Presented by BetterHelp.
Love can be intense. But is it so intense that it can kill you?
The full answer is complicated, but the short answer is yes. In fact, it’s known as “Broken Heart Syndrome.”
Read on to learn more about broken heart syndrome and healthy ways that you can handle heartbreak.
Broken Heart Syndrome
Ideally, we can work through our relationship problems. After all, there are options such as couple’s counseling that may help us avoid breaking up and the anguish that follows Death by Heartbreak.
Unfortunately, however, heartbreak may be avoidable. Perhaps it comes from the sudden death of a loved one. Or maybe it’s an unexpected breakup or some other traumatic episode.
In any case, this may seem like something out of Hollywood or fairy tales, but it is a legitimate syndrome known as “broken heart syndrome.”
It’s also known—more technically—as stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. It has been attributed to famous people such as musician Johnny Cash, who died shortly after the death of his long-time wife, June Carter Cash.
This condition is brought on by some source of sudden stress or excitement, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative event. For example, someone who wins the lottery might have stress hormones triggered that lead to “broken heart syndrome.”
In this way, it’s a little bit of a misnomer. But it’s a compelling idea and one that you may have heard of. In any case, love is a difficult and complex phenomenon. So, if you would like more guidance on the topic, you may want to consider the useful resources available from BetterHelp.
Now, let’s take a look at healthy ways of coping with heartbreak so that you can do your best to avoid any related health problems.
How to Handle Heartbreak
It can be tough to look after yourself after a breakup or any form of heartbreak. You may feel utterly depressed, which can make even simple things such as a shower or getting out of bed feel impossible.
Unfortunately, something as simple as getting up and taking a nice shower may very well be what you need to start feeling better. Each thing you do for yourself, no matter how small, is a small victory against heartbreak.
Try meditation, yoga, going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, making your favorite food, treating yourself to a massage, etc. These can all help you move on slowly but surely from your heartbreak.
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In the depths of heartbreak, it can feel like the world will never be set right again. It may all feel unfair, undeserved, etc. But at this moment, the act of practicing gratitude can be incredibly powerful.
Try just a minute or two of sitting quietly and reflecting on everything that you have in your life to be thankful for. This simple practice can radically change your perspective and help you realize that you still have so much to be grateful for. Doing this regularly should help your heartbreak diminish with time.
If you find that you are really struggling with heartbreak, don’t be afraid to seek out support.
Whether you reach out to a trusted friend or family member, a religious leader, or a licensed counselor, there’s help for you out there. Sometimes all it takes to get past your heartbreak is a friendly shoulder to lean on.
Death by heartbreak? Also known as broken heart syndrome or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, yes, it’s possible. That said, it’s quite rare.
Nonetheless, heartbreak can be quite challenging to overcome. Try the above tips and don’t be afraid to seek out help if you need it.
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Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.