Longtime San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau died today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. After an almost unheard of 20 year NFL career, Seau’s suicide has renewed speculation about the relationship between multiple concussions and the permanent brain damage researchers believe they cause.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by repeated blows to the head. Cases of the disease have been found in a number of deceased athletes like boxers, wrestlers, soccer players, and, so far, five football players.
In addition to dementia-like symptoms, the disease can also cause depression, erratic behavior, and suicidal tendencies.
If you’re struggling with depression, seek professional help as soon as possible. Visit the Vitals Depression Patient Guide for useful information about depression and what to ask during your appointment.