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Health effects of divorce similar to those of heart attack

No Texan wants to experience a heart attack, but, unfortunately, many may actually know what it feels like. According to recently-released information from the Mayo Clinic, a divorce or serious breakup can mimic the effects and sensations of an actual heart attack.

These symptoms can include dizziness, shortness of breath and pain in the chest area. Medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic have labeled this condition "Broken Heart Syndrome," which also can occur after the loss of a loved one. Indeed, for many individuals, a divorce is the death of a marriage, made even tougher since few begin a marriage with the expectation that it will end before its time. A quick surge of stress hormones can bring about Broken Heart Syndrome, which can sometimes result in a temporary enlargement of a portion of the heart. This condition also can reduce the heart's ability to pump well.

While this information may understandably frighten some, the Mayo Clinic has emphasized that this condition is both treatable and reversible. One of the most effective ways to treat a broken heart is to focus on the resolution of lingering issues so that one can move forward in anticipation of new, positive things. In the Houston area, parties to a divorce can opt for divorce mediation, which can quell the stress of divorce with the calmer elements of mediation.

These elements include an atmosphere of mutual respect, a problem-solving approach, a drive towards mutually beneficial outcomes and advocacy centered on the entire family, rather than the focus being on the two divorcing individuals. Mediation also can decrease the stress of divorce by keeping costs low; the court need not make final decisions on many issues, attorney fees and court costs are lower.

Source: KHOU, "Divorce, break-ups can feel like heart attacks," Feb. 12, 2014

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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