Near-death experiences, or mystical experiences during encounters with death, are reported to have beneficial effects despite their phenomenologic similarity to pathological states. This study explored the prevalence of near-death experiences and associated psychological distress by using a cross-sectional survey of 832 psychiatric outpatients. Standardized measures of near-death experiences and psychological distress were administered via questionnaire at clinic intake. A total of 272 patients (33 percent) reported encounters with death, and these patients were found to have greater psychological distress than other patients. Sixty-one of the patients who had been close to death (22 percent) reported having near-death experiences, and these patients were found to have less psychological distress than patients who did not have near-death experiences after brushes with death.