Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jewels920, May 21, 2008.

  1. jewels920

    jewels920 New Member

    How many of you tend to "feel" other people's emotions? Do you respond to tension in a room, even if arguing parties have left? Do you get "vibes" from a person, place or thing?

    I consider myself an empath. It's something I've had to manage all my life. People have always told me "you're too sensitive". I consider it a strength, but it does have its drawbacks.

    The reason I posted this is because I'm meeting more and more people with FM and CFS who seem to be very similar to me in personality and temperament.

    I love to please others. I tend to put others' needs before my own. I can get immediately drained from interaction with angry or needy people. I handle conflict better than I used to but will still avoid it if I can. I tend to sense things before they happen. I can walk into an office and tell if anything unpleasant has just taken place...

    Just wondering if my theory has any basis in truth...that those of us to tend to be "over-givers" and "sensitive types" tend to get FM/CFS a little more often than other groups of people.

    POSTED: This is in NO way suggesting anything is "all in our heads". I'm wondering if it's "all in our energy fields" or something...maybe something that can't be defined because Drs. and others can't see, feel, or measure our personal energy.

    Wishing you love and wellness,

  2. landra

    landra New Member

    But I know lots of women like this that do not have CFS or FM, also.

    I wonder if people will respond to the title though? They may have the characteristics (and I think a lot do from what I have read) but may not consider themselves an "empath" may not know the word. Just a thought.
  3. Marta608

    Marta608 Member


    It began for me, I think, when I was a child with an alcoholic mother. It was very important that I learn the clues that could, in my mind, prevent a binge of drinking. Of course, I felt very responsible for it all.

    It's taken me years to learn that I don't have to manage the Universe, but I still can read a room quicker than anyone else I know.

    And have you noticed how connected we are to our pets when we have them? I have two cats, both of them anti-social in their own way, and yet we connect lovingly on an energy level. Sounds weird but animals can sense things too, of course. They live by their senses. Perhaps we've become more basic.

    I read A NEW EARTH by Eckart Tolle and in it he talks about energy fields and how we're all energy, just like the things around us. He writes also about how we learn over time to feed our particular energy, even when it's unhealthy. A very interesting book.

    Like you, I'm not saying our illness is "all in our heads" but that our energy is more volatile as well as being more finely-tuned. It's also a defense mechanism for us now, don't you think? If we can feel negative energy, we are more apt to be able to avoid it and the drain it puts on us.

    Good topic.

  4. Cinlou

    Cinlou New Member

    Yes I pick up on energies too.....yes siree! We are made up of energy...we are energy....
  5. wanderingbluedragon

    wanderingbluedragon New Member

    I have done that since I was a child. I am very sensitive to other people's emotions and I always feel the bad things in my tummy. I assumed that my IBS came from that. Every time I get upset it directly affects my GI tract. I worked for the Welfare dept. for 5 years so that I could "help" people. I listened to everyone of my client's tragic stories and tried to be an understanding person. Most people find themselves telling me things they wouldn't tell anyone else. I have always prided myself on lending a shoulder and an ear to others. But sometimes I think I "feel" too much and that this has contributed to my illness.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

  6. jewels920

    jewels920 New Member

    Sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy.

    And I, too, have met people who weren't quite this energy sensitive that have FM/CFS. However, my experience is that most of the people I know with FM/CFS, are very sensitive to energy. Just my experience, tho.


  7. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    If the link doesn't work (it's on LiveScience), just Google "Study: People Literally Feel Pain of Others".

    I posted about this right after it came out (it is a study by a neuroscientist), but the moderators removed it twice. I was never told why, so I can only imagine that something about the topic was bothering some of the readers here. But, since YOU brought this up, I'll post again:

    Since I have color-grapheme synesthesia, I thought it was an interesting article from that standpoint as well.

    Anyhow, here's the address to paste in the bar:

  8. sweetbeatlvr

    sweetbeatlvr New Member

    i too, am extremely sensitive to others emotions, always have been. i'm also told i am over sensitive.

    i also consider it a strength, and not a weakness.

    very interesting you brought this up, because it had has crossed my mind that this may be a reason i developed FMS.
  9. landra

    landra New Member

    My point was not that there are people with CFS/FM who are not as sensitive - as you stated. My point is that I know people who are MORE empathic who do NOT have CFS/FM. In other words, i do not see a connection between being empathic and having CFS/FM in people I know (and as a counselor I know a lot of people).

