Mirror-Touch Synesthesia: Pain & Empathy

A doctor places a stethoscope on a patient's back. Used to illustrate sense of touch.If you’ve ever accompanied a friend or family member on a doctor’s visit and sat in the very room the checkup ritual took place, you’ve likely had the fortune of empathizing with that friend or family member, watching as the stethoscope was pressed to the bare back, the reflex hammer hit the knee, or the vaccination needle penetrated flesh. Now, for a second (and no longer), imagine that, in watching these actions take place, you also felt them. A tingle on your back. A knock to your knee. A pinch on your skin. That is mirror-touch synesthesia.

Synesthesia and Empathy

Think about the last time you watched someone take a bad fall or listened to a friend grind his or her teeth. For a split second, you cringe at the thought of physically feeling what they must feel. In a sense, we all empathize to some degree with the physical feelings of others. For an individual with mirror-touch synesthesia, however, the area of the brain that creates this empathy is hyperactive. These individuals don’t just cringe at the thought of comparable pain, but they might actually feel it themselves.

It’s an extraordinary thought, isn’t it? – your own sense of touch being activated by watching what’s happening to someone else. In this article from LiveScience, two mirror-touch synesthetes talk about their experiences and how this accentuated empathy has shaped their lives. I found Jane’s quote to be particularly interesting:

Another, Jane, said she felt her synesthesia is “a positive thing because I believe it makes me more considerate about the feelings of others.”

For non-synesthetes, like me, the best way to relate to this sentiment might be to think about pains or ailments we’ve suffered and how those experiences have shaped the way we empathize when others have similar misfortune. For instance: I’ve never broken a bone, so I’m not sure that I can truly empathize with someone who does. I just can’t be certain of what it feels like. On the other hand, I have had a pretty deep flesh cut – so when I observe someone accidentally cut themselves when chopping up lettuce, I can certainly empathize with the sting.

Are You a Mirror-Touch Synesthete?

While the answer to this question might be painfully obvious (pun fully intended), there are actually tests for this type of synesthesia. One of them, wherein a sensory interference task is used to verify the presence of mirror-touch, is described here (complete with a nice diagram). Another, which involves the user of fMRI, is discussed at length here.

Piggybacking off of the first test I linked, we might design a simple synesthesia test ourselves. You’ll need two friends to help you – one standing behind you and the other in front of you. On the count of three, have the friend that you can see place a finger on one cheek, both cheeks, or neither cheek. At the same time, have the friend behind you place a finger on one of your cheeks, both of your cheeks, or neither cheek. At the end of each trial, have the friend behind you record what you felt (left cheek, right cheek, both, or neither), along with what each of the two friends physically did. You can label them “visible friend” and “non-visible friend,” or something like that.

Repeat this process as many times as you’d like (try 50 or so to start), having your friends switch up their finger placements throughout the process. Once you have a nice collection of data, sit down and do some analysis. How many times did you feel that both cheeks were being touched when the visible friend was touching his or her right cheek and the non-visible friend was touching your left? Were there times when you felt that both cheeks were being touched, when in reality neither was? There are a range of possible combinations here, so it could get messy. Just something interesting to try on a rainy day!

That’s all for now, though. As always, we encourage you to share your mirror-touch experiences in the comments below! Catch ya later! 🙂

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*Image from Time.com

144 Comments on “Mirror-Touch Synesthesia: Pain & Empathy”

    • by AC

    The first experience I remember of this was when I was very little and was watching the movie, Back to the Future. There is a scene where a guy is twisting another guy’s arm (in the parking lot, I think) and it seems like he’s going to break it (or it seemed that way to me when I was watching it.) I started to pass out from the pain. I will never forget that feeling and I was really scared, but I didn’t tell anyone. I’ve always been very hyper-empathetic, but I don’t always have the physical touch responses, or it could be that I’m just so used to it, I’ve tuned it out. Growing up was extremely difficult for me, especially because my mother is probably one of the least empathetic people I know. I was always being told I was too sensitive- as if it was a choice.

    • by Ingrid

    I believe I have mirror > touch synesthesia, although I don’t feel it as strongly as other types I have. I do though, feel mirror > emotion very strongly. Like an insanly huge feeling of empathy. Sort of.

    • by Elena

    When I started school in the ‘70s, my teacher told my mother that I was possibly suffering from schizophrenia. I saw black numbers dancing. Oddly enough, only numbers with that specific color. Then, I constantly reiterated that the days of the week were as follow: Monday is black, Tuesday is yellow, Wednesday is green, Thursday is purple, Friday is red, Saturday is orange (smell like oranges) and Sunday is blue (smell like grapes). I could only smell the weekend and when the teacher pronounced the days of the week, I heard an organ note for each day. I felt pain in my knees and thighs when I saw anyone getting hurt (I still do). Sometimes the pain was in my stomach. I used to hug myself to make the pain stop. I did math in open spaces, I saw words too, and I was a top notch speller because of that advantage. I became depress since no one could understand this amazing gift. I stop telling people about the things I was able to see, feel and smell. Then, the gift slowly faded as I became older. I can’t play any instrument, but if I hear a small portion of a song that I heard before, I can immediately tell you the title. My son plays the guitar and I can tell him without looking at either him or his guitar when he makes a mistake. My pain had increased though. I can’t even hear people talk about injuries or read about them. I see movies or TV shows and I clinch so hard when someone gets hurts or killed!

    • by Leander Lacy

    I know this is strange, but I actually have this mirror-touch synesthesia. I have always had it and just thought it was normal until, now in my 30’s, I am realizing this is a unique phenomenon. This occurs most often with pain. For instance, if I see you cut your finger, my finger will feel pain at the exact same spot. It use to cripple me in instances when I have to help others, but because I have dealt with it openly for so long, I can push past the pain and just help the person in need. I just decided search the internet this morning for more about my condition and stumbled across the same science article. Thanks for writing up your blog!

    • by MOA

    I remember the first one to notice something was weird about me was my brother, it was a long time ago and we were watching a movie. My brother saw me clutching my stomach during a violent scene and so I told him about the pain. None of us took it seriously, and it simply became a family joke “Your conscience is in your belly” It made no difference, really, where the pain was, except for the shiver I may sometimes get on the spot of the pain along with the ache in my stomach. I’d just assumed that everybody else felt it, but simply didn’t show it. I tried mentioning it in front of some other people a few times but always got the same reaction that said they had no idea what I was talking about. That was when I gave up and decided I was just weird and it wouldn’t change anything whether or not it hurts. It wasn’t only when seeing something violent but also when I hear it that I get this ache. I’m glad I saw this article, makes me feel a lot better about myself ^-^

    • by Ani makebish

    I have a very strong mirror touch synesthesia. I don’t just feel pain and stuff like that. I can actually feel when somebody is holding something too, like balloons or styrophome. My friends think its about the coolest thing ever. And sometimes, I find it fun. But others… You know. Like someone cutting their knee on gravel.

    • by Angela

    As a child, I assumed it was normal. When I tried to explain it to people who didn’t understand, I assumed I was an isolated case. I recently discovered this form of synesthesia, and am happy to see it correlated to empathy…. I have always been told I’m too sensitive.

    I feel a shooting pain starting in my heel and shooting through my thighs when I witness someone being hurt, or hear someone explaining a painful incident. On a few distracted occasions, I’ve actually scratched through the skin on my thighs (this is rare; has only happened twice when witnessing near death situations: a horrific car accident and a quadruple bypass surgery). I always have a shooting pain through my legs, but I will sometimes feel an isolated pain as well… My grades suffered in World Geography after my teacher lost her finger in a table saw accident. My hands would experience very sharp pains from looking at her, and I felt awful pains in anatomy when we had to do dissections. I’ve been a vegetarian for 7 years, and used to experience pain not from eating meat, but from witnessing it being cut. I hated steak because I would feel like my legs were being cut when I saw someone cutting it.

    I also feel a physical sensation from emotions. If I’m talking to someone who is sad, I feel something similar to the nervous “butterflies” feeling that people get in their stomachs when they’re nervous, but I feel it behind my knees. I get tingling feelings behind my knees for sadness, on my chest for happiness, and I feel as though someone is rubbing a warm feather duster over my shoulders when I witness two people in love… I don’t believe that the emotional to physical connection is mirror touch, but I do feel like they’re related in some way.

    • by wes

    This is amazing to hear that this has a name. I never imagined other people experiencing it. I’m 35 and have had it sense childhood. Movies, descriptions, and watching an injury will easily trigger it. It’s not point specific, more a shock to the nervous system rooted from the base of my skull – its awesome…

    • by Kimblie

    Elena sounds just like me. . .
    Music is so soothing but missed notes and beats hurts my nervous systems like not just my ears. I cant watch movies or anything where people are in pain or hurting in anyway. My stomach and body begin to hurt. I have had stomach problems since I was a child. I have been tested for everything but nothing can be found. I can sense and feel others problems and feelings when I am talking to them . . .it is very hard at times but sometimes I can console them and they don’t know what I sense. I have people come up and talk to me about their life out of the blue, complete strangers. My husband always ask me do you know them and I say no but they talk to me as if they do. I use to think it strange but now it just seem normal. My grandmother and mother were both this way. I cant even watch Home Funniest Videos!! I don’t find them funny at all!!! I could go on and on but. . . .

    • by Julie

    I just learned about the mirror-touch aspect of synesthesia today from a related article posted on BBC News. Fascinating. I knew for some time that I have grapheme, but interestingly I have a very successful practice as a massage therapist. The thing I hear most often from clients on the table is “how do you always know exactly where it hurts?”–I think this article just answered that. Thank you.

    • by Tammy

    I’ve always been empathetic to others; I cry easily when I see something sad on TV or hear someone tell a sad story or when I read one. When I see someone get hurt or hear someone talk about their injuries, I get a flash of pain – like one feels during a flu – on the backs of my arms and torso. It has increased in intensity in the last year or so. Watching AFV is almost torturous. I’m just glad to know I’m not alone.

