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15 Signs Of A Damaged Empath

What are the 15 signs of a damaged empath?


Let’s face it, life in general is tough.

It has a nasty habit of kicking you when you’re down, and if you’re not careful, it can be difficult to get back up.

Everybody has their own personal struggles, and as people always say, ‘You never know what kind of battles other people are fighting.’

It can be so easy to dismiss other people’s feelings and even mock or ridicule them on social media, yet with a little compassion and empathy for our fellow man, and the world could become a much nicer place.

Showing empathy for others doesn’t make you weak.

In fact, it makes you strong and shows you care.

Empathy is the ability to see and feel things from other people’s perspectives.

You can emotionally understand how other people are feeling and why they feel the way they feel.

Empaths often feel other people’s emotional and even physical pain. They’re the least selfish people you will ever encounter.

But what happens when it all gets a little too much, and an empath becomes damaged themselves?

Well, the results can be devastating.

What is a Damaged Empath?

Before we take a look at some of the tell-tale signs of a damaged empath, we’re first going to look at exactly what we mean by a damaged empath.

Basically, a damaged empath is an individual who has started to suffer because they have been around so much heartache, misery, and misfortune. Empaths see, understand, and feel things from the perspectives of others.

That means that when other people suffer emotionally, so too do empaths.

If an empath is around too much negativity, they can absorb the negative energy, and it can affect their mental health, energy, and aura.

Sometimes, empaths who are especially attuned to other people’s feelings and emotions can find themselves overwhelmed with the negative emotions and energies that they encounter.

As mentioned, this can lead to them becoming burned out, exhausted, and themselves suffering from poor mental health.

Too much negativity, regardless of the form it manifests into, can affect anybody, even empaths. This is why understanding the signs of a damaged empath is so important.

15 Signs of a Damaged Empath:

Now that we understand a little more about empathy, and indeed, why empathy can itself be negative if you aren’t careful, it’s important to know the warning signs of a damaged empath early.

Here are 15 signs of a damaged empath that you should be very aware of.

#1 Physical Exhaustion

Whether you yourself are an empath or whether you have an empath in your life, one of the most obvious signs of a damaged empath is exhaustion, especially physical exhaustion.

If you ever find yourself feeling physically drained, regardless of how well you might be eating, how much sleep you’ve had, or how much caffeine you’ve consumed, this could be a negative side effect of your empathy.

Damaged empaths often find themselves feeling tired and physically drained.

This is largely due to the fact that they are highly sensitive to their environments, as well as the emotions and feelings of others.

When people experience negativity, their bodies respond in the same way they would if they had experienced trauma.

Stress responses trigger the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol can suppress the metabolism and immune system, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic.

Not only that, but it can also interfere with hormones responsible for sleep, leading to insomnia.

Obviously, a lack of sleep will have you feeling tired and exhausted.

When empaths become damaged, their energy is disrupted, their hormones become out of sync, and they often find themselves feeling physically exhausted, as if they have run a marathon or barely slept in days.

#2 They Have a Warped Sense of Reality

Because empaths are exposed to so many different emotions, and so much negativity, this can give them a warped sense of reality and cause them to see the world in a different light.

Damaged empaths may find themselves always expecting the worst to happen and assuming that something is going to go wrong.

They begin to believe that the world is a dark, negative, and scary place and are unable to see its natural beauty.

#3 Mental Exhaustion

Another sign of a damaged empath is mental exhaustion.

When an empath has absorbed so much negative energy that they literally can’t take anymore, not only will they feel physically exhausted, but they will also feel mentally exhausted.

Empaths who are damaged often find that they are unable to think clearly.

Their brains don’t function as normal, they can’t concentrate, their memory suffers, they can’t get excited about things, and they can’t seem to think clearly.

This could be due to burnout, or it could even be down to the fact that they themselves have experienced such negative emotions that they can’t actually think about anything other than all of the pain, heartache, anguish, and negativity that they have absorbed from others.

If you find yourself feeling mentally fatigued or can spot the warning signs of mental exhaustion and fatigue in others, this is another of the 15 signs of a damaged empath that you should be very aware of.

#4 They Often Find Themselves in Toxic Relationships

Another sign that an empath may be suffering from emotional damage or even burnout, is when they frequently find themselves in toxic relationships.

Whereas narcists constantly feel as if they need to be in a co-dependent relationship for their own personal gain, empaths also find themselves in similar situations on a regular basis for very different reasons.

Empaths often feel as if they can change damaged people, and often see the good in people, no matter how awful they may be. They sometimes have an idealistic and even warped sense of reality and always look for the good in people.

Empaths often get into relationships with damaged individuals because they think they can change them, and make them a better person. What usually happens is that the relationship becomes toxic, they argue a lot, and eventually, it ends.