    That neuroscience article seems like it would be interesting. I'll check it out.
  10. cynny3

    cynny3 New Member

    Hey Jules,
    I was just on the phone with a friend of mine yesterday who also has Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. We were discussing this exact topic. Yes, I do think there is something to the energies or some might say personalities or empathic abilities, sensitivities, etc. that is a through line amongst not just CF and Fibro folks but also many other auto immune disorders. I don't think it happens to everyone who is like this though, but it can predispose us to chronic diseases much more easily because we actually feel the culminated stresses of those around us. Stress is amplified through us on a cellular level thus impacting our health from the inside out and outside in.

    My friend has this theory that we need to learn boundaries and really set them in our minds, but I personally find it impossible to shut people's emotions (and energies) out.

    On a more medical note, I have read that the underlying viruses, that we all seem to have, hit our nervous systems and keeps our nerves constantly "on." It's like there is no "off" switch because our nervous systems are constantly on guard fighting the underlying viruses. If this is true then I suspect this may have something to do with how sensitive we are or how our environment effects us more so than our more healthy peers.

    Thanks for posting.


  11. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Yes, I am, but not until I got CFS.

    Now that I'm getting better, the empathic stuff seems to be fading some.

    I think slowing down in life allows one to connect more with others (to the extent that they have the energy to be around them).

    This is not a bad thing as long as it's not too extreme. And it's nice to think that the illness led to something that was a little positive.
  12. TamaraLee

    TamaraLee New Member

    Hi. I have had CFIDS for 18 years and am absolutely an "empath."
    I have come to call it being "energetically sensitive" so as to distinguish it from "being too sensitive," which tends to mean that a person gets his or her feelings hurt easily. That is not the same as an empath/energetically sensitive person who feels "vibes," etc.

    After 18 years you can imagine that I have met many people with CFIDS.
    And also, in my therapy practice I used to run support groups for PWC's.
    And I agree--the vast majority of PWC's I have me are energetically sensititve.
    I think we come into the world this way and ultimately it is very hard on our bodies. I agree that in NO WAY makes this a "psychosomatic illness."
    But rather, I think PWC's have a genetic predisposition to the illness and then enough assaults to the physical and emotional body and voila--CFIDS.

    Three years ago I started performing (I am a singer/songwriter) and so I have had to learn a whole other level of dealing with people's energies--a whole room full of them--all focused at me! Whew, it's been intense. But I do think learning to work with energies in all it's forms helped my recovery.
    I think of myself as 75% recovered and considering I was homebound in the 90's, that is a MIRACLE.

    Thanks for raising the issue of sensitivity.
    Keep on trusting yourself!

    Tamara Lewis
  13. nina_and_me

    nina_and_me New Member

    I get those feelings, too. I used to work as a secretary, and I was in charge of maintaining personnel files on over 100 employees. Because everything related to their files came across my desk, there were a lot of secrets I had to keep, so I didn't socialize with anyone in our department, and I was kept out of the loop on most things that did not involve management.

    I could always feel when something wasn't "right". I'd start feeling more tense and worried when that happened. Eventually, I'd find out that there had been an argument between co-workers, unplanned pregnancies...all kinds of things that caused tension that I picked up on. This happened everywhere I've ever worked. When something's not right, even though I don't know what it is, I feel it.

    I also sense the good feelings, particulary peaceful feelings. I worked retail right out of college, and I could sense how the customers felt, and when they were happy, it was a wonderful feeling.

    I am also a "people pleaser", and I do everything in my power to avoid conflict. I've always been told that I'm "too sensitive", so I just attributed my feelings to that.

  14. Jayna

    Jayna New Member

    ...especially my family's. Any of them can throw my heart rate off and leave me with two days of chest pains just by coming into the house in a bad mood. I've learned to mostly block strangers' emotions, but I spend so much of my scarce energy blocking every little mood shift when family members are around that I soon get too exhausted to talk.

