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Individual Written Argument.pdf - 1 AP Seminar 26 May 2020...

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1 AP Seminar 26 May 2020 Word Count: 1804 A Connection Between the Heart and the Mind Introduction A broken heart is a common symbol that characterizes extreme grief or sorrow, typically after losing a loved one. When experiencing this phenomenon, “the heart muscle is overwhelmed by a massive amount of adrenaline that is suddenly produced in response to stress” (Gaede). According to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, stress is the body’s natural response to physical or emotional abnormalities. Highly emotional news or stress can cause emotional abnormalities, which can invoke conditions such as high body temperature, dehydration, or low blood sugar. The body responds to these abnormalities by producing adrenaline and noradrenaline to cope with the stress (Gaude). This is not new information however, people have known about this response since 1990 (Komamura). The idea of a broken heart and its accompanying physical feelings is illustrated in the folklore literature story, “The Story of An Hour,” in which Mrs. Mallard, a woman diagnosed with heart troubles, experiences acute emotional turmoil when finding out that her husband is alive after she presumed he was dead from a serious accident (Chopin). The intense emotions that Mrs. Mallard experiences are so overwhelming that her heart fails. Though Mrs. Mallard had an underlying cardiac condition, it was reported that she died of a broken heart due to overwhelming emotional hormones after receiving the news about her husband. In this scenario,
2 extreme emotions likely contributed to her death. Mrs. Mallard’s story presents one example of the correlation between emotional state and cardiovascular health. Emotional well-being contributes to a prevalent cardiac disease, cardiomyopathy. According to the medical dictionary, cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscle to be “abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened. The weakened heart muscle loses the ability to pump blood effectively, resulting in irregular heartbeats and possibly even heart failure” (The Free Dictionary). Daniel Kahnmeman and Angust Deaton, researchers at the Center for Health and Well-being at Princeton University, assert that emotional well-being “refers to [...] the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, fascination, anxiety, sadness, anger, and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant”. Cardiomyopathy UK, a heart muscle charity, asserts that emotional well-being “is affected by our biology (our genes and how our body reacts to situations) and our life experiences” (Cardiomyopathy UK). Well-being corresponds with subdivisions of cardiomyopathy. There are two different subdivisions of cardiomyopathy, genetic and acquired, as noted by Leslie T Cooper Jr, chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Genetically, patients may be born with cardio deficiencies, which increase the chances of poor cardiovascular health. Cardiomyopathy can also be acquired after birth, not influenced by genetic disposition. Environmental, postnatal acquisition of

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