    • by SE

    Whenever I see someone fall, trip, etc at the moment of impact i feel a jolt, almost like an electric shock that goes through me but is strongest in the legs through to my toes. It’s like getting a strong zap. It was particularly difficult when my children were small & frequently falling down!

    • by Jacqui

    I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and in my searches on the subject also looked into why I experience physical pain when I see someone hurt. I have always experienced this and thought it normal but have come to realise that most people don’t experience this. If i see someone injured such as in a fall, I get very strong sharp pain in the top of my legs (radiating down to my knees or up to my hips), or in my shoulders or my forearms. The pain is generally quite quick but can leave a dull ache that can last for an hour or so. This is especially strong when I see a child fall over for example, but the pain I experience does not seem to necessarily bear resemblance to the injury suffered. I was quite amazed to find that this is a real condition and I’m interested to know if there is any connection to fibromyalgia and I’m thinking of broaching the subject when I see my doctor next.

    • by Catherine

    I was relieved to read one of the comments above, because it exactly describes my own experience. I don’t have true mirror-touch, as I only have it for pain and I don’t usually feel it in the same part of the body, but it’s always been there. I thought everyone had the same experience as me until I heard a radio program a few years ago about mirror-touch synesthesia and then asked my children if they felt pain on seeing (or hearing about) injury, and both said no! If I see someone injured, particularly if there is blood, I get a sharp pain in the backs of my knees and insides of my thighs, and sometimes on one upper arm, and my stomach area. Once, seeing an old lady fall and hit her head on the pavement, I had to sit down, the pain and distress were so great. Over time this has developed; bizarrely, if I were to knock the wing mirror of my car, I would get a pain in the corresponding upper arm! I also have a reaction to hearing about injury, particularly to the head, which I see as a heightened form of empathy. Thank you for your website; it makes me feel a bit less mad! Oh, by the way, don’t know if this is synesthesia or something less exotic, but if I hit my head or see someone else hitting theirs (hard), I get a peculiar acrid smell in my nostrils…

    • by Lillie

    I have come to believe (but have not been professionally diagnosed) with this. A few days ago my grandmother had a pretty rough fall she slipped her patella, fractured 2 ribs (bruised several others), and broke the thumb and hand. When I heard her diagnosis my chest, hand and knee all started to hurt in different ways. I was very confused and really kinda scared as well. I talked to my grandma and she said it was “sympathetic pain” which is usually associated with anxiety (which I have-GAD.) and people who are very sympathetic and empathetic people. (I’m a sucker. I hate seeing other people sad/pained/etc.). This article is really interesting and I’m sure even people who don’t have his also find it intriguing.

    • by Richard

    This is the first time I have heard of mirror-touch synesthesia. I only found out about it because I was trying to find out what is wrong with me. This hypersensitivity dose not happen all the time but can be very noticeable when I am or others are stressed the last event being last night talking about funeral arrangements with one of my wife’s sick relatives. She suffered from pain attack, by the end of the night I was very soar which last several hours after getting home. I also had a similar event when I visited my sister in-law in hospital, I tried to sit quietly in a corner out of the way but after a while I even had been noticed by the nursing staff who started to question my health. This only stopped by removing my self from the hospital room. These were two incidents that come to mind but their have been others. When I was younger I idolised Spock for Star Trek because he could isolate himself from his emotions. I have tried most of my life to do just that so that I would fit in and be normal so it is a bit of a relief to find out that this is not uncommon.

    • by Ashley

    I believe I have a very “light” form of this… I am an amazing Masseuse with zero experience, because I can Feel on me exactly what I am massaging on someone else

  • I have all of this and have all my long life. I hope they feel better because I suffer so with their illnesses, conditions, attitudes, whether I am willing to or not. Now I know why some become hermits, no matter how much they love people.

    • by Elle

    I am a personal assistant to an 87-year old friend who tripped on a bathroom rug one early morning and hurt herself. She was telling me her story when she touched the area of her body where it hurt and I immediately felt a shooting pain from my hips down to my legs. “My legs hurt” I told her, and then explained to her that I feel immediate physical pain when I see people get hurt; and in this case when I heard her story and she touched the area of her body that hurt. She told me that it must be why I was so in tune with her needs that even she had never thought of. Umm, I have never thought of that, until yesterday.

    It seems that my empathy is a little over-active. It doesn’t stop there for me. I truly can not look at homeless people and then look away. They have a naturally overall brown color to me, and these people grab my attention longer than most. I’ve chased many just to give them money or food. A few of them, all men, have actually taken many hours of my time and money. They have names to me. I feel a sense of duty—these men should be the strongest foundation of a family, buy they’re just wondering around, dirty and dejected. I have dreamed of being rich and removing them from the streets. I often suffer on the inside if I spot a true homeless person and I happen to be in my car or if I’m with someone.

    • by Phoebe

    I am not exactly sure if this is what I have but I would like to know if there is anyone else that feels this. I am just a teenager and when I see others whether in movies, books, or in reality experience emotional pain I get very sick and uncomfortable. I get headaches and feel very uncomfortable throbbing in my stomache. I am not sure if it is just an part of anxiety or if it is this mirror touc synesthesia. Please contact me if you have ever gone through something like this. Should I see my doctor? Please help

    • by Meg

    I’ve known of synesthesia for a while now and I have number&weekdays>color synesthesia. But after looking some stuff up I started to wonder if I might have some weird form of mirror touch synesthesia. Or maybe it’s just normal when you’re reading and you almost subconciously “mirror” (in a way) the way characters look and sometimes feel it. If it’s normal then I probably sound like some kind of person just trying to have synesthesia or something (but, no need to worry I’m not that kind of person). I’m just wondering about this. So yeah…

    • by Danie b

    I have always felt others peoples pain not in a littlary function but in the fact that i could feel it in raility my parents said i was imagining things and now i have an explination thank god thats to many years of the unknown

    • by Ann Siljegovich

    When I see someone or an animal hurt (on TV or for real) I feel a “shock” that quickly goes from my chest down to my knees. Almost like a bolt of lightning. I have only mentioned this to one other person who did not have the same feeling. I wasn’t sure if it was just me or that some other people felt the shock too.

    • by Jamie

    Hey everyone,

    I have been researching for this type of thing and glad to see there is a community out there. I had a couple of questions that maybe you could help me out with. My brother has had many experiences where he can feel every persons emotion the moment he walks into the room. However, he has also had instances where certain details come up about a certain person. For instance, dates pop up in his head that end up being very significant for the person he’s talking to. Or he feel that someone has lost a loved one. Does this sound familiar for anyone out there or do you think this is something else? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • by Dawn

    When someone speaks about something painful I feel pain behind my knees. The pain is like an electrical shock wave going through the back of both of my knees. The longer the person talks about the circumstance that I perceive as a painful circumstance, the more intense the pain behind my knees become. Sometimes the conversation continues to the point that I have had to ask them to stop explaining what it is they saw or what they know about. I am 50 Yeats old and have just learned that mirror touch synthesia exists.

    • by Connie

    I have never been able to watch tv or movies with violence in them. Some people have even asked what was wrong with me; after all, everybody else watches them, they would say.
    As a child, I often felt random pains, never thinking that they belonged to someone else.
    I found that I had a difficult time being in crowds, but didn’t know why.
    I was in my 30s when I discovered that I am an empath. I got married because I felt his feelings. Because I felt them, I assumed they were mine.
    what others feel, I feel. This is strongest with the people, and animals, that I have the strongest ties to, no matter the distance.
    When I found out what was happening, I thought it was a curse. Then I learned that I have a powerful gift.
    I have come to understand that I am a gifted healer. I know where to put my hands when doing energy healing or massage. I know what people are feeling during hypnosis. My clients feel understood.
    It is possible to shield from the unwanted feelings, both physical and emotional, of others. Apparently, I used to be a wide open book to my psychic friend, and therefore, to others not so friendly; I’ve since learned shielding. It’s not my natural way of being, so I need to be aware of how open I am.
    It’s possible to clear the pain and feelings of others from yourself. In my experience, and that of others that I know, this also comes with other abilities.
    I believe that the ability to feel others also comes with the ability to send to others. I suggest looking into Reiki and other energy healing modalities. It may just open up a whole new world for you, as it did for me.

  • I’m not sure if I have mirror-touch synesthesia or not. I don’t feel others’ physical pain, but if I am nearby someone undergoing a massage or head-rub, I vicariously enter into the sensations. There may be an element of self-hypnosis going on.
    Sometimes I can watch a person getting a haircut and feel my scalp tingle. It is a delicious feeling–very sensual, but not erotic. Witnessing a languid massage can make me feel calmer and more relaxed as a consequence of “experiencing” the sensations of the other. If there is a term for this, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

    • by Henry Emslie

    This is crazy!!! my whole life I just thought everyone felt the same things….then my wife corrected me. Yesterday I Googled it for the first time and found this and other articles!! When I see people get hurt I have a severe, sharp pain in my knees and hips. Sometimes almost enough to take me off my feet. Same thing when hearing injuries described or watching horror movies. My ex wife didn’t like to be touched, (ever fml), and when I would see people touch her I would feel the touch and cringe away, even from across the room.

    • by Roland

    Not sure if what i have is this, have only just this last hour heard of it. Have been talking about how I feel recently to find people don,t understand. It feels as if I have two bodies, mine and another body that feels sound, not vibration but a more a flurry of nerve endings. When I see some being hurt, my system gets flooded., not necessaryily as if I am actually being hurt in the same place although it is strongest in that area. Can also feel very sick. . I have tried to ignore it as much as possible and try not to let it stop me doing things. It has felt so redicculas to be this “sensitive” and I have striven to get over it but this all makes more sense. I am a strong person and very determined so I could never understand why I could be so easily reduced to tears or feel some one else’s emotions how ever much I try to block it. Interestingly many of my family members have autism or related conditions. Not an easy combination.

