incredible-marketing Arrow
How Can Our Empathy Compound Our Addictions?

Many of us struggling with addiction and mental illness also consider ourselves to be empathic, meaning we’re highly sensitive to other people’s emotions and can feel them alongside them. Our empathy can make us wonderful friends and confidantes. We’re known for being supportive of people and wanting to help them get through their many challenges. We’re good listeners, and we take the time to be there for people when they need us most. People find a consistent source of support and solidarity in us. They feel comfortable opening up to us and confiding their most difficult secrets, their shame, their complex emotions, and unresolved issues. Very often people are grateful for us, and for the compassion and empathy, we show them. We think of our empathy as a positive trait that makes us reliable, dependable sources of support for the people we care about, even for perfect strangers who feel comfortable opening up to us. How can our empathy compound our problems with addiction?

Absorbing Other People’s Pain

As we know, our addictions can be our form of coping with difficult thoughts and emotions. When we’re empathic, we tend to take on a great deal of other people’s pain. This can be stressful, overwhelming, depressing, and anxiety-inducing to say the least. We might find ourselves turning to addictive substances and behaviors to cope with everything we’ve absorbed from other people, such as their energetic imbalances, unresolved issues, and their grief, pain, and anger. Our empathy can compound our existing problems with addiction, giving us the outlet we think we need to cope with everything we’re absorbing from other people and everything we’re doing to help them. We don’t want to leave others feeling abandoned, unappreciated, unloved or unheard, so we want to be there for them as consistently as possible. We then retreat into our addictions, often when no one else is around, using our drugs of choice to cope with everything we’ve absorbed.

Making Sure Our Needs Are Met

We can find ourselves experiencing heightened emotional responses to the things other people tell us, the stories they share with us, even to their energy that they don’t know is impacting us. We can have changes in our moods, heightened mood swings, episodes of depression, anxiety and panic attacks. We can feel their pain so acutely that it becomes our own. Being empathic while struggling with addiction means creating healthy boundaries around how much we can be there to support other people, while also ensuring our own needs are met. Many of us will need a lot of solitude and independence to cope with everything that comes with our empathic connections. We’ll need to constantly check in with ourselves and make sure we’re taking care of ourselves, and that our empathy isn’t causing us to sacrifice our well-being.

At The Guest House Ocala, our experience with addiction and recovery makes us uniquely equipped to be able to understand the struggles you’re experiencing.

We’re here to help.

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488