I’m sure you’ve all heard about the death of Amanda (Mandy) Blank, the ultra-famous, ultra-beautiful body builder. Her housekeeper found her “unresponsive” in the bathtub the morning of October 29th, 2018.
Every single report said the same things:
Well, I for one have been awaiting those results, and digging up her official death certificate, I discovered that the autopsy had been performed, nothing was found, but there is no cause of death. This is “still” being investigated.
So being an investigative journalist, I decided to do a bit of snooping.
This report is not in any way aimed at taking away her accomplishments, which were many. She was well received and well loved by celebrities, friends, and those close to her. On her website is found:
I train everybody regardless of gender, age, shape or size. You’re never too old or too young to get started on your fitness and nutrition journey.
At first I was transferred from office to office and back again, with the same message, “We don’t know, perhaps So-and-so will know.” It finally hit me that if they did know, they were not going to tell me, so I started telling them that what they tell me is strictly between us and that they will remain anonymous. I refuse to give out my sources, just as long as what I’m getting is the whole truth, no matter how disturbing.
In the end, I found two people who were willing to come right out and tell me that she worked herself to death.
The immediate questions that popped up were: “How does one work themselves to death?” and “Is that even possible?”
Her body was getting nutrition; or was it? She was hydrated; or was she? She definitely had enough oxygen, right?
She had been on a restricted diet (most of her life), but her intestines and colon were normal. Blood tests came back showing she might have had some problems with metabolites. Her salt (sodium) was low, as well as her bicarbonate.
She just worked herself, passionately, into an early grave.
Yes you can. But in most cases there are actual causes, such as a heart attack or a stroke. Then there are the cases of overwork by slaves, whose bodies are burdened beyond human capacity.
In the late nineties, urban archaeologists uncovered in New York, what is now known as the African Burial Ground, “the single-most important, historic urban archaeological project undertaken in the United States.” [Ref]
They found over 20,000 Africans buried within a five-acre burial ground during the 17th and 18th century. Four hundred and nineteen unearthed remains were sent to Howard University, the first phase of a $20 million study of the skeletons to determine the extent of injuries and possible causes of death.
Much of their findings were almost as expected; many human beings were literally worked to death. They found lesions on their arms, legs, and shoulders; locations where muscles and tendons had torn away their bones. Many had “circular fractures” at the base of their skulls, due to inordinately heavy loads carried on their heads.
In this study, researchers found signs of overwork, symptoms that would cause the body to break down and eventually die.
In Mandy Blank’s case, none of these “symptoms” were found.
The Nazis also pursued a conscious policy of “annihilation through work,” under which certain categories of prisoners were literally worked to death; in this policy, camp prisoners were forced to work under conditions that would directly and deliberately lead to illness, injury, and death. For example, at the Mauthausen concentration camp, emaciated prisoners were forced to run up 186 steps out of a stone quarry while carrying heavy boulders. [Ref]
But again, the famous Dr Mengele ran studies to show how much strain a human body could take, and we have the documentation, as his notes from Auschwitz were captured by the Russians. But most often there were, again, a physical causes of death. Only in a few situations, mostly surrounded by mythology, can it be presumed that individuals just lost the will to live.
More recently we have a phenomenon that began in Japan in the sixties: People overworking themselves to death. The first reported case, in 1969, was a stroke-related death, “a 29-year-old male worker in the shipping department of Japan’s largest newspaper company.” [Ref]
Here is how Wikipedia defines it:
Karōshi (過労死), which can be translated literally as “overwork death” in Japanese, is occupational sudden mortality. The major medical causes of karōshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress and a starvation diet. This phenomenon is also widespread in other parts of Asia as well.
As it says, the two main causes are heart attack and stroke, but at such young ages? Take a look at these cases we found at LiveWorkAnywhere.
A 22 year old with a heart attack? You just know that overwork is deadly when it can bring on a heart attack or stroke at age 22 or even 34.
But again, rummaging through the endless stories, I’ve found only one death that did not have a cause and that could have simply been an omission by the author.
Mandy died from nothing. There was nothing in her autopsy that showed up as her cause of death. But the people I interviewed who assented that this sort of thing is rare, also told me that they’ve seen this only in women; women they pointed out who looked perfect, except they were lying on a slab in a morgue, that is.
No, it’s not. It’s all over the world, though mainly in developed nations. We have “eating disorders.” Comedians find tons of humor in these disorders and I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a woman state, “I should be so lucky.”
There is an associated genetic disposition, though for the most part, these disorders are handled by psychologists. These disorders, we are told, spring up from a need, a desire, a deathly desire to be perfect and accepted — to be loved.
Women, it has been noted, are raised to compete with other women. Body shaming, slut shaming, it’s all part of the gig, so we are told.
But it’s time for us all to grow up. We’re told we are in the age of the woman, but still, if you’re paying attention to the news, it’s three steps forward and one step back.
Last Friday was International Women’s Day, 2019. On Facebook a poem was posted. I will link it here, and if the link should move, I will find it and link it again (someone just leave me a comment). Men are quickly being liberated from the patriarchy, and many are behind this movement of young, wonderful, hopeful women. It’s your time. Here is the link to the poem.
by Aija Mayrock
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