Chronic Illness and Mental Health – Kati Morton | Kati Morton

Chronic Illness and Mental Health - Kati Morton | Kati Morton

Hey Everyone! This week's video is something that you have all been asking for! Chronic Illness. And how does that relate to our mental health? So stay tuned. So, like I said, this week's topic is Chronic Illness. And I've heard from many of you that you're concerned about how it relates to your eating disorder behaviour your self-harm behaviours and overall mental health. And I've done a lot of thinking about it, and I would also welcome all of your comments because this is a topic I can definitely revisit and I can go over again. But I just want to make sure that the couple points that I think are important to make, are made. So, like I said, let me know if there's other topics and other portions of this that you want more information on, okay? And give it a thumbs up if you want me to do more. So, Chronic Illness and mental health. How are they related? Well, when someone is diagnosed with a Chronic Illness, the term chronic obviously means it's a long time. It doesn't mean life-long potentially, but it can mean life-long. And for someone who has a Chronic Illness – let's say it starts when we're a child – we may miss out on those 'normal' activities we may not learn how to swim, we may not go to the prom, we may not have our first boyfriend or our first kiss we may not play sports with our friends, we may not be able to do a lot of the things that other people are doing. And that can feel really bad, and we can also get bullied at school because we're "different". We're doing something different than other people. And that can make us feel really shitty, right? We'll feel really bad. And what do we do with all that emotion? If we're not seeing a therapist, and we're not in a group for others with Chronic Illness, we can kind of feel alone. Right? We feel kind of isolated. And I'm here to tell you that you're not, because even if you can't get out of your house and it's really a struggle to get about your daily life, we're all here for you! Hello! Welcome to my channel! Welcome to our community! We're all helping one another. So I would encourage you to utilise the comments section as kind of a self-help and a "group" where we can help one another My website is available to you to post and to share. Because my community is about love and support and letting everyone know that we're not alone. We're in this together, right? And so, Chronic Illness can really lead to a slew of different mental health issues. Because let's say we've had it since we were a child, and we're into adulthood and we feel like it has kind of hindered us. We may not have been able to finish college like we thought we would, we might not be able to have a full-time job because we can't stand for too long or we have trouble getting around, mobility is an issue or focus. You can see how there's a bunch of different things. And all of those potential milestones that we think we're going to hit, we might not be able to hit. And so along with other people maybe bullying us and talking mean and just being nasty (because people can be nasty) along with that, we feel it inside. And we are nasty to ourselves. It's just like that eating disorder voice, and that self harm voice. Do you see now how they're connected? So if something is happening to us physically, and a lot of times people can't see what's happening inside, and they might not know that we're actually sick and they can call us a faker or a liar or tell us "it could be worse, you could have xxxx" without even knowing what's actually going on. So all this stuff has happened, all these things are happening, or not happening and we're feeling so overwhelmed and we don't know who to talk to. And we have no outlet, right? So what in the world are we supposed to do with it? And that's kind of where the chronic illness runs into our mental health. It can make us depressed, because like I said we have that nasty voice going all the time that you're not okay, you're not normal blah blah and we can have suicidal thoughts because that's where depression takes us, and that's where that nasty voice will take us. And we can have anxiety because getting out and about in front of people can be a lot of stress and a lot of pressure and it's just really crappy, right? And so, if we don't have an outlet, that can lead also to eating disorder behaviour, and self harm behaviour because like I've talked about in my older videos – like my video from almost 1.5 years ago "what is an eating disorder?" – I talk about how it is an emotional attachment. It's something that is happening emotional in our life. It's an emotional response and we don't have an outlet for it that is "healthy" so instead we use food, and we focus on food because it gives us something to give all of that energy to. And it's the same with self-harm, it's the same with anxiety, it's the same with depression. And so what do we do about it? Like I said, Welcome to my channel! Welcome to my community! We can help one another. That's really why I've created all of this. And I would love to see all of the comments and the likes and things going on below where you're helping one another and you're sharing what's worked for you. And I would also encourage you to find a therapist. Find someone who works with Chronic Illness, who works with the hospital A lot of clinics, hospitals, doctors, surgeons, nurses have great referrals. And it's okay to ask. There is no shame in saying "Hey do you have any therapists in the area that you've recommended, or other people have said are good or do you have any people that you've worked with in the past who were great?" I get questions like that all the time when I have to tell somebody "oh I'm full". "Well, who else would you recommend?" They have lists. So don't be afraid to ask. And while you're asking for a therapist, ask for the local group. There are always groups. Almost every hospital I've ever been to personally or professionally has groups for this. They have Chronic Illness groups, and they also have groups for Caretakers. So if you yourself are watching this and you don't have the Chronic Illness but maybe your spouse or your loved one does, they have groups for you as well. So make sure you get help. Make sure you have a safe place to vent and to know that you're not alone. And all of these feelings are warranted. You have them for a reason. We just have to find a healthy outlet for all of that. Okay? And you can always journal… I know you hate it, some of you like it… or you could vlog! A lot of my members have been vlogging lately and that can give a nice outlet if you don't like to type or write, or if you don't like to journal in the 'traditional' way. Okay? So I hope that that's helpful and like I said, leave your comments and your helpful hints below. Help one another. Love on one another. We're here to support, right? And if you want to see more videos about this topic, give me the thumbs up and let me know what more information you'd like. What topics do you want me to dive deeper into? Because you request, and I respond! And we'll keep working together, as you subscribe to my channel (my YouTube channel)… because I put out videos every Monday and sometimes… I vlog a lot lately! So you don't want to miss out! And we'll keep working towards A Healthy Mind, and A Healthy Body Subtitles by the community


