When people suffer from a broken heart, they feel as if their world is ending. If fact, some suffer so much they believe it is possible to die from the experience. And, research does exist to back up this claim. Rachel Naud in the Calgary Herald compiled this information: "Their condition, identified as broken heart syndrome, can weaken the heart muscle, lower blood pressure, cause fluid in the lungs and even clinical heart failure." Stress hormones seem to be the cause, and women, most in their 60's and 70's, are often the victims. Broken heart syndrome occurs following life altering, traumatic, or emotional events.
Further research in 2006 by the Mayo Clinic concluded broken heart syndrome recurs in one of out every 10 patients. And investigation reveals the degree of damage that can be done. "It (broken heart syndrome) can be very serious," says Wittstein, assistant professor of medicine in the cardiology division at Johns Hopkins. "People can die from it--no question."
Dr. Basmah Safdar of the Yale-New Haven Hospital warns that heart stunning caused by stress hormones should be treated very seriously. Safdar writes, "That's why it's essential for individuals who are experiencing these symptoms to seek emergency medical help immediately. There was a time when physicians minimized these physical reactions to trauma, attributing the symptoms to psychological causes. This study clearly shows the heart is undergoing physical changes that need to be assessed and treated immediately." (Health Link, 2005)
When catastrophic events occur to most people, they go through a process of grieving. And, this grief is important as a growing pain of human development. Actually, humans often make great gains after losses and bouts with anxiety and sadness.
Love certainly involves mutual dependence and when people suffer from a loss of dependence upon a loved one, broken hearts occur. The process of grieving can help change what seems like personal failure into new-found wisdom for the broken-hearted individual.
According to Dr. Michel Vincent Miller, "In learning how to grieve our losses, it doesn't help that American culture, with its emphasis on romantic love and happy endings, isn't very hospitable to mourning. But when we enter into the deeper and more difficult stretches of loving, Hollywood can't shield us from the truth: All love stories come to an end, even those that last a lifetime." (O, The Oprah Magazine, July 2008)
Unfortunately, the only way grieving can be learned is through practice. Mourning teaches people how to accept the end of love and start healing its wounds (granted, leaving some scar tissue). It presents the mourner with the possibility of becoming stronger in future loves and life.
How To Cope
The following suggestions for the broken hearted are, by no means, all inclusive. The time frames and options for the sufferer are provided as general guidelines for dealing with the condition of a broken heart. Anyone with symptoms of a broken heart should seek proper medical attention. More information is given at http://www.ehow.com/. The entry here is simply practical, possibly useful when dealing with the stages of grieving.