Junior Seau’s Brain May AID PTSD Treatment
While there is no doubt one violent incident can produce PTSD, in many cases what has already happened makes the brain a fertile ground for the wound. San Diego Chargers’ lineback Junior Seau was known for never complaining, no matter hard he was hit in the game of football. Now, with no sign of PTSD or other injuries stemming from this violent game, Seau has killed himself. Seau's brain is being given to scientists, to see if there were any signs of what was to come that might have gone unnoticed.
PTSD, to most minds, is the result of exposure to a terrible event, or repeated violent events. Too little attention is being paid to the building blocks for PTSD. What is known, however, is that if a concussion has not healed yet, and the head is struck a second time, death may result.
These incidents may not occur in a vacuum. The brain’s amazing capacity to heal itself, neuroplasticity, may conceal the real impact. For example, riding to a war zone in an armored car or chopper, rushing to a fire in a fire truck. The starting point may even be right in the office. For journalists, for example, constantly writing about death, even calling family members to get quotes or confirm deaths, bringing the first word that a family member or friend has that a loved one has been lost is not pleasant. It may be unforgettable. Even the television or movie theater can play a role.
Depression can be contagious. For example, associating with those who have suffered losses can be risky, especially for those who are particularly sensitive. Fear can contribute. A storm doesn’t actually have to hit a house to scare the hell out of people. Knowing what it is coming can cause health issues with soldiers even before they go into combat. No one is invulnerable, though repressing memories can make them seem to go away. Talking with friends and colleagues may help deal with problems that may end up in a psychologist’s office of worse.Continued on the next page