Broken Heart Syndrome

Have you heard of the broken heart syndrome? According to research, the loss of a person who is close to you can cause physical changes that can lead to serious heart problems.

The broken heart syndrome has a scientific name- stress cardiomyopathy. This happens when a highly stressful event, such as divorce, causes a person to feel like he/ she is having a heart attack. This can result in shortness of breath and chest pain.

Divorce can trigger the release of a large amount of stress hormones.

According to a study, those who lost a partner were “41% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation in the first month after losing their partner compared to people who hadn’t”. The risk continues to be higher for a year. The risk is higher for younger people.

Dr Harmony Reynolds, a cardiologist, recommends “regular exercise, meditation, yoga and deep breathing” which may be possible ways “to change the way stress affects our bodies”.

See: Alexandra Sifferlin, “How Getting Your Heart Broken Hurts Your Physical heart”, Time, 8 April 2016

As a divorce lawyer in Singapore, I am not just a lawyer to my clients. I am a listener and counsellor at times. Divorce (or annulment or separation) is not an easy process for many people to go through. Some of my clients do not have anyone else to confide in and so, I act as the “listening ear”.

Recently, I had a young client who was married for barely half a year before her husband told her that he stopped loving her 4 years ago and was pressured into the marriage by his parents. I met the client a couple more times in the course of handling her annulment and she always looked so forlorn. I can only imagine the amount of stress that she was under- having gone through a 7-year dating process and a big wedding, only to find out that it was not meant to be.

Broken heart syndrome is real. Do not punish yourself. Learn to look on the bright side.

As the saying goes, “when a door shuts, another opens”. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Contact us today if you are suffering from the broken heart syndrome, or if you are trying to avoid it.

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

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