Page Nav




Am I having a heart attack? – “Broken Heart Syndrome”

Abstract: It is very common for patients to be admitted to the Emergency Department of a hospital with symptoms of Acute Myocardial Infarcti...

Abstract: It is very common for patients to be admitted to the Emergency Department of a hospital with symptoms of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), and when they undergo all the exams, nothing appears. We call it “Broken Heart Syndrome”. This article aims to explain why this happens. It is noteworthy that, Broken Heart Syndrome is not considered as a diagnosis, it is a metaphorical term.

Key words: Broken Heart Syndrome; Acute myocardial infarction; Anxiety; Panic; Treatment; Psychology; Psychiatry; Prevention.

"Broken Heart Syndrome" - What is it?

Broken Heart Syndrome
Broken Heart Syndrome

As stated in the abstract of the article, it is very common for patients to be admitted to the Emergency Department of a hospital presenting symptoms of an Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), and when performing all exams (blood count, cardiac enzymes, electrocardiogram, etc.), they do not accuse no organic cause. Such are the symptoms:

    Chest pain;

    Jaw pain;

    Pain in upper limbs;

    Numbness in upper and lower limbs;

    Palpitation and/or tachycardia;

    Feeling faint (or even fainting);




After the test results, when there is no organic change, the Cardiologist contacts Psychology to carry out a Psychological Assessment.

“Broken Heart Syndrome” is nothing more than a strong tension triggered by periods of great stress, anxiety and/or panic. Giving access to possible diagnoses of psychiatric disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Panic Disorder; Burnout syndrome; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or simply Panic Crisis situations; Anxiety crisis; or even stress, as stated at the beginning of the paragraph.

Possible causes:

    Intense stressful situations (especially when recurrent);

    Pressure at work (especially when recurrent);

    Periods of great anxiety (Anxiety Crisis);

    Panic Crisis;

    Unexpected (or expected) death of a family member or close friend;

    Diagnosis of serious illness (Family/friend or even the individual);

    Situations of big losses (Employment, financial, relationship, friends…).

But I swore I was having a heart attack, why does this happen??

"Stress, anxiety and/or panic peaks, our body responds with physical symptoms, caused by a very high adrenaline rush, so your breathing and beats per minute increase, your heart starts pumping blood faster and with a lot more force for the organs and muscles, causing strong tension in your body, causing contraction of some blood vessels, thus having the same symptoms as an Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI).

IMPORTANT: If you are going through a period of strong anxiety and/or panic, stress or went through a great loss or trauma and present these symptoms LOOK FOR A HOSPITAL EVEN THESE, and if it really fits with a psychological demand, look for a PSYCHOLOGIST.


You went to the hospital and/or were evaluated by a Cardiologist, performed all the necessary tests and did not report any heart disease. You must follow the steps:

    Look for a Psychologist, that is, TAKE THERAPY. Psychologist is the only professional capable of dealing with emotional demands through psychotherapeutic techniques (Psychotherapy) and instruments to improve emotional suffering (psychic);

    If even with therapy you are having difficulty controlling anxiety/panic or stress and the Psychologist notices, it may have triggered a psychiatric disorder (Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Panic Disorder; Burnout Syndrome; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc). It will also be necessary to look for a Psychiatrist for the prescription of medications, being the most suitable professional for the prescription of psychotropic drugs and for the diagnosis of Mental Disorders.

IMPORTANT: Psychologist and Psychiatrist is not a "thing" for "crazy", and medication, if you are regularly monitored by a Psychiatrist, is not addictive! Remember your physical and emotional health is in the hands of these professionals. Don't judge them, and don't judge who needs it! UNDERSTOOD?? 

No comments