Broken heart syndrome exists. It looks like a heart attack

If you often experience stressful emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety, or dissatisfaction, your heart’s activity will change and become irregular, which means a higher risk of actually developing heart disease over time. Then, when emotionally demanding situations enter your life, broken heart syndrome, or in professional terms, stress-induced cardiomyopathy, can occur. And it can affect even completely healthy individuals. Its manifestations resemble a heart attack. The tests do show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there is no evidence of blockage of the heart’s arteries. It’s just that the heart “just broke” with grief or shock.

Stress and the heart

Emotional stress caused by an argument, break-up or death of a loved one can really hurt the heart. Recent research clearly shows that people under stress are more likely to develop coronary heart disease, regardless of what other risk factors they have. According to a study by the HeartMath Institute, our emotions, which originate in the brain, send a signal to the heart, and the heart then responds to complex hormonal changes by creating a chain reaction in the body, increasing the production of stress hormones, changing the way blood clots and causing increase in blood pressure. Stress is an old well-known reaction of the organism to an attack or attack from the outside. It allows you to survive, attack or run away. Therefore, when stressed, heart rate and blood pressure increase, which is good for fast running. The pupils begin to dilate and we see better, but the way the blood circulates in the body also changes. Primarily, the muscles, heart and brain begin to get blood. But today we no longer need to survive or fight. And so stress destroys us. The worst is the chronic one, which is triggered by existential problems, illnesses of loved ones, loneliness. All of this has a significant impact on us.

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When the heart breaks

Twenty years ago I experienced a very stressful event. In the first moment, my eyes went dark, my heart started pounding and the pain shot up to my back. I couldn’t breathe, I thought I was having a heart attack. she took me to the hospital, where they ruled out a heart attack, but it was confirmed to be short-term heart muscle failure, or tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy. After two days everything was back to normal. Since then, I’ve been trying to work better with stress, rest, and regularly go for cardiology check-ups.

Is it that dangerous?

According to cardiologist Miloslav Hudec from the Podlesí Hospital in Třinec, it occurs mainly in women and is a rare heart muscle disease caused by emotional or physical stress. “At that moment, the heart faces a sharp onslaught of stress hormones that cause a temporary weakening of the heart beat. The disease is manifested by chest pain, shortness of breath, sometimes even unconsciousness, i.e. symptoms that accompany a myocardial infarction. Unlike him, however, the coronary vessels do not close, and with timely treatment, there are no lasting consequences,” says the cardiologist. The latest research from Cedars-Sinai Hospital in California suggests that broken heart syndrome is not so rare. It is on the rise, especially among middle-aged and older women. Hormonal differences and genetic predisposition are probably to blame.

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Two of Hearts

Also because women react more sensitively to emotional stress, they are also 10 times more likely to have a broken heart. And these cases are still increasing. It is therefore essential to work to avoid this. Aren’t you making the same mistakes over and over again? Don’t you let people break your heart? We may realize some mistakes with time, but some will only come to light after a few broken hearts and unnecessary emotional roller coaster rides. In order to protect yourself from this “torture”, it is necessary to do everything possible to pamper your heart. There is a lot that can be done. Life is not always rosy, but we can still put on rose-colored glasses and look for rays of light among the clouds. Rita Watson of Yale’s Ezra Stiles College says that when it comes to relationships, it’s important to trust your instincts, treasure your joy, and enjoy loving moments. While there is no surefire way to avoid grief, there is a way to get through it, even though at that moment you believe you will never be happy again. And what do the doctors say? Love, especially an active intimate life, can be the cure for cardiovascular disease, and therefore also the prevention of broken heart syndrome. However, not everyone recovers quickly from emotionally stressful situations. Someone suffocates problems in themselves for a long time, and that is the absolute worst thing for the heart. There is no escape from permanent stress.

