Most people that I have met who call themselves an empath, have done this from a place of victimhood. They tend to use the word to explain, underpin and validate their own suffering. While I can understand very well how painful and draining it can be to feel and perceive so much, I do not believe it has to be this way.
For almost my entire adult life, I would feel down after meeting with my family of origin. Every time I came back, I would feel like there was something wrong with me. I felt weak and somehow broken, like I could not function in this world the way I was supposed to. It took me years to understand what had been going on and to break that pattern.