    • by Joanna

    I have a lot of types of synthesia but I think my mirror touch synthesia is not so strong. Sometimes I feel being touched when it happens to someone else but not as much as I feel it when someone is in pain. Since I was a kid I’d feel actual pain even when someone was talking about their pain (mostly physical pain) and it’s always a very intense experience. Now that I know this is a type of synthesia too I’m kinda relieved because I thought I was crazy

    • by Scott

    I have also had this all my life. I feel a dull throb from my tailbone, sometimes all the way to my knees when I see someone get injured. (or even think about someone else or me getting injured. Regardless of where they are injured, I still feel it in the same place. Only severity is different. I am also more sympathetic to the feelings o others. (To the point I try not to look at people. I cannot watch someone cry without feeling the sorrow myself. I thought everyone could feel it until I asked my wife about it a few day ago. (I’m over 40) I’m glad to find out it has a name. On the plus side, I can feel first love just by watching a chick-flick.

    • by Dana

    I’ve been consistently experiencing these types of sensations for years. I guess I’ve been more aware of it when I’m watching television. If someone is stabbed, hit or hurt (especially if it’s unexpected), I feel a sharp tingling of nerves in the area in which they are hurt. It’s fleeting and the pain is not horrible, but it’s always in the same area of the person who is hurt. I guess I thought it was normal and I’ve discussed it with my husband on several occasions. Recently, I asked him if he had the same feelings and he said, “no.” It stayed on my mind for several days, so I decided to search the internet and finally came up with information on Mirror Touch Synesthesia. I was amazed at what I read. I just assumed that everyone had the same experience. I started thinking about other issues which I thought could be related to Mirror Touch. I’ve never been able to watch reality shows or shows such as Jerry Springer. Particularly the shows in which people are humiliated in anyway. I seem to take on the humiliation as if It were me. It is so overwhelming and I feel horrible. It is especially bad when the people choose to put themselves in the direct path of the humiliation. I’ve never watched one episode of American Idol (I understand they aren’t nearly as bad now as when they started). I have the same experience with movies that are purported to be true and the movies are violent, sad, etc. The emotions they invoke are so overwhelming and I cry buckets of tears and feel awful for quite sometime. Years ago, I bought the movie, “The Passion of the Christ.”. It’s still in the packaging. I will probably never be able to watch it. There is one other thing that comes to mind. There have been numerous times when my husband or others complain of pain in a particular area of their body. I’ve noticed that I will begin to feel those aches or pains. It’s very interesting to learn about this subject. As I said earlier, I thought it was normal and that it happens to everyone. I plan to read as much as I can on the topic.

    • by Pasie

    I think a have a minor-ish mirror touch synestesia. I’ve always thought everyone felt the same- someone scrapes their knee on pavement; My knee stings. I watch the news and someone is bitten by something (ew); Wow my thighs are pounding. I think it’s minor, though because some events don’t trigger my senses. I can’t really name them, though.

    • by Emapth

    I could write a book about my experiences with feeling other people’s “stuff” (emotional stuff, too, not just physical). I had to methodically learn how to tune out other people’s emotions and pain, because it quite literally drove me insane. It was only after a complete breakdown in my early thirties that I started to understand what was happening to me and take steps to keep myself safe (I had to learn how to tune out, how to “shield” myself, how to deflect, how to rid myself of all that ambient stuff, etc.).

    That said, I think the simplest way to describe what happens to me now is to say that I absolutely hate those “funny” videos where people fall down stairs or catch on fire or bounce off a trampoline and smash into the ground or whatever. I absolutely do not find them funny. I see people (or animals) being injured or hurt and I feel it, sometimes only mildly, sometimes quite profoundly. I see people watch this stuff and just burst out laughing and I think, “How can you find that funny? Can’t you see someone is HURT?!” But I guess that, no, they can’t…

    I also respond to things like people eating (photos, on TV, in movies, etc.), and to other kinds of feelings (I get all warm and soft when I see people who are clearly in love, for example). Those kinds of sensations I tend not to filter out as much because who doesn’t want to enjoy that warm feeling of being in love or the comforting feeling of eating delicious food? 😉

    Most of my life, people told me I was “too sensitive” or outright accused me of being a drama queen because of my “over the top” reactions to other people’s pain or emotions. Now, at least, I can point to neurological studies and give a name to it. “No, I am not too sensitive, I have mirror touch synesthesia. Oh, you don’t know what that is? Gee, guess you don’t know everything, after all….” 😉 🙂

    • by River Walker

    Sometimes it’s overwhelming. It’s an onslaught of stimuli and makes me want to shut it out. I had my children years apart because I knew I could not handle sharing the pain of skinned knees and adolescent emotions from two children all at once. Now that I’m older I can prepare myself for what’s coming and I am able to handle all the stimuli better. My alone time is so important to me because that’s how I wind down from all the physical and emotional stimuli of the day. I climb up on our rooftop and stare at the stars and that has always been a great relief.

    • by anna mcvey

    hi I’m trying to understand what I have. I connected 9 months ago with a man who lives on the other side of the world. .we just chatted. ..then something strange happened…. energetically I began to experience a connection in my body when he thought about contacting me. Usually through messages. .it is now so strong it’s 100% correct.
    I have had something similar with past relationships but never to this extent and never such a vast distance
    I am a health professional and I do pick up unspoken thoughts and pain of clients which I can feel. ..
    just trying to get an answer

    • by j

    Self diagnosing myself here. mines kind of specific; when i see someone gets touched in the breast I feel it immediately and it is very strong that it feels real.

    • by Whutzit2U

    My friend, WhoWuntz2No, has synesthesia (many kinds). She’ll talk to me about it, and I have some of the stuff she has, but I’m mostly just using my imagination. Even though I’ve passed some synesthesia tests, I know I don’t have it. It’s not immediate, the colors, like they’re supposed to be. I have to come up with the personalities, and sometimes I’ll forget ‘synesthetic’ things I’ll make up! But my friend really is convinced that i have it, and now I am starting to get convinced too, even though I know I don’t really have it! How do I convince myself, and then tell her??? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • by Daphne

    I’ve had mirror-emotion synesthesia all my life if it’s what I think it is. I feel other people’s emotions and sometimes hear their thoughts. The largest difficulty about this is that I often don’t know what is mine and what is the other person’s unless it occurs to me to ask them directly. It’s familiar for me to feel everything in the room and I need to stay very, very anchored and observant (meditation and Gendlin’s Focusing). I tried the links someone posted above for mirror-emotion synesthesia but they aren’t working. Anyone have good resources about this?

  • There must be gradients of this. Years ago I received a call that my husband needed to be picked up because a car had crashed into his and the car was out of commission. I drove there and started feeling pain in my left arm. He got into the car, and the pain intensified. I asked him if he had been hurt. He said his left arm was in pain.

    In another possible area of this phenomena, when I meet people, I’ll remember more about how they were feeling than what they looked like. Their feelings come through to me very loudly even though they don’t mention it.

    • by Kath

    I’m 46 and only recently realized that others don’t feel pain when seeing someone with an injury..I was talking to a friend and said..you know when you see someone hurt and it hurts? She said no..so I asked a few other friends who all said no..it feels like my nerves jolt and hurt and has happened as long as I can remember. Anyway I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling this

    • by elton caicedo

    I don’t have a website.

    Now I think I do have a name for the empathetic feelings when I see or hear about others’ pain… mirror-touch synesthesia. I feel a tingly pain in my feet and ankles and calves when I see others in pain. It is short-lived but marked. I wonder if there is some way to train the pain away.

    • by Marty

    Hi friends! Yes what a gift / curse. It has taken me years to get to a point where I can make good use of it.

    I find Psychotherapy has been very helpful in learning to separate what others feel from what i am feeling. I feel that this is behind some peoples depression and anxiety. I find if I am depressed it smooths out the bumpy ride, and the anxiety that comes from processing conflicting messages. Meditation is super helpful as well. I think it is more stimulating to have this so easy to get over loaded, and I find I am less tolerant of noisy surroundings, and can’t isolate speech in a complex ambient sound environment. I get tired more quickly, but recover fast in quiet surroundings.

    I have known I am different, but did not know this was part of it. Like the rest of you i always thought that everyone had these physical sensations when seeing other people get hurt, or feeling the pain when people describe it.

    I feel that children with MTS (Mirror Touch Synesthesia) need some special skills so they are able to cope better and make use of the gift to make life richer. I am a psychologist now and looking at articulating a list of skills parents and professional can teach. Part of it is I think associated with the Intuitive Feeling type of person (Carl Jung’s Temperament Types, i.e. Myers Briggs. Read about this type in “Please Understand Me” where there is a good description of children with the NF type.)

    Children with this sensitivity, in my experience, do really well with good support, and really bad without it. My daughter has this and works doing message with horses.

    • by Marty

    Almost forgot. Mindfulness is a key skill for people with this sensitivity.

    • by Marty

    The thing I remember most vividly is when I first saw the “Three Stooges!” I was four and at a friends house. I thought is was just horrible, so painful to watch, and what is everybody laughing at? Hard to understand why people were laughing, and so isolating. My reaction was so different from my friends.

    • by J

    I feel a clenching pain behind both my knees when someone is describing something painful. I don’t get the same response if I see someone with an injury, unless it is more gory. Just when people tell stories.

    • by Alice

    I’m not alone! I feel pain, physical and emotional. It’s weird.. At least I know I’m not alone.. I tried to explain it to some but got odd looks so I just kept to myself.

    • by Sandy

    I stumbled upon this while finally looking on line to see if this “thing” has a name. I feel what I describe as an electric shock that starts at my feet and goes up my body very quickly when I see (ie: watching tv) someone being hurt, or if someone tells me of an incident where they are hurt (“Today I sliced my finger”). It came on a few years ago and is very pronounced. I am glad I can now label this “gift”. I simply cover my eyes now when watching tv if I know the scene will invoke the reaction.

