The near-death experience as a focus of clinical attention

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1997 May;185(5):327-34. doi: 10.1097/00005053-199705000-00007.


Near-death experiences (NDEs) often produce profound changes in attitudes and behavior that can lead to psychosocial and psychospiritual problems. The diagnostic label of religious or spiritual problem, included in DSM-IV under the category of other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention, was originally proposed to encompass NDEs and their aftereffects. Four cases are discussed in which patients presented with NDE-related problems, and differential diagnosis and current treatment strategies are reviewed. The inclusion of this new diagnostic category in the DSM-IV permits differentiation of NDEs and similar experiences from mental disorders and may lead to research into more effective treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude
  • Comorbidity
  • Death*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Terminology as Topic