  1. Hi #Kati thank you for introducing this topic. Would you be able to please do a video on coping with severe chronic illness where you won’t recover, are facing extreme challenges and unable to leave your room and medication and supportive friends and family are not an option at all? The isolation, the lack of basic needs being met or any self care, the grief of losing a healthy body and any participation in life, having absolutely no one to understand or support you, the pressure of extreme life restrictions to keeping yourself safe and well, the trauma of repeated severe mistreatment and frequent near death events, the trauma of extreme daily symptoms, the daily struggle to just keep yourself alive.

  2. Can you talk about chronic illness and the grief it causes. Grieving about loss of function, milestones, potential and dreams. Thanks for this vid Kati, you rock 😛

  3. Kati, I’d like to see a video on the psychology of those having to face chronic illness in others. It’s something no one talks about. People don’t know what to say, or do or act, or think…There are a ton of misconceptions about people with chronic illness that regular folk hold onto. People don’t typically understand, nor do they take the time. As you said, people can be really shitty. Perhaps some guidance on the psychology of these shitty people could help too.

  4. I feel so alone and helpless. Truly feel like i'm on the end of my rope. My pulse will literally go from 45 to 180 in seconds. My blood pressure drops depending on my posture and i end up passing out. When i lay down my blood pressure will literally go up to 230/120 and pulse o n 30bpm. When i stand up it'll go back to 90/60 pulse on 170. Worse part of all is doctors can't figure out whats wrong with me. Its definitely taking a huge tool on my mental health. I have never been more depressed in my entire life. This has been the worse year of my life. Breathing and sleeping is extremely hard, i cant even sleep it off when i have panic attacks or just when i feel exhausted from crying for hours on end. Suicidal thoughts are extremely severe and i never imagined id wanna end my life because my life is ending, truly ridiculous. Its not like i can admit myself to a mental institute because id just end up in a hospital due to my conditions, and even if i end up in a hospital (which i've been in nearly every day these past several months) they will just tell me my blood looks fine and prescribe me with benzos and send me home. Its literally just a matter of time before my heart gives out and i just haven't come into terms with it all yet. I'm only 23 years old and have not made peace with any of it, there is so much i wanted to accomplish and do. I used to be normal and feel normal a year and a half ago. I was going to school and had 3 jobs, i was able to go places and enjoy life. I've always dwelt with depression and anxiety and now those have gotten way worse too. If anyone could reach out and talk to me, maybe someone dealing with the same symptoms, that would truly help me feel like i'm not so alone in this. Its been hell for me, i hope im strong enough to get through this,

