Stress cardiomyopathy (also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy or ‘broken heart’ syndrome) happens when a person experiences sudden and intense stress or emotional changes, causing the heart muscle to weaken very quickly. Various life events such as losing a loved one, extreme sadness or happiness can bring about this condition. The weakened heart is unable to pump properly. This results in symptoms which can mimic a heart attack or heart failure. This condition usually responds well to medication and recovery is expected with time.