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Seau had difficulty sleeping, even while taking Ambien

San Diego Community Mourns Suicide Death Of NFL Legend Junior Seau

SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11: LaDainian Tomlinson walks past Junior Seau’s #55 during a public memorial for the former NFL star at Qualcomm Stadium May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. Seau was found shot to death at his home in what police say was a suicide. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

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The folks at USA Today have compiled a thorough, fascinating, and ultimately heartbreaking look at the final days of linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide on May 2.

We’ll defer to the full article for all details. But here’s what jumped off the screen.

Seau has trouble sleeping for years. He used Ambien, which may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in patients with depression. Also, the drug information warns against drinking, which per USA Today Seau did, and advises against taking the medication if the patient can’t get a full night’s sleep.

Seau told a friend that he repeatedly woke up at 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep, even while taking Ambien.

Only three days before his death, Seau showed up for a memorial service at the gym where he worked out. Another member had died of cancer, and Seau reportedly “delivered a eulogy with an uplifting message about loving life and making a difference.”

There are many more details, and the full article is worthy of a careful reading, or two. While speculation persists that Seau’s death can be tied to 20 years of playing linebacker at the NFL level, USA Today reports that his family has still not made any “public decision” about whether Seau’s brain will be donated for research into whether he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy.