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When a broken heart can cause a broken heart

Saturday - 9/21/2013, 10:34am  ET

WASHINGTON - Can you really die from a broken heart? It's rare, but you can.

Broken heart syndrome, otherwise known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a serious medical problem for heart failure caused by emotional trauma.

Research has shown that heartache affects our health, and when a relationship ends, learning how to work through the pain is a better course of action than a trip to the emergency room.

"You need to know that dealing with a loss of any kind has a tremendous impact on your heart and soul, and you need to give yourself time," says Dr. Jane Greer, a marriage and family therapist. "The first thing is to give yourself the room to go through a grieving process."

Geer, who is also an author and radio host for "Shrink Wrap with Dr. Jane Greer," suggests to lean on friends and family and keep busy.

"You can't just leave yourself a free-fall, open-ended weekend with activities unscheduled. Make plans and push yourself to go," she says. "Time does heal broken hearts. It really does."

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