Can childhood neglect affect your sensitivity levels as an adult?


Can childhood neglect affect your sensitivity levels as an adult?


Answer: 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 The Empath’s Survival Guide. I find most sensitive people need to spend time in nature. I recommend that you regularly take time out from your routine. Visit the beach, a forest, a canyon, a river. Choose a spot that moves you. Aboriginals seek out windswept plains for purification. Native Americans go to fresh streams to clarify their inner vision. (Any water source, including a bath or shower, can cleanse and purify.) Tibetan monks pilgrimage to mountaintops. Allow yourself to draw on the earth’s primordial forces. Savor the beauty of a twilight, sunset, or dawn. Let them nourish and restore you. 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.

Best regards,


Judith Orloff, MD is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her latest book Thriving as an Empath offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA and has a TEDX talk. Her other books are Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive HealingExplore more information about her Empath Support Online course and speaking schedule on

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