Ask Dr. Orloff

Am I absorbing the energy of others and getting sick?

Question: Dr. Orloff,

When I read what you wrote about being drained by the energy of others, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I have suffered incredible breast pain, when a fellow educator across the hall was going through a problem with cysts in her breasts which eventually had to be removed. I have woken in the middle of the night in horrific despair only to discover the next day that a young man had committed suicide during the night in the park next to our house. I have become depressed, sick, achey for no apparent reason. I have often wondered if I was just losing my mind or if I was going to stay some pitiful hypochondriac. I used to be a very social person, but not much anymore. I've wondered if what I was feeling was really my own, but it just sounded so far-fetched to believe otherwise. I've been a school counselor for over 20 years and have often felt that I was in the middle of a maelstrom. Now I'm walking around asking myself, "Is this really my illness? Is this really my sadness?" I am so excited about learning more. I'd really like to know how to distinguish what illnesses are mine or others'. How can I learn more about this?

Answer: Intuitive empathy is the ability some of us have to pick up the energy of others and take it on ourselves. We literally become energy sponges and suffer because the angst of the world all comes to us. Intuitive empaths are labeled "hypochondriacs" by doctors of are called crazy and sent to a psychiatrist. But what is really happening is that we don't know how to process the negative energy around us so it doesn't get stuck in our own bodies. The secret is to learn techniques such as visualizing white light around your body for protection, or breathing deeply as you visualize roots planted in the ground. Also learning to set boundaries with energy vampires is essential so they don't sap you dry. Please refer to the Chapter on Centering and Protection in my book Guide to Intuitive Healing to learn the techniques and practice them. Then the intuitive empathy can become an asset, leaving you more open to compassion and all the positive energy out there.

Best,
Judith

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