For my senior project at Cal State Monterey Bay, I am writing and directing a short film titled “Heartbreak Syndrome.” The film “Heartbreak Syndrome” is a short, dark comedy about the grief we experience during heartbreak. Though we all experience heartbreak and loss differently, the emotions we feel are often the same. But if that is the case, then why is it so hard to help someone cope with loss? When you see someone suffering like that, you want to help, but really what can you do? Having someone tell you things like, “you’re better off,” or my personal favorite anecdote, “there are other fish in the sea,” really doesn’t do squat. Though the thoughts are definitely in the right place, it doesn’t really ever make you feel better. Obviously I’m aware that I didn’t just break up with the last man on earth, unless the apocalypse has begun and I was too busy eating ice cream and sobbing over P.S I Love You for the fifteenth time to notice (which, let’s be real, in my world is a complete possibility).
The thing is, these generalizations, however very general and ineffective the may be, are usually true. So why do we drive ourselves crazy over this love stuff? Upon writing the script, I decided to do some (and by some, I mean like so much) research on grief and loss, and I stumbled on something called “Takotsubo cardiomyopathy,” otherwise known as “broken heart syndrome.” This “broken heart syndrome” happens when a traumatizing incident causes the brain to distribute chemicals that can weaken heart tissue. There I was on my laptop in the coffee shop just amazed that some people had physically weakened their hearts after experiencing something so sad and traumatizing. For whatever reason, this was somewhat comforting to me, so it was clear. All I had to do was switch a few words around and I had the title to my film, “Heartbreak Syndrome.”
For more information on the film, click these lovely links!
Written by Alexandra Davis
Heartbreak Syndrome Poster by Dillon Costello