The term empath is used to describe someone who experiences the emotions of others as their own. But is there a basis in reality for the empath experience?
The empath experience is a term used to describe a process by which a person feels the emotions of someone else as their own. Initially born in fiction novels and movies, this concept has gained momentum as potentially having a basis in reality, mostly through self-reports on internet web sites dedicated to empaths. A discussion is presented on the potential biological processes that could be involved in the empath experience, such as mirror neurons. We also discuss the relationship between the psychological concept of empathy and the empath experience as well as the major challenges faced by empaths, such as mental illness, lack of widespread information and a fear of being ridiculed upon disclosure of their experience. Finally, an in-depth exploration of the deeper purpose behind the emergence of this ability strengthens the possibility that the empath experience has transcended fiction to become part of our everyday life.