    • by Dr. Greg

    I am a Mirror-Touch Synesthete. I have had this as long as I remember.

    If I see someone fall, even on television, I get an intense sharp pain that starts in my lower back and radiates through my legs and particularly in my knees. It is brief but intense. It is such a weird feeling.

    All I have to do to duplicate the experience is to go on You Tube and watch kids on skate boards take some horrendous falls while trying to ride a rail.

    • by SynesthesiaTrippin

    Ok, you guys are beginning to freak me out… lol I was born with grapheme (letters + numbers), sound-color, and colored notes synesthesia. I did some reading on mirror-touch synesthesia and didn’t realize nobody else feels the texture of an object across their skin before they actually touch it if they focus on it.. or watch 2 people touch and feel their touch on my own skin– or join in on feeling their touch with my vision (vision-touch?). If you could explain this for me, that would actually explain a lot. No wonder I can play 2 pianos simultaneously while blindfolded, and memorize the most ridiculous concertos simply off touch.. google it. I started longboarding and come to think of it i’m beginning to feel the texture of the road with my hands, even when i’m not looking….. kind of stoked and scared simultaneously. Does any of this sound normal? I’ve never particularly noticed vision-touch before, but, I’ve always been able to physically-feel textures of any surface, object, or person across my skin using sight if I simply zone in and think about it. When I actually touch the object physically, it feels the exact same 100% of the time as when I felt the texture with my mind. That’s completely normal, right? Oddly enough, this explains a lot of strange, and relentless boners too…

    • by PJ

    I have mirror-touch synesthesia, and like others who have left comments, which have been good to read, but also at the same time, uncomfortable, because reading their descriptions of other peoples physical and emotional pain, has made it quite difficult for me to type, as my fingertips are now very tingly and oversensitive, and I feel ‘on-edge.’

    I’ve always been described as being over sensitive. As a young child, I can remember watching a black and white film, about Billy the Kid, someone shot at him with a gun, shooting bits of his ears off, I was in so much pain, and feel queasy thinking about it now. So I tend to never watch to watch horror films. I passed out in the cinema on one occasion, when I’d gone with a friend, to watch a double bill of David Croneburgh films.

    The type of mirror touch synesthesia that I have, I used to think that everyone had.
    When I touch people, I can feel the sensation that they have, within their skin. Like others, I’m also very aware of other peoples emotions, and dislike being in crowds of people.

    I’ve been able to put my mirror-touch synesthesia to good use, as I’m now a massage therapist, and like others who also massage, I can not only feel, but I can also see the location of pain, even from a distance, through their clothing, or beneath the cotton towels. What I haven’t figured out yet is, if I’m hearing, or seeing their pain, as the pain will always have a particular sensation, which I’ll experience on one of my fingertips. I’ve also come to the conclusion that, pain emits a certain frequency, as well as having a shape and a color, which is somewhere between black/silver. When I then touch the point that I’ve seen in the person’s body, both I and they receive a slight jolt, like a static electric shock. I’ll often work with my eyes closed, as I’ll have a better sense of the pain. Different types of pain, have different sensations, some muscle pains are like a bruise, others can be sharp, like a pin prick. As I work though the massage session, I can feel the energetic release of tension, which I can only describe as a wonderfully warm tingly feeling.

    • by Jenn

    I’m not sure if I am experiencing this or not. I have always been hyper sensitive to other people’s emotions and empathize with them especially grieving people. What I feel is when someone is about to get hurt (especially my children) a sharp pain in my groin or the pit of my stomach. Doesn’t everyone feel that? The feeling like I’m falling or coming down off a ride? It’s hard to watch those “funny” videos where someone misses the pool and smashes their face ugh just thinking about it makes me hurt.

    • by Skylar

    I’m only 19 but I can feel others pain, both emotionally and physically. I don’t actually have needed to see it when it happened, but it does need to have caused some form of pain for me to feel it. Because of this, i can’t feel it when someone is getting hurt in a movie or TV show, as i am not physicality near them. What I do with the knowledge is help them by stopping any throbbing or heat that the pain is causing.

    I’ve always been able to do this,with the first time being when i was just a few years old and my mom got kicked by one of the horses on our property. its been interesting to read how this has affected other people. Over the years, I’ve been able to expand this to be able to feel any emotion with anyone around me, but i actually need to be trying to look for the emotions to feel anything except pain.

    • by Yuyuf!

    Pretty much the first time I remember feeling the synesthesia was when my friend fell and broke his tooth… It kind of felt weird and I had to stop looking. Then I saw people kissing and I almost died at the feeling of my lips. Also, at the doctors a while ago with my sister, she was getting a shot and I could sort of feel it in my arm.

  • I’ve always done this but mine is a twinge in my lower back when someone gets hurt in a certain way. For instance, stubbing a toe, cutting their foot, stepping in thorns, etc. I also have strangers want to tell me their secrets often.

    • by Rebecca

    I am a swimmer on a competitive swim team and my first mirror touch experience was when on of the kids in the younger group did a belly flop on accident and I felt it. I didn’t know what it was so I just passed it off as nothing, except for the fact that it kept happening in different scenarios. Then a little while later when I did a research paper on Synesthesia and came across mirror touch. So I went to the doctor’s office to take a test for it and it turns out that I did have mirror touch.

    • by Shirley

    When I was 5-6 years old my cousin got a splinter in her foot and I felt the pain, to this day when I think about this I still feel the pain, not in my foot but in the back of my legs up to my back. I’m now 70 years old and when I see or hear of someone having any sort of pain I feel this pain again up back of my legs to back. My adopted granddaughter had her wisdom teeth extracted last week (she lives in another town) and I could hardly open my mouth for several days the pain was so intense.
    When my honey hold my hand I hurt so bad I blamed him of squeezing hard he swears he isn’t. I was thinking I was normal, now I’m starting to wonder.

    • by Maddie Lamb

    Hi, I think I have some weird case of mirror touch synesthesia. If someone stubs their toe I can tell how it feels and I’ll feel a little “pulse” in that area but it doesn’t actually hurt me. Sometimes I wince if someone is describing breaking their arm or I see someone like that happen on TV. I’m not sure what to call what I have. I am able to tell in my head how it feels and can imagine the pain which is why I can’t hear stories of people breaking bones or things like that. Can somebody explain this?

    • by Anonymous please

    I had never noticed it until I watched this video on YouTube where they tried to test for synesthesia. It wasn’t like some people explained here (like passing out) but I felt a tingly and achy where they had tried to hurt themselves. I don’t know if this counts as mirror touch synesthesia, but it has been on my mind lately. Are there different degrees of this rare phenomenon?

    • by Jon Iorio

    I am currently 15 and I have mirror touch synesthesia. It is very strong and it completely sucks. Whenever I’m watching a movie or TV show whenever anybody gets hurt or has the tiniest amount of pain I twitch and squint my eyes and look away trying not to feel it. My friends like taking advantage of this and will describe great amounts of pain that I will then feel. Sometimes they even pinch themselves making me feel as if I was pinched. I’m constantly looking at people just as they happen to hurt themselves and boom, pain. Now I am a gamer and like first person shooters, but luckily THOSE do nothing. So the summary, I feel everybody’s pain no matter who they are. So when somebody is suffering from a broken bone or something, I just tell them, “Be glad you don’t live with it everyday”

    • by Debbie

    I finally googled my question about experiencing physical pain when seeing my children’s injuries and ended up here. It’s not mirror-image, but when they get hurt and I see it or they come home and show me a cut, scrape, bruise, or the like, it actually hurts in the lowest part of my stomach (I sort of think it hurts in my womb). It’s like a short stabbing pain that flutters and then goes away. Not long lasting at all – probably less than two seconds – but it’s there every time. I’ve never even mentioned it to anyone because I thought it sounded crazy!! But, I knew I couldn’t be the only one to experience something like this.

    • by L Lavender

    Has anyone else on here been told or suffered from a cyst in their occipital lobe?

    • by Carolyn

    I have this. I find as I get older it is becoming more intense. I cannot watch much violence or gore on any screen. Even comic bits with people falling or even animals I feel the pain.

    • by Karen Burrows

    I have always had associative anesthesia, Numbers are a specific color as are letters. I also hear music in color. It’s like watching a tornado build from the ground up swirling with the colors that each note in the song brings. Over the past several years I started feeling pain when seeing someone else experience it. As I cringe a wave of pain washes over me. It seems to move up and down my entire body. I honestly thought I was going crazy until seeing this article. Now it makes perfect sense!! Thank you!!

    • by Robyn

    For years I have tried to describe what happens if I see someone injured or an open wound. Tonight I went to Google & found this website!
    I started calling it the “heeby jeebies” and it feels like a sparks and tingles across the sides of my hips and upper legs. If prolonged, i.e., I am giving first aid to someone and I have to keep looking at the wound, the tingle goes up into my stomach. Just last week I said to my adult son, “Do you get this? Why is it always my outer legs”? Now I know!

  • Apparently, I can feel food in my mouth when I think of it. Also when somewhon falls I have a tingling feeling of that area.Weird, but cool.

    • by suzanne

    Mine is a bit different, but similar. i have had this ever since I was a small child. when someone gets hurt, I feel a shooting energy up my spine. it does not hurt. So not sure if this is the same, but it is set off by seeing someone have a mishap that hurts them and it is more common when i see children in a position of getting hurt. Photos do not set this off, film and live happenings do. I thought everyone had this feeling until recently when i spoke of it to others and see that they don’t.

    • by antony

    I have been suffering from this sort of thing for years and thought I was unique until I googled my condition. My pain is mainly in my private parts and is just like pins and needles which lasts for seconds. Anyone the same?

