Being an Empath: Hypochondriac or Empath?

Being an Empath could have you thinking you’re ill even though you’re not.

Being an Empath may indeed be the cause of hypochondria. Are you a hypochondriac? If so, you may just be an Empath without knowing it.

Example of how an Empath feels everything around them. An Empath absorbs all feelings.
Example of how an Empath feels everything around them. An Empath absorbs all feelings.

Empathic vs. Empathetic

It is important to understand what being an Empath means. I’m sure that some people think that being empathetic is the same as being an Empath, but those people would be wrong.

Being an Empath is different from being empathetic. I would like to clear up the difference between being an Empath, and being empathetic.

Empathetic is when you have an understanding that others have feelings; you can even sympathize with those feelings. Most people are empathetic.

Empathic is when you take on the feelings of others as if they are your own, with or without being aware of it. Although there are less people who are empathic than are empathetic, there are many people who are in fact empathic; some people just don’t know they are.

Being an Empath is not the same thing as being empathetic. Being an Empath, you are almost always empathetic, but being empathetic does not make you in any way empathic.

What is an Empath?

An Empath will feel what the people they are picking up on are feeling. The distance at which those feelings are picked up varies for each Empath. For some Empaths they have to be next to or in the general vicinity of a person to feel what they are feeling, while others can pick things up more distantly.

For those who pick up feelings with people close-by, it is easier to tell where the source of the feelings originates from; also it is easier to for the Empath to tell that those feelings don’t belong to him- or herself. For those who pick up distantly, the Empath may never find out where the feelings are coming from and therefore may believe that the illness or emotion is their own. (This is where hypochondria comes into play.)

There are lots of people out there that don’t have any idea that they are empathic. Hence, some of them tend to be hypochondriacs thinking that they have every illness or disease in the history of mankind. Most times, they will go to the doctor’s office claiming they have this or that, meanwhile there is nothing physically wrong with them. Doctors pass this off as a mental condition, but those doctors are wrong.

Hypochondria, from being an Empath, is not a mental condition. It is a gift of the mind that allows you to feel what others feel and go through what others go through. Unfortunately, the hypochondriac doesn’t know this is a gift of the mind, neither does the doctor.

I suffer at times being Empathic. I feel every emotion, every illness, every everything. I am so sensitive to it that some days it’s downright unbearable. I don’t even know the source of any of it most times. My field of range is so large that I tend to sense things clear across the world. I do my best to work through it, but it’s tough.

At least I KNOW that I am an Empath. There are far too many people who have no idea that they are and they usually (if seen by a doctor) end up on medication for something they don’t have. They go to the doctor and even when there is nothing wrong, most doctors prescribe medications anyway to ease the mind of the patient.

We are living in an age where our psychic abilities are coming out more and are coming into play a lot more often for a lot more people. Psychics who didn’t know they were psychic are starting to realize their potential. Being empathic is a psychic trait; it is a psychic ability. Anytime you connect with other energies around you, you are using psychic abilities. Empaths draw in energy that others give off. You could look at an Empath as a psychic ‘vaccuum’ or psychic ‘magnet’.

Being an Empath, especially a very sensitive Empath, has got to be one of the most trying of all the psychic abilities. It is not something that is easy to control. For a lot of Empaths, they have to avoid being around people (especially strangers) as much as possible because of the strong sensations that overwhelm them. Some Empaths cannot go to the grocery store for themselves, or go to the mall, or go see a movie at the movie theater because of the emotional strain of other peoples’ emotions and illnesses.

Now, although being an Empath can be tough, it can also be a useful tool. You can use this tool to tell when a situation is not right. You can use it to tell if a person is lying, especially about how they feel. Sometimes, you can tell if there is something wrong with someone even if that person doesn’t know there is anything wrong. Basically, you can get a feel for people and situations without anyone saying a word.

Deanna Troi, ship's counselor on the Enterprise 1701-D. Deanna Troi knows what it's like being an Empath. Image from: Star Trek: TNG (Dark Page)
Deanna Troi, ship’s counselor on the Enterprise 1701-D. Deanna Troi knows what it’s like being an Empath. Image from: Star Trek: TNG (Dark Page)

I would say the best occupation an Empath can have is that of a counselor. That’s probably why they made Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation an Empath. Deanna’s Betazoid genes give her empathic abilities. However, Deanna Troi can control what she feels coming in from others, and it doesn’t overwhelm her.

