Amy Slaton’s Bipolar Disorder & Other Mental Health Issues Explained



  • Amy Slaton showed strength by enduring mental health challenges while caring for others, despite constant criticism and stressors.
  • Amy’s mental health struggles included acute stress disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder.
  • Despite hardships, Amy is working on managing her mental health. After getting help, she’s showing plenty of optimism and confidence. She’s dressing up on social media, but her best accessory is her smile.



1000-Lb Sisters star Amy Slaton had a hard time in season 5 – watching her suffer was heartbreaking. Through the years, Amy has been a rock for other people. She did everything for her sister Tammy Slaton, who was often ungrateful. Now that Tammy weighs much less (420 pounds), she’s a kinder, gentler person. However, for ages, Tammy took her problems out on Amy. Calm and intelligent, Amy did her best to please her sister (usually, at her own expense). All of these stressors and more set the stage for what Amy experienced during the latest installment of the show. Amy tried to be strong for so long… for too long.

1000-Lb Sisters followed the sisters as they tried to lose weight. While Tammy’s fitness journey is getting more buzz right now, Amy was the first to achieve an important goal – qualifying for bariatric surgery. To date, Amy’s lost 176 pounds. However, offscreen, Amy isn’t laser-focused on losing weight or maintaining her results. She’s more concerned about her mental health. Following a turbulent season, she got help, and was diagnosed with acute stress disorder, depression and bipolar disorder. Amy was looking after a baby and active toddler with all of these untreated mental health issues. No wonder she cried.


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Amy Slaton’s A Hero, Not A Crybaby (She Lived With Depression)

Amy Slaton Still Tried To Be A Good Mother

Onscreen, Amy’s relatives (such as 1000-Lb Sisters‘ Chris Combs and Amanda Halterman) crossed lines, calling Amy out for her near-constant crying. They may not have realized that one of the hallmark symptoms of depression is sadness. Amy’s tears were a sign that something was wrong. They weren’t a sign of weakness. Amy kept trying to care for her kids while dealing with mental health challenges so severe that they might have made another person crumble. So, it’s not true that Amy’s weak or childish or whatever. Amy, in her own way, was toughing it out despite serious mental health issues.

Above, an informative video clip from Mayo Clinic at YouTube explains the symptoms and how they can be eased. According to the video, common symptoms of depression include:

  • feelings of sadness that won’t go away
  • irritability
  • apathy
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • feelings of helplessness
  • suicidal ideation

However, there is hope, as the doctor shown above, Dr. Craig Sawchuk (he’s a clinical psychologist), says that depression is a:

serious and treatable condition

Yes, she cried and needed some help with toddler Gage and baby Glenn, but she was looking after them too. She was always running around after Gage, who is extremely active. Sometimes, Tammy helped by giving the baby his bottle. Tammy tried to help her sister – it was touching to see how much she really cared about Amy. Tammy was great with the baby too, so maybe she’ll be a mom one day. She’s said that she’s interested in having kids.

All of this stress was weighing Amy down. Taking care of two kids under two is going to exhaust anyone. Then, there were the frustrating marital woes that drove her to file for divorce. There were also the untreated mental health issues – depression is one of three conditions that Amy was living with while cameras followed her around, recording her mood swings and misery. Of course, Amy had trouble coming to terms with the fact that her husband Michael would always disappoint her.

Postpartum depression may have also been a factor. While Amy discussed that possibility with others during the season, and didn’t think that it fit because too much time had passed since she gave birth, postpartum depression can strike up to a year after a woman has a baby. So, it is possible that Amy had that issue. Only she and her doctor know exactly what type of depression she has.

What’s important is that she’s getting help. No one deserves a helping hand more than Amy.

While postpartum depression usually starts a few weeks after childbirth, every woman is different. Crying jags are one of the symptoms, and Amy definitely cried a lot in season 5. It’s easy to root for the woman who’s come so far in her life, overcoming extreme challenges, including morbid obesity, a cold and distant mother, and issues with Tammy.

Amy isn’t immature or selfish – she’s a hero for enduring so much while still helping others. Now, it’s her turn to need help.

Tammy Slaton Was Also Diagnosed With Acute Stress Disorder

Tammy Slaton Said She Had PSTD-Like Symptoms

According to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, acute stress disorder is common in those who’ve had very difficult experiences. As per the source, people with this disorder:

  • have a history of trauma
  • have formerly lived with PTSD
  • have a history of mental health issues
  • tend to have intense reactions to trauma, such as not knowing where they are or who they are

Amy’s issues with Michael traumatized her. That stress followed a tough childhood, where she and her sister Amy usually had to fend for themselves, without a loving mother close by. Their mother Darlene often seems cold and critical. She never really seems to fight her daughters’ corners.

Then, there were the years of being very obese. Society is often unkind to those who carry extra weight. So, just as people gawked at the Slatons while they were at the beach in 1000-Lb Sisters season 5, as though they’d never seen overweight people before, there were probably those who stared at Amy. Some of them might have made mean remarks too, just like the trolls that plague Amy and Tammy’s Instagram posts.

On top of all this, as if it weren’t more than enough, Amy had serious vision problems. During the season, she sobbed because her family was making fun of her eyes. That really triggered her. While everyone in the family teases each other, that kind of mocking talk really hurt Amy. She wrongly believes that she’ll:

because of the way that her eyes look. Amy, like most people, deals with insecurity. Also, her vision problems just make life a lot harder. She’s contending with serious vision problems while she navigates life and motherhood. It’s one more layer of complication and it’s not minor in any way.

