Throughout the history of literature and poetry, hundreds of dramatic stories have been told in which some of the characters suffered such affliction after the loss of their loved one that he was dying of sadness. But doesn’t that happen in real life?
Grief and sadness are generally not clinically valid causes of death, but many studies point to the possibility that a healthy person will eventually suffer. serious heart problems and even death due to great psychological suffering.
Relationship between emotional health and heart disease
Studies attempting to find different correlations between emotional health and physical ailments, especially heart disease, have increased in recent years. Some of this research suggests that in people with moderate or severe depressionThis works as a risk factor for heart failure.
These studies conclude that as depressive symptoms worsen, the risk of developing heart disease increases. Therefore, whether it is possible to die of sadness if the person does not watch their symptoms neither does he go looking for help.
This is the level of link between depression and heart problems that the American Heart Association has raised the possibility of including depression in the list of risk factors for a heart attack.
Die of sadness?
One of these studies carried out by a group of Norwegian researchers establishes a direct link between Hormonal imbalance, Generated by depression and the various effects it has on the heart. According to these studies, depression can promote the release of hormones associated with stress, which cause the appearance of inflammatory phenomena or atherosclerosis.
At the same time, other research links the experience of a recent duel to the death of the person experiencing it. According to these studies after the death of the couple, the person is very more likely to have heart disease or strokeEven specifying that this risk is much higher between 14 and 18 days after the death of the loved one.
This same study warns of the grim outlook after the death of the life partner. Because, even if the person is healthy, during the grieving process, the risk of death from heart disease increases by 57%.
The physical symptoms associated with this range of grieving processes irregular heartbeat or rapid heartbeat with atrial fibrillation. These symptoms promote the onset of disease or heart attacks, being the most common causes of these “pain” deaths following cerebrovascular attacks and dementia.
Broken heart syndrome
Broken heart syndrome also called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, in a disease of the heart muscle which can occur after undergoing very intense emotional stress.
This broken heart syndrome can occur in healthy people who have not had any previous heart disease. Although it is a bad passenger of the heart muscles, it can become large enough to cause death.
This phenomenon falls under the classification of myopathies, since weakening of the heart muscles leads to difficulty in pumping blood, leading to heart failure.
In broken heart syndrome, this debilitation occurs after going through an experience with a high emotional load, such as the death of a loved one.
about 90% of those affected by this disease are elderly women, More precisely women from 66 years old. But it can also occur in men or younger people who have predisposing factors.
The list of symptoms associated with broken heart syndrome is very similar to that of myocardial infarction. These include:
- Pain in the chest area.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Deaths or collapses.
However, these symptoms rarely end the life of the patient. Only in 10% of cases, patients they have a real risk of dying, And are those who present with symptoms of severe hypotension, decreased consciousness and pulmonary edema.
So far, the medical and scientific community has failed to understand the exact cause of this syndrome. Besides not being able to find out why it mainly affects women.
The main theory states that an avalanche of stress-related hormones released into the bloodstream at times that carry a heavy emotional load can be the cause of this type of myopathy.
This theory details that the abundance of these stress hormones can trigger a contraction of the heart arteries; producing ischemia of the heart muscle and causing symptoms of cardiomyopathy.
The main difference between this syndrome and other myopathies is that in broken heart syndrome the arteries are not blocked by atherosclerotic plaques, the person being healthy in all physical aspects.
Additionally, as discussed several times throughout the article, broken heart syndrome it usually occurs after the person has experienced a strongly emotional event.
There is no established treatment for broken heart syndrome. Usually, the intervention focuses on supporting both psychological symptoms that appear after a stressful incident; as for the physical symptoms, for administration of diuretics and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors recommended for the control of heart failure.
If treated on time, the death rate for this type of cardiomyopathy is less than 5%, seeing the person fully recovered in about two weeks.
Tips to avoid getting to this point
The most important point to keep in mind to avoid getting to the point of dying or dying of grief is to take care of our own mental and emotional health.
Going into a duel is a strengthening experience if done the right way and without seeking to repress it. In the case of feeling lost or disoriented, it is necessary to seek the help of a psychologist to guide the person through the various stages of this process.
Likewise, if the person experiences any of the symptoms described above, it is vitally important that they visit a primary care facility to rule out the possibility of symptoms developing.