I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the toxic relationship drama that’s stirring with Rob Kardashian and his ex-fiancé Blac Chyna. One would hope that love has everything to do with it—but even if it doesn’t, as the story unfolds, there is still so much to learn here.
Everyone has gone through the aches and pains of heartache, rejection, and deception but add social media to the mix and things can go from bad to worse in zero to 60. We now live in a world where sliding into someone’s DMs, screen shots, video recordings from phones, and reposting have become the norm and everyone now has a platform to comment on your situation. So keep it off of social media! And even if something does leak, don’t succumb to social pressure and allow the comments of other people to egg you on or interfere with making decisions that are not in your best interest.
As a nurse, my job is to help people find ways to live happy and healthy lives. When I see all the Arnold Palmer (drink made of ½ tea and ½ lemonade) going on social media with this couple it urges me to remind people of the more important issues. Don’t allow hookups and heartbreaks to compromise your health.
A Heartbreak Can Literally Break Your Heart
Broken heart syndrome is a stress-induced heart ailment also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which can happen even if you’re healthy. It can occur when the body is overwhelmed by a surge of stress hormones that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. These hormones damage and weaken the heart muscle and often mimic the signs of a heart attack and/or heart failure. This is partly why you feel pain in your chest when your heart is broken.
If your physical well-being is deteriorating or you have chest pains, get medical attention right away to make sure it isn’t a real heart attack. Don’t isolate yourself. Your doctor can be a great resource and help to ensure your physical and emotional needs are being addressed. If you find yourself in stressful situations, quickly surround yourself with positive people who love you and will make sure that you’re doing well. And if you see someone you know going through this, be kind. Instead of saying I told you so, which may only exacerbate their feelings, help them to get through these tough times.
Mental Health Problems Are Real
Conditions like depression, grief, anxiety, anger, and low self-esteem are very prevalent despite what social media will lead you to believe. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people suffers from these and or other mental illnesses. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Over the course of your life, if—or rather when—you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. If heartbreak goes unchecked or unmanaged, it can lead to both emotional and other physical harm, which can be complicated by disrupted sleep and eating patterns (too much or too little), an inability to concentrate, and lack of energy or focus. There are established ties between depression, mental health and heart disease. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
- Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
STDs Can Disrupt Your Life
Just because someone is well-dressed, has money, or appears to have their life together doesn’t mean they don’t have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners carries the risk of contracting and spreading diseases. These can make a permanent impact on your life physically, emotionally, financially, and even spiritually. Not to mention that not all STDs or STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are treatable such as:
- The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most commonly transmitted sexual infection.
- In the United States, about 1 out of every 6 people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes.
- Human immunodeficiency virus, (HIV) weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection.
Although these are no longer considered death sentences, why would you knowingly put yourself at risk to acquire these. Strap up! Be monogamous. Be celibate! Say no! Or do it yourself. Don’t play with your life or the life of others. Especially if there are children that you are responsible for.
Be Good to Yourself
These are only a few of the pressing issues that immediately come to mind when I see this story. So take it from America’s Favorite Nurse, please take care of yourself. Loving someone doesn’t have to hurt but it also has to start with loving yourself. Set boundaries. This is not the time to laugh or put yourself above the situation. Take this as an opportunity to re-evaluate yourself, your physical and mental well-being, and your relationships.
I don’t have to know Rob or Chyna personally to know that they are hurting themselves and others by engaging in such risky, impulsive, and petty behavior. I get it, love (or what we think is love) will make you do silly things but it should never come at the expense of your own sanity or physical well-being. If you find yourself in a toxic relationship like this and you’re struggling with what to do next, here are some words of advice from one of my Instagram favorites @KendallKyndal, “Find yourself. Take care of yourself… Build yourself back up.” (pardon the language)
Nurse Alice is a nationally board-certified and award-winning cardiac clinical nurse specialist with nearly two decades of experience in cardiovascular health. She is a community health activist and freelance media health expert. She has appeared on various national radio and TV shows including Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Dr. Drew, News One with Roland Martin, Tom Joyner Morning Show and more. She is also the author of “Curb Your Cravings: 31 Foods to Fool Your Appetite.”