• Thank you to Carol and Steve Bowman, the forum owners, for our new upgrade!

What is the difference between hypochondriac and empath?


Always Searching...
I am a bit confused, as the two sound very similar. If you are talking to someone and they say "Man, do I have a headache!", and you feel it too, is it because you are a hypochondriac, or are you experiencing empathy?

For those who don't know, a hypochondriac is someone who imagines they have a pain, illness, etc that they don't actually have. Like, if you overhear someone talk about how their arm hurts from working all day due to arthritis, and you think you have arthritis too and you "feel" a pain in your arm, then you are a hypochondriac (I'm not a dr, so that's as detailed as I get)

PS I put this in parapsychology since it talks about empathy which is a spiritual thing.


Senior Registered
That's a very good question. I think many people who are diagnosed as hypochondriac may actually be an "empath". Until a few years ago most people had never heard of an "empath". I hadn't heard of empaths until I started watching paranormal programs a few years ago. There are videos on YouTube on empaths and how to shield yourself from others emotions. Many empaths are treated badly, especially children, by people who don't understand.


Always Searching...
I guess maybe there is a difference. An empath extends all the way to the emotions, the spiritual, while a hypochondriac only experiences the physical.


Senior Moderator
Super Moderator
Most Likely an Empath???

I agree, that is an excellent question to ask here, thinking back as a child, some things happened that make me think I was an empath.

For instance, I could hear one of my families visitors mention that they had a headache or stomachache and if I stayed near that person long enough, I would soon feel in me what they were feeling.

It happened enough times to me that I could pick out who to be near, for instance, a lady would often bring her Son (my age) over when she would visit us and he was a whiny, compaining child who I wanted NOTHING to do with and couldn't stand to be around because I would soon start feeling bad all over.

Another friend of the family heard my story and the next time she came over, she brought a big bag of Sage over that she had grown and she told me to burn a handful of Sage in a bowl whenever the other lady and her Son would come over to visit us.

Thankfully my Grandmother liked the smell of the Sage burning and soon the whiny child quieted down and the visit with them soon became quiet pleasant with the smoke from the Sage wafting about.

As I got older, the "Gift" started to fade away, but every now and then, when I'm near another person, I start to feel what they are talking about, but now at my age, I have enough medical problems without taking on someone else's problems also!!! :)