Diagnosis: A Broken Heart

According to Deborah Serani, Psy.D. in her blog “Two Takes on Depression,” there is such a thing as Broken Heart Syndrome: It’s Real and It’s Rough. Dr. Serani shares, for many who’ve lost a loved one, suffered a break up or are on the brink of separation or divorce, learning about Broken Heart Syndrome can help you heal from your love trauma.

Some facts about the syndrome are: emotional sadness doesn’t just weigh heavy on your mind; it significantly impacts your body; your immune system is weakened, which increases blood pressure and heart rate; stress from your grief releases the hormone Cortisol, which may cause a heavy feeling in your chest area.

In medical terms the heartache condition from lost love is called Stress Cardiomyopathy or in layman’s language “a broken heart.” Men fare better than women. Women are ten times more likely to suffer from the symptoms.

Studies suggest a few tips to help heal your heartache:

  • Let go of your emotional pain. Studies show that expressing emotions greatly reduces the body’s stress response. Share your feelings with friends or a therapist.
  • Heal in your time, not by others’ timetables. Don’t feel pressured to be over the hurt by such and such a date.
  • Stay in touch with the world. The sights and sounds and tastes of every day experiences are important in keeping you connected.
  • Recognize you are under a lot of stress, and that exercise, meditation, yoga, healthy foods, routine sleep are some of the ways you can relieve the anxiety.
  • If you feel on edge or fragile, consciously choose what events you will attend or people you will hang out with. Uncomfortable surroundings can trigger emotions and exacerbate your pain.

“Above all, remember: A broken heart doesn’t make you unlovable. At this moment in time, you are healing. But remind yourself to be open when love presents itself again,” states Dr. Serani.

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