Over the years, Reddit users have shared countless stories about what the experience is like and it's both terrifying and mindblowing.
Have you ever wondered what it must be like to be in a coma? Does your consciousness simply cease to exist during a coma or might you be aware of everything being said and happening around you but unable to react? Luckily, thanks to the internet, you don't actually have to experience a coma to know what it's really like. Over the years, Reddit users have shared countless stories—some downright terrifying and some that make you marvel at the mystery that is the human brain—about what the experience is like.
Here are 25 of the most fascinating—and wildest—stories:
"My dad (Emergency Room Doctor) told me about this woman in a coma he saw during his residency. The experience taught him that you need to treat everyone like they're a fully aware and conscious person, even people in comas.
Him and the other residents would all do their rounds, they had regular patients at the hospital and they would go from room to room checking on them with the attending physician who instructed them. One woman was in a deep coma for weeks (months? I'm a little hazy on the details but it was a long time). Every time they'd come in, he'd say 'Hi Ms. ____, I'm Dr ____ and I'm just here to check on you!' He talked to her like she was listening to him, explaining what he was doing to her step-by-step, and a lot of the other doctors thought it was kind of silly. I mean, she's in a coma, so she can't be listening, right?
Well, time goes by and the woman wakes up, all of a sudden. They're doing their rounds and he walks in the room and says something and she immediately recognizes his voice: she came into the hospital in a coma and never saw the man, and never heard him talk while she was awake before that day. She immediately recognizes his voice and says 'Oh, I remember you! You're the one that was so nice to me!'
That makes comas seem really terrifying to me, the fact that she was conscious enough to recognize not only a voice, but how someone treated her while she was in a coma. Still, shows you that you can't just assume someone isn't listening, just because they aren't talking." — noplzstop
"I was in a coma for 5 weeks due to Meningococcal. I had A LOT of 'dreams,' most of which I can still remember pretty clearly.
You can definitely take in what is being said from the people around you. I was 12 at the time (22 now), and my mother was reading 'Lord of the Rings' to me while I was out. I had some pretty vivid LotR related dreams. Like eating some ice cubes under a bridge with Bilbo Baggins.
When I woke up, it felt like I'd been gone a long time, but without knowing how long." — Reddit
"I was in a medically induced coma (with induced, full-body paralysis) for six weeks. There were a handful of times that I distinctly remember where I 'woke up' in my head. What was the experience like? It sucked.
When I would wake up in my head, I had no idea as to what had happened. So I'm fully conscious, I know that I'm me, but I can't open my eyes, I can't move a muscle and I can't speak. The first time it happened was terrifying. I started to panic and for a minute there, I thought I might be dead. Then I realized that I was thinking, so that didn't seem right. I tried to move and couldn't. I tried to speak and couldn't. I tried to scream and couldn't.
I realized at that point that if I didn't calm myself down that I would go crazy inside my own head and no one would could help me. Though I was on a ventilator, in my head I did deep breathing exercises. I listened to the clicking of machines and tried to focus on those. Then I started counting the sound of something that seemed repetitive. That gave me enough to focus on until I eventually drifted off again.
Whenever I would 'wake up' in my head, it was always the same. I was confused at first, but then remembered that this is how I was. There were a few times when I would have these incredibly vivid dreams. To this day, those dreams are like actual memories to me. If I think about them, I have to remind myself that they didn't happen.
When I was finally brought out of the coma, some doctors came in and asked me a bunch of questions. The first question was what year it was. That I knew because I remembered getting sick on New Year's Eve, so I knew it was 2000. Next was who the President was. I answered Clinton, so I got that right. Then they asked if I knew where I was. I assuredly said, 'Honolulu' because in my dreams, I had been in Honolulu. When all of their faces had that confused Scooby Doo look is when I realized that wasn't quite right, so I figured that I must have been back in Salt Lake City (somehow). They appeared quite relieved when I came up with that. 2/10. Would not recommend." — TheOpus
"A good friend of our family went into a coma for half a year. Finally when he woke up, he was stunned why his wife looked so old. He actually lost the last 15 years of his memory (he knew he had 2 children but they were babies and he didn't even know about his 3rd child). And the memory never came back. He skipped from no mobile phones to smart phones, to laptops. Everything was new to him. Being stuck in early 90s but actually being in the 2000s,there was a lot of change to handle. But learning you missed all your children growing up, was the hardest for him." — BsNLucky
"My cousin was in a coma cause of a motorcycling accident. When he woke up, it’s like he was transported back in his younger days. Acts and talks like a kid. He’s better now after about 7 years though there’s still something off with the way he speaks. He stutters and talks fast like how children do when they’re excited. He has gotten talkative too.
So what has surprised him when he woke up is the fact that he has a daughter of his own." — Reddit
"A guy I dated for a few weeks in high school was standing at a bus stop when I was driving back to my old home town to visit my parents. I waved at him and he just looked bewildered. So, I messaged him on Facebook just to be nice. It turns out that he had no idea who I was cause he’d been in an accident and a nearly half year coma. He somehow woke up with a Scottish accent and had to relearn to walk. His family finally figured out that the Scottish accent was because his ultra Scottish grandma was with him a lot as a baby and I guess that’s what his brain latched onto. He’s now a happy ren-fair performer who used to be a very troubled guy headed for military service. I guess he’s happier, but it really makes you wonder who he would have become. He also kept asking me if I knew why he wore this specific ring. Unfortunately I didn’t." — ihrie82
"My dad was in a coma for about 2 months a couple years ago. Recently we were talking about the whole thing, and he told me that he had 'dreamed/hallucinated' that he lived for 10 years, and did all sorts of things during that time. He said it was very vivid, and he walked across the country a couple times during it. When he woke up/got home, he said it would throw him off when he would run into people he hadn't seen since before the coma, because at first he always expected them to have aged by 10 years." — nitzlarb
"I spent 8 days in a coma last year after a particularly traumatic surgery, my waking thoughts were wondering if I had died or made it. I couldn't open my eyes and I was on a medical air mattress so I felt like I was floating, this lead me to think that I had died, and I remember thinking it wasn't so bad and wondering if my dad would come find me. Once I realized that I was still alive I thought I had been injured fighting in a war and worried that my wife might not know I was still alive. Trying to communicate with the nurses while intubated and drugged was very difficult. What I learned later from my wife is that she was there the whole time and while I was fighting against the doctors and nurses I would immediately calm down and cooperate when she held my hand and sang to me. It still brings tears to my eyes to think of the love and devotion she has shown to me during this time." — Tinman556