I saw this a while ago and see you still don't have replies. well, i'm not replying because I don't know what MH stands for?
@spiritualskies I've actually been struggling with this a lot (depression, dissociation, fatigue, eating disorders, what not). I hope you don't see this as spam, a while ago I started blogging and compiled things that worked for me into an article series (there's also a list of resources at the bottom – i keep procrastinating adding more good stuff). specifically this one deals with my experience of empath overload combined with other emotional and trauma issues.
And these are newer and you may relate to them (or any in the "mental health" category).
these are just my personal views and they have evolved since I've written this, and also what you need may be totally different. but you can check if there's anything supportive in there.
all best wishes
@spiritualskies there's really a lot to say on the topic but to be honest I haven't found much good info, apart from the standard Judith Orloff, Dave Markovitz, etc. – none of which I found good.
i've been dealing with depression somewhat along the lines of kellybroganmd.com (that and some basic ayurvedic principles) but overal i've had to figure this out myself. i can't even count the amount of psychology and self-help books i've read
if you let me know which topics specifically interest you, i may be able to point you to something more specific.
Being an empath can at times feel like you are losing your mind. This is particularly true when you are new to this as you are developing a new normal for yourself as you come to understand how all of this works. I actually discovered that I was an empath many years ago while googling mental illness. I was suffering through crazy mood swings and chronic fatigue, and was miserable and was trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Ironically the google search engine returned a website about empathy that had an empath test. I was amazed to find that I shared so many of the traits of an empath listed on the website. I took the empath test and scored really high on it. So long story short, in my search to discover what mental illness I had, I instead discovered that I was an empath.
If you are asking these types of questions then I am guessing that your chakras are really open and that you are suffering from hyper-sensitivity? If I am correct then you will need to learn how to turn the dial down on your empath receptors. Do you do any grounding exercises or use protection stones? How is your nightly sleep cycle going?
HSPs (highly sensitive people) are what the scientific community calls us without really addressing the spiritual component that all empaths have. In my opinion it's a half-ass way to try to explain scientifically how we can pick up on people's emotions out of thin air. Although I'll add that not all HSPs are empaths. HSPs are typically very sensitive to their environment. And I've seen non-empaths suffering from mental illness or drug addiction that could be classified as an HSP who are struggling with coping in the world.
If you are numb that's a red flag in my opinion. You may be experiencing empath fatigue & burnout. And usually when you are numb you are close to entering the dark place of depression. With my experience as an empath and watching my two empath teens, I usually see the pattern of high anxiety and stress that leads to numbness. The numbness is your mind trying to shut off the pain and cope. And then at some point that leads to depression. And that gets pretty ugly to be depressed as an empath.
The good news is this is all avoidable and you can live a relatively stable life as an empath. What you're going to want to do is catch yourself at the early stages of anxiety and stress and really work on calming yourself down. An experienced empath will not allow herself/himself to get so anxious that they become numb or deeply depressed. I recommend rest, grounding meditation, daily salt baths, and use of protection stones. Some empaths also try reiki as a way to rebalance and get rid of negative. These steps will help you release the negative energy that you are taking in each day that are causing your struggles. If you need more info. or advice on any of these steps please let me know.
As a former therapist, I can easily see how empaths can be misdiagnosed, esp. with all the new diagnoses now days like Bipolar Type II, an iffy diagnosis to begin with, IMO. I can also see how the opposite might happen. This topic really interests me, since I have a mental health diagnosis that is partly due to very real rotten life circumstances, and therefore is not abnormal at all, but mostly due to my being an empath, IMO. Is that abnormal? I would say not, and I think the world would be a LOT better if everyone were like us. How much of "mental illness" do you think is just a more expansive form of consciousness?
As some of you know, I am very slowly dying of a chronic illness. As I get sicker, my abilities are ramping up, and now I read people involuntarily any time they feel strong emotions. For me, it takes the form of seeing what they really think and feel like a TV screen imposed over their foreheads. What I have seen has dismayed me to no end. So much selfishness, conceit, a false, angry superiority, a lack of caring or even listening, extreme closed-mindedness, lying, pretending to like me so they can keep the door open to use me, etc. I can see auras the same way, only in those who are feeling strong emotions. There are a lot of brown, gray and black ones. The clean, golden ones are mostly around people who are very naive and do not pick up anything from others, ie. ignorance really is bliss! I would freak out if I kept seeing a stranger in the shower like spiritualskies, yikes!
