Junior Seau Suicide Linked to Brain Damage

Junior Seau was one of the most respected players in the NFL. The former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers was a hall of fame inductee and active member of his community.

Unfortunately, Seau had a much darker view on the world and took his life last year with a gunshot to the chest. Rumors swirled of why a man with so much to live for cut his life short, leaving his children and family to pick up the pieces.

Seau’s family donated his brain for research and the results came back with devastating results. Doctor’s determined that Seau suffered severe brain damage as a result of the hits he had taken during his 16 years in the NFL. CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is a degenerative disease that traditionally comes from multiple hits to the head. It shrinks and hardens brain tissue and can lead to erratic behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts and loss of memory.

In the last few years of his life, Seau had a few run-ins with the law. He was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend, and after posting bail, he the drove his SUV off of a cliff. People said he tried to kill himself, but the police insisted that he fell asleep at the wheel. His ex-wife, Gina Seau, also backed him up, saying “he would never hurt anyone or himself”.

In a recent  interview with ABC, Gina said,  “A lot of things, towards the end of his life, patterns that we saw and things that worried us, it makes sense now.”

The night before his death, Seau sent text messages to his children and ex-wife that said “I Love You”. The next morning, Seau’s girlfriend found him in their bedroom.

A string of NFL player suicides has put the league in the spotlight about the long-lasting effects of one of the nations most brutal sports. In a recent study conducted by ESPN Sports Science, they determined the impact of an NFL hit is equal to getting hit in the head by a sledgehammer.

Over 2,000 former players have called foul against the league with the largest class action lawsuit in sports history. They claimed the NFL covered up the grim effects of repeated head trauma.

I’ve worked with a good amount of current and former NFL players, and have seen the effects it has on their lives.

Most are medicated, unable to work in a conventional job setting and suffer from depression and anger issues. Current players obviously don’t exhibit the signs as prevalently, but go back 10-20 years and you’ll notice a disturbing trend.

It’s a trade-off for players; Fame and fortune, but perhaps a lifetime of mental issues that are irreversible. The Seau family paid the ultimate price.

 

 

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