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desiree333's avatar

Is it possible to die of a broken heart?

Asked by desiree333 (3206points) February 17th, 2010 from iPhone

If I was asked this a year and a half ago I would have never believed it, now I feel like its slowly happening to me. Is it true that you can die from the pain of a broken heart? Sometimes I feel actual physical pain when I think about certain things.

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21 Answers

ETpro's avatar

Having had the condition, I feel lucky to still be alive

nikipedia's avatar

No, but sometimes it feels like you’d rather be dead.

Believe it or not, the sun comes out eventually.

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know. Sometimes you hear about long married couples who die within days. weeks, or months of each other. I think that might be “death by broken heart.” But mostly broken hearts just make you feel like you’re going to die or feel like you want to die. It’s nearly always not terminal. You will survive to love and be loved another day.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Heart disease: Yes.
Depression: Yes, though it’s usually because of actions people take in that sort of state rather than physical ailments.

Sampson's avatar

Grandpa from The Simpsons…

They say she died of a burst ventricle, but I know she died of a broken heart.

augustlan's avatar

Literally? No. However, it can cause people to give up the ‘will to live’... so those who are near death’s door may cross the threshold that much sooner. It can also cause severe depression, which may lead to suicide.

In most cases, though, it just feels like you’re going to die. You really will recover… it just takes some time, and lots of tears. {hugs} to you.

LunaChick's avatar

@lillycoyote and @augustlan – My uncle and aunt were married over 50 years and died within a week and a half of each other. My uncle had cancer, so everyone expected him to pass away first. My aunt died suddenly, after a fall down a flight of stairs, in their home. After losing her, it was like he just gave up the fight with his cancer and he let go.

Darwin's avatar

“Death by broken heart” can happen in that such a sudden and severe depression can reduce the immune system so that illness is more likely, and more likely to be severe. In addition, those who are grieving often neglect theiur own physical health and are less likely to see a doctor for problems.

There are statistically valid correlations between grief and sudden death. As this site puts it:

“The severe shock and sorrow can be enough for someone to want to follow their companion into death, to make them disillusioned with the medical profession so as not to seek care when needed, to manifest the same symptoms as experienced by the deceased, or perhaps be prone to accidents since they lose focus of the everyday world.”

However, as the article also makes clear, while the stress of loss can impact the health of the survivors, there are things one can do to help one progress through grieving. Taking care of oneself is vital, as is finding some way to express one’s feelings and figuring out what a new “normal” life will be without the deceased.

Find someone who will listen to you, figure out a way to memorialize the person you have lost, and take care of both your physical and social needs. It will get better, but since everyone grieves on a different schedule no one can tell you when that will be.

As one friend of mine said after having lost his wife of many years to a brain tumor in his seventies, and then his fiance to a car crash in his (and her) eighties, and then his second wife in his nineties to heart disease, “The only way to survive is to survive – go find things to do so being alive matters.” He is now in his nineties and serves as the trainer in the gym at the “senior living facility” where he and now my parents live.

Just_Justine's avatar

There was a medical study of such thing. I simply cannot remember the name, but yes you can. Your heart changes shape becomes rather pointy and hard, it is said to be a condition that is brought on by acute loss and sadness. I guess my answer is useless without the facts. But I saw a documentary on it.

ChaosCross's avatar

I do believe it is a distinctive possibility. I mean come ooooooooon!

loser's avatar

I believe it’s possible and I’m pretty sure that’s how I’ll go.

john65pennington's avatar

NO WAY !!! I have this huge tube of Super Glue. its been used a lot, but i still have half a tube left. my Super Glue has been around the world, especially in Hollywood. i cannot make the delivery myself, so i ask Cupid to make the trips for me. one call to 1–800-FIX-MYHEART will have Cupid come flying to you. Super Glue works extremely fast and your broken heart will be mended in 24 hours. i only ask that you take two aspirins and call me in the morning. WARNING: sometimes Cupid gets carried away in his work and lets his arrows fly. you may get more than you bargained for. i some times think that Cupid is a sly devil..

9doomedtodie's avatar

Pray God,Trust god,He is the only one who cn change your life.
Never regret,Enjoy remaining life with dreams seen before live in those dreams. forget the past.

drhat77's avatar

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy – also known as “broken heart syndrome” – suden heart failure asscociated with stress like death of a loved one or even bankruptcy

Sophief's avatar

Yes and people do.

Mikelbf2000's avatar

If you lose your will to live. You are pretty much dead.

TheJoker's avatar

No, I dont think it’s possible to die from a broken heart…. unless you top yourself. It is quite possible to feel real, physical pain because of it though.

candide's avatar


mattbrowne's avatar

Short term? Extremely unlikely. But if you if lingers for many many years it will shorten your life span. You might die at the age of 70 instead of 77.

thriftymaid's avatar

Yes, I believe it is.

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