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Heal A Heart: Broken, Abused, OR Lonely

Updated on February 16, 2012

Symptoms of BHS

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • A generalized weakness

Know When It's a Heartattack

Because BHS can feel very similar to a Heartattack, stay alert and seek immediate help if the following apply:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

During a heart attack, symptoms last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or nitroglycerin under the tongue.

They may say it's is far better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all, but what if there are subtle yet damaging consequences to having lost love. Broken Heart Syndrome (BHS) also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart is physically under siege from a surge of stress hormones. While the heart still circulates blood, part of it will enlarge which inadequately pumps blood flowing through.


Tako-tsubo (toe-koe-sue-bo) is a Japanese term meaning Octopus trap. It symbolizes the way a heart reacts when under stress.

Cardiomyopathy (kahr-dee-oh-my-OP-uh-thee) is a disease in which the heart is weakened and enlarged. There are three forms: dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive. This condition decreases the heart's ability to circulate blood throughout the body which can lead to heart failure.


So now that you're good and scared of having a broken heart, lets consider all the lonely and broken hearts on Valentine's day. The main focus of this hub is to prevent and/or arrest the occurrence of a broken heart. If you've been in love, you've certainly felt the pain of a heart being broken, or even the idea of losing that love could almost kill you. Well as it turns out, feeling that kind of stress repeatedly can not only lead to a weakened stamina, depression, anxiety, and panic, but also a physically weakened heart.

If you're going to do something worthwhile this Valentine's day, it is to remind the ones you love that you love them; call up a friend who might feel alone on this day and talk to them; smile at a stranger if they look lonely; and for yourself, be happy with whom you are on this day (and whenever possible).


Broken Heart Detector

Not sure if you know anyone who might be experiencing the pangs (and symptoms) of BHS? Here are some causes:

  • News of an unexpected death of a loved one

  • A frightening medical diagnosis

  • Domestic abuse

  • Losing a lot of money

  • A surprise party

  • Having to perform publicly

  • Physical stressors, such as an asthma attack, infection, a car accident or major surgery

It's safe to say that the main cause of BHS is stress, and any type of it can be a slow detriment to the heart.


Why Humor Heals

Courtesy of

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension

    and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

    Physical Health Benefits:

    • Boosts immunity
    • Lowers stress hormones
    • Decreases pain
    • Relaxes your muscles
    • Prevents heart disease

    Mental Health Benefits:

    • Adds joy and zest to life
    • Eases anxiety and fear
    • Relieves stress
    • Improves mood
    • Enhances resilience

    Social Benefits:

    • Strengthens relationships
    • Attracts others to us
    • Enhances teamwork
    • Helps defuse conflict
    • Promotes group bonding

The Best Medicine

Because chronic BHS can lead to the condition of Cardiomyopathy, it may have to be treated by a professional using medication, surgery, or a heart transplant (In very severe cases). Most of the time though, BHS can reverse itself within a month or two depending on the treatment used.

However, you can always be the cure or help the cure! Be the anti-stress remedy to BHS for people who you know have experienced the many causes.

  • News of an unexpected death of a loved one - Sit with the person and listen, they might have stories of good times past, or just want to talk. It's better for them to get the poison of pain out than to hold it in.

  • A frightening medical diagnosis - Create a safe haven/environment for that person to confide in you, shed some tears, and remain open-minded to their cause.

  • Domestic Abuse - Encourage the victim to have confidence in their abilities. Remind them of the good they are capable of. Keep in mind that victims of Domestic Abuse usually blame themselves, so don't focus on faults or blame, but on a possible future pursuing goals.

  • Losing a lot of money - They may being having feelings of inadequacy, failure, and low self-esteem. Stay away from I told you say, or hypothetical situations. There's a lot of good that comes out of taking a huge risk.

  • A surprise party - Sit them down with a glass of water (redirects their attention), and if the person is visibly disturbed, bring them to another room to regain their composure.

  • Having to perform publicly - This is a tough one, and imagining everyone in the room in their underwear doesn't always work. What has worked for me, is seeing the outcome, looking beyond the performance to the end when it's done and over with.

  • Physical stressors (Asthma, infection, car accident, major surgery) - In the likelihood of any of these events, immediately bring the person into an environment with professional help. Not only will they feel better knowing they are in good hands, but you won't freak out as well.

And of course the best medicine is LAUGHTER, even if it's only getting them to crack a smile, a lot more is done physiologically to bring them out of the gloom than you might think.


A subtle twisting in my chest

I breath, I've loved

I gasp, the loss


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    • catalystsnstars profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Land of Nod

      @rlaha, I think she already does appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by!

      @Smiileyfacexo, thanks for the vote. I'm definitely still trying to work on smiling and laughing more. If that's the best medicine, well i'm going to be as healthy as possible.

    • smiileyfacexo profile image


      6 years ago from New Zealand

      I enjoyed reading your hub. I know people out there who are depressed but I just love making them laugh because yes, laughter is the best medicine. Voted it interesting.

    • rlaha profile image


      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      This is wonderful that you are visiting your friend. I hope that your friend appreciates it this Valentine's Day. Thanks for writing this.

    • catalystsnstars profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Land of Nod

      @smzclark I've heard that before that when you're feeling down just fake a smile or laugh and it usually has the same effect as a real one.

      It's something that I have to remember more often, but hopefully won't be pegged as "crazy" for bursting out in random fits of giggles.

    • smzclark profile image


      6 years ago from cheshire

      It's true that laughter heals! I went through a very rough patch a few years back and instead of going to the doctor or sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I just blurted out in false laughter whenever I felt like sh*T. Or I'd put a comedy film on and force myself to laugh out loud at stuff that really wasn't all that funny either. Everybody would be surprised if they tried it, it does help as much as they say it does!

    • catalystsnstars profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Land of Nod

      Better late than never, hope you and yours have a great Vday celebration. If you want some ideas, make sure to check out my other hubs on the subject.

      I'll hop over to your articles shortly.

    • catalystsnstars profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Land of Nod

      Yes and to be honest it's something that I didn't really think about till I read jennjenn519 personal story regarding her grandparents.

      I plan on doing what I can to keep laughter abundance on Valentine's day, and every day, just to lighten up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I just read through your hub and thank you for posting this information. There many broken hearts these days due to stress (caused by factors mentioned above)and the remedy is for us who can to reach out to them during this Valentine's Day. This is a lovely useful topic. Voted up!

    • catalystsnstars profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Land of Nod

      Anytime Heather, thanks for stopping by and reading! I really do hope others will take from the article, what you have.

    • Heather63 profile image

      Heather Adams 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Terrific hub for this month, or any for that matter. I especially appreciate the section on humor - I have found that to be very true for myself. When I deal with depressed feelings, finding something to laugh at distracts me, and even changes my mood. Thanks for the article.


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