1 Scared to Death
While this may be a figure of speech, there is plenty of truth behind the saying. When a person is terrified, the body goes into “flight or fight” mode. This causes a surge of adrenaline that floods the body. When this happens, it causes rapid heart rate, dilated pupils and increased blood flow throughout the body. It also causes the heart muscle to contract more, being unable to relax. This can cause the heart to beat irregularly, leading to a drop in blood pressure and loss of consciousness—in severe cases, death.