Broken Heart Syndrome

Michelle Choi MD Journal

Did you know that there actually is a medical condition called Broken Heart Syndrome?⁠

It occurs when there is a severe emotional or physical stress- like loss of a loved one, serious accident, a really bad argument, financial loss, intense fear, receiving awful news- that feeling of emotionally being broken hearted, can literally lead to cardiac consequences and actually cause a broken heart. It can happen even if you’re healthy, where an extremely stressful event can have impact on your heart.⁠

Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short term heart failure, and patients are usually treated w heart failure medications. Most can make a full recovery after a couple weeks. ⁠

Knowing the immediate impact we can cause on our own hearts (literally), we should reconsider the impact of stress in our lives. I talk about broken heart syndrome bc it’s literally possible to die from stress or become F’d up from stress. But we decide if this is permanent or temporary. Let’s be honest- stress happens. That’s the difficult thing about stress. It happens. There are things that we have to deal with in life, that are presented into our lives. But we can control how we react to it, and controlling how we react to it is a learned response. Sometimes I wonder if when stress occurs, if we spend more of our energy empowering the stress, instead of taking care of ourselves, and empowering our own selves, to deal with the stress. If you had to make a deal- would you invest in your stress or would you invest in yourself? What’s the better investment?⁠

If you think something can kill you, maybe you’re right and it can literally kill you. However, if we feel more strong than not, more full than empty, more positive than negative – maybe there’s a greater chance that we can ride it out, and look beyond this very moment. Taking care of yourself absolutely matters. And sometimes the first step feels really small, but addition happens.

Michelle Choi MD