Many people I have spoken to about heartbreak have held their body similarly. It feels primitive, speaking to a core pain we experience as human beings. Purely anecdotally, I have heard women speaking more of this physical distress following heartbreak than men. Over 90%
of cases of the rare condition broken heart syndrome
are women. Known as Takotsubo syndrome (TTS)
, the heart’s left ventricle (the main pumping chamber) weakens as a result of severe emotional stress. The loss of a loved one, through death or separation, is a known cause. Everyone, irrespective of gender, holds a world of unconscious expectation about how relationships ‘should’ be. But scientists are researching
the stark sex difference in TTS and why loss can be so devastating on women’s bodies. As one Forbes article asks
: "Could it be due to differences in societal expectations and systems that may be putting more pressure on women or paying less attention to their situations?"