Well, the simple answer is, unfortunately, yes. It is known by doctors as “stress-induced cardiomyopathy,” in which the stress that your suffering is placing on your heart becomes so intense that it stops beating.
According to Australian heart surgeon Nikki Stamp, "for some people, the stress of losing a loved one, or any kind of stressful event in your life, does precipitate a whole bunch of reactions in the physical body as well as in your mind that can cause disease and sometimes cause someone to pass away.”
She also said that it does "things like, increase your heart rate and blood pressure, makes your heart work faster, makes your blood sticky, and ruins your immune system.”
When professionals speak of dying from a broken heart, they are typically referring to a very rare condition known as 'takotsubo cardiomyopathy.'
According to Dr. Stamp, "what happens is in an acutely stressful event … there is a massive rush of adrenaline and it causes something similar to a heart attack," and that “when it comes to takotsubo, we do actually see all of the tests that point to a heart attack.”
Recent studies have shown that 90% of reported takotsubo cases occur for women aged between 58 and 75. However, most physical sufferers were healed within a month, and only 5% of women who die from cardiac arrest have been diagnosed with the disorder.
This syndrome is supposedly the reason why studies have shown your risk of death increases in the first month after losing a loved one. It is also the reason why you hear so many tales of people who have been together for a very long time passing on within a very short timeframe of each other.
When it comes to breakups, the root of the problem is located in your mind and not in your heart. In fact, many have often made connections between the mind of a drug addict and the mind of a person in love.
Since romantic love stimulates the brain's pleasure receptors in a similar way to a drug high, people in love will feel euphoric when in the presence of the object of their affection, while suffering from separation anxiety and intense cravings when they're apart.
This also means that a person who has been abandoned by someone they love will suffer from the same sort of terrible withdrawal symptoms that a heroin addict will go through when trying to wean themselves off of the drug.
The best piece of news is that scientists have found that time does physically heal such wounds. In fact, they found that the more time that passes after the breakup, the less activity related to the attachment is found in the brain.
According to Helen Fisher, the biological anthropologist and author of 'Why We Love', the best thing to do while waiting for time to heal your wounds is to reflect upon the breakup instead of distracting yourself.
She says that "it seems to be healthy for the brain, to instead of just wallowing in despair, to think about the situation more actively and try to work out how you’re going to handle it,” she said. So, if ever you feel like you're never going to get better after experiencing heartbreak, remember that this too shall pass.