(NaturalNews) The expression "he/she died of a broken heart" is often used to describe someone who has died after having been depressed for a long time. Usually that person drinks or drugs himself/herself to death after a desperate period of loss, bitter disappointment, or environmentally induced depression.
But there is another situation that brings on all the actual symptoms of a heart attack, usually after an overwhelming emotional crisis or even a sudden shock from extreme joy or excitement. That type of "heart attack" is often called broken heart syndrome or more technically stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
The latter medical term for broken heart syndrome is based on the appearance of the heart chamber that is paralyzed, similar to a Japanese fisherman's cooking pot called takotsubo. This type of stress induced heart attack is usually survived quickly without further cardiac complications.
If a cardiac arrest is from clogged arteries, then there is usually a long term heart condition that follows if one survives the initial attack. Occasionally, but rarely does one die from stress cardiomyopathy.
Women survive cardiomyopathy more easily than men. Perhaps that's due to men's tendency to accumulate and store stress issues within their bodies, creating a tipping point for death when the heart stops briefly.
Cardiologists conjecture that positive or negative stress induced adrenalin surges so violently through the heart that it causes a lower chamber to get stuck or paralyzed temporarily. Then the upper chambers overwork to compensate this situation, creating all the symptoms of a heart attack.
How grief figures into this
Broken heart syndrome occurs more commonly among bereaved individuals who have lost loved ones, especially after a long period of illness for the deceased. So there are truly cases of dying from broken hearts.
The heart region in the non-physical ethereal or energetic region of the body has been recognized as the seat of emotions. Those who don't completely grieve a lost spouse or long term partner or close relative -- more precisely, go through enough grief phases or let it all out -- often don't live much longer after the partner's death.
This is a more acute phenomenon among bereaved individuals who don't have much or any remaining close family or good friends for emotional support. This shortened life span doesn't have to end with a heart attack, though they're demise is often referred to as having died of a broken heart.
This situation results from a decline of life energy and the immune system, causing any illness that was once easily survived to result in death. This is especially true for the elderly if there is no other purpose for living. The will to live becomes exhausted.
We are in a culture that rejects rather than accepts death as inevitable. Not just for ourselves, but also for a lost loved one. It's wise to prepare emotionally for that situation almost as much as preparing financially for spouse and family for your own inevitable death.