Scared to Death

28 Oct

Image at Scientific American

If you know me at all, you know that I love, love, love Halloween! There have only been two times in my life when I’ve missed trick-or-treating. Once was in high school in an ultimate, effective grounding situation. I won’t get into what trouble I got into all those years ago, but I will say that it totally broke my heart to not be able to trick-or-treat OR go to the big rivalry game in football that Friday evening with my friends. The other time I skipped out on scoring some free candy was last year when we were out of the country. This means that when my friends were hanging out at bars on Halloween nights in college, I was hitting up the local well-to-dos and getting huge bags full of chocolate. Yes, that’s my weakness.

I could go on forever on my love of dressing up, getting candy, watching scary movies, and mingling with other costumed weirdos on this day, but I have a question to present to you-

Can someone really be scared to death?

I was watching Sorority Row on Lifetime earlier and it got me thinking about this very thing. I decided to do a little research on the topic and I wasn’t very surprised with what I found. In short, YES! one can absolutely be scared to death. Although extremely rare, Dr. Martin A. Samuels says, “some people do have the potential to suddenly drop dead from fright.” According to this sudden death expert, the phenomenon “has to do with our normal fight or flight response.” Our bodies prepare by pumping adrenaline in and causing the heart rate to elevate. Muscles tense, digestion slows, and the surge of adrenaline can cause problems in the major organs in some individuals (Reference here).

This is the point that my nervous system starts getting all outta whack because of my lingering PTSD from an undergraduate class in neuropsych. Kidding, of course. I was bloody brilliant in that class, too. Anyway, I do recall studying synapses and the various neurotransmitters that flow through these. According to this source, copious amounts of the neurotransmitter, adrenaline, can be toxic to our visceral (internal) organs.

There you have it, folks- It’s completely feasible to drop dead from fright so in the words of Antoine Dodson you may want to “hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husbands cuz” they all very well may be susceptible to being scared to death!

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6 Responses to “Scared to Death”

  1. Brittany October 29, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    I like dressing up too.. love decorating.. eating candy, but I sadly, I haven’t gotten any candy in years and years. I would MUCH rather dress up or go to haunted mazes/houses/trails than go to a club.. I was guilty of that in college, but I had enough. 🙂 I have to close this weekend of course. I was really looking forward to hitting up a maze or haunted attraction this year. We have been wanting to go to the Bell Witch Cave around Halloween, but it’s hard to get everyone together. They do really neat things there during Halloween. They have haunted house tours, cave tours, hayrides, a play (I believe), and DINNER! Like roast beef and potatoes kinda dinner! lol It’s all pretty cheap too! Maybe after you guys get closer to home we could go one year.. sounds like so much fun to me! Learned the history of Halloween in THE COOLEST class ever.. Ghosts, Myths, and Legends.

  2. kimbodarlin October 29, 2010 at 3:26 am #

    It broke my heart too that you didn’t get to participate in the game or Halloween that year..it’s bad when you have parents that actually follow through with punishments, uh? Love you…and Happy Halloween……hope you get lots of candy. I wish I had had the state of mind to send you a chocolate care package but my my brain and body were occupied by 3 sweet little goon’s this week. Mom

  3. Mrs. S. October 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    There have been CSI’s and a Law and Order about this too! I used to love Halloween but ever since being with Mr. Superman, I’ve spent every single one alone so now its just another holiday.

  4. Lydia October 31, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    I love Halloween!! I spent almost all year thinking on “this year’s costume” .. I like to be creative yet sexy lol… I love decortating. giving out candy.. everything!!!

    Happy Halloween!!

  5. Jenn October 31, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    I can’t believe that you quoted that guy! It was all over the news here and I think that Tosh.0 is doing a web redemption with him next season. Enjoy your Halloween!

  6. B. November 1, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    Looovvveee Halloween! Candy, costumes, “scary” movies…what’s not to like? Great in depth look at being scared to death. I hope that never happens, but good knowledge to have!

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