    • by Anonymous Person

    I don’t know if this is what anyone is describing but iv’e started to realize that when I see someone hurt themselves on purpose, my lungs start to feel tight, I feel like I’m being squeezed all over and I have to look away. It also happens when I see it in a movie or tv show. There is also times where… I know this will sound crazy but, I will be thinking about something and im in an argument, the other person is opposing to me and I think of something very specific and not even related to what this argument or conversation and I think a word a specific event and all of a sudden the other person blurts it out in the same exact way i was thinking it. Also, when I concentrate really hard, I can feel the words someone saying as if im saying them myself. I know I rambled a bit off topic but I just thought if maybe I said this, maybe someone out there knows and has these same experiences.

    • by Natalie

    I learned about this from a fictional podcast called the Bright Sessions. I do not suffer from this synaesthesia, but it is beyond fascinating to hear about others who really experience these types of sensations in real life! Next time you want to cry over AFV just remember that you guys are essentially super heros. Lol Good luck with your bitter sweet synaesthesia!

    • by Yvette rhoton

    I feel electrical jolts down my legs. Sometimes in my genital area, when someone gets hurts or falls or jumps, etc. the pain will exactly coincide with the other persons impact. My mom gets achy knees if someone describes their pain. First time I ever looked it up. I feel better knowing it’s actually kind of cool. As in—I’m not nuts… I’m not the only one.

    • by jon

    i was diagnosed with this earlier this year and it really made a lot of things that i have felt make sense. I also have an anxiety disorder and the two clash in a big bad way. I began using weed to help. and it is an amazing difference. I never thought that somthing like that would work so well for my problems. with out is im barely functional. with it, im just a normal everyday person doing my job. I get it prescribed from a doctor

    • by tristin

    I can feel what ever I think of, but because of it nightmares are literally painful, and when I try to forget, it makes me think of it, causing me to feel it again. If I think of an injury, sometimes the thought will get stuck (like a bad song stuck in your head), and I will feel pain for a while,. until I finally change subject.

    • by Cscui

    I finally remembered to google it as it just happened and I had my phone close. Thing is that everytime I see someone on tv trip or fall I feel this like shock really fast in all my body, makes me cringe, like electric shock ot a lightning bolt, something really fast and very uncomfortable. Sometimes it also happens when I’m dreaming like if I get shot or you know something violent like that and in that moment is really scary and it can hurt for minutes after that cause is not so fast and is more painful, it can take some minutes to recover. That doesn’t happen often but the zap or electric shock when watching tv, that happens a lot. I can’t stand to watch AFV and my kids love the show and I asked them “hey do you feel weird when they fall or hit themselves?” they and husband yelled at unison “nooo!” -you are crazy ;P

    I was just watching Marty fell and rolled from a hill on the mall parking lot scene in Back To The Future and bang! I felt it, that’s what made me search online. I have watched the movie 1000 times but right now I don’t remember if it happens everytime but if I rewind it doesn’t happen, it has to be a surprise I guess. I don’t remember when this started to happen, I guess maybe after I had babies as I also noticed I get dizzy if Im in the car and we are going in a road with bunch of curves like in the country or when we take off on a plane, I suffer anxiety also, after babies, but I learned to control it with excercise and supplements

    Also when I see my kids like doing something funny or sweet or cute I don’t know, I feel like a minor lightning bolt in my stomach like butterflies like inmense love. I also cry very easy if I see something sweet or sad story (reading, hearing or seeing), that is annoying yes but I can in some way control that but the zapping electric shock in all my body when seeing tripping or falling on videos gosh that is so annoying almost painful. Anyway I wish there was a way to control that too. And I used to be a dare devil when I was single… go figure what happened

    Do you imagine what kind of world we had if everybody had synesthesia?

    • by Ameiys

    I remember when I saw a movie (I don’t really remember which one…) a man was shot in the chest and I felt the pain. Then, some other day, my friend came and told me that his grand-father died and I felt a really bad and my heart was hurting me so much… Is this considered to be Mirror-touch synesthesia?

    • by Ameiys

    I also saw two guys fighting at school and I felt their pain.

    • by Jb

    I believe I have this also. If I see a violent scene in a movie, I have a quick pain, like a bolt of lightning that shoots down my legs. Also, I can become so connected to a movie that I feel their emotions strongly, fear, embarrassment etc. Sometimes it’s too much and I have to leave. This happens with friends too. I’ve always wondered about this phenomenon…

    • by Kelly

    My brother shot himself in the mouth. Since his death I have been experiencing things. At first my forehead hurt to even touch. Like it was bruised. Now it’s a sharp pain in the back of my throat but up higher. It’s like when you get that razor blade feeling when you swallow when you get a soar throat but it’s not a soar throat and only happens at random times. Has anyone ever heard of having wound symptoms that caused the death of someone very close to you? It’s making me think I’m crazy!

    • by Mel

    Wow! I was just trying to explain this and I’ve always wondered if it was normal. For me I get an all over shock type feeling when I see someone get hurt. It’s not a mirror, but more like a jolt through my body. I’m extremely empathetic and sensitive. I’m also very good at judging character and “sensing” other people’s feelings. I’m so happy that I’m not alone.

  • Hello Partners “In Pain”,
    I watched Chicago Med tonight. A portion of the episode dealt with a girl who had this condition. I’d never heard of it before but, the symptoms strongly resonated with me. Growing up in my family, I was always the overly sensitive, defensive and empathetic “emotionally pathetic” one. I couldn’t handle real experiences, scary films, books or news where anyone was emotionally or physically hurt. I have a hyper sense of smell, touch and spatial recognition. Even as a child I was extremely intuitive and empathetic. Fortunately, I was open to how I could best use these traits. I was a teacher for 13 years and a Junior High Counselor for 26. I use to tell my mom that all I had to do was hang out in the hall and could tell when someone needed help. I’ve always felt it was the Holy Spirit directing me. I can also relate to others on this board that people, even strangers, open up and share with me. It felt affirming to learn that these traits have a name.

  • I am also curious about the possible fibromyalgia or cancer correlation. The pain I experience when I am exposed to anyone else’s pain is sharp and leaves residual aching.

    • by Shannon

    These comments really give me some relief. I thought I was weird. My experience is when I see someone in pain or hurt, I get prickly, tingly sensation in both of my lower legs at the same time for a few seconds. Then it is gone.

    • by Alyssa

    Okay I don’t know but I can’t find it anywhere but me and my girlfriend have been dating for a little over 2 years and I don’t know like it’s like I know when she is in pain or something because I can feel what she is feeling. For instance just today she was telling me how you hadn’t eaten for a while and she keeping throwing up nothing and I replied saying the same thing cause I had also felt these symptoms. This is not the first time this had happened. I always tell her that we just connect on a whole other level but like I really have no idea. Can someone help me find an answer???

    • by Kristen

    Like Suzanne, I get this shooting energy up my spine when someone even talks about painful situations, forget about seeing images. I thought everyone had this my whole life until recently. I am definitely sensitive to loud noises, certain types of music highly aggravate me, and clutter (although I’m not a neat freak) drives me insane. Interesting comments….

  • I’m a little confused with my condition. Since my childhood, I noticed that at the sight of blood, my vision turns black and white but luckily I never fainted. Also, I just don’t know why there’s this sensation of pain.
    I was still a young when I first encountered this weird feeling. When I saw an accident where blood gushed from the victim’s broken right foot I suddenly felt that I could hardly see. And also, I felt that a terrible sensation of pain rushed into me as if I was the one who got the accident.
    Back when I was still studying, my Scout master noticed my fear of blood so he encouraged me to become one of the the First Aid Volunteers. Giving First Aid for years as a Scout, I eventually overcome my “black and white thing” reaction at the sight of blood but never the sensation of pain every time I treat the wound of other persons.
    Until now, watching accidents at the Youtube channel would make me feel this unexplainable pain.
    Before reading this article, I just thought, I have a blood-phobia (hemophobia).

  • […] One viewer’s wife found him knocked out on the floor one evening after watching an episode of Stroked. It turned out that the man had undergone a stroke himself, and doctors diagnosed him with mirror-touch synesthesia syndrome. […]

  • So i have apparently 2 Synaesthesias one mirror touch and grapheme color Synaesthesia.And 2 superpower which is reading peoples minds and really good hearing .

    • by caroline

    I have mirror-touch synesthesia although not as bad as other people. When I was younger I thought it was normal until I saw a video about it. I told my friends about when I was in 8th grade because I remember seeing my friend’s locker was decorated for her birthday and there was one photo of her and she was touching her collar bone. I remember feeling a light touch there. I don’t feel as strong pain as some other people and watching people be in pain has never caused me to feel really bad, but touches really effect me. The biggest thing is when people try and open a container and I can feel it really strongly in my fingers. Also when people get poked in the knee at the doctor I can feel it really strongly. It never really affected my day to day life though because it never causes me strong pain and I just think it is normal.

    • by Phillip

    Fascinating reading. I don’t have mirror touch, but now I know it is a form of synesthesia. When I was a young boy I saw a neighbor with her arm in a sling, and I felt a strong tingling sensation in my rear end. I get that every time I see someone who was hurt, or has an accident, or sometimes when someone describes getting hurt. I guess I’m luckier than some I’ve read hear, as it is in no way debilitating or uncomfortable.

    • by Candace

    Wondering now if I have some form of this. I do not feel pain when I see it in movies or on TV, and I generally do not mirror the pain of others. However, when my husband does anything to hurt himself that involves blood (he has a penchant for that!), and I either see it or he just tells me about it, I get a strong, diffuse pain across my entire chest. Every time. The level of the pain is relative to the severity of the injury. I even feel a paper cut. Sometimes the pain is quite severe, and I have thought that if he was ever mortally wounded, I could die too, right there. I can’t recall feeling this to any great extent with others, although there have been hints of it at times. But with him … wow.