  5. Could you make a video or interview someone on how poor mental health may cause bodily pains /illnesses?

  6. I know this video was done in 2013 but I definitely think with suicide rates in the chronic pain community going up it definitely needs to be talked about more. As someone else mentioned talking about fibromyalgia/chronic pain & fatigue and I agree. So I’d also love to see a video on this. Having fibromyalgia etc we feel so invisible, no one gets us , no energy, missing the old me, sleep issues, anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, not working so we feel we’re not part of society. I have no friends,I feel a burden on my family… so now it’s almost 2019 I think with the CDC guidelines and pharmacist and insurance companies becoming our doctors I think it’s definitely something that needs to be talked about. 💜💜💜💜

  7. I'm so very glad I came across this video tonight, I was at work (I'm a server ) and these 2 ladies were sitting at the bar .. the one lady looks at me and says " omg you're so skinny !! Id love to be as tiny as you ".. mind you I'm 5' 2 and weigh about 95 pounds currently…. I say to the women , as nice as possible.. yes I'm small but it's because I'm very unhealthy (I'm diabetic and have 2 chronic pain conditions.) The lady and her female friend proceed to talk s### about how I must be a drug addict or something along those lines to stay so small … It took everything I had not to flip out and start crying!! So , when you were talking about people being mean I completely understand!!! I can't stand when I run into people I haven't seen in a long time and they constantly say " omg you're so skinny, I hate you lol and I just try to laugh it off .. grrrrrrr sorry for the rant lol so glad I watched Shane's video and found you 💗💗💗

  8. I know this video is 5 (🙀) years old, but if anyone else is just seeing this for the first time (like I am) or maybe is watching it again and happens to see this comment: I have a chronic illness (Crohn’s Disease) for going on 12ish years now. I’m 25 and was diagnosed at 13, but I had symptoms starting at the age of 11; it just took 2 years to get the diagnosis. I also have generalized anxiety disorder (diagnosed in 2015) and body image issues (related likely to the way my weight fluctuates due to my digestive illness). Anywho… if anyone needs someone to talk to, you can always talk to me! And if you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to me directly, I’m also part of an AMAZING online chronic illness support group on Facebook that you can join. It’s called “The Unchargeables Chronic Illness Support Group,” and it’s private, so only approved members can see your posts, and you can talk about things you wouldn’t necessarily want people outside the group seeing/knowing. I’ve been a member since 2015, and they welcome people with any and all chronic illnesses (physical/mental/invisible/etc.). Oh, and in case anyone wonders, the “unchargeables” name comes from the fact that our energy levels are always low and nearly impossible to charge! 😂

  9. Kati – have you ever looked into the ACE research study (standing for Adverse Childhood Experiences)? It showed how the more adverse experiences you had in childhood, the more likely you are to have chronic health and social problems. I have an ACE score of 6/10, which is very high, and at 23 came down with debilitating arthritis caused by autoimmunity (currently I am medicated and just fine), and also suffer from depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, low self esteem, and major relationship dysfunction and huge difficulty making friends. I did a lot of research, and am recently really pretty interested in getting this information from the study out there. I would love for child abuse to be something of a public health concern, for people to know how child abuse can actually affect them physically later in life and destroy health way beyond the initial abuse. Personally, I wish my abusers knew this information, how their dysfunction and carelessness could shorten my lifespan about 20 years (if you have a score above 4 they say this is true).

