping pong ball back and forth and i exited through my forehead

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by George Edward Bremer — March 17, 2023 @ 2:46 AM

  12. Wow. Where did you travel, if you can remember?

    The ping pong ball one sounds both surreal and scary.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 17, 2023 @ 9:45 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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