why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart?

Broken Heart Syndrome is a real phenomenon. It’s actual name is “takotsubo cardiomyopathy” but it also goes by the more descriptive name of “stress-induced cardiomyopathy.” (A cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle, per the National Institutes of Health.) According to the American Heart Association, Broken Heart Syndrome is often misdiagnosed as a heart attack: “the symptoms and tests are similar” and tests show that Broken Heart Syndrome causes “dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack.”
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But unlike a heart attack, which is caused by blockages in the heart’s arteries, Broken Heart Syndrome is caused by stress — such as the the stress caused by losing a loved one, per the Mayo Clinic, combined with a few other factors. In 2012, PBS profiled a 50-year-old woman who, had “nearly collapsed at her aunt’s funeral.” PBS described the cause of the woman’s condition as a “toxic mixture of intense grief and unrelated work stress.” And the everyday stresses one suffers from probably aren’t enough to trigger the syndrome; Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that “stress cardiomyopathy appears to be a condition that comes on suddenly and unexpectedly and resolves quite quickly.” –Dan Lewis, Now I Know

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when your heart was broken and how you worked past it.

Art Prompt: Broken heart

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Broken Heart Syndrome and how they can recognize it and work through it.

Photo Credit: suez92 on Flickr

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