Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's ” The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,” a guidebook for empaths and all caring people who want to keep their hearts open in an often-insensitive world.
I’m a psychiatrist and also an empath. An empath is someone who is highly sensitive and tends to absorb the emotional and physical energy of other people into their own bodies. Empaths also have an intimate communion with nature, including with the Earth, plants, and animals.
The positive side is that we can deeply feel all that is positive, wholesome, and healthy in others, and the world.
The downside is that empaths become exhausted, anxious, and burned out from sensory overload.
Many of my empath patients come to me with these symptoms but were never diagnosed properly by conventional physicians—rather they were seen as simply having panic disorder, depression, or anxiety, and thus given medications. If you identify as an empath, the secret to nurturing your intuitive connection to all living things, is to develop centering and protection strategies such as meditation, setting clear boundaries, creating adequate alone time to refuel and many other strategies I present in The Empath’s Survival Guide. Then empaths can revel in the joy of their sensitivities.