    • by RobW

    I believe I have this. I had thought it was ‘tactile hallucinations’ because i was feeling things that weren’t there, but i think having learned a little more mirror touch synesthesia is a more accurate description of what i was sensing. For me, just visualizing (picturing) someone else getting hurt (having seen something similar once either in real life or on a tv/video), I can feel the pain (as if it were happening to me)— but at the same time visualizing pleasurable feelings, i can feel those too. It’s like a self-administered “upper” drug using my imaginaton (i don’t do drugs, but do take psychiatric prescriptions as prescribed), like anything else i have to be careful not to overdose myself with good touch sensations from mirror touch.

    • by Kim

    I am not sure what I have, but this is my experience. I used to be an X-ray tech at a clinic for workman’s comp. while working there I started experiencing patient’s pain.
    Most of the patients that came in were injuries that required X-rays, so as I was walking to a patients room I would get pain in my knee. I would get the chart, look at the doctor’s orders and it would be a knee. Next call for X-ray my elbow hurts. I look at chart and it is for an elbow.
    I thought I was losing my mind. I eventually told the P.A, and asked him to watch me for a day. I didn’t miss an injury or rather I felt the pain of the person behind the door before I looked at their chart. The whole time I worked there, I felt each of my patients pain, but only as I was walking to their room specifically.
    The P.A. told me he had heard of this. He said it had something to do with being an empath.
    I no longer work in the medical field. I do still have pain all the time. I don’t know if it is mine or someone else.

    • by John Van Ruiten

    I get this outrageous pain in my ankles whenever I see bloody stuff on tv, be it human or animal. I don’t even have to see it. Just thinking of someone walking barefoot across a rocky surface or if people talk about an accident they had where they got hurt. If I even think of walking barefoot anymore, it kills me. I’m 64 now and have neuropathy. Maybe that’s why. It’s horrible whatever it is.

    • by C E

    I am not sure if I have MTS but I feel pain when looking at sharp objects. I feel as if they pierce my right eye. Even the point or edges of desks affect me. I also feel naseaus in my stomach

    • by Dr R

    Although I’m a pediatrician, I’d switched to an administrative job before this diagnosis existed, so I just heard about it – and I am freaked out! I thought I was the only one! As a kid, I reported my feelings as colors. “Blue problems” were really bad. My emotion-color synesthesia faded, but I’ve had mirror-touch all my life; 3 versions: 1. Seeing an injury causes an energy burst from my “tail-bone,” up my spine. I can lose balance if its a bad injury, or jerk seeing an impact injury. Although this occurs when I would see a patient enter the ER, it vanished as soon as I started working on them. 2. I feel a stimulus to someone else as if it were me (When significant, like a cut; but not light-touch). It can linger, or flashback in a memory. I usually mirror pain, but sometimes other sensations (even those of a more “adult” nature). 3. My empathy synesthesia is phenomenal. I take on others’ emotions, even when they wouldn’t impact me. This can help (medicine; relating), but it can be unpleasant (no more emotional movies – they’re exhausting!). And it can be scary: I tend to understand a person’s emotions from their perspective, even if repulsive. So, after a 48 Hours murder documentary, when no one can imagine how the parent could have drowned her kids…I can! It’s horrific. Synesthesia’s had other impacts. When I see a racist/ sexist act violate someone, I also feel violated… This was a main factor in moving to different city. I’m a white male! It can be hard to explain.
    [Thanks for sharing, everyone!]

    • by Anne

    I am so relieved reading all of these comments. I am a hyper-empath, and before really coming into this and realising what it was about 6 years ago.. I always just thought there was something wrong with me, especially when it came to the mirror synesthesia.
    If someone SPEAKS to me about their pain I will get an almost crippling pain/sensation, either in the spot they are describing the pain/injury, or in my root/sacral chakra. aghhh!!!
    love to you my fellow sensitives <3

    • by Fatima

    I’ve been thinking about this condition for many years now… Because whenver my husband feels pain in diff part of his body I also feel the same thing. At first I thought maybe I was just too much concern him so It was just my imagination that I feel his pain. But after a year of observation… i really do feel his pain. My husband usually go to massage theraphy but always not that satisfied because the therapies cannot exactly point out where his pain is. But whenever I massage him, he was always happy and relax because I always get the exact point of where his pain was. It is really because Whevener I started massaging him, I started to feel the pain in my Body too even without him telling me where exactly his pain is. At first I feel like puzzled and confused, but eventually i realized that I actually feel it and i can’t really deny it…

    • by Kerri

    I have always been hyper-empathetic. I cry watching movies when they cry, I can’t watch a person get cut with a knife or get a needle. I feel things I don’t know if I am supposed to feel. I can put myself back into times in my life and feel and smell the exact moment. Not sure if this is this mirror thing or not, but have always been told I am too emotional. At my daughter’s communion I looked at my father and just knew he wasn’t going to be at my son’s communion the next year. 3 months later he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer and died 5 months later. It does come in handy with my job as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst working with children with autism. I can feel/know what is going on with them even when they can’t speak. As Monk would say, “It’s a gift, and a curse.”

    • by David

    Don’t know if this is the same thing, but if I wat h a video of someone falling a, especially on their back side, I get this intense shiver up my back as if I just fell.

    Someone else mentioned when someone would say that they had cut their finger, this would also trigger a throbbing in my finger for a couple of seconds.

    Had this all my life, thought it was just me 🙂

    • by Ash

    I wonder if this is related: I frequently find that I will suddenly imagine something physically uncomfortable or painful, these clear visions are seemingly unprovoked. I’ll suddenly see things things like chewing on a fork to the point it bends, or cuticles being scraped back. I will physically cringe at the strangest of times, whether meditating or riding a bike or talking with a friend. Anyone K own what this is?

    • by Tonya

    I am relieved that this happens to other people, I thought I was just bizarro. I can feel a strange sensation in my core when children fall or run barefoot. I am also very sensitve in nature.

    • by anonymous

    I was googling this (or trying to, not knowing how to describe it)

    as I was informed by my’ son’s teacher (high school) that he had fainted during a presentation from our local firefighters. They were describing an injury call they attended and he fainted.

    He has also felt dizzy and nauseous while watching movies (some without blood or gore; twilight when they shattered like glass caused him pain)

    dissecting salmon at school (dizzy and nauseous – no fainting) and discussing illness and related pain in health class. He is not taking biology for this reason

    We had assumed he would outgrow it but apparently not with this latest episode.

    Strangely enough, he was around when his grandmother sliced her finger and he was fine even though it was a bad cut and was bleeding a lot. Perhaps when able to assist, he does not have this issue.

    He also plays first person shooter video games and does not have an issue. He plays contact hockey and enjoys that aspect and will defend himself vigorously in a fight (would never start one) He was also able to watch the House series – I asked if he was trying to desensitize and he said it did not bother him and he found it interesting.

    It is nice to have a name, some type of synethesia though not mirror touch.
    I am a fainter but it is generally only when having blood taken or a vaccination (if I lie down I am fine) no actual fear; as a child I wanted to watch the injection and found it interesting, the fainting was delayed. It’s quite annoying and I know my son is frustrated with this. He does not know ahead of time how strongly things will affect him (he managed to assist in the dissection but simply hearing a story of a past event causing him to faint is incredible.

    I am quite sensitive myself and cannot watch others cry without crying.

    • by Martha

    I have always had this sharing sensation like an electric current in the back of my knees when I see someone cut themselves, or experience a fall or accident which is painful. This is simultaneous to the incident.

    • by Kristina Priessler

    I am 58 years old and this is the first time I have ever read someone else’s experiences that were so similar to mine. I feel pain throughout my body when I see someone trip and fall. I can feel peoples pain and sometimes I know what is hurting them emotionally and physically. When people share with me their problems I have a hard time letting it go because I feel it so personally.

  • I was 50 before I learned the name of my condition by reading a short article in Readers Digest. I have ALWAYS felt the pain of others whether I watched it happen or when they would tell me about it later. I hate shows like AFV because it is too physically painful to watch. I cannot watch surgery even on TV because I feel the scalpel cutting me. I don’t feel all touch, just pain. I have to hide my eyes during a fight scene in a movie because I feel every punch/kick. I usually plug my ears and walk away when someone starts to tell about getting hurt or having surgery. I also am extremely empathetic with the emotions of others, especially pain or joy. I cry for others all the time, but rarely for myself. I have always looked on it as a blessing. It helped me excell in theater and also has helped me be a better social worker. I have always tried to explain it to others as being EXTREMELY empathetic. But that explanation doesn’t do justice to the literal pain I feel for others. It is good to have an official name for my condition.

    • by Tamara

    I am not exactly sure when this started, but I have noticed it is getting stronger as I get older. What happens to me is when I see someone get hurt, I get a jolt that goes through my whole body. It doesn’t hurt and it is quick, but it is a very weird and strong sensation. I imagine it is what it feels like to get a low voltage electric shock. I can hardly watch shows like Funiest Home Videos because as the people are doing something crazy and getting hurt over and over, I am getting this “shock” over and over. 🙂

    • by Atossa

    Wow! I was watching a sci-fi tv show, where the anti-gravity was suddenly suspended, and a character dropped to the ground, and I felt a shooting pain starting from my spine down into my legs, which occasionally happens to me, so I wanted to know why. Unlike, some here, it isn’t incredibly painful (although this time it was particularly strong, lasting around five minutes), but it is annoying. I was under the impression that everyone had these sensations. I see others flinch when they watch a person get punched or fall too. I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like the falling sections of AFV, or who isn’t a fan of boxing/MMA matches and hates watching tackles in football games, so I always assumed that everyone also felt the pain along with them. I am astounded to realize that it is not the case for most.

    • by M J T jr.

    When I watch videos of somebody falling or wrecking their bike,etc. I have a very severe lower back pain that will run down into the back of my legs. Very painful.

    • by Jeannie

    When I see people about to be hurt, i.e. getting blood drawn, people about to jump off buildings in movies I get a kinda uncomfortable “zing” in the back of my knees. I’ve been asking doctors about this for years and got a lot of funny looks! Sometimes if it happens too many times in a short period of time, I get very sore for the rest of the day.