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For faster healing

Jitka Douchová, psychotherapist

A broken heart is associated with deep love and its loss, which we did not expect in life. The metaphor in the title is very apt, it corresponds to the experiences and feelings of pain that we go through when we lose a beloved partner who has left us. What’s broken a lot hurts a lot and can’t be put back together. A broken heart must heal. His treatment is sometimes long. It is a process with many situations, sometimes the feeling of relief and partial engagement is replaced by an unexpected phase of sharp pain. Our heart, our psyche becomes a patient. What are the real manifestations? Anxiety, depression, loss of vitality and sense of meaning in life, empty, a kind of bottom from which it is difficult to bounce back. But we have to bounce back from every bottom once if we want to live on. The important thing is that when we lose a great love, we lost a piece of our self, and the goal of our regeneration is to gradually find our self again, to give it a new meaning. Individual psychotherapy contributes significantly to the possibility of regeneration and recovery. The possibility of sharing grief not only with those closest to you, but also with a professional offers greater distance from the problem. The expert provides not only support and sharing, but also the possibility of offering new life goals, a new direction in life. Everything in life will get over, it just takes time, and then also – not to close yourself in a solitary shell for a long time. Even after the loss of a beloved partner, it is necessary to move on, live, have goals, maintain and develop your interests. As long as it doesn’t happen naturally in the initial phase, it is important to obligatorily prescribe some daily life joys.

Emotions are fine

  • Allow yourself emotions: When someone breaks up with you, you feel a flood of emotions. According to psychotherapist Rebecca Hendrix, it is a trauma, a shock to our entire organism. And as with any emotional shock, you should allow yourself to experience your feelings. After all, they exist for a reason and can help you overcome difficult experiences. But only if you release them. Go through all the stages of grief, but in your own time. As you do so, validate your feelings and say, “Why wouldn’t I feel that way? Of course I experience this emotion.’

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  • Express your feelings: Although it is important to express your feelings, it is also important to stop them. So if you’re feeling sad, allow yourself to wallow in it for a period of time – maybe cry for an hour, wail, scream, write, do whatever you need to do to let the emotions flow freely. But once the sixty minutes are up, stop and move on to something else.
  • Detox yourself: In the case of a divorce or breakup, you go through withdrawal symptoms because the feel-good hormones you were getting from your partner are suddenly gone. Elle Huerta of Mend, an online community that helps people after a breakup, says: “Once your partner isn’t there, you start craving the feel-good hormones again. If you give in and see your ex again, you’ll be stuck in it and not move forward.” That’s why he recommends a sixty-day “ex-detox.” Cutting off all contact is healthy and will allow you to break your attachment to your ex.
  • Identify and eliminate unhealthy behaviors: Try to understand all the triggers you might have, like texting your ex, checking his social media every hour, or replaying every detail of your last night together. It may be part of the withdrawal process that occurs after heartbreak. But don’t allow yourself to overindulge in obsessive behavior (like analyzing your relationship until four in the morning). If you can’t handle it, contact a psychotherapist or coach.

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  • Seek help: Call two or three people you really care about and let them know what you’re really going through. Lots of people love you and want to support you, but often don’t know how because you won’t tell them.
  • Exercise: Sweating might be the last thing you want to do when you’re drowning in sadness. But trust me it works. Endorphins produced during exercise will help with withdrawal symptoms not only after a breakup, but also in case of other emotionally demanding situations. Not only when your partner leaves you.
  • Take care of yourself: Taking care of yourself in the midst of grief is key. Check in with yourself throughout the day and ask, “What do I need?” Maybe a good meal, a hot bath, a phone call with a friend would help. Feelings of rejection or great grief over anything can trigger low self-esteem and unhealthy responses such as overeating or substance abuse, which can lead to a downward spiral.
  • Create new routines: Be aware that a breakup, divorce, or infidelity is likely to leave a void in your life. Maybe you and your “ex” went out for dinner every Friday, went for a bike ride on Saturday, or went to the movies on Sunday. Now you have all these days off, but instead of wallowing at home alone, get active. Call your friends and plan, plan, plan.

SOURCE: Vlasta magazine, https://www.letsmend.com/advice, https://ritawatson.com/bio-books/, https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/, https://www.heartmath .org/, www.jitkadouchova.cz

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The article is in Czech

Tags: Broken heart syndrome exists heart attack

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