Protection stones and stones that help with compassion, magnesium, grounding, closing all chakras except root and crown, watching a daily video to heal my own aura of holes, etc. have not helped, though I continue to do all the rituals each morning, and I isolate even more than my illness has already isolated me as a result of being so disappointed in people, and in myself for not being able to accept them as they are. CBD oil helps the most, but only helps the physical pain for me. I cannot handle THC at all. Other calming herbs/supps. have proved too weak, except for Seriphos, which I rely on to sleep at all.
As some of you also know, I am also going through voluntary withdrawal from the hardest of all drugs to get off of, which I was prescribed for 33 yrs. for muscle spasms due to my illness. I do not want to take addiction karma with me to the other side and have to come back to get rid of it. My doctor warned me it might kill me, and he may be right. This has made me 100 times more sensitive than I already was, since there are zero brakes on my nervous system now. I agree with whoever said that sleep is important. I have not slept much for the entire 17 mos. of withdrawal so far, with many left to go, and the consequences are awful in so many ways, it would take a book to list them all.
The ARNP who is monitoring me while I taper the drug, says neither therapy nor drugs will help, because my "double depression" is due to an existential crisis combined with genetics, which I agree with. She did genetic tests which showed I have a defect in transport of the happy hormone, serotonin, which is why anti-deps don't work for me. She says therapy doesn't work well on existential crises. I used to be a behavioral therapist in my other life before the illness, and I agree with her on that. I also have an "adjustment disorder", which means I over-react to the situation I am in, and I credit that to being an empath. I could not find a group therapy I could afford. I am a big believer in having others who are going through the same thing help, since no amt. of book learning can make up for experience, IMO.
I wish I was emotionally numb to help me cope! I am SO much the opposite that I jump when the phone rings, and I even cringe when the mail comes. At least I know what mail is...I've read blogs and seen videos by others going off these drugs who had to be taken care of 24/7 for awhile and lost everything, and most of them are not empaths. About 3 wks. ago now, I came within a few minutes of ending it all. I found out who my real friends were when I told them that. That hurt too, especially since out of only 12 friends I had left after being sick so long, the only 2 who did not reach out immediately and strongly were two out of the three friends who claim to be empaths!
So, I am here, posting to those who are going through the same thing, though I pray none of you are as sick as I am on top of being empathic. How do you all deal with the disappointment in the way most people are. I was a lot happier when I didn't know and I trusted everybody because I had no idea they could not do what I could do for the longest time (!), but I realize that I can't unsee any of this, and I have to go through this, or my life is a lie. Sorry this got so long.
Thanx to any who actually read all this, C. Cat
Thanks so much for the kind words. I agree with you about it not being who you expect to help you that does help you. I had a friend who had been quadriplegic from an accident and was told it was permanent, who lost most of his friends as a result, but eventually fully recovered! He warned me when I first got sick that I was about to find out who my real friends were and that they would not be at all who I thought they were. I was so glad he warned me, because he was so right. Two of my casual friends, one of them him, were immensely helpful to me, while the friend I had talked to every day after work for years and seen every weekend was totally absent. I take friendship seriously and it took me another 2 yrs. to totally remove her from my life. Like most empaths, I think friendship should be for life and it came as a shock to me to find out most people don't think that way.
The successful suicide rate for the disease I have is a whopping 26%, but so far I've been too much of a coward, plus I have a huge incentive to try to stay, because my husband cannot possibly live without our combined income. Also, in the U.S., the safest, surest methods that hurt others the least are not available...I've done lots of research on it. I wish I lived closer to Mexico, so I at least had a good option, since that alone might help me hang on longer, just knowing it was there.
I would really love to hear how a stranger turned your whole life around! That sounds like an amazing story. I'll bet a thread asking those of us with such experiences to tell would result in a lot of uplifting stories. I don't know about anyone else, but I need to hear more about the good people out there to counter all the garbage I am picking up from people and having so much trouble releasing, as well as ideas on how to accept the way people are so different from me that I feel like an alien. I am very glad to know you had such a helpful angel in your life.
