“Sharp are the arrows of a broken heart.”Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Fire
Dying of a broken heart has always been seen as a myth that could never happen even though we’ve seen it a lot in movies and fairytales that show that love should always be perfect and that people can’t live without their partners. It’s a romantic concept indeed, but health experts are now revealing that the ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ isn’t just a myth. People could actually die from it and it’s becoming a serious problem in America today.
This condition is known as ‘stress-induced cardiomyopathy’. It’s usually caused by extreme stress, like the stress caused by losing someone you love. As Dr. Matthew Lorber explained:
“Broken heart syndrome – which is, in fact, a real thing – is when someone finds out some shocking news, typically terrible news, and there’s a massive release of these stress hormones that are released into the bloodstream, and the heart is then bombarded with these stress hormones. This could be the news, certainly, of a loved one dying, which is where the ‘broken heart syndrome’ name comes from. This could be the news of getting a divorce. This could be a boss coming in and telling you that you’re fired – anything that can cause intense stress”
Lorber also said that shocking news and stress shocks that aren’t meant to be negative in nature can trigger a similar reaction. Let’s take for example when a father receives the news of having a baby for the first time, the broken heart syndrome can occur. The heart’s left ventricle gets weakened by the stress hormones, which makes it unable to function properly. So This makes the heart temporarily “freeze” and it causes circulation problems, which might lead to death.
There are many risks that increase your chances of broken heart syndrome. Studies have found that 90% of cases are in women with a history of a mental disorder and ones with neurological problems such as seizures. People who are over 50 also have higher chances of getting into this situation. But people with a history of heart disease surprisingly rarely get this broken heart syndrome.
This condition can usually be treated if diagnosed early. But it’s important that people educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of this condition so they can seek medical help as soon as they can. Stress-induced cardiomyopathy’ is usually identified by chest pain, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, and fainting.