Are you an empath and find yourself more prone to depression? Can being an empath cause depression? I want to start by saying that I am speaking from my own training and experience. As an empath/highly sensitive person myself I have a lot of personal experience working with sensitivity. I am also a certified coach, Reiki Master, and hypnotherapist which means I have lots of training, experience working with clients, self-study that this article is based upon.
As empaths, we are more in tune with our own energetic bodies and tend to feel emotions at a deeper level. In fact, we also have the tendency to absorb others’ energy. When we are under a lot of stress in our own lives or there is a lot of stress around us, we can feel sadder or even depressed. If you take this reality into account, the environment that you are immersed in on a daily basis can potentially impact how you feel.
It would make sense if you feel things at a deeper level than you would also the sadness and stress at a different level. At the same time, you have the ability to feel joy and happiness at a deeper level too.
My goal with this blog today is to empower you to manage the environment and your sensitives so that being an empath doesn’t cause depression for you. The reality is that no one can make us feel a certain way unless we let them. Feelings occur when we react to a stimulus (a thought, an action or words of someone else) and this reaction results in the feeling we experience.
The challenge is that this reaction happens in a split second. Our brains are very good at reacting based on past experiences or perceptions of the stimulus. One caveat to this is those of you have severe depression that can be caused by chemical imbalances and other issues. In this case, when a stimulus occurs, your brain filters it through your current state of mind. In your case seeking professional help is essential, (this blog is not meant to treat or diagnose a mental illness).
As empaths our moods, feelings and even depression can be impacted by the following:
- Things that people say. Someone you love said some hurtful or judgmental things, or what you perceive as judgmental or hurtful.
- Energy vampires: As empaths, we tend to attract energy vampires. These are individuals that dump their negative energy on us or suck out our positivity energy. Now, this does not happen as a vampire would but it is similar on an energetic level. Energy vampires are attracted to empaths because they sense that we have the opening to be able to absorb energy. You know when a person you were talking to leaves and you feel exhausted, they are most likely and energy vampires. Here is a Vlog that I have to help you deal with Energy Vampires.
- Feeling isolated and lonely. As an empath, you can often feel like you are the only person that perceives and experiences the world the way you do. We can feel so different and misunderstood by society that our reaction can be depression.
- Our nervous systems get taxed through our senses. We can often self-isolate because we have just had too much. Our nervous system is so taxed. In order to recharge we need to be alone which can sometimes send the message to others that we don’t want to talk or that we are simply unapproachable. You can be viewed as a snob or other not so nice things by others because of the energy you are emanating. If you are energetically pushing people away, this, of course, can lead to more isolation and loneliness.
- Caring for others and the burn out it can cause. Since you are a person with a big, open heart and deep compassion, you are often the person that takes care of others. Individuals come to you to talk because you are able to listen at a deep level that is healing. When you are constantly caring for others you can feel exhausted, burnt out and even depressed.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what can impact our moods, but it gives you an idea of why it may seem like being an empath causes depression.
What can you do to support yourself?
The first step in change is recognizing what is happening. So, once you know what is impacting your mood then you can start to change how you react and behave. Here are some strategies to help you shift your mood.
Be in your body: As an empath, you may spend a lot of time in your head and just not want to feel your body. It might be too painful or uncomfortable to feel everything. The issue with being out of our body is that we are unaware of how we feel and out of touch. Then Bam! It can feel like the sadness came out of nowhere. Spend time everyday grounding, being present and mindful. If you want to learn more about the pain and the body check out my blog: Pain it’s time to pay attention
Set aside time to recharge. It is really important as an empath to allow yourself to recharge. There are lots of ways to this. If you haven’t received my free guide on “5 keys to overcoming overwhelm as an HSP or empath” that is a great place to start.
Authentic connections. Small talk or inauthentic, fake, connection wears us down. One of the ways that we can recharge is to spend time 1:1 with people and connect authentically. Having a deep conversation where you are able to support each other and truly talk about how you feel is energizing. Ideally, both of you are able to express yourselves emotionally.
So there you have it, the answer to the question: Can being an Empath Cause Depression?
I have given you a lot of information. My invitation to you is to pick one area that is draining you in your life and start to shift that. Being an empath doesn’t have to mean that you have to be depressed. You have the ability to recognize what is happening, why you feel a certain way and change your behavior accordingly. You can do it!