When we think of a broken heart, we usually think about a cartoon of a heart torn in two however ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ has real connection between mental health and stress induced cardiac consequences which can not be fixed with a extra large tub of cookie dough ice cream.
Broken Heart Syndrome ― or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a temporary heart condition when the heart muscle becomes suddenly stunned or weakened which is often brought on by stressful situations, like the death of a loved one or a breakup.
Broken Heart Syndrome has the possibility of being misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. In fact, test results show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries in Broken heart syndrome.
To make matters worse, when you suffer from heartbreak, you often lose sleep and normal healthy living patterns which in turn can cause havoc on your nervous system and can cause other symptoms such as heart palpitations and shortness of breath. Depression in particular has been recognised as an independent and significant contributing factor to heart disease.
The good news is Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable and people usually make a full recovery. By limiting unhealthy coping techniques, such as drinking alcohol or overeating, you will prevent putting further stresses on your heart.
Exercise, meditation, taking a break from Social Media and speaking openly with Family, Friends, your GP or a Mental Health Professional will help alleviate some of that pressure.
If you are experiencing any chest pain or shortness of breath, seek medical help immediately. It is important to rule out heart disease, blood clots or blockages, before diagnosing and treating broken heart syndrome.
Remember, this too shall pass.