Is it possible to be scared to death? During the 1994 Northridge/Los Angeles earthquake, over one hundred Californians literally died of fright, according to Robert Kloner, cardiologist at the Good Samaritan Hospital in L.A.
His research has shown that excessive fear can cause sudden cardiac death. In many cases the terrorized brain triggers the release of a mix of chemicals so potent it causes the heart to contract so fiercely it never relaxes again.
In a Cleveland study, coroners studied the hearts of 15 assault victims who died even though their assailants had not wounded them badly enough to fatally injure their internal organs. The study determined that 11 of the 15 had torn fibers and lesions in their hearts most likely caused by mortal fear.
Neurologist Martin A. Samuels of Harvard Medical School in Boston, who has done research in this area, tells of his cat coming across a field mouse. The cat simply put its paw on the mouse's tail and batted it about a bit. Within 20 minutes the mouse died despite having no serious injuries. “Animals commonly drop dead under these circumstances,” says Samuels.
The only real antidote to fear, is faith that we are safe in God’s care, no matter what situation we face.