  • I have always had this, but until today, reading this article, I thought i was just too sensitive but couldn’t turn it off. In 1995, my husband fell three stories down and broke almost every bone in his body. I wasn’t there, of course, but suddenly I felt such pain all over my body I could barely stand it. The phone rang and work and I was told by the hospital to get there asap, as my husband had a “broken arm.” His skull was crushed, both arms were broken (the doctor said his bones looked like crushed cornflakes), his spine was broken in three places, and his left leg was broken. After 26 surgeries and three years, he walks and works as if it never happened. Thank the Lord. But I felt every surgery, every headache, you name it, I had it. I would love some feedback from others who have experienced this. It’s NOT a gift, and science says that those of us who feel this simply have extra synapses in our brains. Thanks, everyone. Hope you are all well.

    • by Lorraine

    My experience is a little different from what other people have described. I do not feel the pain in the same location as what the other person is experiencing. The pain I feel when I see someone in pain is a pain in my gut. It is not in my stomach or any organ. It is almost like the pain is in my blood. That is the only what I can describe it. I have had this for as far back as I can remember. When it happens to a loved one the pain becomes more intense and sometimes will go down both legs.
    Does anyone else here ever experience anything like that.

  • I have a form of Mirror Touch Synesthesia. That is, I was born with healing and intuitive abilities. When I facilitate healings, I am often able to feel in my own body where the origin of the pain within my own body. It could be an organ, bone, tissue, etcetera.

    There are documented testimonials by real people with first and last names on my site, KathleenAnnMilner.com. The latest testimonial regards the healing of cancer in one session.

    • by M.H.

    Thank you for this site! I also have this strange buzzing shock wave when I see something that looks painful. For me it tends to start in the groin/privates and radiate out from there, both up into my abdomen and down through my legs and to my feet. It does not always take the same path, varies in intensity, and is much stronger in response to seeing something in person as opposed to on video. It only lasts a few seconds, but may come in multiple waves if I keep looking at or thinking about the trigger.
    I also always assumed everyone felt it and was surprised to learn that was not the case. So happy I am not alone after all! 😊

  • Hi there my name is Dianne. I’ve only just started to look into this subject due to my situation. From a small child I was always very sensitive and I’m now 56years..ive always felt things through my body and I know when something bad is going to happen due to my body it changes and I feel so different. The reason I’m here now today is because I needed the answere- how could my body suffer such pain for months?
    It must have started late last summer 2017 I’ve always suffered with heartburn after eating or drinking. I’ve used heartburn meds to control this pain. In Dec my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the osophgise, at the top of his stomach a tumour had been growing for many years. Dad was given 6weeks to 6months to live a stent was put in to help him eat a soft diet. I’d had this heartburn and chest pain for a long time I just thought it was my problem. My mum didn’t cope with the diagnoses and was waiting for a new hip I started with hip pain for a few months thought nothing of it just that I might need a new hip one day myself..the aches and pains in my body became worse into the new year of 2018 I then started with shoulder pain on my right side of my neck this was so bad I couldn’t cope I was taking co-codamol and putting deep heat into my shoulder daily..my family here were all getting concerned about my health but there was no time with travelling 30miles to visit mum&dad to help out and give support..my mum stopped caring or eating and by Feb 16th she passed away in hospital of major organ failure and sepsis. Then dad passed away on Feb 18th of a broken heart and of course he was terminal so didn’t want to carry on without his wife of 59years.
    The first thing I noticed after they both passed away was the heartburn started to reduce each day. My hip had no pain! My sister said “mum didn’t complain of neck or back pain for weeks prior to her death” I did have the shoulder pain for about 6days after that sad weekend and I was so heartbroken. On the Tuesday afternoon I had felt the pain going up my neck for hours but then I sat looking out of the French doors stretching my arm out and I felt the pain leave my body through my arm out of my hand and fingers. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me it was so frightening at the time..shocking really I couldn’t understand what had happened until I spoke to my Support lady she said “Dianne you’ve taken your parents pain for a long time you loved them so much” “They were in such pain you helped them!” she said.. “Now you are going to recover”
    Well I wish I could say it was a great experience for me but it wasn’t because I really thought I must be so poorly aswell?? I’m now feeling so much healthier but very sad and I miss them so much but we had a double funeral on March 15th and they are together ♡♡
    I’m trying to understand how my body could feel their pain? I’m trying to just move on and not think to much about this but it does make me question the human body..I must have helped them with taking some of their pain if I did then I’m happy to have done it..Dianne

  • I developed my problem after seeing a handy- capped person.
    I wanted to protect them like I was their mother. Then I would get a electric current shocking my uterus. I never told anyone except my husband who thought I was weird. I wanted to ask my doctor because it happens when I see someone who had some sort of accident also. Now I feel better when other people have some kind of sensitivity to other humane beings. In our family someone suffers from swollen knees and I can rub my knees and their swelling becomes reduced by half, without them being aware I’m doing this.

    • by kimberly Durbin

    I’ve had these flashing pains from my groin to the pit of my stomach if I see someone being hurt, about to get hurt or wounds. It would only happen once in a blue moon but I’ve noticed recently that it’s happening several times a day if I watch tv (perhaps that’s because tv is showing so much now) and see something that will trigger me. On the other hand I have no problems with my my own injuries or blood being drawn. I’m also experiencing a quick flash of dizziness along with the pain. Always thought everyone feels this but I guess not.

    • by Andrew

    This is hard to talk about. I just discovered this website. I am over 70 years old. Sometimes my sister or somebody else tells me details of a medical procedure they have had. Mostly this is during a telephone conversation. I get a horribly uncomfortable feeling in my testicles. it’s hard to describe. It’s like electrical shocking. Sometimes it lasts for two or three seconds. Today it went on longer. it was very uncomfortable. When I read some of these comments, I learned that some people were very sensitive in their childhoods. I too, was a very sensitive child. I once fainted in a movie when I was about 15. The actors were talking about someone losing a leg from infection. I had no explanation for why I was getting this painful reaction in my testicles. Now I have a starting point to look further. I feel somewhat relieved. Is there any help for this condition.

    • by Andrew

    I hear details about somebody having surgery and I get and immediate feeling like I am being shocked in my testicles. it is extremely unpleasantin a way, I guess you could call it painful. It doesn’t happen often. Only when I hear these details. But is there anything I can do about it.

    • by Andrew

    I just remembered something else. I went to a classical music concert many years ago. The program included a neo-classical piece. The first two pieces were pleasant and familiar. The third piece to my ear was totally unmelodic and strange. I was getting physically distressed. I was getting dizzy and short of breath. I left. I know that listening to music can bring on emotions like happiness and sadness. But I never knew that music alone with no other stimulus, like in a movie, could bring on distress.

    • by Terry

    I am 62, female, and for at least the last 10 years I get a very unpleasant kind of shock…zap..in my…well between my legs, when I see someone getting cut or slashed, not in movies but real people, in life or on TV. Doesn’t seem to happen when people get other injuries.

    • by Lucie

    I can’t watch people fall onto a hard surface like snow, concrete or gravel – my body reacts with a jolt that starts around my shoulders and goes right through my body. I can’t bear looking at stubbed toes because my body gets shocked! I can’t watch operations on TV, especially after I had surgery on my knee – I caught part of an operation and I just wanted to scream! But what is the point of having this synesthesia? How is it an advantage in life?

    • by Chita Becerra

    Hello, I feel it too. And it’s really bad! When I watch tv and someone falls and hits themselves. It hurts me too! It makes my back hurt really bad. I’ve also felt other stuff. Last year a family member died. He was at Disney World and I was here in Illinois. I was at work but that morning I had a bad feeling. Thought it was my dad that was sick cause he has cancer. Well out of no where at work, I started hyperventilating really bad. I was panicking. Like if it was a bad panic attack. I even thought of getting a brown bag to breathe cause it was SO BAD! I e-mailed my sisters and told them. Well my brother-in-law died from a heart attack that day at Disney World and it was approximately the time I was feeling like that : (. It’s really crazy to me. No one will understand how I felt, how we feel. People think that you’re lying. But I understand you guys. We’re not weird. Just special. 🙂

    • by Brandon

    I don’t know if this is the same thing but when I watch or hear of someone being betrayed or cheated on I get an overwhelming surge of anger. My heart feels broken like its actually happening to me. I can’t watch tv or read a book with infidelity without feeling uncomfortable sensations in my chest and gut.

    • by todd hill

    i must have a form of mirror-touch synesthesia. when i see someone, even on a video, fall in such a way as indicates serious hurt i feel something i cannot describe shoot thru my body. it’s not pain exactly. more like an electric shock. it usually starts around my groin and rises slightly. i’ve never know what it was and never thought to investigate until now … and i am not young by any stretch.
    there is also something else i feel when i see something extremely sad. tears well up in my eyes and a lump comes to my throat. i know that probably sounds common but while i’ve always been an empathetic person, this feeling has grown to a point where it’s almost embarrassing. even just a thought can trigger this. is this natural with age (i’m 73)?

    • by Sarah

    Whenever I watch movies or tv shows and a woman gets hit, slammed into a wall, anything like that, I get a sharp jolt of a tingling sensation from the base of my spine up to between my shoulder blades. I don’t know if this is mirror touch synesthesia or something else, but this seems to be the closest thing I can find to what I experience. I don’t know why it only happens if a woman gets hurt, not a man, but it may have something to do with the fact that I was raised to think that a man never hits a woman except in the case of self defense, so when I see a man getting hurt by another man, I just think, “oh, it’s just two guys beating up on each other,” but when I see a woman get hurt by a man, I think, “That’s not right.” I don’t know. Anyone else get this?

