Ask Dr. Orloff

Can childhood neglect affect your sensitivity levels as an adult?

Question: Dear Dr. Orloff:

Can childhood neglect affect your sensitivity levels as an adult? I feel I might have a histrionic personality disorder caused by neglect and verbal abuse as I take everything too personally. Is there anything that I can do to help myself?
Raleigh, NC

Answer: Dear Barbra:

Childhood neglect can have a profound effect on your emotional energy. Often it makes you very sensitive and open to your environment, sometimes too much so. Then it might seem that you "over-react" but really your empathy has been finely tuned by the trauma. Use some of the shielding and grounding techniques I prescribe for empaths in Emotional Freedom. Also I'm a big believer in surrogate parenting. If you didn't get the nurturing from your parents, find adults in your current life who can love and nurture you as parents would.

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