When Empathy Becomes A Burden: 10 Signs Of A Damaged Empath


A Damaged Empath Signs Of When Empathy Becomes A Burden

Empaths are individuals who possess an exceptional ability to perceive and feel the emotions and energies of people around them. They have a unique gift to experience the emotions of others as if they were their own. However, this extraordinary gift can also be a burden, as it can take a toll on an empath’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being, leading to a damaged empath.

Empaths are known to be vulnerable to emotional overload and exhaustion, which can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and even physical illness. Therefore, it’s essential for empaths to understand the signs of damage that they might experience and learn how to manage them.

But before we get into the signs of a damaged empath, let’s talk about what a damaged empath looks like.

Related: Wounded Healer: Signs You’re Broken But Choose To Help Others

What Is A Damaged Empath?

A damaged empath is someone who has experienced significant emotional, mental, and physical stress due to their ability to absorb and feel the emotions and energies of those around them.

If you are an empath and feel highly attuned to the feelings of others, you can often feel overwhelmed by the negative energies you experience. Over time, this exposure can lead you to feel emotionally and physically exhausted, which can then lead to burnout and other negative consequences.

You may experience a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, physical illness, and feelings of overwhelm. Additionally, you might struggle to set boundaries with others or may find it challenging to let go of negative emotions and energies.

Gradually you start to feel disconnected from yourself, feel a lack of self-awareness, and struggle with self-doubt and negative self-talk.

Empaths are known to be natural caregivers and helpers, but you sometimes end up neglecting your own needs and well-being in the process of taking care of others.

An emotionally damaged empath may find themselves constantly giving to others, leaving little time or energy for self-care or personal growth. This can lead to a cycle of emotional and physical exhaustion, making it difficult for you to function at your best.

Now, that we know what a damaged empath looks and feels like, let’s find out the signs of an unhealed empath.

A damaged empath

10 Signs Of A Damaged Empath

1. You feel emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed.

You are constantly exposed to a barrage of emotions, and this can take a significant toll on your mental and emotional health. You are often exhausted, drained, and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emotions you feel.

Empaths tend to absorb the emotions of those around them, and this can leave you feeling depleted, exhausted, and emotionally fragile.

Emotional exhaustion can manifest in various ways, including physical fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and a feeling of detachment from others. You may also experience a lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, and an overall sense of burnout.

Related: How Unbalanced Chakras Weaken The Empath

2. You experience chronic physical pain.

Empaths are known to be sensitive to energy, and this sensitivity can manifest in the form of chronic physical pain. This pain can be a result of the accumulation of negative energy in your body, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the discomfort.

You end up experiencing a wide range of physical symptoms, including headaches, back pain, joint pain, and digestive issues. This pain can be challenging to manage, and it may require a combination of physical and emotional therapies to alleviate it.

3. You suffer from insomnia.

Your sensitive nature can make it challenging to turn off your mind and relax, resulting in sleepless nights and insomnia. You struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated.

Insomnia can have a significant impact on your overall well-being, as it can lead to increased anxiety, depression, and physical fatigue.

That’s why it’s essential for you to develop healthy sleep habits, such as establishing a consistent sleep routine, limiting caffeine and screen time before bed, and creating a relaxing sleep environment.

4. You find yourself socially withdrawing from everything around you.

One of the prominent signs of a damaged empath is when they start to withdraw from social situations, as the constant influx of emotions can be overwhelming.

You may feel like you need to retreat to a safe space to recharge your batteries and recover from the emotional overload.

Moreover, social withdrawal can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation within you, which can exacerbate your emotional and mental distress. It’s crucial for empaths to find a balance between socializing and taking time for themselves to recharge.

Related: Empath Fatigue: Why Empaths Are At Risk For Adrenal Fatigue

5. You gradually start to feel hypersensitive.

You are known for your hypersensitivity, however, this can be a double-edged sword sometimes. While your sensitivity can be a source of strength, it can also make you vulnerable to emotional overload.

You may find yourself reacting strongly to seemingly small triggers, such as a harsh tone of voice or a negative comment.

This hypersensitivity can lead to feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, and even physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches, making difficult situations all the more difficult to handle.

A damaged empath and how to heal one

6. You have difficulty setting boundaries.

As an unhealed empath, you struggle with setting boundaries, as you often prioritize the needs of others over your own. You may find yourself saying yes to requests or invitations out of a sense of obligation, even if it means sacrificing your own well-being, and happiness.

However, difficulty setting boundaries can lead to feelings of resentment, burnout, and frustration. You need to learn how to say no and set limits to protect your emotional, mental, and physical health.

7. You experience emotional overload.

This is another major sign of a damaged empath. Empaths are susceptible to emotional overload, which occurs when you absorb too much negative energy from those around you. This overload can be challenging to manage and can lead to you feeling anxious, depressed, and even physical illness.

Emotional overload can show up in various ways, such as erratic mood swings, feelings of overwhelm, and an inability to cope with everyday stressors.

