By Leina Ussin
We’ve all in some way, shape, or form experienced heartbreak. It may have been from a relationship ending, a family member passing away, or even the loss of a friendship! We find ourselves secluded in a dark space, sad music playing in the background, while we cry ourselves to sleep.
It feels like you’re life is shattering and nothing will ever be the same again. How can you go on? How can you survive this? And as these thoughts crowd your mind, and the tears keep falling, it feels like your heart is literally breaking inside of your chest!
News flash, it kind of is! Yes, you read it right! When you experience a loss that causes you emotional stress, like that of a break-up or a death of someone close to you, your heart is in fact breaking. Well, not in the literal sense, but it’s an actual medical condition called broken heart syndrome.
Now, before my hopeless romantics start romanticizing this condition, let’s address a few things! For starters, a broken heart, if you’ve genuinely experienced one, can be as painful as it sounds! The distress of whatever emotional stress you’re going through can put your heart in a state of shock, and in some cases, can cause short-term muscle failure. Your chest tightens, you have shortness of breath, and it hurts to breathe. It can get to the point where someone can actually mistake broken heart syndrome for a heart attack!
As scary as that sounds, for those who have actual heart conditions, broken heart syndrome could possibly lead to a heart attack! As I stated before, a broken heart is a reaction to emotional stress, and stress of any kind is not good for the body. Those who already suffer from heart conditions definitely shouldn’t wait if they’re experiencing chest pains or shortness of breath, even if you’re aware of what’s causing it! Sometimes it’s better to be dramatic and see your doctor about a recent break-up than ignore your symptoms and it turns fatal. Dying from a broken heart is only romantic in movies, not in real life!
For those without heart conditions, there is a bright side! Broken heart syndrome usually only lasts a couple of days or weeks. There aren’t any cases, as of yet, of it doing any permanent damage to the heart. However, I highly recommend anyone suffering from chest pain and/or shortness of breath for more than a few days to talk to a doctor! Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Now, this doesn’t mean avoid relationships or getting close to people because you’re fearful of your life! The pain hurt, and loss is a part of living. We learn lessons from these experiences and hopefully discover how to cope a little bit better whenever we encounter them again. Not every heartbreak is going to feel the same, and some may be a little harder to get over than others. But you’ll get through it.
So blast that sad music, eat that gallon of ice cream, and cry as many tears as your heart allows! Heartbreak is temporary, and as long as you’re not hurting anyone, or yourself, feel free to be as dramatic with your coping mechanisms as you want to be.
But in the chance it lasts longer than a week, you can still do all that stuff I mentioned, just make sure you throw in a doctor’s appointment while you’re at it!