Disclaimer: This is a user generated content submitted by a member of the WriteUpCafe Community. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of WriteUpCafe. If you have any complaints regarding this post kindly report it to us.

Escaping a near-death experience is considered a miracle, a second chance, a second life. But for survivors, it doesn’t always feel that way. These experiences leave them traumatized and may alter their personality and lives completely. They are never the same. People are somewhat right when they call it a second life because it is nothing like the first.

You see, the term “survivor” itself is a label. No survivor wants to be labeled a survivor. Survivors do not want to be pitied or told how “brave and strong they are” and that “they will make it through.” Instead, people should try to understand that these encounters can transform a person completely. Their personality, approach towards life, attitude, and health – everything.

While it is a second chance at life, your second life, you come a second you. Narrowly avoiding death can adversely affect a person’s physiological, mental, and physical health. Let’s discuss this.

Psychological Effects

One might think a person who has survived a near-death experience will be happy and grateful moving on. While they definitely have something to be grateful for, the happiness we often associate with such people may not be the case. People surviving such harrowing experiences are known to show signs of acute distress, depression, and long-term PTSD. Intrusive thoughts can get the best of such individuals, and the what-ifs running through their minds keep them restless. You will observe a decrease in their productivity, appetite, and general interest in what they used to enjoy. 

Trouble Connecting With People and Fitting In

Returning to a life where everything looks the same, but you feel like a completely different person is a struggle most people face after a near-death experience. They have trouble fitting in and connecting with others. Some might even feel like outcasts.

They have a new perception of life, and this mindset and their ideas don’t always resonate with their family and friends. This causes them to close up and isolate.

Survivor’s Guilt

It is common for survivors of a terrorist attack or a natural calamity to be affected by survivor’s guilt. Making it out alive, especially when others have failed, can cause survivors to suffer overwhelming feelings and intrusive thoughts. They feel that it was wrong for them to have survived and that they do not deserve it. This phenomenon is often prevalent in war survivors, terrorism victims, etc. What could’ve been and what was are extremely disturbing thoughts. Survivor’s guilt can be extremely unsettling. Usually, the recommended type of counseling is group therapy, but individuals can also opt for private sessions with a dedicated therapist.  

Spiritual Abilities

Some people who avoided a near-death experience or were previously thought dead reportedly believe they have “spiritual abilities.” Some survivors claim to have developed the ability of astral projecting, visiting far-off places at night and feeling extremely peaceful. While others say they can see apparitions, even the spirits of their loved ones.

Survivors Become Kinder and More Grateful

On the other hand, some survivors do view it as a second chance, and their approach to life completely shifts. They become kinder, more empathetic, and even philanthropic. They focus on giving back to and serving the community. They find a purpose that they believe they were previously lacking and lead lives with a more positive mindset.

What Can We Do To Help?

Surviving a near-death experience is different for everybody. We must be careful not to come across as insensitive, too indifferent, or in some cases, too concerned. We must understand that survivors have gone through something we have not and must tread each step carefully, for everything is the same for us yet completely different for them.

wabi-shabby: A Collection of Short Stories by Danny Gilstrap features the traumatic near-death experience Julie has gone through. It sheds light on a survivor’s perils, giving subtle insight into how you can be of help to them. Grab your copy from Amazon today.


Welcome to WriteUpCafe Community

Join our community to engage with fellow bloggers and increase the visibility of your blog.
Join WriteUpCafe