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Old 12-28-2018, 11:05 AM #1
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Default Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

So I've got a curse of empathy which means feeling emotions of other people, animals and trees. This is a thing since my childhood and I have seen some proofs of it which can't be explained rationally. But that's not the point.

The thing is when I'm in stress like I am now my empathy gets more intense meaning I feel emotions of other living creatures more strongly. So I get images of people being abused and tortured (from stories I saw in the news and documentaries even very long ago, I don't watch such things nowadays! Or not on purpose but sometimes I see something unexpectedly and I can't "unsee" it)
Then I see those images randomly during the day or night and I feel the pain of those people.
Today I keep seeing images of animal experiments in front of my eyes and it's very disturbing

A few months ago I had a dream of a very bad torture of prisoners and two days later I heard exactly same story in the news, that the scenario from my dream was real... I never think about political prisoners, I didn't watch any movie about prisons... I only had that dream which felt real and a few days later it was confirmed in the news.

I've felt people's diagnoses... people I never met in person, only online and they never mentioned their health problems I felt their illness and they confirmed I was right.

I have a customer, a lady and I know her husband abuses her psychologically. Today I saw a young boy and I felt he's neglected because his parents for some reason don't take proper care of him so he has to be the "adult" in the family.

When I was in the uni I saw in my collegues eyes that he used to be abused as a child. We did a project together and all of a sudden he mentioned that he was raised very strictly and used to be beaten.


When I was on a holiday we rented a room from one middle aged couple. I immediately said these people have suffered greatly in their lives, something terrible happened to them. After a few days they said their son had died and they still can't cope with it.

I absolutely hate this!!!! I never asked for such a curse! It gets worse when I'm stressed, then I feel much more of people's emotions and stress. It's the worst when I have days when I feel pain of nature and innocent animals like today I keep thinking about certain brutal experiments on animals

How do I stop feeling this stuff? Please don't recommend any new age stuff such as crystals or chakra work. I will not do any of that! Please only rational psychological advice,
You can recommend body work or some other activities but please no "spirituality". Thank you.
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Old 12-28-2018, 03:24 PM #2
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

Sounds to me like you are a highly intuitive person and maybe have grown a small set of wings to satisfy your need for compassion and harmony. Your warm traits are most likely accepted and appreciated by most, so I am sorry if you are feeling unfulfilled possibly bc many are unable to return how forthcoming you are.

Currently, I struggle with a similar problem where I allow myself to explore both sides of a dime. You might consider this overindulging in a simple object, making it more complex than it is. Which I find to be okay bc I allow this to happen over a course of time. I don't let myself get hung up on it, but I do fixate on something until it make sense to me. This type of behavior can easily get out of hand. Shielding intrusive thoughts in public places also is a concern for me, so I tend to avoid going out when I know I won't be comfortable. All in all, facts are more telling than guessing so when in doubt, trust your instincts and continue to explore.
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Old 12-28-2018, 03:25 PM #3
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

I don't have any kind of great answer but would like you to know i sometimes feel the same way. somtimes i'll think of something and then see it on the tv news or read it in a newspaper. i dont know why it happens but it just does. I dont think i have any special powers or things like that i just think it is a religious thing for me as I pray for people alot and i think God is showing me my prayers are working even in bad situations and they will be helped.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:36 AM #4
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

Thank you both... It can be very upsetting when you see images that you know are real, not just some irrational anxiety and you can't do anything about it because it's pain of other people or animals which you can't save.
I think it happens when I'm personally stressed which decreases my defense. Feeling both my own pain and pain of others then makes it worse and it's a spiral.
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:28 AM #5
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

I guess maybe I do not understand the difference between being empathetic and being an empath? Because I like to say I have really good hunches, i just know stuff and I am always right when I do. My family knows to trust them. When I say I am worried about something or have a weird dream with a message I pass it on. I do not try and interpret its meaning because if I did that I would be caught up in my head all the time. I would be spending too much time trying to figure out the whys and not living an authentic life. So I guess I am one too? One thing I have noticed about some other people who have good hunches like me is their need to prove its true, referencing things that have been confirmed as if other people need to believe them. I do not care if people believe me, I do not have a Cassandra complex. I just want to live my life and love my family.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:07 AM #6
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

I don't care if people believe me in real life, I rarely talk about it.
My reason for posting "proofs" here was trying to show im not psychotic. Since this is a mental health forum it would be logical to assume delusions or hallucinations. Then I would get advice to take medication etc. I was just trying to avoid misunderstanding. So what I did was explain that this isn't psychosis. I absolutely wasn't trying to show off or anything like that.
I said it is a curse I wish I could get rid of. I didn't post this to brag about my superpower.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:48 AM #7
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker33 View Post
I don't care if people believe me in real life, I rarely talk about it.
My reason for posting "proofs" here was trying to show im not psychotic. Since this is a mental health forum it would be logical to assume delusions or hallucinations. Then I would get advice to take medication etc. I was just trying to avoid misunderstanding. So what I did was explain that this isn't psychosis. I absolutely wasn't trying to show off or anything like that.
I said it is a curse I wish I could get rid of. I didn't post this to brag about my superpower.
If this is directed at me i didnt think you were bragging or showing off. I truly do not know enough about what an empath was and I want to.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:25 AM #8
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

I think being empathetic is a normal skill or ability that everyone has to some extend. Being an empath is when this natural empathy is so strong and sometimes unusual that it is almost supernatural or not so easily explainable. Such as feeling things that can't be explained logically. It's all a spectrum I'd say. Being an empath is a gift but you often feel it's a curse because it's difficult to distinguish your own feeling from feelings of others, you may physically feel someone else's pain. Both physical and emotional. There are a few types of empaths based on what kind of information you sense. I primarily feel a person's character and wether they have been abused in the past. I also feel very connected to trees and I feel their suffering when someone cuts them down.

It's not universal and all of the time. I can't make myself feel things by my own will. It seems to work independent on my will or effort. It gets stronger when I'm anxious or depressed.


I also get these disturbing images... I had them yesterday before I fell asleep, it was terrible
When you google the protection they mostly recommend crystals and visualisation of your aura and chakras. I've done this in the past and I've had a very negative experience. I really don't want to do any new age stuff because it's dangerous for me. I was looking for some "normal or rational" psychological advice on how to stop this.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:43 AM #9
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

Counting to ten helps me, but any amount of numbers works. Sometimes I count all the way up to 100. I also like counting sheep and if that gets boring, I picture a sheep fashion show and put them in different clothing as they jump over a fence and do other 'normal' sheep things. That and other visualizations I keep close in my mind, so that I may relax my mind a little. I am not sure how much of rational thought this is or if it helps when battling irrational thoughts, but they act almost like a security blanket, which is comforting
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:45 AM #10
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Default Re: Intrusive thoughts/images- an empath's curse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AB2371 View Post
Counting to ten helps me, but any amount of numbers works. Sometimes I count all the way up to 100. I also like counting sheep and if that gets boring, I picture a sheep fashion show and put them in different clothing as they jump over a fence and do other 'normal' sheep things. That and other visualizations I keep close in my mind, so that I may relax my mind a little. I am not sure how much of rational thought this is or if it helps when battling irrational thoughts, but they act almost like a security blanket, which is comforting

Thank you so much! This is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. I will try it.
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