Counselor is the absolute best choice of career for an Empath because you can get inside someone, know how they are really truly feeling and that is the only real way that someone can be helped with any kind of counseling.

Now, I’m not at all saying that Empaths don’t get their own sicknesses, because of course, they do. What I’m trying to say is that for all those unknown illnesses, and emotions, that do not have any symptoms except for the feeling of them, is why hypochondriacs are most likely Empaths and don’t even know it.

It is when you feel you have symptoms, and you go to the doctor and get test after test after test done, and nothing shows up in the results except for “normal”, that is hypochondriac, and that is Empath.

It’s easy to be a hypochondriac when you are an Empath. Being an Empath, you pick up on everyone else’s feelings; this includes feelings of illness as well as emotions.

What is a Hypochondriac?

Hypochondriacs are people who believe they are sick or dying, or that they have every imaginable illness. They look at their symptoms for how they feel, and go through all the possible illnesses and diseases known to man for what they are suffering from. They see a doctor about their symptoms, usually tell the doctor what they know is wrong (i.e. what disease they’re suffering from).

The doctor will then run tests. The tests usually come back as ‘normal’, meaning nothing is wrong with the patient. This usually sparks the patient to list more things they are suffering from, and this becomes a very repetitive process. A hypochondriac will come up with as many things they suffer from as there are things to suffer from.

Example of how a hypochondriac thinks. Being an Empath, you feel the same.
Example of how a hypochondriac thinks. Being an Empath, you feel the same.

There are hypochondriacs that don’t ever see a doctor for their symptoms. They just assume they have something wrong with them (and that something can change, over and over depending on any of the symptoms they have at any given time), and leave it at that.

Not every country in this world has free health care, so it can be pretty expensive to seek treatment. But, even in the countries that do have free health care, there are lots of people that don’t trust doctors. And for some, they feel they can handle things on their own so just don’t bother with them.

It is thought that hypochondria is a mental illness, and a form of anxiety. Although that would seem the case, and may be the case for a very small percentage of sufferers, it is not always the case. The majority of hypochondriacs are actually Empaths that don’t know they are Empaths.

Yes, there is a certain amount of anxiety that comes along with it, but that’s not unlike anything else. Hypochondria is when action is taken because of the empathic take-in of others’ feelings (physical, mental, and emotional).

Being an Empath who is a hypochondriac, you unintentionally absorb all the ill feelings and pain given off by other people. Once you do that, because you feel those things, you automatically assume there is something wrong with you and you end up imposing those illnesses upon yourself if you are not careful.

The power of the mind comes into play here. If there was only one illness or disease to focus on, the hypochondriac would most likely not be a hypochondriac because they would no doubt make themselves ill with whatever illness or disease they have chosen to pursue.

Luckily, most hypochondriacs focus on multiple illnesses that fit the symptoms so they don’t usually induce whatever it is that they think they have.

However, psychically induced illnesses can bring about actual illnesses, so being an Empath, you need to be careful that you don’t do that to yourself.

If you are a hypochondriac, you should learn everything you can about being an Empath because it could save you a lot of time and money on doctors’ visits. Learn what being an Empath means and how to differentiate between your own feelings and those empathic ones that you may be picking up on.


I speak from personal experience for most of what is written here. I am an Empath, and I suffer from anything and everything that people around me suffer from. I have been called a hypochondriac in the past (even though I refuse to see a doctor; I don’t trust them).

At times, I have to remind myself that I’m not ill, I don’t need to see a doctor just to find out nothing is wrong with me. Doing so sometimes subsides the feelings. Other times, I just have to let them pass. It is difficult some days, and almost unbearable, but I manage.

I know I am not alone in this, and this is why I wrote this article. I want others to know that they too are not alone; we are out there, all around you, just like you.

Being an Empath can be tough, but it can also be a wonderful, and helpful tool.

1 thought on “Being an Empath: Hypochondriac or Empath?”

  1. Thank you for writing this. When I was a child my mom helped me through my hypochondria. My friends always called me an empath. I would call my mom or doc with every tick. It’s only yesterday after my 3rd trip to the ER in 3 months for nothing, that my sister reminded me that I have both. You connected them in a way that makes sense. I feel less crazy now and empowered.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top