Out-of-Body Experiences in Schizophrenia

Abstract

Questionnaires on perceptual distortions, symptoms of schizophrenia, and out-of-body experiences (OBEs) were completed by 71 volunteers with a history of schizophrenia and 40 control subjects (patients in a hospital accident ward). Significantly more of the schizophrenics (42%) than of the control group (13%) answered "yes" to a question about OBEs. However, a follow-up questionnaire showed that only 14% of schizophrenics (i.e., the same as the control group) had had "typical" OBEs, in which a change of viewpoint was reported. Those reporting typical OBEs did not report more perceptual distortions or symptoms of schizophrenia than did those reporting no OBEs, although those reporting other atypical experiences did. On this basis there is no evidence to consider the typical OBE as pathological or as symptomatic of schizophrenia.

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