Some people (and surely we all know at least one person who does this) will barely wait for you to take a breath before diving in and taking over the conversation. Empaths are at the opposite end of that spectrum. They are genuinely interested in people and will listen carefully to what you have to say. Empaths will have your interests at heart and are the type of people you seek out when you have a problem or need advice. They are loyal and compassionate and make very faithful friends.
“Empaths have often been diagnosed with agoraphobia, Fibromyalgia, CFS or M.E., migraines, chronic pain, allergies, and adrenal fatigue”
Empaths are sensitive and very intuitive. They can relate to and sometimes absorb the feelings and energies of the people around them. They can, at times, quite literally feel the emotional or physical pain of others. This means they may find it difficult to differentiate their own emotions from the emotions of others. They can become overwhelmed, particularly in large groups, and need time alone to re-charge their batteries and calm the mind.
Many empaths will be deeply disturbed by violent or emotional scenes, even on the TV. Such scenes can cause them extreme distress and will affect them on a much deeper level than the average person. Because they are highly sensitive and compassionate they can be like magnets to narcissists, people with a ‘poor me’ mentality, and emotional vampires (those who suck the good feeling and energy right out of you and leave you drained).
Why Empaths are Prone to Illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, CFS and M.E.
Because empaths feel so deeply and internalise emotions, (be it their own or the emotions of others) they can be predisposed to stress, anxiety, illness and disease. This leaves them wide open to suffering illnesses such as fibromyalgia, CFS and M.E. and any other illness thought to be caused, in part, by emotional trauma. Empaths put others before themselves regardless of their own needs. They will give until they have nothing left, be it emotionally, financially, mentally or physically. Unfortunately, this lack of self-care can have a serious knock-on effect on their health.
What the Experts Say
Barbara Keddy, author of Women and Fibromyalgia: Living With an Invisible Dis-ease, says “Being a highly sensitive person does not mean you’re destined to develop fibromyalgia. That being said, I have never met anyone who has fibromyalgia who is not highly sensitive.”
Judith Orloff, M.D., the author of ‘The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People‘ who takes a more spiritual approach when treating highly sensitive patients, says “Many people with empathic abilities have come to see me feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and downright exhausted before they learn practical skills to cope with their sensitivities. They have often been diagnosed with agoraphobia, Fibromyalgia, CFS or M.E., migraines, chronic pain, allergies, and adrenal fatigue”
When researching for this article, I was blown away by how the nature of an ’empath’ resonated with me. I have fibromyalgia and CFS / M.E. and I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my health physically and mentally. I’m not an angel but I am a giver, and sometimes, I get so drained after being around others that I can only recharge my batteries with hours of rest and time alone. Now I know why. So, my next step is finding out how to be me, an empath, without suffering the negative effects that come with that. I will most definitely take stock of some of the people around me and maybe I need to rethink how I count my spoons! I’ll keep you posted as always 🙂
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