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The title pretty much speaks for itself, but I should probably elaborate. ;)

Hyper empathy syndrome was mentioned on another thread, and someone there even mentioned that it can officially be diagnosed (with a lot of stretching it, from my viewpoint - it sounded like "personality disorder diagnosis for people who don't actually fit into any category", which could mean whatever a psychologist deems it to mean, I suppose?). 

So, in a nutshell, it's something like "too much empathy". At first sight, that seems like a good thing. It allows you to help people. Then again, actually feeling all the pain, and the anger, etc, of the world can become really unpleasant I guess. 

Anyway, my question is whether hyper empathy syndrome is a real thing, or another of those made up syndromes, like, I don't know, hyper pizza-osis or something. I don't mean to be patronizing to anyone who thinks they have this, I'd just like to understand better. If this is a real thing, how can a person get hyper empathy syndrome?

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I don't know either yet, for sure, whether hyper empathy syndrome is a real thing, but what I do know is that there's people online who are writing about it and that there are people who strongly identify with the description. I'm one of them, as you found out from the other thread that I started. Whether it qualifies as a real syndrome or it's just a description of someone's mental state... I've been feeling what other people are feeling, been getting highly emotional about things that I didn't get emotional about before. I can't even be sure I'm actually interpreting other people's feelings correctly as such, but I feel things that I didn't before. It's like everything is more intense. I can't just relate to how other people are feeling, I feel it. 

How do you get hyper empathy syndrome? For me it started when my gran was slowly dying. I was real close with my gran growing up, she was like a second mum. I expect people will say it's just grief and perhaps that's true, but it feels like more and the descriptions other people give for hyper empathy syndrome match my experiences. 

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Apparently, hyper empathy syndrome is actually real, and it can be caused by neurological changes following physical or emotional trauma, or it can be caused by epigenetic changes in the womb. It is even possible to experience a physical reaction to another person's emotional pain when you have hyper empathy syndrome. 

Clinically, hyper empathy syndrome is somewhere in a "gray zone". It can be diagnosed, but as an unspecific disorder. Diagnosing hyper empathy syndrome is, in other words, somewhat left up to the discretion of the mental health professional who is making the diagnosis. 

I don't doubt that extreme empathy has a great capacity to cause distress in a person. Clinical definitions are always being updated, so we probably don't know everything there is to know about hyper empathy syndrome yet. 

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Hyper empathy syndrome is a real thing. Some people seem to absorb emotions other people are experiencing, and this has been documented by doctors and is written about on reputable websites. I am not sure what the exact nature of hyper empathy syndrome is or how hyper empathy syndrome is diagnosed, but I have read about extreme cases where people's daily functioning is very much impaired as the result of acquired hyper empathy. 

It cannot be an easy thing to live with, so I hope that there is a treatment for hyper empathy syndrome that allows people to still feel empathy, but closer to normal levels. 

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I'm skeptical. 

Every single thing seems to be a disorder now, and everyone thinks they have a real disorder even if they don't meet the diagnostic criteria. Ever heard someone say they're a little aspie, a little ADHD, or totally OCD about keeping their desk tidy? I think they either have special snowflake syndrome and want to feel they have a disorder when they are perfectly normal, or they are making fun of mental illnesses. Neither is cool. 

It's good to feel empathy. Being so obsessed with other people's problems that you think you can literally feel them is both self centered and deluded. I don't think hyper empathy syndrome is a real thing, at all. 

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Hi,

I understand that people have all sorts of questions surrounding things they don't understand, including hyper empathy syndrome, but someone posted here who thinks she has hyper empathy syndrome, so perhaps you could be a little more sensitive? She might be able to feel the disdain in your post, for all you know. 

Cluster B people have trouble experiencing empathy. Why would the opposite situation, one in which people experience hyper empathy, to the point where it is a mental disorder, not be possible? I don't have it, but it sounds like it would be hugely debilitating from where I am sitting. 

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I must admit that I am a little bit like that. When somebody is in pain, I feel like cringing, and I almost feel that I am suffering the same thing they are. It is not only like that with pain, but also with mental suffering and happiness is also very contagious for me. As a child, I don't remember feeling like that. Not this much anyway. And I am working in a caring field, I must admit that I often take the suffering from the people around me home with me. This can be hard, but it is also just me. I don't if that is hyper empathy syndrome, but what I am experiencing is definitely real. 

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Hyper empathy syndrome used to be diagnosible under the DSM IV, as personality disorder NOS. That category was eliminated in the DSM 5, so hyper empathy syndrome is not currently a clinical category. Diagnosing hyper empathy syndrome is going to be hard, in other words. Does that mean it is not a real thing, though? I don't think so. When you read what people with hyper empathy, or super sensitive empathy, experience, it is clear that people really do experience this — making it "a real thing".

Diagnoses are added and taken away all the time, and many clinicians disagree with the way every DSM is set up, so I would not take the presence or lack thereof in a diagnostic manual to mean that hyper empathy syndrome or any other disorder exists or not.
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Ok. Obviously you don't know what it's like to feel pain, physical pain when someone is hurting. Or what it's like to always feel so terrible all of the time, because you feel like you're making life worse for the people you love by just feeling like you are saying and doing things that are hurting them, even if it's just the opposite. Most people with this disorder don't want to go see a doctor because they think that they are wasting the doctor's time. You don't what it's like to be physically drained because other people are hurting. So please do not go and make assumptions for an entire group of people, when you have no idea what any of them are going through. If you don't believe me, GO. f**k. A. TREE.
P.S. Honey, it's not a good idea to tell someone who is mentally unstable that there is nothing wrong with them and they are just deluded and being selfish. And if you do, and that person suddenly commits suicide, it'll be your fault. So save all of that BS up there for the judge.

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I think i have this i feel the emotions of others and it is really troubling and it is not limited to humans.

I avoid eye contact with anyone that is showing extreme emotion as i just take it on and can't master it. Funerals are overwhelming, not for my own feelings of loss but because i feel everyone's loss.
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