Not to keep re-hashing a very somber and sorrowful event, after reading the article out of USA Today on speculations of Junior’s suicide, I think I might have a better insight of what may have happened.
The general consensus is that Junior was suffering from some kind of brain injury as a result of concussions or blows to the head while playing football. Seau never reported a concussion, but that doesn’t mean he never suffered from one.
The article reports that several people closest to Junior, including his son, say he suffered from insomnia.
According to Kevin Guskiewicz, a concussion researcher at UNC, “sleep disorders are common among people that have experienced traumatic brain injury.”
The article goes on to say “Seau’s friends and family say he’d had trouble sleeping for years and often took powerful sleep aids, and not always as directed.” One such sleep aid was Ambien. “The FDA-approved prescribing information for Ambien warns that suicidal thoughts or actions have been reported by depressed patients using this class of drugs. The information also instructs users not to take it if they drink, which friends say Seau did, and also if they cannot get a full night’s sleep while taking it.”
I personally know people who have in the past and are presently taking this particular drug. Let me tell you, their experience with this drug, in my opinion, is very disturbing.
I once worked at a job that required our crew to travel out of town frequently. One of the guys on our crew had been drinking alcohol and decided to take an Ambien so he could sleep. After an hour or so, he was running up and down the hallways of the hotel where we were staying, ranting and raving, acting irrationally. After several hours of this, he finally went to sleep. The next day, he claimed he had no recollection of any of his actions the night before.
One of my family members drinks alcohol frequently while on this drug. According to her sister, she gets up in the middle of the night and raids the refrigerator, sometimes cooking elaborate meals. The next day she yells at her kids for making a mess in the kitchen, not remembering or realizing it was her own doing.
Last and most scary, my family member I am very close to was taking Ambien and she told me the drug made her very depressed and suicidal. I know this for a fact as one night I went into her bedroom to say goodnight and unkowingly woke her up. I asked her what she was doing. She told me, and I quote, “I’m contemplating suicide.” I was horrified. Sometimes she would come out of her room and carry on conversations with others and not remember the next day.
She was only on it for a short time and thankfully, once she stopped taking the drug, these thoughts went away and this was without mixing it with alcohol.
If she had taken it for a longer period of time, as Junior did, I believe she would have followed through and taken her own life.
I’m offering these testimonials only to give a little better insight why Junior did this to himself and to please be careful with this and all prescription medications.
Knowing what I know now about the effects of this drug, I sincerely believe it had something, if not everything, to do with his suicide.
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