People shouldn’t mock others who are obviously at low ebbs. That kind of meanness can push someone over the edge.

All those things are a big deal – the rough childhood, the obesity, the vision problems. Then, there’s her marriage. It’s now over, and that’s probably for the best, but her kids were extremely young when their parents called it quits. Amy filed for divorce, pushed to her breaking point by mental illness and more. Was all of it Michael’s fault? It seems like it, but maybe Amy’s mental health issues made it hard for Michael too.

Onscreen, Michael definitely got the villain edit. There may be some truth to the fact that he’s a villain in this scenario. He wouldn’t even look after both of his kids at once. His nutty rules were brutal, such as not allowing Amy to leave the house without at least one kid in tow. Controlling and weak, Michael added more trauma to the life of a woman who’s already been through the wringer. No matter what was happening with Amy’s mental health, he could have tried harder.

Michael seemed to shirk every typical adult responsibility.

The marriage was a nightmare – Amy was like a hostage. Michael wanted her to dance to his tune, but he wasn’t willing to give her anything at all. No emotional support, little money, zero childcare… well, close to zero. What purpose did Amy serve for him? Was she just a cash cow because of her reality fame? It seemed like he just wanted to laze around, almost as though he considered his long-suffering wife some kind of meal ticket. Amy, who has a new boyfriend, Tony Rodgers, is much more than that.

Amy Slaton’s Bipolar Diagnosis Was Very Concerning

Bipolar Disorder Can Be Challenging

Amy had a lot on her plate in the newest season. The fact that she was living with untreated bipolar disorder was so sad. As Britney Spears and Kanye West have shown the world, this mental health issue can be serous and even debilitating. It’s also tough to medicate sometimes. A balance of medications is typically needed and finding just the right balance isn’t easy. While bipolar’s treatable, it’s really serious. The worst thing about this disorder is just how low the lows are – they are emotionally wrenching.

There are two forms of bipolar disorder – type I is more serious, with manic phases that can dramatically impact a person’s behavior. What’s interesting is the fact that some people who live with bipolar go on extreme spending sprees while they’re in manic phases.

Does Amy overspend sometimes, such as when her bipolar flares up? That’s unclear, but it does beg the question, ” Did Michael deny Amy access to her bank card because she spends too much money sometimes?” It’s hard to say if he was just cheap and controlling or simply trying to curb one of Amy’s bipolar symptoms.

With the milder form of bipolar II, the highs and lows aren’t as severe, but the person is more prone to the lows than the highs. Amy hasn’t revealed which form of bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) she lives with. However, both types bring challenges. Bipolar I is actually so serious that it can trigger psychosis. It’s a shame that Michael didn’t offer her support during this tough time in her life.

It’s so important that Amy was formally diagnosed. While it may take time before she can effectively manage her mental health issues, her doctor can work with her, making sure that any medications are having the desired effects. She’s not dealing with her problems alone.

Amy Slaton Was Strong Enough To Get Help

What Does The Future Hold For Amy Slaton?

On Instagram, Amy got lighthearted yet witchy with a pal, and called herself a:

The two gave off strong Goth vibes in their black clothes, but seemed to be hamming it up too. Amy looked very happy and that’s a good sign. While bipolar means pleasurable highs as well as punishing lows, Amy may simply be happy in this post, perhaps because any medications she might be taking are helping to balance her emotions.

Amy’s still rocking the blue hair, even though it gets shade. Clearly, she prefers a creative look. Lately, she’s been taking more chances with fashion. In general, that’s also a good sign. When people make the time to get dressed up, it shows confidence and optimism. Fashion’s frivolous, but it can have a deeper meaning.

How someone chooses to dress can say a lot about how they’re feeling inside. When she wears inky black for a little drama, or Amy’s rocking a bright red coat, she’s really saying, “I care about my image.” That’s a good thing.

Whether Amy makes things work with Tony is anybody’s guess. She’s showed him off online – he’s been seen holding her sons. However, men who date reality stars aren’t always in it for love. Hopefully, this guy is actually sincere. Amy needs a partner who cares about her, not some clout chaser.

Even if things don’t work out, she’s got a lot. She had trouble counting her blessings during the last season of the show because there were just too many problems. Now, maybe it’ll be easier to find that sense of gratitude that helps a person to have a positive attitude.

Amy’s been positive in the past, trying so hard to change her life for the better. That’s the real Amy. She was sidelined by mental illness for a while but she seems to be taking better care of herself now. Of course, Amy’s also looking after her sons. They appear to be seeing their father too sometimes – hopefully, there will be peace in this broken family someday. It’s better for the boys. 1000-Lb Sisters‘ Amy hasn’t had an easy ride, but she’s extremely strong. Underneath those tears, there’s so much grit and heart.

Sources: Mayo Clinic/YouTube, Amy Slaton/Instagram

1000LB sisters TV Poster

1000-LB Sisters

In Sister Wives season 4, Amy Slaton’s marriage fell apart, while Tammy Slaton left the hospital. When she fled diet rehab, she left her husband Caleb Willingham behind. Sadly, Caleb was destined to pass away due to complications from super morbid obesity. The season featured dizzying highs and lows.


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