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Are Broken Hearts Really Broken?

Problems of a broken heart and how to heal
Hacknsack Meridian Health (website)
Broken hearts.

What is the reality of a broken heart? It is called broken heart syndrome , and usually, it occurs because of stressful or traumatic events. It is often a temporary syndrome, not lasting long, only about a week to a month. 

The American Health Association says that, “It could even happen after a good shock, such as winning the lottery,” but usually, the main cause is tough times and sad emotional experiences. 

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy vs. normal heart.

Nobody can get broken heart syndrome from just a “bad day.” Having a breakup could be sad or a bad hair day, but it is not enough to get a true broken heart, other than the metaphor. \

On the other hand if family members pass that were very close or if someone were caught in a car crash, that could be enough to spark the syndrome, depending on how hard the individual(s) experience is. 

In some instances, after healing from the syndrome it may come again. This is called recurrent takotsubo cardiomyopathy (ta·kuht·soo·bow kaar·dee·ow·mai·aa·puh·thee). Basically, this is when there is a left ventricular (ven·tri·kyuh·lr) apex abnormality in the heart along with emotional stress and sadness.

The risk of actually getting sick with this syndrome again is only 4% or 1 in 25, so really it is pretty rare to get a recurrence. Just in case, it is important to continue taking the medicine provided to you. 

The age occurrence of this symptom, most likely, will be for people over the age of 50 and is found mainly in people who have a history with lower mental health and lower mental stability. 

Even though the syndrome is caused by stressful and sad situations, women in general are more likely to experience depression than men. Some reasons that women become depressed more than men do is because of social pressure or status and difference in physical strength, according to Paul R. Albert.

What happens when your heart breaks, and how will you know? 

Angina otherwise known as chest pain. (Research Features (website))

The most common signs of broken heart syndrome are chest pain, shortness of breath, or even having an abnormal heartbeat. Sometimes, the syndrome may even consist of the same symptoms as a heart attack

More signals of having broken heart syndrome are dizziness and diaphoresis (sweating more than usual). When experiencing the syndrome, though, the symptom that will appear first is chest pain, or otherwise known as angina.

How to solve it…

There is no real certified cure for broken heart syndrome, but almost all people who get affected by the syndrome take medicine and recover fully. The recovery of feeling better while taking medicine can last for an hour or a few days, but never long. 

It is very unlikely that anyone could die from the syndrome, although certain people may have long term damage. The damage is never crucial and not many people come out of this with any damage at all. Only 1% of people die from a broken heart. 

The best thing to do if you ever get broken heart syndrome is to take the medicine provided, and go to a medical assistant or your certified doctor. Both of these are important to not get long term damage. The only time when needed to go to the ER is when severe heart attack symptoms may occur. 

Is a broken heart real? Can it be fixed? Hopefully most will never experience, but science shows that it is real and with the proper recovery and medicine, survival is likely.

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About the Contributor
Alexis Gemme
Alexis Gemme, Staff Reporter
Hi there I am Alexis and I'm a freshman. I am a competitive dancer, and that takes up most of my free time, but when I do have a break I enjoy drawing and just trying different art projects that I find interesting. My least favorite subject is math, and I have two younger brothers.

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    Ted McCarthyDec 9, 2023 at 8:46 am

    Alexis –
    I have to say, when I clicked on the link I thought I was going to be reading an article on teenage love! I had no idea this was a real condition – nice work informing your readers!