Heartbreak can be a devastating experience at any age. When the man I thought was “the one” ended our relationship years ago, I felt as though I was experiencing a death. I could barely get out of bed, cried more often than not and moped around so miserably my friends grew weary of trying to distract me from my suffering. However, I was lucky — my heartbreak wasn’t literal.
Unfortunately, in some people’s cases, a breakup or other traumatic emotional stressor can be enough to cause physical damage to the heart, a syndrome known variously as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome.”