I am sorry you are bothered by nosey people. When they ask the questions that are none of their business, you might try saying: "Now, why would you ask that"? That can throw it back at them.
I am the last person to help with the nosey people problem unfortunately! I am a totally open person (too much, I'm told) and can't really understand why people want to keep who they really are to themselves, when we will be on the other side soon, where everyone can see every thought you've ever had in past, present and future lives and every deed you've ever done.
Yes, my openness is one reason why I get hurt so much, but it also allows me to sift out the bad guys quickly, since they come in for the kill quickly when they see I'm so open. Now that I have more ability to read them, I agree with you that I won't need to be as open to weed them out, so I will have to learn to zip my lip like you do. I also can't read people I can't see, so I will be much more cautious with online friendships. Since I am homebound now, they are an important part of what is left of my life, but after recent events, I've cut my computer time in half, and am focusing more on other things.
I have the opposite problem from your nosey people problem! Nobody wants to ask me anything, unless it's to dump their personal toxic family stuff on me once in a blue moon when they can't find anybody else. I can't get a good conversation going for the life of me, except with my spouse, and I thank God for him. People actually seem to be afraid of me when I bring up a topic that interests me and that requires having an open mind, like UFOs, time travel, parallel universes, etc. It's like using a few brain cells might kill them, lol! I make friends with online people who act like they love discussing these things, but as soon as they get comfy, all attempts to discuss things that matter are ignored, and the same old personal stuff starts that I could get from talking up one of my neighbors.
I am also subject to the INFJ fade, if you know what that is....happens to me all the time, even with new face to face friends. Other women meet me and act like they are in love or something, bringing me flowers and presents and throwing compliments about how kind and caring and spiritual I am. It's ridiculous, since I am flawed like we all are. Then, they slowly find out I won't go to loud concerts, or to the beach (crowded and very hot) shopping (I'm not materialistic at all and can't stand crowds), I won't watch romance movies, and I want to BE rather than DO. I want to talk about things they have never heard of, ie. I am an egghead, a brainiac. So, they slowly fade away, keeping in touch just enough to be able to contact me again if they need help.
Just by typing that, I may have thought of a way to help you with nosey people. Just bring up subjects like I do, UFOs, the paranormal, other dimensions, ghosts, The Nag Hamadi or the gnostic Bible, Tibetan Book of the Dead, anything that will scare them, and I can almost guarantee you it will scare that type of person. I bet they won't bother you again.
I will save you from looking it up...The Nag Hamadi is as important as the Dead Sea Scrolls. This is an oversimplification, but it is basically the Christian era story as the Gnostics told it before they were persecuted. It was buried in the desert and was found and made public before the church got their hands on it and removed anything that would reduce their power. It contains the Gospel of Thomas, for example. The differences are very interesting!
I too am sorry for your struggles. I hope you are not in too much discomfort.
It is definitely hard at times being an empath. I used to be able to pick up on people's good happy energy. But over the years I seem to just pick up on more and more of people's bad stuff. It's like we are bad stuff magnets. So like you I find it harder and harder to interact with people.
I have some hope now, in the form of CBD capsules. It took trying 5 different kinds just to find one that helps the pain, anxiety and depression. I can't believe the change in my thought patterns already from negative to positive! I can't do what your Avatar is doing, lol, since THC makes me so paranoid and dizzy I can't even move, but CBD alone is really helping, now that someone told me about these capsules made with coconut. I could not tolerate the alcohol in tinctures. Research shows many brands have no CBD in them, but loads of contaminants, so research is essential.
I still pick up on happy energy when I encounter it, but like you, I encounter it a lot less often. Sadly, when I do find it, it often is due to that person not being the sharpest knife in the drawer. After all, if a person is unaware of all the nasty stuff going on, it does not upset them.
Like you, I pick up more and more negative energy, but I think it may to some extent reflect more awareness that "reality" is a lie, which could be good. On the other hand, societal programming is definitely pushing us towards admiring toughness and even psychopathy, which is alarming.
Isolation didn't used to bother me much, but now it does. For some reason I cannot comprehend, I am becoming far more extraverted as I get sicker, which makes it much harder for me. It seems we empaths are like push-pull toys in that we want to help people, and we only want truly intimate relationships, but we don't really like people all that much, lol.