  10. Thank you for talking about this issue. I have yet to find a really good therapist in my area. I had one a few years back and she told me that was complaining about my chronic pain. Please do more videos about chronic illnesses. Thank you for being amazing

  11. This is a great video. I've had a couple conditions that began when I was in college, a million years ago. In 2014 I started having bouts of dizziness, a few seconds at a time. Gradually they got worse; finally I was diagnosed with Meniére's last year.

    One thing is for sure: Chronic illness brings depression. Life can become joyless, & sometimes it does. The best advice I have for that is to get up & do something. Don't just sit in your easy chair or lie in bed if you have a choice. Go for a walk. If you can drive then go find the nearest movie theater (any movie will do as long as it's tolerable). Maybe spend some time at your local city park. Do whatever it takes to avoid sitting still & doing nothing, because if you do nothing then depression will have you in its grip.

  12. Would love a video on fibro/m.e.
    Ive gone from being an international sports athlete and business woman. Now im in pain 24/7 and I dont have the energy to walk. Leaving the house makes me feel ill and I have ADHD too. My body has imprisoned me.
    Such a huge life changing event and although I practice mindfullness, its hard to keep on top of.

  13. Thank you. I have chronic/life limiting illness. I cant be treated/no cures, I am on supportive treatment, I am in pain alot.I feel like a failure (uni/work) as an adult. I have a 3yo son. I had a emotionally abusive marriage I left. I am terrified of dying, because I cannot bear to imagine how it would be for my son.

    Someone finally addressing that there IS a connection is great.
    Many people do not understand the guilt, feelings of failure, inadequacy. They think (correctly) that, "you were/are sick, so its not your fault….nbd".

    But, it doesnt feel that way.

    And when , % of the population makes sure you feel guilty for existing,not achieving, using "services" (SSD, handicap parking, wheelchairs)….well it reinforces the feelings of guilt.

    After my blathering on…. great video, watching more now.

  14. What about when you have chronic problems that are not diagnosed. You go through the same things + you doubt yourself and people give you no excuses for your behaviour

  15. I have had fibromyalgia since birth that came with a lovely thyroid disorder, a twisted pelvis, scoliosis, and a deteriorating spine (went from 6’ to 5’9” in two years). The only pain meds I can take are ibuprofen, Tylenol and midol because I’m a recovering drug addict alcoholic. I’m currently confined to my house bc menstration is unbearable. Tried to get on the pill to get rid of it, what they perscribed me, made it 10x worse. Along with my chronic pain, I have ptsd, panic disorder with agoraphobia, anxiety, bipolar II, and binge eating disorder. Most days, I just roam around the house and try to distract myself from pain, if I’m lucky I’ll get out of the house and go to an AA/NA meeting or walmart. I have a medical doctor but she doesn’t really listen to me so I’m trying to get a new one. It’s so much all the time it’s just ugh

  16. Hi Kati. I was wondering if you could do a video on dealing with having a chronic illness that will limit your life expectancy and will cause multiple disabilities over time. For a while I will be ‘normal’ but it’s like waiting for a time bomb to go off. You end up living life waiting for the bomb to go off but you can’t see the timer. Specifically I’m talking about Type 1 Diabetes which is a constant day to day battle but it’s the waiting for complications that could come up anytime that is scary and the fear of hypoglycaemia which you can die of from ‘dead in bed syndrome’ while you sleep. Could really do with some help please

