What are the Symptoms of Empathy Burnout?

The symptoms of empathy burnout can be very sneaky, you may not see them coming...

It is a slow build and can very easily be deceiving, it will sneak up on you and before you know it you are experiencing symptoms that you don’t understand.

You may find yourself searching for an answer, doing a deep dive into your life, trying to understand the cause for what you are experiencing.

That deep dive may show nothing has changed, you are doing all the same things, just doing what you do each and every day for your loved ones.

The question remains what is happening?

The symptoms of empathy burnout are both sneaky but also very common and can be caused by so many other things in your life…

Let’s look at the symptoms:

  • Exhaustion
  • Tiredness
  • Listlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Overwhelm
  • Low energy
  • Lethargic
  • Depression
  • Intense emotions


So as you can easily see all of these symptoms, can be explained away for a number of reasons, and that is a big reason as to why empathy burnout can sneak up on you…

symptoms of empathy burnout

How can you tell the difference?

As I mentioned empathy burnout can sneak up on you, something that appears out of thin air doesn’t usually have a direct link…

Empathy burnout doesn’t just happen overnight, like the advertisement from the 1990’s for pantene shampoo, “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen”.

A great guide to understand if your symptoms are due to empathy burnout or something else, is to notice the build…

Are the symptoms a slow build, have they been slowly intensifying over time or are they immediately intense?

This is a great sign to help you in uncovering the cause behind your symptoms….

Learn more about the cause behind the symptoms of empathy burnout in my article:

“What causes the symptoms of empathy burnout?”

Good questions to ask yourself in understanding your symptoms are:

  • What symptom am I experiencing?
  • Is there anything happening in my world that could be the cause?
  • Is sleep and/or rest allowing me to feel like myself again?


Empathy burnout will need more than rest and sleep, and this will also be a great sign to allow you to understand your symptoms.

Feeling tired and exhausted can be improved with a good nights sleep and allows you to feel like yourself again…

But if you get a good nights sleep and are still feeling tired and exhausted it is showing you that your system is overloaded and capacity diminished…

Diminished capacity is a clear sign you are experiencing empathy burnout...

As I talked about earlier, a great guide is to notice the build, empathy burnout is a slow build happening over time…

It is slow and sneaky, taking up space within you, diminishing your inner capacity…

Noticing the build is something I teach to my private clients, it is a great technique to help you in reducing intense emotions.

When you are able to detect the build before it reaches its summit, it is much easier to manage and reduce the intensity…

For example: Low level anxiety is much more manageable than an intense panic attack.

An intense panic attack starts as low level anxiety, and the trick is to notice it, get hold of it, and implement strategies to calm your survival mode, before it goes full beast mode on you…

symptoms of empathy burnout

The symptoms of empathy burnout are plentiful...

The good news is that it is possible to move through empathy burnout, and the healing strategies are just as plentiful…

I have collated some articles to support you in coping with and healing your empathy burnout…

How you can work with me privately:

I offer 1-1 private Holistic Counselling that is provided online from the comfort of your home.  Giving you the space you need to uncover what is causing your emotional turmoil.

As a highly sensitive woman and/or empath it is important for you to feel supported and learn more and understand more about your unique gift.

I am passionate about supporting you to move through empathy burnout and thrive as the deeply empathic woman you are.

Book your free virtual coffee chat.

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Your guide: Nicole Ivens

Hi! I'm Nicole.

I am a Holistic Counsellor & Certified Clinical EFT Practitioner.  I share articles to support you in Mind, Body & Soul.  Covering topics such as: Spirituality, Healing & Empowerment.

I also work with clients privately on the Gold Coast, Queensland Australia and online utilising EFT Tapping to support them on their healing journey.

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