It’s important for you to develop healthy coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness, meditation, and self-care practices, to manage your emotions effectively and in a healthy manner.

Related: The Struggle of Being An Empath: What Makes It So Challenging

8. You feel disconnected from yourself.

A damaged empath may struggle with feeling disconnected from themselves, as they are so focused on the emotions and energies of others. This disconnection can lead to a lack of self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-worth.

You need to take the time to connect with yourself, whether through journaling, creative expression, or self-reflection.

This process can help you regain a sense of identity and purpose, which can be invaluable in managing your mental, emotional, and psychological health.

9. You struggle with letting go.

One of the major signs of broken empaths is that they may find it challenging to let go of negative emotions and energies, which can lead to rumination or overthinking, and emotional distress.

You hold onto the emotions of others, even if it’s not helpful or productive for your happiness and sanity.

Learning to let go is an essential skill for empaths, as it allows you to finally release negative emotions and energies and move forward with a sense of clarity and purpose.

You can benefit a lot from practices such as forgiveness, gratitude, and positive self-talk to help yourself let go of negative emotions and energies.

A damaged empath

10. You engage in excessive negative self-talk.

You may struggle with negative self-talk, as you are extremely attuned to everyone else’s emotions and vibes. You end up internalizing everyone’s negative emotions and feelings, leading to self-doubt, low self-esteem, and self-criticism.

As an empath, you need to practice and cultivate positive self-talk and self-compassion, which can help you develop a healthier relationship with yourself.

This process can involve reframing your negative thoughts, practicing self-care, and seeking support from your loved ones, whenever you feel overwhelmed, lost, and sad.

Related: Why Highly Sensitive People Are Like Angels With Broken Wings

How Can You Heal As A Damaged Empath?

The good news is that healing as a damaged empath is possible. By prioritizing self-care and developing healthy coping mechanisms, you can start to heal and regain a sense of balance and well-being.

Here are some tips for healing as a damaged empath:

1. Learn to set strict personal boundaries.

One of the most important things you can do as a damaged empath is to set boundaries with others. This may involve learning to say no to requests for your time and energy or setting limits on how much you engage with others emotionally.

Boundaries can help you conserve your energy and prevent emotional overload, allowing you to focus on your own well-being.

2. Practice self-care.

Self-care is essential for healing as a damaged empath. This may involve engaging in activities that bring you joy and help you relax, such as reading, spending time in nature, or practicing yoga.

It’s also important to prioritize healthy habits, such as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and staying physically active.

3. Learn the art of letting go.

As an empath, you may find it challenging to let go of negative emotions and energies. Learning to let go is an essential skill for healing as an unhealed empath.

This may involve practicing forgiveness, gratitude, or other techniques that can help you release negative emotions and energies, from your body, mind, and soul.

Related: 15 Ways To Stay Grounded And Protected As An Empath

4. Focus on self-compassion.

As an empath, you are likely already a compassionate person, but cultivating compassion for yourself can be just as important as showing compassion for others.

Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, and recognize that you are doing the best you can in difficult circumstances.

Healing a damaged empath

5. Seek support from others.

Healing as a damaged empath can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Seek support from loved ones or a mental health professional who can help you navigate your emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

You may also benefit from joining a support group or engaging in therapy with other empaths who understand what you’re going through.

6. Practice positive self-talk.

Negative self-talk is a common challenge for empaths, and it can contribute to feelings of low self-esteem and self-doubt.

Practicing positive self-talk can help you reframe negative thoughts and develop a more positive relationship with yourself. This may involve affirmations, visualization, or other techniques that can help you cultivate a more positive mindset.

7. Spend time in nature and try to connect with it.

Connecting with nature can be a powerful way to heal as an emotionally damaged empath. Spending time outdoors can help you feel grounded and connected to the natural world, which can be soothing and healing.

Even if you don’t have access to natural spaces, you can still benefit from bringing plants into your home or office or spending time near a window.

Related: 5 Protection Strategies for Empaths


Being an empath is a gift, but it can also be a burden if not managed effectively. It’s essential for you to recognize the signs of damage, and work towards healing them. By taking care of yourself, you can continue to use your gifts to help others and live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Healing as a damaged empath is a process, and it may take time and effort to develop healthy coping mechanisms and restore your sense of well-being.

Remember to be patient and kind to yourself along the way, and celebrate even small successes as you work towards a healthier and happier future.

Want to know more about a damaged empath and tips for healing? Check this video out below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an extreme empath?

An extreme empath is someone who can feel other people’s emotions and feelings in their own bodies. This can lead to overwhelming empathy and difficulty in distinguishing one’s own emotions from those of others.

What is a toxic empath?

A toxic empath is a person who takes on the emotional pain and negativity of others to an unhealthy degree, often at the expense of their own well-being. For example, they may feel depressed on behalf of their friend who just went through a painful breakup.

How to heal a broken empath?

Healing a broken empath requires self-care, self-awareness, and often the help of a mental health professional. It involves identifying and setting healthy boundaries, practicing mindfulness and self-compassion, and developing healthy coping strategies.

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what is a damaged empath

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