  17. I have fibromyalgia. I just got diagnosed after YEARS of suffering but was told for so long by doctors it was just in my head since I have a psych history going to the er screaming every since day being in pain 24 hours bc on top of the fibromyalgia I have severe GI disorders that cause extreme pain and injuries on the inside and it's freaking hard. But obviously m, according to doctors in the past I just needed to go for an extra walk and count to ten and it'll go away and if not I just need to focus on my breathing more. Obviously I'm not doing it right. It SUCKS and it makes me ANGRY! But I'm also so happy bc FINALLY I have a name to the face of pain and sickness I've been suffering from everyday. It's horrible but it was always horrible, at least now I know what's wrong. But the thing is…they're recommending me medical marijuana and I'm glad in the fact since I am a recovering option addict for over a year now (yay) that they won't force me to go back because I keep signing papers saying please DO NOT give me opioids unless dispensed and handed to family member of trust and only in the worst case scenario. Plus it only makes my GI illnesses WORSE! It makes it WORSE so I like that idea but I'm also nervous that now people are going to say I'm not clean because I will be on this with my card once I get it and that even though it's medically necessary all my doctors and specialists are telling me now, and are writing recomendations and proving it, still I worry that it will be hard finding a job now since I quit my last one for important and personal reasons and also being judged in the AA/NA community and also if my outpatient and my therapist and psychiatrist will have a problem with it…I'm just so out of options with pain I use so much lidocaine to help and suboxone and lyrica and other meds and meds and meds to help but this these doctors are swearing by. Will it help my depression and anxiety as well? Will it just cover it up? Am I really clean? I just don't want to suffer anymore and even hough I always will I just want to a little bit less….sorry for venting just needed to get that out. If anyone wants to reply you can but you don't have to. To those who actually are still reading this thank you that was very nice of you. Okay, I'll stop now…done venting. Thank you and stay strong soldiers! We're all in this battle together!

  18. Hi Kati, I wanted to bring to your awareness the rare disease that I've been diagnosed with just in case you ever come across anyone with similar symptoms. It took me about 7 years to finally get a diagnosis and many doctors mistook it for symptoms of an anxiety disorder. It's called mal de debarquemant syndrome. The tell-tale symptom is a perceived constant rocking and swaying sensation like one is on a boat. It's most often triggered ironically enough by going on a cruise or staying on a boat for long periods of time. It can also be caused by long flights, car rides or any other method of sustained motion. Sometimes it also occurs spontaneously. Other symptoms include memory and concentration problems, chronic fatigue, balance difficulties (I can't walk without a cane), sensitivity to lights and busy patterns, nausea and headaches. It doesn't respond to typical vertigo treatments and won't show up on vestibular testing because, unlike most balance disorders, it's not an inner ear problem. 9 times out of 10, it shows up in females as opposed to males and most of them are over the age of 40. That's not always the case though as I'm 26 and have been dealing with symptoms since the age of 19. If you ever come across someone who complains of feeling like they're on a boat, I'd suggest pointing them in the direction of the MdDS foundation. The website can be found here It's got a detailed listing of symptoms as well as a list of professionals who are experienced with diagnosing and treating the condition. It's also got stories from patients and coping tips as unfortunately, there currently aren't many effective treatments for the disease and a cure hasn't yet been found. If you could potentially save someone years of suffering, uncertainty and traumatic experiences with the mental health system like I had to go through, that would mean a lot to us "boatbrains" <3

  19. I know this is an older video but dang I needed this, I've dealt with all of the things you discussed in this and I've never really been able to put it into words. I'll definitely be showing this to my family. Thank you for the video!

  20. Been visually impaired since birth…not completely blind, but I think it has contributed to confidence and self perception and other issues as well. I really enjoy your videos Kati. My biggest coping mechanism has been music, listening to music. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  21. My pain has caused me to give up. I have fought and fought for years but my fight is gone. I was diagnosed with cancer and had 2 recurrences and after all the chemo and surgeries and radiation im in remission for last 3 years but the nerve damage is extensive. my pain is so intense I have a stimulator attached to my spinal cord area to block the pain and I take heavy narcotics and between those I get enough relief I get out of bed and work but it's still with intense pain all day every day. I recently had a hospital stay and I have lost hope since then. what can I Do? All I do is think about suicide but I haven't done anything except a light cut on my arm. I am looking for advise. thank you

  22. I'm 19 & I have intellectual disability, ADHD, epilepsy, major depression, severe anxiety & hypothyroidism on top of that I can possibly develop type 1 like my mom & its soo hard & I hate that I'm stuck with it tll I die it keeps makin me really depressed

