The Lancet: A Broken Heart is the Epitome of Mind Body Medicine

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy of the 1990s, described in the 1847 Novel Wuthering Heights, is the topic of one of the typically philosophical essays in the current issue of The Lancet:

“Brontë’s assertion that the mind and emotions have control over the physical body, that Heathcliff can remind his “heart to beat”, is a progressive departure from a traditional biomedical focus on mind–body dualism. She is aware of the toll that despair can have on health. Heathcliff visits Catherine’s grave time and time again until her ghost at last appears. Overcome not by misery, but by happiness, Heathcliff’s heart finally breaks from overwhelming joy. The next day he is found dead in his room, a ghastly smile on his face: his weary heart at last broken with delight.”

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