This is so strange to me. I never knew that what I can do has a name. Ever since I can remember, I've picked up on other people's emotions. It would influence my emotions to the point where I'd have such crazy mood swings I was hospitalized. Several times, in fact. My psychiatrists have never really settled on a diagnoses for me in the mental health world. The most recent one they came up with was Borderline Personality Disorder, which is characterized by extreme emotional reactions.
I finally got off my lazy butt and did some research after my mother made a comment to me the other day. She asked me to do one of my "readings" on a colleague of hers that she didn't understand. This coworker had turned on my mom and had become very defensive and territorial for what my mom thought was no good reason. I made a prediction in to what he was feeling, having never even met this guy before, and I was right.
I've been doing that all my life for my mom in her business situations, and have even managed to accurately describe people I have never seen before based on their emails to my mother. I've managed to accept it, but there was something in my mother's phrasing that made me want to google my "emotional readings". I almost cried when I found out I wasn't the freak I had thought myself to be.
There was always something in the back of my mind that hinted I had some sixth sense, and one of my many therapists mentioned psychic abilities many years ago, but I never but much faith in those feelings. I am a believer now.
The overwhelming sense of emotions I get have caused me to have severe anxiety, to the point where I've developed OCD and was practically never leaving the house. I would break down every time I entered a crowded room. And ever since I was little I would avoid social situations, choosing instead to lock myself up in my room with my books.
Now, I've started to get a handle on it, though because of my anxiety, I qualified for a psychiatric service dog, and can almost communicate with her. With my dog, I can now go to the mall without being worried about a breakdown. We almost do have conversations, though I realize that probably sounds crazy. With her help, and the mind exercises I've started doing, I have now begun dating for the first time in my life.
I don't really know why I'm posting this on the internet for everyone to see, but I need to know that I'm not alone, and that I'm not the mental patient my friends, family, and doctors have believed me to be for the past several years. It's a relief to know that I am not the only person who can tune in to another person/animal's thoughts and feelings.
If you could just give me any advice on how other empaths have dealt with it, or just stories of your own journeys, I would be very grateful.