  • […] Being sensitive to suffering and emotional pain is probably why you’re doing what you do. If you’re a psychic reader, you may get some of your information through both emotional and physical sensations during a reading. Receiving such information means porous borders on your own energy, even if this is by choice during a reading. In short, to perceive is to be affected. (Extreme cases: https://www.synesthesiatest.org/blog/mirror-touch-synesthesia) […]

    • by Steve

    Found my way here after watching a YouTube video titled ridiculous facts that are true and mirror touch synesthesia was mentioned. Oddly I believe I may be one of the rare individuals who experience this phenomenon. If I see people fall I feel their pain when they hit the ground, if they get cut I feel the cutting and the pain from the blade. Bloody scenes on TV I smell the blood and feel faint and sick. Thought it was just me being strange but it seems there may be more to it. I also feel emotions of others and sad films reduce me to tears. My condition has worsened since suffering 3 heart attacks over a 12 hour period, 15 years ago. I survived (luck was with me) but to round things off nicely I suffered a mild stroke during keyhole surgery to save my life. Short term memory problems aside, its very likely the above has only enhanced my mirror touch synesthesia 🙂

    • by liz

    wow I didnt realize there was a condition and many had it . I cant watch people falling off bikes or on motorcycles , but not in person only on tv like when watching Americas funny videos …I get a sharp tingly sensation in my groin area when I see people fall

    • by Irena Hadzi-Dordevic


    I am not sure if I have this. But I believe I do. I’ve always tried to find what it is that makes me that way. Because I was so ashamed of it. Everytime someone feels sick or is hurting, I feel it physically and I can’t even listen through their story because that’s how bad I feel it. I was so ashamed because I always felt like I would like to run away from people who are sick, because of it. I never talked about it, because I think it makes me crazy. I am known as an emphat for sure and it works really well, I am an artist. I have many uncomfortable memories about wanting to escape from people telling me how sick they feel. ANd I thought I am a horrible person for it. I remember it was really severe with one lady I knew well who had cancer and had to go through chemotherapy. And she is probably the most sick person I was ever around as well. I would love to get tested for this if there is some sort of a brain test or anything. It would actually make me feel much better if I knew I had a thing, and I am not this horrible person that can’t stand other people’s pain.

    • by Richard

    Hey there,

    I am a twin and have felt many things with my other twin when he gets hurt even when I’m not there.
    I have a high level of empathy and everything upsets me. Watching movies, music videos or sad music in general.
    I watch people in tv or in real life and when they get hurt, I get a bad pain in my back or in my lower region. I’m not sure why I get this but it makes me feel sick as a dog.
    Spoken to the doctors and he didn’t have a clue and so I have looked around on websites.

    So how many others have a high level of empathy, would be interesting to know.

    • by Justine Wenman

    When I see someone suffer a sudden injury, I experience a simultaneous, brief but intense pain that radiates from my groin, down my legs, like an electric shock, sometimes followed by nausea. I have had this response as long as I can remember, and assumed that everyone also experienced this sympathetic pain, until I learned that this is not the case by talking about it to friends and family. (Why else would an entire audience groan at a gruesome scene in a movie theatre?) Watching young children play on a playground is very tense because I anticipate this pain on their behalf. Trampoline, skateboard videos…forget it. If I see my young granddaughter fall awkwardly, I feel this painful shock, and unpleasant aftermath, and am very relieved when she is not actually in any pain at all. WHen she was a crawling baby, I would have this painful physical response when she was crawling over a rough hard, uneven surface. I was having this uncontrollable painful physical response anticipating the pain on her little soft knees, until I could confirm that it didn’t bother her at all. After I understood that these sensations were not experienced by everyone, I speculated that this reaction was connected to herpes or shingles infection because of the intense (but brief) pain, that seems to follow nerve pathways. Has this occurred to anyone else? A super sensitivity caused by a virus? If it is a genetic anomaly, okay, maybe a good one for the future of the human race, if those who suffer pain on behalf of others have some survival advantage. But that doesn’t seem likely.

    • by Herman W.

    Hello, i got mirror touch synesthesia to i often feel how people are making movements this is realy scary and i could feel as i had relationsship with my girlfriend that she was cheating on me! I will try to explain my ex friend was homeless and asked me if he could sleep at my house i saw this as no problem! Me and my girlfriend had a fight because she was wrighting with other men and i could very often feel this if she was doing this! So i was pissed and go to the livingroom and explained my friend what was happening his answer to my i got an issue with my girlfriend is oh if that is so then i can fuck youre girlfriend this was his words! I told him not to do so because even if we had a fight i still love her. As i was going to work i saw a movie in my head and i could feel and see that those two where having sex! at the moment that i was coming home my exgirlfriend came at me give me a hug and i could feel an orgasm but i didnt have one by me self! i could see the smell of mine friend and in the moment that i feel the orgasm my ex girlfriend says you need to find a girl to so that u can have sex with other people to! as this happened it made me go crazy i allways thought that that i was hallucinating untill a psychiatric told me that im an autist and that i got mts! i got no friends and im like 10 years single because of this the friend says this never happened and my ex girlfriend says it to my psychiatric says it did happen and i need to keep away from people like this

    • by Kitt

    Dang! It hurts me to read these posts. Got to stop.

    • by Dianna

    I don’t know what you call what I have exactly. I just know that many times I get a pain that seems to come from nowhere, sudden and intense. And I know it isn’t mine. Recently I had a friend who had a surgery. I wasn’t sure exactly what the surgery was for, I assumed heart because she has a pacemaker. I woke up one morning with some terrible hip pain. Nothing I did was working. So I asked people I knew on facebook if anyone was having this pain in the left hip. My friend had the surgery on her left hip and was having trouble walking and even dressing herself. Today, I asked friends if they knew anyone who has either had a broken nose or a nose surgery of some sort because my nose felt like somebody punched the crap out of it for the last 2 days. Turns out one of my friends was very concerned about another friend of hers that just had a nose surgery 2 days ago. These are not the only two instances. It happens quite frequently and from people in other states, even other countries.

    • by Stephanie

    Finally, I am finding answers. My family always labeled me as the family worry-wart. Hyper sensitive they’d call me. Well, I knew I was super empathic but now I know there’s a name for the jolting ,squeezing pain I feel in my chest and arms everytime I see people or animals get hurt. OMG!, It wears me out so bad when those AFV, ridiculousness, world’s dumbest shows my son likes to watch are on. Being in crowded places wears me out. And more often than not I know who’s calling on the phone whenever it rings. I’m hyper sensitive to people’s tones of voice and strangers in line seem to think I’m a good sounding board for whatever issues they may be experiencing. All animals love me, even the ones people say, be careful he doesn’t like people. They come straight to me for a cuddle. Im especially connected to my daughter who lives 4 hours away and more often than not, I know what’s she’s experiencing. If it’s good I get butterflies. If it’s bad, I get an intense gasping jolt. Then the phone rings and it her. All I can say is I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one!

    • by Holly Maciel

    Look. I don’t want a label. It doesn’t matter what we are. It would be “nice” to be “ fixed”. And not always be an outsider or supposedly not “normal”.

    • by Emily

    I had the weirdest thing that happened to me I touched this book and all of a sudden my left ear started to hurt .And that is the ear that I hear everything out of .

    • by Me

    Reading the comments makes me happy that so many of you have positive experiences with this. It’s ruining my life or I’m at least allowing it to ruin my life. The mirroring is no longer restricted to what I see in real-time. Previous memories of suffering that I’ve seen over fifty years plays over and over in my head. I cry so much from seeing and feeling the pain and hopelessness I’ve witnessed in others. It’s all I see and feel when I try to sleep at night.

    • by Kel

    Whenever I would watch something on TV and a character would get shot or be hit by a spell, I would feel it— definitely not to the same extent as the character, but it’s always starting. I thought this sort of thing was normal and just had to do with my imagination, but after learning that not everyone saw colors in sound and letters, detected scents in words, and felt what others appeared to feel, I realized it wasn’t just a “normal” thing, but now I can’t imagine not experiencing that! Life would be so dull o.o

    • by Kelley

    I don’t feel others emotions or pain. I do feel pain however if I see a child fall it send electric shock thru my body. It’s painful. Does that sound like anyone else?

    • by Sara

    Wow it seems I’ve found my people!! I’ve always been labeled too sensitive. I’m definitely an empath, as I feel emotions of others strongly. But i have actually never met anyone else who also has physical pain from others. If i see on tv somebody get hurt I get a profound shock throughout my body. It almost always starts and is most strong in my groin area, but will radiate. I cannot stand funny video shows, I will not watch boxing. I’m usually ok if it’s not a real injury, as in an actor in a movie. I’m uncomfortable with reality shows that have a lot of arguing, I won’t watch movies or tv shows that involve animals getting hurt. Even if there’s a happy ending. And funerals are terrible… terrible. I don’t even have to know the person to be hysterical.

    • by MJD

    Glad I finally found out what this is. Synethesia. I watch the children running on the macadam and imagine them falling and I get electric shocks down my legs. I can’t watch videos of people falling (even like America’s Funniest Home Videos). The weird part is I’m a Nurse (never head of this term) and I’ve seen a lot of trauma patients and icky stuff, and it doesn’t bother me on the job. The only other phenomenon is I have one area in the middle of my back that if touched without my knowing, my knees buckle, or I get a jolt of intense startle.

    • by Michael Henry

    I did not know that many people feel similar sensations that I do. I cannot witness a person being injured as I feel a sudden shock wave that goes from my genitals to focus around my chest. It usually does not stop until I turn away and leave. It is very uncomfortable. The only good thing is that I am a manual therapist and I can usually go right to the source of discomfort (usually distant from the symptom site) I have other symptoms as well but these are the most disruptive.

  • I did not see my form of mirror touch synesthesia, not including sight… Anybody has pleasure touch synesthesia? And energy field “touch” synesthesia?
    And instead of taking, can you give? We can be “reversed empath” and make others take the good from us.

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