Sudden Adult Death

What do we know about sudden Infant death syndrome (SIDS) – also known as cot death? And how does it happen?

 a cartoon man sitting with his head on his arms. A state of mind one may adopt when losing a loved one
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We know it is the unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby. Although there is in excess of some 300 plus cases in England every year it is still a very rare occurrence. Go to Main Post …

The greater number of baby’s succumbing to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) occurs in the first year of the baby’s life. Premature and low birth weight baby’s are at greater risk. Baby boys more so at risk.

The reasons behind cot death syndrome are not cut and dried and professionals believe it may be a collection of behavioural risk factors coming together at a crucial point in the infants development. The baby’s surrounding environment issues, and those baby’s born premature or under weight being at greater risk.

The greater number of deaths happen during the night while the infant is asleep. However, it is also known that SIDS can strike while the infant is asleep during the day. For those mothers who feel there baby could be at risk the National Health website (NHS) has steps you can take to help prevent SIDS.

What has Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) got to do with sudden deaths in healthy adults that appear to have no cause? They both share similar symptoms.

Dr Tim Bowker, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, who is leading the research, said: “It has long been recognised that there are occasions when an apparently previously healthy adult dies suddenly and unexpectedly and any abnormalities found at post-mortem are minimal or non-existent”. A new study estimates that in England at least 150 of the 3,500 estimated adult deaths have been found to have no cause.

Some while ago now I heard of a 40 year old work colleague that had died in his sleep. The post-mortem carried out at the time could not put his death down to any specific illness, in fact they were hard pressed to find anything at all that would have explained why he died.

I can only imagine how his family must have felt to have lost their son, but to also be informed that the post-mortem had been unable to identify the cause of his death must have felt like a double tragedy.

His death shocked me and got me to thinking. Apart from the holidays I was not aware of him ever being ill enough to take time away from his work. If memory serves me right I do remember him having more than the occasional few out-bursts with other work mates (me included) from time to time, which resulted in him being very moody.

During his period of moodiness (grudge bearing), which usually lasted for many days, he would say and do odd things to make life difficult for those who had disagreed with him, almost to the point of paranoia (e.g. Depression, Phobias, Paranoid personality disorder, among others).

depressed man looking sad and forlorn.
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I often wondered at the time if he was going through some form of family crisis and it was over spilling in-to his work area. With hind-sight I now think he could he have been going though a mental health problem.

Back then admitting to a mental health problem was not viewed in the same light as a physical problem (e.g. broken arm). Even today some would rather it be brushed under the carpet, and never spoke of.

This recent study (2014) covering Sudden Adult Deaths, and so many not being identified with a cause of death got me to thinking, could the cause be a form of taking your own life, while asleep.

Back then no one wanted to admit to their mates, or anyone else either, that they were having a psychotic episode (a term used to describe a mental health disorder preventing the person from clear thinking, recognising reality and acting rationally).

What if lets call him Joe Bloggs was so far depressed he looked at any form of criticism to his working ideas and life as a personal attack against him, rather than an attempt to show how one idea over another can lead to better production. If this was his mind sink then I feel it could only get worse (without medical intervention), resulting I feel in an unhealthy frame of mind.

Now the hard part, how to write down what I am thinking without sounding like I do not know what I am writing out… (and probably don’t.. hey ho…). Its my take on what could be happening when a healthy adult dies in their sleep with no apparent cause identified.

We all at some time in our lives will experiences suspicious or irrational thoughts from time to time that turned out to be unfounded. Supposing Joe Bloggs had reached a frame of mind where no matter what you spoke to him about it was always taken as a threat to him personally.

Could this have lead him to believe that people around him were siding with each other, and even worse his work colleagues and friends were using him as a fall guy. Maybe he had reached a stage where he felt any and all were spreading rumours about him, bullying him in to using their ideas and/or making bad comments about him looking for ways to hurt him, even worse he could have mistakenly felt his life was at danger.

Now let’s suppose going to bed one night he had reach a low point, from where he seen him-self as having no role left to play in his life, and before they (who ever they were) could hurt him further it would be their fault (not his) if he never woke up again. That would teach them a lesson they would never forget…. What they did to him….

If that was his frame of mind could he have just given up in his sleep. Using sleep as an easier way to end his life. After all he would not be aware of not awakening the next morning, and it would be all there fault.

If Joe Bloggs did die in my scenario when a post-mortem was carried out would there be anyway of telling he just give up living while asleep. After all if he had successfully hidden his state of mind from others. We are talking of a mental health issue there would be no physical evidence to speak of, it would probably look like he had just died in his sleep. … Rather a long-winded post. Just a thought running around in my head…


Images courtesy of: Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Soler

Attended state schools (St Peters & Paul's) Spent my last 4 years attending St Cuthbert Secondary. Worked as a warehouse manager 25 years plus. Spent 16+ years attending Newcastle Uni and North Tyneside College. (Humanistic approaches in Counselling). Now Qualified. Don’t have many dislikes apart from people who try to be something they’re not (conveniently forget where their roots are), and I do not suffer fools easily, or people that over talk others. I eat and drink to live, love all kinds of music, places of interest, photography, Singing, computing, reading (mostly supernatural/horror, James Herbert / Stephen King), and swimming.

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