Broken Heart Syndrome
Can you die from a broken heart?

Carla McCoy Silent Whyspers 7/28/2013

So the Question many people ask is “Can you actually die from a Broken Heart”? Well the answer is Yes but the reason doesn’t always have to be because your spouse passed away. Having a Broken Heart can actually lead to more serious consequences such as Cardiac Consequences. There are many things related to this type of broken heart such as depression, heart disease, and even mental health. Extremely stressful events that take places in a person’s life can also have a huge impact on a person’s heart. Do they teach this in school anywhere? I don’t know, I’m no Dr, but I am wise enough to know that this can be a very serious problem that people don’t want to acknowledge. The Term Broken Heart Syndrome is a stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy that can strike a person even if they are perfectly healthy. Believe it or not Women are most susceptible to experience sudden and intense chest pain than men are due to their hormones. I’ll list just a few examples below (which isn’t the entire list).         Break Ups or Physical Separation Divorce Betrayal or Romance Rejection The Shock of winning the lottery Death of a loved one Fear Extreme Anger Even Surprise

Most of you might be saying “Yeah that’s called a Heart Attack” which isn’t true but the two will test similar but there are dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances when you have a heart attack that aren’t present in Broken Heart Syndrome because there is no evidence of blocked heart arteries. Broken Heart Syndrome is where part of a person’s heart enlarges without being able to pump well, yet the rest of the heart functions normally and in some cases with more forceful contractions. It can lead to severe, short term heart muscle failure. Is it treatable? Yes normally you can be cured within a couple of weeks and are very low risk for it to happen again, but there are cases that are fatal as well so you never know what will happen, it could go either way. Normally when experiencing Broken Heart Syndrome you will experience shortness of breath, or chest pain and you can experience these things even if you have no history of heart disease.

Irregular heartbeats (also called Arrhythmias) can also occur with Broken Heart Syndrome and if it’s bad enough your body can experience a weakened heart that cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs and this can be fatal if not treated right away, this is also known as cardiogenic shock. The differences between a Heart Attack and Broken Heart Syndrome are that with an EKG the results will never look the same as an EKG does for a person having a Heart Attack. Blood tests show no signs of heart damage; they can also see ballooning and unusual movement of the lower left heart chamber and signs of blockages in coronary arteries, not to mention the recovery time is quick compared to having a heart attack. So how do they determine which one you are having? They normally use dye and special X-rays to show the inside of your coronary arteries to make a diagnosis as well as blood tests, EKG, and MRI’s. Any time you have stress induced situations to deal with the body produces a large amount of hormones and proteins that are supposed to help you cope with the stress. If a person is threatened or experiences fear or physical harm from this the body actually produces a very large amount of adrenaline to help the person to defend themselves, run or escape the danger. It’s basically where the heart muscles are overwhelmed by a massive amount of adrenaline that is suddenly produced. This much adrenaline may cause narrowing of the arteries that supply a person’s heart with blood which decreases blood flow to the heart. Another situation could be where the huge amount of adrenaline that is present in your body can bind the heart cells which will cause a large amount of calcium to enter the cells that ends up causing them to become temporarily dysfunctional. So in conclusion to explaining all of this I will say that a troubled heart and mind will literally break your heart. A broken heart actually hurts just the same as if you were experiencing pangs of intense physical pain because the same regions of the human brain become active in both situations whether it be from a broken heart or whether you are getting physically harmed. Social Psychologist Ethan Kross from the University of Michigan did some research on this back in 2011 and found that all the terms that are used such as “hurt heart”, “heartbreak”, “Ripped out my heart”, or just the word “hurt” (there are others as well) are actually statements of social exclusion and argue that such expressions are “more than just a metaphor”. It’s even possible that a person may begin to experience what is known as “Somatoform Disorder” which is a physical illness or injury and symptoms that can’t be explained. (Also known as Panic Disorder) Broken Heart Syndrome is very serious and people shouldn’t take it lightly because it can actually lead to death. It also shouldn’t ever be referred to as just an Anxiety Attack either because the Heart is in serious distress. Profound stress can literally make a person’s heart sick. If you haven’t done it yet you should check out the findings done by The Harvard Medical School on Broken Heart Syndrome whose focus is on human event.

It’s important for people to realize that feelings between people really exist, they aren’t and never should be just shrugged off as though they don’t’ matter or they don’t’ exist because they do. I’m going to list below some of the findings of The Harvard Study below so take a look at it closely.

“Our study shows that people are connected in such a fashion that the health of one person is related to the health of another,” reports Nicholas Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Healthcare Policy at the Harvard Medical School. “The findings are striking… When a spouse is hospitalized, the partner’s risk of death increases significantly and remains elevated for up to two years.” Some people are more vulnerable to dying of a broken heart thatn others, but it’s a mistake to conclude they all die because they can’t fend for themselves or are just to weak to handle the stress. In order to understand Broken Heart Syndrome requires looking at it in a deeper philosophical way, and when you do, I think you’ll agree that referring to these “human events” as simply another stressinduced heart attack can demean what may be really taking place. The Harvard study provides an abundance of evidence to safely conclude that some people are just connected on a different level than others. For some, there may be a dependence factor, but to ignore than some people are capable of loving each other this deeply is just wrong. – Tom LeDuc

We were inspired to write this article by a young lady from North Carolina who wrote to us about the recent death of her grandmother. She was confused by the explanation the medical profession provided regarding how her grandmother's death might be connected with the death of her grandfather, who had passed away a week earlier. Her belief was it was the love they shared and their devotion to each other that caused her grandmothers death. And she contacted us to request some data that might help her resolve what she called "these conflicting points of view." We found her appeal so moving we decided to publish a summary of our research on this important subject, so that others can know that what they feel in their hearts does have some basis in scientific fact.

If you don’t believe it yet then listen to this. You can take a perfectly healthy Mother who is pregnant with her very first child and is completely excited about it. This is just one case, just think about all the cases out there that this very situation has taken place. There was a lady named Lindsay Clift who was 29 years old. The woman was 12 days overdue so the Dr’s actually induced labor only to discover that the tot had passed away in the womb. Five hours after delivering the baby and cradling her newborn in her arms, Lindsay lost consciousness and passed away. Think it sounds just like some ridiculous Hollywood movie now? I sure hope not because these things happen in reality all of the time. This is just a sample of one story and here’s her picture below if you don’t think I’m stating facts.

I can’t just write this article without giving a few other facts here such as explaining what shock actually is. There are different forms of shock as you should know there are Psychological shock and Physiological shock. Psychological shock occurs normally after a physically or emotionally traumatic experience and affects a person’s state of mind. (So if you experience either one of these don’t’ ever allow others to tell you “It’s all just in your mind”) because that couldn’t be further from the truth. These types of experiences can cause palpitations and faintness, as well as a dramatic reduction in blood flow that if left untreated can lead to a coma, collapse, and death. Psychological shock is caused by hearing bad news, or being involved in a a traumatic event, such as an accident or being the victim of a crime. If a person is experiencing a more profound shock, it may be hard to return to normal, and you could develop post-traumatic stress disorder which is normally caused by an event often replayed in the mind or a person retreating from normal activities. Broken Heart Syndrome

People have said for years that “no one ever actually died from a broken heart”, but they can’t say that anymore and it’s been proven. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and have some new insight on the importance of why this is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Carla McCoy