The term hyper-empathy is categorized in the DMS (the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as a Personality Disorder.
According to Psychology Today, hyper-empathy can occur when genes influence certain chemicals in your brain which can actually affect how much empathy a person has. Furthermore, research is revealing so much more than we have ever known about the world of empathy. Such factors as the predisposition to have a lower or higher level of empathy can be given to us genetically at birth, or even brain chemistry configurations can determine the levels of empathy an individual may have.
“Genetics and neurobiology are proving that behavior associated with narcissism, borderline, antisocial personality disorders, and psychopathy has as much to do with brain wiring and chemistry as it does with behavioral intent.”
– Sandra L. Brown M.A., Genetic and Neuro-Physiological Basis for Hyper-Empathy, Psychology Today
The amount of fear and anxiety you have personally, both innate and learned, can be influenced by other brain chemicals. These chemical effects can also delay your reflexes and affect how your brain stores different kinds of memories.
The fact that it’s genetic means that entire families can have these traits. This familial commonality further exacerbates the individual’s problems by creating dysfunctional family cultures, conflicted home environments, and distorted perceptions of social norms which only add to the complex, tangled web of afflicting personality factors.
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