Thinking you have been abducted by aliens can cause PTSD and be as seriously damaging to your mental health as if you had actually been abducted.

Thinking you have been abducted by aliens can cause PTSD and be as seriously damaging to your mental health as if you had actually been abducted.

Believing you have been abducted by aliens could be as bad for your mental health as actually being kidnapped.

Elvis Presley, David Bowie and Robbie Williams are among those who believe in UFOs, and thousands of people worldwide claim to have fallen victim to an alien abduction.

Now a study has found almost half of ‘alien abductees’ meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The truth is out there! These people claim to have been abducted by ALIENS  | Weird | News | Express.co.uk

That proportion is slightly higher than the rate in people who have been kidnapped.

Researchers could only look at 19 people claiming to have been abducted by aliens, as they are not easy to find.

When compared to 32 people who did not think they had been taken by extraterrestrials, the rate of PTSD was higher for those claiming an alien abduction.

Now a study has found almost half of ‘alien abductees’ meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (stock image)

The findings provide interesting evidence that people can be traumatised by something which almost certainly never actually happened.

The authors of the study, which involved Zaragoza University in Spain, state: ‘The emotional reaction to memories of an implausible experience can be similar to an individual’s response to a genuinely traumatic event.’

They add: ‘Abductees can have an emotional reaction analogous to PTSD because, regardless of whether their recollections are true or false, their fear is real.’

The truth is out there! These people claim to have been abducted by ALIENS  | Weird | News | Express.co.uk

Among the volunteers in the study who reported alien abductions, five reported seeing ‘strange’ lights in the sky, while 15 reported a spaceship and various alien life forms.

Interferences with electronic devices like the radio or television were described by two people, and six remembered a ‘bedroom visitor’.

More than half had memory loss from their ‘abduction’, typically covering one to three hours, although one person said their memory was blank for a whole day-and-a-half.

More than half had memory loss from their ‘abduction’, typically covering one to three hours, although one person said their memory was blank for a whole day-and-a-half (stock image)

The study participants were asked to complete a questionnaire used to judge PTSD.

This meant rating the frequency and severity of issues including nightmares, being nervous or easily frightened, feeling as if they were reliving their abduction, or having physical symptoms triggered by memories, including sweating and dizziness.

The group of people claiming to have been abducted scored more highly on the PTSD scale than the 32 people they were compared with.

The study, published in the journal Explore, found nine people, or 47.3 per cent of those apparently taken by aliens, met the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD.

That compares to a rate of 46 per cent previously seen in kidnap victims.

Another seven people who reported a close encounter with an alien had some symptoms of PTSD, such as intrusive thoughts and negative mood swings.

The other three had no such trauma, with some people who say they have come into contact with aliens believing it has ‘changed their lives for the better’.

The study found the nine women and 10 men claiming an alien abduction were actually less ‘suggestible’ – a measure including gullibility and being easily led – than other people.

The study found the nine women and 10 men claiming an alien abduction were actually less ‘suggestible’ – a measure including gullibility and being easily led – than other people

The study authors say there are alternative explanations for people believing they have been taken by aliens.

These include ‘sleep paralysis’ – a state between sleeping and being fully awake where people can suffer hallucinations or feel like they are floating.

Another explanation may be that an ‘alien abduction’ is a distorted recollection of medical procedures under anaesthetic, which could explain the memories of a round, bright light, nudity, pain and loss of control and unfamiliar figures that are similar in colour.

But because of the small numbers, the study was too small for the finding to be statistically significant.

Elvis Presley claimed he saw UFOs throughout his life, saying that, aged eight, he was visited telepathically by aliens who showed him a future vision of ‘a man wearing a white suit singing to a crowd’.

Robbie Williams believes in aliens and David Bowie, known for his song Life On Mars, said he saw so many UFOs as a child that he ‘simply got used to them’.

Reports of alien abductions are most common in English-speaking countries, especially the US.

 

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