Broken Heart Syndrome

Source: American Heart Association

Written by Amber Wibbenmeyer. Media by Kelsey Middleton.

Friendship is something that develops very quickly, and many times, cannot be traced back to a specific origin. It can wrap us up and take us by surprise, or it can be something calculated. Whichever it is, most people value their friendships and hold their friends close to their hearts. This is why the loss of a friendship can be devastating and the loss of a romantic relationship can hurt even more. 

Broken Heart. Source:

When a person suffers a loss, they can experience, in layman’s terms, a broken heart. You can feel as though your whole world is crashing down and your heart is failing you; these are symptoms of a broken heart. These pains are often overlooked or not taken seriously, but they shouldn’t be ignored. 

Mayo Clinic has done a lot of research on the condition, which is known medically as “takotsubo cardiomyopathy.” The more common name for this condition is “Broken Heart Syndrome.” It is a result of extreme stress caused by the loss of a loved one. The symptoms of Broken Heart Syndrome mirror those of a heart attack but lack the clogged arteries. Severe chest pain and shortness of breath can cause the person to fear a heart attack, and these pains should not be taken lightly. If any chest pain lasts too long, you should go see a doctor to ensure that there are no other issues going on. These symptoms of Broken Heart Syndrome usually only last up to a week. 

Many people look at someone hurting over a loss and brush it off as an overreaction, when, in truth, it shouldn’t be ignored. How can we help someone who is experiencing this? The most important thing to do is to listen to them. Let them share their grief and express their emotions. Just talking about what they are going through may help. 

It is also very important to try to place them in the least stressful environment possible. Remove them from any situation that may add to their stress, and help them be as comfortable as possible. If they enjoy animals, find a way to surround them with pets. If they like hot beverages, offer to make or buy them one. However you accomplish this, getting them to calm down is one of the best ways to help. 

Playing Board Games. Source:

Another good way to help is to distract them. This can be done in many ways. It is important to ensure that the other person is having a good time to get their mind off of things for a while. Go to dinner, see a movie, go shopping, stay in and play board games, or even watch YouTube for hours. Do whatever the other person would like to do. 

Broken Heart Syndrome is something that many people choose to ignore because it isn’t an outward kind of pain.However, it can cause physical pain in addition to the emotional turmoil. 

As someone who has been through this pain, having someone there for you can make all the difference. This is why I think it is so important to not only know about this issue but to know how to help someone through it. Pain of the heart is a very serious pain that people not only need to be aware of but treat as a real issue. 

Have you ever felt this kind of pain? If so, what caused it? How did you, or someone else, help you get through the pain?


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