    When I'm left alone at home, I start having more energy within half an hour. I was recently at home alone for 5-7 hours a day for two straight weeks (2 of the family were out of town and the others were at work) and my daily energy jumped 20 percent during that time even though I had to do many more household chores myself. By the time the travelers were back for three days, I was exhausted again even though I did very little cooking or housekeeping.

    I suspect there are genetic variants for 'sensitivity' and the overlap with CFS/FM comes when the genetic variants for both conditions turn up in the same person.
  15. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I'm an NT as well -- INTJ to be exact. Too many people/emotions/drama just wear me out, as you can imagine. Love Keirsey. Do you have 'Please Understand Me II' as well?

    The single-most odd 'empath'-type moment I've had is having a co-worker stand next to me and all of a sudden having an aching, sharp pain in my jaw -- then realizing she had been dealing with tooth issues for the last two days in the exact same place. Not sure I could get used to being *that* in sync with someone else!
  16. masterz

    masterz New Member

    I know exactly what you mean. I do the very same thing. I have fibro & cfs, but I think I have been an "empath" forever!

    Love & Prayers,
  17. Jayna

    Jayna New Member

    I too have little tolerance for drama-farming and fireworks. Slow and steady wins points with me.

    Learning to tell what were MY emotions/thoughts versus what I was picking up from other people was a real gift, too.

  18. mich204

    mich204 New Member

    im like this. i can often sense the phone will ring before it does too
  19. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member

    YES! I've been told since I was a child "You're too sensitive" and "You wear your heart on your sleeve." Like that's a bad thing, lol.

    Had to move over 200 miles away from my mother before I stopped "catching" her migraines. Weirdly enough, medicating the "caught" migraine didn't work and I guess that's because the thing wasn't really mine in the first place.

    I also knew when she and her significant other were fighting. I'd call her: "Would you and Harold PLEASE stop fighting?" She always asked how I knew and I'd tell her about how my stomach was figuratively feeling tied in knots.

    Odd feelings of oncoming Bad Things, I think, are the worst. Not knowing what is causing the feeling of doom is tiring with a capital "T," you bet.

    As Marta608 (HI, MARTA!) said, I too can "read a room." That comes in handy when looking for a new home. When I asked one prospective landlord "Who died in here?" he at first tried to sputter out a denial but then admitted I was right. No, I did NOT move into that house. It's not that I'm afraid of spirits, it's just that locating things that have been hidden by someone who wants it known he or she is there and that's the why of the hiding things can be frustrating: "I KNOW I left my keys right HERE," and the 3rd time I look right THERE, bingo, there are my keys.

    Judging from the "Yes" answers, there just might be something to the idea that empathy is born from this d'd. Finally! A good something! Being an empath can also keep us out of danger, if we listen to ourselves.

  20. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    On a sideways-related note, there is a book out that covers a study by the University of Arizon-associated group regarding post-death 'survival of consciousness' -- called "The Afterlife Experiments" by Gary E. Schwartz and William Simon. There were several blind and double-blind trials with top psychics that yielded quite interesting results.

    Although the topic sounds unrelated, there is a brief discussion of the concept of energy fields and those who are better at reading it than others. I know that I have had experiences of knowing what has happened without having been there (things that are later confirmed) or 'knowing' things without being told. Once, my husband was out of town for the weekend, but on the day before he came home, I had a sudden 'knowledge' that I should clean up and start dinner (believe me...I had a COMPLETELY different type of evening planned...pizza and a night of 'What Not to Wear'!), and lo and behold, an hour later he called and said he was on the road already and would be home in two hours.

    Somethings things are so blatant to me, and I can find some kind of (convoluted) trail of small clues that led me to the conclusion, but sometimes it's as if the information comes right out of the air.

    As an NT, I'm always fighting my rational side, especially when the evidence points away from rational knowing.

    It is very wearing for me to be around a lot of people or people who are over-emotional (or energy vampires). It is very hard to protect my peace. 'Boundary issues' have been a life-long learning experience.

    P.S. A naturopath I worked with introduced me to EFT. I taught my son, and although he laughed, he used it with positive results. It has done wonders for me.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2008]