The recent sudden death of Carrie Fisher has affected many people. However, even more shocking was the death of Carrie’s mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, right after that. As she passed away just one day after her daughter’s death, several people concluded that it was a broken heart syndrome or at least a physical reaction of the body to the sudden loss of a loved one. In other words, it wasn’t just a coincidence that actress Debbie Reynolds needed medical help within 24 hours after her daughter’s death.
Almost everyone has experience with the death of a loved one or someone they knew. For many, it is a crushing experience during which they feel various physical reactions caused by grief. These can include reactions such as an upset stomach, loss of appetite, sleepless nights, endlessly lasting headaches, and so on. Some may also feel chest tightness, have difficulty breathing, or believe they are close to a heart attack. In reality, these individuals should visit a doctor. Their grief can manifest itself in the form of a broken heart syndrome. Some people may experience physical reactions to grief for a longer period of time after the death of a loved one, regardless of whether they are 30, 50, or 80 years old.
Broken heart syndrome is caused by a reaction of the heart, which is suddenly overwhelmed by a wave of stress hormones. Doctors also call it takotsubo cardiomyopathy, apical ballooning syndrome, or stress cardiomyopathy.
The book “A Widow’s Guide to Healing” offers some stories of people who have gone through similar difficulties.
“When my husband died, I felt chest pains. But I didn’t go to the doctor. Later, I was diagnosed with bronchitis, an infection of both ears and sinuses. I was treated with antibiotics. Even though I’m only 33 years old, I still feel the effects of grief in my body over time.”
“I’m 34 years old and for six months, I suffered from an accelerated heartbeat. Sometimes, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack, other times like my heart was going to jump out of my chest.”
“I’m 47 years old. After my wife died, I was nervous and anxious all the time. I could sit and read calmly, but my legs were constantly shaking and I felt nauseous.”
However, you don’t have to have experience with widowhood to feel physical reactions in your body after losing someone close.
Simply put, no one is immune to the loss of a loved one.
Therefore, if you or someone you know experiences similar symptoms and is going through a situation like this, don’t hesitate to call 112 or 155 or visit a doctor. They will be able to help you distinguish alarming symptoms from normal ones.