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The word “empathy” has gained a lot of recognition in the last few years as tensions and difficulties have grown all over the world. Professionals write about different empathy factors those who are empathetic face. Compassion and empathy can come at a cost if they are not carefully managed. While some call it codependency and a lack of boundaries others call it being an empath and being burdened with the art of caring. Taking on the pain of the world and all of its people is a tremendous emotional responsibility. Terms like “empathy burnout” “empathy exhaustion” and “compassion exhaustion” all yearn to describe the experience of “catching” what others are going through. Humans, though they can be selfish and self-centered, are still social beings. Tuning into the needs and emotional states of others is an inherently human trait. We are prone to picking up on the moods and emotional states of others because of our evolutionary tribal senses. When others are sad, it is easy for us to feel sad. When others are mad, we can sometimes pick up their anger. When others are frustrated, we find ourselves wanting to solve their problems.

Not everyone is willing or able to play the part of the empath. Instead, they resist others moods and put up harsh walls against them, refusing to claim them on their own. At once this is healthy and also avoidant. As if the mood of another person was a contagious virus, they cut off all connection. Moods themselves are in fact contagious, a study by the Royal Society of Open Science reveals. Critical for discernment is what designates a mood from a mood disorder. Everyone has moods and those moves fluctuate for everyone. Mood disorders, however, means that the brain has lost its equilibrium in terms of chemical balance. Mood disorders create mood swings, which are moods. Moods might be contagious but mood disorders are not.

Forbes reports that according to the study, “…mood does indeed spread through social networks, and the severity of bad moods in groups influences how fast someone in the group can recover.” However, “…even though bad mood contagions are potent, the study didn’t find evidence that people pass on [depression], which further supports the argument that mood and depression aren’t synonymous.” The experience of mood is different from mood disorders. Realizing that what someone experiences in their mood is their own experience is critical to not taking on what might be someone’s symptoms of a mood disorder.

If you are struggling with a mood disorder, there is help available. The Guest House Ocala is ready to welcome you exactly where you are, as you are. Our private residential programs offer concierge style care, catering to your every unique need in order to recover from traumas, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800