#5 They Push People Away

If an empath is exposed to too much hurt and negativity, they will begin to push people close to them away.

If you find yourself pushing others away, such as those you care about, it could be your empathy that is the culprit.

You could literally have been so empathetic that it has caused you to become emotionally damaged.

#6 They Attract Narcissists

Sticking with what we just mentioned above, another sign that an empath may be damaged is if they frequently find themselves in relationships with narcissists or being approached by narcissists.

The main reason for this is that a narcissist will see an empath as an easy target, especially if they are damaged.

They know that they can get away with behaving selfishly and in a downright vile manner because the empath they are with will only see the good in them.

Damaged empaths are easy targets for narcissistic individuals, so be sure to keep this in mind.

#7 They Have Low Self Worth

When talking about the many signs of a damaged empath, low self-worth is another sign to keep an eye out for.

Broken or damaged empaths often have very low self-esteem and self-worth because they spend so much time around negativity.

They focus solely on others and often neglect their own wants and needs.

#8 They May Use Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Being around so much negativity, pain, and misery is not good for anybody’s mental health.

Considering the fact that empaths feel and see things from other people’s perspectives, however, it’s easy to see why things can quickly get on top of them.

Many empaths will find that things get too much for them, and they will use unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol, drugs, or even binge eating.

#9 They May Display Promiscuous Behaviour

Whereas some damaged empaths will use a drink, drugs, or food as a coping mechanism, others may display promiscuous behavior.

Because damaged empaths often have low self-esteem and self-worth, they will often cling to any attention, including sexual, from numerous people, even if they don’t find them sexually attractive.

Others may use sex as a way of trying to feel attractive and wanted.

While this type of behavior is perfectly fine amongst consenting adults, promiscuity can also ironically lead to even more extreme feelings of low self-worth.

This is because damaged empaths may feel that they are only good for sex and nothing more.

#10 They May Display Mood Swings

When people talk about the 15 signs of a damaged empath, another warning sign is mood swings.

Because empaths spend so much time around people suffering and experiencing a wide range of emotions, this can lead to mood swings because they aren’t entirely sure which emotions are their own and which are those they have sensed from others.

Whereas some damaged empaths may simply feel low one day and happy the next, others can experience manic episodes, which could lead to severe mental health issues if not addressed.

#11 They May Be Taken Advantage of By Others

It isn’t just romantic partners that can sometimes take advantage of damaged empaths, sometimes, it’s other people they have in their lives.

A damaged empath is an easy target for others because they know that they will not say no, and they know that they can easily take advantage of them.

People know that empaths are kind-hearted and good-natured, and they know that damaged empaths will struggle to say no to unreasonable requests.

Some people will, therefore push their luck and see what they can get away with, and will take advantage of damaged empaths.

#12 Damaged Empaths are Often Sucked into Other People’s Issues

Some people just seem to attract drama and toxicity, no matter where they go or who they are with.

Whether this is due to their insecurities, a cry for help, a cry for attention, or simply because they aren’t a very nice person, what tends to happen is that other people get sucked into their dramas, especially empaths.

Damaged empaths, especially, will struggle to say no to people and will therefore find themselves sucked into negative behavior or drama that has nothing to do with them at all.

This is largely because damaged empaths struggle to set boundaries, and if they do, people often know that they won’t stick to them.

#13 They May Suffer from Poor Mental Health

The sad reality is that poor mental health can affect anybody, at any time, for a number of reasons.

It is estimated that at least 1 in 4 people will experience poor mental health at some point in their lives, though experts believe that this figure is actually closer to 1 in 2 people.

Because empaths have such heightened emotions and are around so much negative energy, this can result in them themselves suffering from poor mental health.

Whether it’s stress, anxiety, depression, or anything else, these issues are all far more likely to affect a damaged empath than a regular individual.

#14 They May Turn Cold and Selfish

Everybody has a breaking point, even an empath, and if an empath is pushed too much, they will break.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s down to negative behaviour, selfish behaviour, negative environments, burn out, or anything else, if an empath becomes damaged, they may reach breaking point and experience emotions that they never previously had.

Some empaths will reach a breaking point and may find themselves displaying behavior and character traits that are the exact polar opposite of what they usually had.

Damaged empaths may find themselves becoming emotionally cold and selfish.

#15 They May Become Apathetic

Finally, not only do some damaged empaths find themselves becoming cold and selfish, but some even become apathetic.

Because they are so numb to negativity and are so fed up with other people’s issues, they may find themselves feeling apathetic.

Apathetic people become cold, distant, and uncaring.

Whereas once upon a time, an empath would feel, well, empathy towards other people, a damaged empath may become apathetic, cold, distant, and emotionless.


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