Broken Heart Syndrome: Does It Really Exist?

by Conscious Reminder

When someone says “She died from a broken heart,” is that even possible?

A lot of people are probably going to experience what we call a broken heart at some point in their lives, but can someone die from an emotionally stressful event like the death of a loved one?

Apparently, this is possible. In fact, this syndrome is a recognized medical condition which is also known as stress-included cardiomyopathy.

This condition was identified for the first time in Japan where it is known as Takotsubo Syndrome, and it strikes people that who previously did not have heart disease or problems.

The condition can be caused by any stressful, as well as emotional even, which includes the death or illness of someone that is close to you, divorce, a sudden loss of your job or some other major life upheaval.

According to an example from recently, a lot of people believe that the actress Debbie Reynolds died from such syndrome after her beloved daughter named Carrie Fisher, died too. Luckily, however, broken heart syndrome is not typically fatal.

The symptoms of broken heart syndrome are actually similar to the signs of a heart attack, but blocked arteries do not cause them. Rather, the condition is thought to be caused by a surge of stress hormones, which include adrenaline and cortisol, which narrow the arteries, as well as temporarily limit blood flow to the heart. This can lead to irregular heartbeat and sudden death too but in rare cases.

What is the relationship of the broken heart syndrome with our mental health?

One example is how our emotions can affect our bodies and health. We consider that there should not be a separation between physical and mental health. Instead, we have to look carefully at the person that suffers, and not really compartmentalize each of the signs and symptoms as its entity.

While diagnoses are quite essential and serve their purpose, we believe that we have to be aware of the interconnectedness of all our symptoms – we have to look at the whole person.

A lot of researches indicate that there is a genetic component to most, if not all, brain disorders. It is also widely believed that the environment, as well as genes, play a part in the development of such illnesses.

Besides, through the use of genomic sequencing, researchers also identified genetic risk factors which are, in fact, related to broken heart syndrome. They also used ultra-high resolution cameras, as well as supercomputers, in order to identify genes. As in the modern world, technology becomes more and more advanced every day; we can expect more discoveries by way of DNA sequencing.

Our brains, hearts, and genes – each one of them plays a part in the development of broken heart syndrome. While we cannot control the occurrence of stressful events in our lives, we can actually work on what we can manage.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, as well as stress management techniques can also be beneficial in dealing with all of the challenges in our lives. So, let’s use the apparent connection of our minds and our bodies to our advantage and do everything which we can in order to work forward, or maintain good overall health.

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