- Death & Loss of Life
People that have Died from Laughing
Dying from a good joke, is it possible?
You have heard the phrase "I about died laughing," or some such similar phrase. Did you know that some people have literally died from what seems to be just simple laughter of a joke or show? This was a crazy idea when I first heard it, but it is true! People have died from laughing, or complications that arose from laughing.
Whether heart failure, seizures, or some other pathological condition, death has followed a good laugh and there are stories to back this up. Usually, laughter is just a feeling of joy that turns into a physical reaction from jokes, tickling or other stimuli. It can make us start to tear up, or even have some minor muscle pain. I know that my cheeks have started to hurt from too much smiling and laughing before, and I have definitely shed some happy tears from laughing so hard that I could hardly breathe. Usually my laugh just goes silent at that point, and all is well as I calm down. Laughter is great medicine for us all, generally speaking. So don't let these stories spook you or anything like that. It is super rare that a person will die from laughing.
Some examples of people laughing to death, literally.
There is an incident on record of a man laughing while sleeping. His name was Damnoen Saen-um. It was only just 2003 when this happened, and he was only 52 years old. His wife heard him laughing in his sleep, and couldn't wake him up to make him stop. He then stopped breathing, after just two minutes of laughing. The doctors think it was heart failure, or perhaps asphyxiation.
Sometimes a funny show or movie can cause a person to laugh to death! For instance, who ever thought that a Fish called Wanda would cause a Danish audiologist to laugh to death? His name was Ole Bentzen. In this case, his heart rate went up to 250 to 500 beats per minute. His death was from cardiac arrest, but what was he doing when his heart stopped? He was laughing! I just can't hardly believe these stories.
Another man, Alex Mitchel died while watching a funny show called "The Goodies." It was a particular episode called Kung Foo Capers. Who of us hasn't laughed very hard at some episode of one of our favorite shows? At any rate this episode was about a Scottsman, wearing a kilt, that was battling a scary black pudding. He laughed for 25 minutes straight, then collapsed. He was on the sofa when he died from heart failure. It was said that Alex Mitchel's widow eventually sent a letter to the Goodies, to thank them for making the last minutes of her husbands life so pleasant. Alex died in 1975.
Could Paroxysm explain it? I am not too familiar with this term before now, but here are a couple of definitions of it.
Paroxysm: "A sudden outburst of emotion. Or, a sudden and uncontrollable expressing of emotion. It seems to be an outburst of symptom, like a sudden onset or intensifying of a previous pathological symptom. It is like a sudden attack, or recurrence of a disease. It is just greatly intensified by the laughter and emotion. Some call it a sudden fit, or outburst, which makes sense of what we see often when people begin to laugh, especially laugh very hard all of a sudden. Convulsion, or coughing or a fit, are parts of yet other definitions of paroxysm. One said a violent sudden emotion, but in this case it would be very positive emotion. (There are also paroxysms of rage, but that almost makes more sense though still awful to cause death.) I just find all of this so very odd. I had no idea whatsoever, and I love to laugh and watch hilarious shows and movies, and I think many of us do!
Laughter is still among the best medicinces
Certainly, don't stop laughing the benefits of a good hearty laugh very much outweigh the risks. It just makes us feel good, relieves stress, and calms us down and mellows things out in a rather serious world sometimes. Some have said that it can be a natural painkiller, or at least cause people to forget other pains like arthritis, muscle pains, and even "pain of a heart that has been broken"
More studies need to be done, but there is some research that suggests that laughing helps to lower a stress hormone in our bodies, which would be a good thing. Stress puts a lot of wear and tear on our lives. Laughter can benefit our blood, and help to fight some bacterial and viral problems in our upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Not all research fully agrees on this however, and more studies need to be done. It makes sense to me, that laughter is great medicine though. It just makes you feel good. We all ought to laugh a lot more.
Watching laughing videos on Youtube
I don't want to post any here in this hub, but if you look up laughing videos just on youtube, you will be amazed at what you see! There are many hilarious videos of people just laughing, but you can see in many of them, how the people start to cough, cry, stop breathing and turn all kinds of colors when they are truly laughing hard. Some can't speak, and cease to make sounds (like myself) when I am laughing my very hardest. You can see how it really affects our bodies and whole system when we laugh very hard. My guess though, is that good feeling that follows is a healthy indicator that it is a good thing, and obviously most of us don't have underlying pathological problems where it will ever be an issue for us.
So keep on laughing and just enjoy life and the company of friends and loved ones. For that matter, enjoy laughing with just anyone around you. I don't think that is something any of us will ever regret doing.