  23. also the abuse of bullying i believe has lead me along with other forms of emotional and physical abuse have lead to possible diagnoses of BPD going for evaluation to see if this is the case in october. I am scared on this Kati but watching your videos about psychiatrists have relaxed me a bit but I have a lot of the charactristics of it with taking a self test so im nervous but it is just puting a name on so many sympotms. I am trying to remain positive. Kati Morton

  24. Sometimes if you have a rare health condition that the chronic illness it difficult to find groups in your area but you can almost always find groups online like Facebook

  25. this is the best support ive found online… you'll never know how much this has helped me!!! thank you

  26. Hey Kati please do another video like this because I have a chronic illness and this video really helped xx thanks

  27. hey there, just found your channel and this video, and i'm so glad – i think a lot of my audience could benefit from your awesome attitude. thanks for your vulnerability and willingness to share your experience!

  28. I really enjoyed this video! I just uploaded a video talking about being young with chronic illnesses and I also give out some advice to those that are going through similar things. Check it out everyone and share your experience? Thanks!

  29. I'm guessing this is geared towards a much younger audience because it did not even touch the reality of what spoonies have to live with. Idk I haven't watched kati's videos in years maybe I was expecting different.

  30. I have bipolar,fibro,ic,endometriosis, tmj,ADD, osteoarthritis, disc degenerate disease, suffered bulimia from 14 to 30.You are so right on people feeling alone as well as bullied. This might be hard to believe but the bullying for me started at pre-k and didn't stop till 12 grade 2 months before grad so severe I left school and went to community college. They tracked me down at college so I left that. I'm 41 now and feel empty inside except for the pain. I can truthfully say I haven't had one friend in over 3 years. The world might as well be empty in my case. I have my dog.

  31. I have bipolar,fibro,ic,endometriosis, tmj,ADD, osteoarthritis, disc degenerate disease, suffered bulimia from 14 to 30.You are so right on people feeling alone as well as bullied. This might be hard to believe but the bullying for me started at pre-k and didn't stop till 12 grade 2 months before grad so severe I left school and went to community college. They tracked me down at college so I left that. I'm 41 now and feel empty inside except for the pain. I can truthfully say I haven't had one friend in over 3 years. The world might as well be empty in my case. I have my dog.

  32. Kati, i know this video is old but it made me think, is it possible to have a mental health chronic illness? if suffered from anxiety since i was about 12, i am now 17, could this be considered chronic anxiety??

  33. Hi Kati! I was wondering if you could do this from a different point of view. I'm dealing with my dad having a chronic illness and I'm really struggling with it. My boyfriend thinks I should speak to someone about it but I don't think it will really help because there's nothing that anyone can say or do that will help or fix anything. I'm only 20 but I feel like I want to rush into everything with my boyfriend because I want my dad to be there for all of the big milestones like walking me down the aisle and being their for grandchildren and everything, and then I feel extremely guilty because I feel like I'm pressuring him because I know thats not my what boyfriend wants at this stage in our life. We've been together for 5 years but hes just not ready for that yet and I know it's not fair for me to rush that. I also always feel guilty whenever I'm not at home with my dad and doing other things. I don't know what to do I tend to bottle things up and then just have a big break down every once in a while, I could literally start crying at any time about it though. It just sucks because I know that like no one can change it and I feel that I'm never going to be happy because I'm going to feel this way until he passes and then it's just going to get worse after that. I just really want to be happy. This was extremely hard to write and I've been crying the whole time. Sometimes it's just good to let it out so even if you can't respond that's okay. I've been watching your videos and they've been helping especially the one about grief where you said its okay to feel this way, it's not technically grief from someone passing away but it helped. Anyways that was ramble-y. Thanks Kati <3

  34. I have a chronic problem with my leg, it has made me feel so bad and that i am worth less than others. I know this video is old but i love it <3 Thanks Kati 

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