Unbreak My Heart

Often associated with a break-up or another comparable tragic event, a broken heart has been a word with a negative connotation, but there has always been some criticism behind the phrase. Since a heart does not actually break, it would be weird to say that you are actually brokenhearted. Inspired by another post, I was looking for a connotation between emotional distress and physical hurting and discovered that broken heart syndrome actually exists. I decided to investigate...

Broken heart syndrome refers to a sensation similar to a heart attack. When a person is overcome by overwhelming amounts of stress, they may experience chest pain like a person having a heart attack will. However, the pains are not as serious and only occurs in a specific part of the heart that enlarges. The rest of the heart acts as it normally would, which makes broken heart syndrome less severe than other heart conditions that have severe consequences. Broken heart syndrome can be cured in about a week, depending on the severity.

The main difference between broken heart syndrome and a heart attack is the damage they bring about. Whereas a severe heart attack can really damage a person's heart, broken heart syndrome does not result in any damage to the heart. There is pain, certainly, but normally your heart is unscathed after the syndrome passes, unlike a heart attack which can be scarred for a lifetime after a heart attack. It must also be noted that John's Hopkins medicine research has found that broken heart syndrome mostly occurs in older women, although it is not sure if this means that risk for heart attack is higher for men as a result. Perhaps women are a bit more susceptible to broken heart syndrome, but are not in as much danger to having a heart attack? There is a bit of a silver lining with broken heart syndrome (also called stress cardiomyopathy): once you experience it, you most likely will never have it again. Unlike a heart attack which can occur more than once for a person, broken heart syndrome (a relatively new discovery) is only a one time thing.

It is unsure what kind of stress actually causes a person to fall victim to broken heart syndrome. While some people are able to handle stress well, others can fall victim to anxiety very easily. Sure, a tragic event like a death, break-up, or accident can result in a stress overload, but it would be interesting to see how much stress a person could handle before incurring broken heart syndrome. What do you guys think?


I wonder why 'Broken Heart Syndrome' can only occur once in a human. Many people go through break ups that result in 'broken hearts' more than once in their lifetime. Maybe it has to go along with the saying 'the first cut is the deepest' and after someone gets their heart broken once, they know what to expect and they know how to protect themselves from it a little better and how to handle it better. It would be interesting to find out if people who suffered from a particularly bad case of 'broken heart syndrome' get back out in the dating world sooner rather than later or if they wait for a long time. I also wonder if older people who have never married are more likely to have suffered a bad case of 'broken heart syndrome' in their younger days and the pain they felt from that was so bad that the never wanted to put themselves at risk again.

It seems like 'broken heart syndrome' is really just large amounts of stress. Based on a WebMD article, stress is a normal part of life except when it is unrelenting. If stress continues, as it would in a heart breaking situation, we enter a condition of distress, which is a negative reaction to stress. Distress induces high blood pressure, chest problems, and problems sleeping. All of these factors contribute to an increased chance of heart attack and heart related problems. The stress induced by a heart break is certainly not something to look past!

This is so strange to me that broken heart syndrome is actually a real thing. I can't imagine what it must feel like. It's also interesting that people only get it once, and it can be cured in such a quick amount of time. I'd be curious to know how many people go to a doctor because of the chest pain just to be told they have broken heart syndrome. It's sad that a break-up or just an extremely upsetting event can really leave someone in such pain.

I find this to be really interesting because I have always heard that people can actually die from a broken heart. After reading what you've wrote, I'd have to assume that when people are saying that they are referring to dying of depression. I have found many articles saying this is possible, but none of them look reliable enough for me to believe it. So what is the case when older couples tend to die right after their spouse? Is it simply old age, letting go, a broken heart, or depression? Could it be coincidental?

i think your post is very interesting. I think a broken heart can definitely cause major damage in a persons life. a lot of stress can cause high blood pressure and heart attacks. i have known a couple of people that because of a broken heart they have committed suicide or suffered severe depression. this leads me to think that Broken heart syndrome definitely causes stress and can be fatal.

I've heard that people can actually die from broken heart syndrome, but why is that? Is there some sort of connection with familial history of cardiac problems? Does this tend to happen more in older people, as opposed to younger people going through their first break-up with their "first love?" Why can this only happen once? If it happens more than once, could it be considered a heart attack instead?

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