Empath anyone?: I know this may sound... - Functional Neurol...

Functional Neurological Disorder - FND Hope

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Empath anyone?

cshubert profile image

I know this may sound odd, but I'm wondering if anyone here identifies as an Empath or Emotionally Intuitive?

I am extremely sensitive to the emotions of people around me, and can even feel the emotions of good friends who live across the country. I don't even have to be in the same room as the person to feel their emotions. When I feel another person's emotions, I feel them as if they are my own. Most of the time I can distinguish between my own emotions and those of other people, because the sensation is slightly different from the origins of my own emotions. This allows me to help the people around me when they are struggling, but it is quite draining for me.

The reason I ask this is because I'm wondering if taking on so many other's emotions is contributing, at least in part, to my FND symptoms. I have been working with a therapist (who has experience treating Conversion Disorder) for over a year now. She has said on a number of occasions that I am one of the most efficient emotional processors that she's ever worked with. Because of this, she has a very difficult time with my neurologist insisting that my symptoms have an emotional basis...at least as far as my own experiences are concerned.

I live in an emotionally​ charged house, due to my husband and children having varying degrees of Autism Spectrum Disorder. And all 5 of us have varying degrees of Sensory Processing Disorder. The times when my symptoms are the worst is when I am overly tired. And when I am exposed to high levels of other people's emotional energy, it is certainly exhausting! Because I am able to process my emotions well, I'm wondering if my lack of ability to process other people's emotions is something I need to explore.

Anyone else have experience with this?

2 Replies

It doesn't sound odd. I understand your experience perfectly. As my condition worsened I gained a heightened awareness of other people's suffering and an empathy with the emotions of others. I often found myself crying with despair at the plight of others creating difficult situations in public and in my professional life.

It is a complex issue whether our empathy is simply a release for our internal suffering where we are forced to examine the bits and pieces of our emotional experiences from birth, experiences which we now realise are common to others ?

A year ago the neurologist said there was no cure for my generalised dystonia and prescribed Setraline as an 'off-lable'. This has not improved my condition but has removed my emotional sensitivity which was a constant drain on my body and mind.

Good wishes and thank you for sharing your precious experiences.

Apparently, I am an empath and feel very strong emotions off other beings which deeply affect my energy & emotions. I feel grounded when I am outside or alone as I am not experiencing everyone elses feelings on top of my own. If I do not have this time away from others & become mentally or spiritually drained, my FND symptoms tend to get A LOT worse. It feels like the more I embrace this gift, the more FND takes over my life.

When doctors were trying to find out what was going on with me they all thought it was anxiety and depression that made me ‘act out’. It wasn’t until I saw a professional in FND that I was told my symptoms were functional neurological disorder but could be made worse by being emotionally drained.

She didn’t use the word empath, but she pretty much described it and said its typically people like this that have FND x

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