Amy Slaton’s Misunderstood Mental Health Crisis On Is Common


The Big Picture

  • Amy Slaton is dealing with a mental health crisis, including depression, acute stress disorder, and bipolar disorder.
  • Amy’s mental illness makes it difficult for her to explain her feelings and accept help from her family.
  • The Slaton family were ill-prepared to handle Amy’s mental health issues, highlighting the lack of understanding and support in society.

For the first four seasons of 1000-lb Sisters, Amy Slaton always seemed to have a cooler head than her older sister, Tammy Slaton. Tammy was the heaviest of the pair, and when they first decided to pursue weight-loss surgery together, only Amy was able to stick to her diet and get the surgery. In season 2, Tammy’s frustration with her sister and the dieting process melted over, and her struggles continued playing out on the reality series. She began drinking, partying, and getting involved with men who purposefully kept her eating things that continuously derailed her diet. Of the two sisters, Amy was the one who had it together. She stuck to her diet, got married, and began losing even more weight right away. Tammy was the problem child in their eyes. She fought the family and lashed out at them at nearly every turn. Her disappointment at not being able to get the surgery was displaced towards her family, leading to a significant blowup at a family vacation. Tammy’s journey to surgery, as well as her relationship with the family, was the primary focus of seasons 2-4. Thanks to her time in rehab, she was able to lose enough weight to get her life-saving surgery. She not only lost the weight but she also found love. She and Caleb Willingham got married at the end of season 4, and things seemed like they were changing for the better.

And, for Tammy, they did. She continued to lose weight after the surgery, got more mobility, and eventually got the tracheostomy in her throat removed. She was able to leave rehab and begin doing things at home that she was unable to do before. The hardest part was that she had to leave her husband behind, something viewers knew would unfortunately end in tragedy. Right now, however, fans have the joy of watching Tammy look and feel the best she’s looked and felt since the series began.

Amy, on the other hand, is experiencing a mental health crisis.

After having her son, Glenn, things began to worsen in her marriage. Her husband was no help with their children, operating on archaic ideals despite not being the breadwinner in the family. Early on in season 5, viewers discovered that Amy was a victim of financial abuse, as her husband held onto her credit and debit cards, telling her when she could and could not use them. She decided to leave him and is now wracked with an even worse mental health crisis than she could have ever imagined.

1000-LB Sisters

The Slaton sisters, averaging over 1,000 pounds, have always depended on each other for support. Now in their 30s, Amy wants to have children but cannot due to her weight, while her older sister Tammy is almost bedridden.

Release Date
January 1, 2020

Tammy Slaton , Amy Slaton-Halterman , Michael Halterman , Chris Combs


Amy Slaton’s Diagnosis Explains Her Behavior on ‘1000-lb Sisters’

Amy Slaton crying on '1000-lb Sisters'
Image via TLC

Amy’s depression was exacerbated after discovering that her husband had filed for divorce before her. Her behavior was becoming erratic, and her family began doing what they could to help her. Their method of trying to get Amy to focus on the kids may have worked if she was only battling a minor case of depression. But unfortunately, Amy was dealing with demons that none of her family members could have dealt with on their own. Unbeknownst to all of them at the time, Amy was dealing with depression, acute stress disorder, and bipolar disorder. Acute stress disorder is essentially a temporary version of PTSD that’s brought out when a person goes through a life-altering shift they were emotionally unprepared for. The official definition is: “A mental health problem that can occur in the first month after a traumatic event. The symptoms of ASD are like PTSD symptoms, but you must have them for longer than one month to have PTSD.” Bipolar disorder is more well known for its extreme emotional highs and lows, described as: “a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration. These shifts can make it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks.”


Amy Slaton of ‘1000-Lb. Sisters’ Has a New Boyfriend

Nearly a year after her husband filed for divorce, Amy has debuted her new boyfriend on Instagram.

It is incredibly difficult for a person going through such a massive mental health crisis to explain how they feel and why they’re unable to do simple things. From an outside view, much like Amy’s family, it’s frustrating and demoralizing to deal with someone who wants help but constantly pushes it away. Amy constantly says that she’s all alone and that she has no help, even though they are all helping her. She has insomnia, and she doesn’t feed or take care of herself well, both of which are symptoms of her mental illness. Depression is like weight. For those who suffer from it, it isn’t simply sadness. It’s heavy and makes the person suffering from it feel listless and pointless. It feels like sinking into the quicksand with no rope and, therefore, no hope. Unfortunately, Amy was also dealing with bipolar disorder, leading her to seem normal and fine sometimes while crying and suddenly descending into deep sadness in others. The mercurial nature of Amy’s multiple issues negatively affected the family vacation. Her inability to regulate, combined with her inability to see the efforts of her family as anything other than judgment, led to her attacking her sister Amanda physically, a shocking moment for a show where violence has never been featured.

The Slaton Family Couldn’t Deal With Amy’s Crisis On Their Own

Amy and Tammy Slaton sit side by side on '1000-lb Sisters'
Image via TLC

It is easy to empathize with Amy and her family, even though they’re all at odds. Mental illness is insidious in that way. American culture and society have often ostracized and over-caricatured people who struggle with these illnesses. After all, it isn’t a visible illness. Family members and friends cannot see the chemical imbalances in the brain that cause these issues. They cannot see what it feels like to be in their head. Several years ago, an artist created images to illustrate better what suffering with these various issues feels like, validating the experience of many who suffer from what was illustrated. Amy’s family was ill-prepared to handle her because society had not yet embraced understanding these issues.

Her undiagnosed issues, combined with the presence of the children, made for a more volatile situation for the whole family. Mental health issues are often used to blame people for seemingly bad behavior rather than digging into the issue and finding help for the person struggling. Mental illness is more often scapegoated and used as an excuse rather than a symptom of a deeper problem. Perhaps if therapy, emotional regulation, and psychiatric assistance were introduced to everyone early in life, they might have realized that Amy needed help they were unequipped to provide.

1000-lb Sisters season finale airs on February 6 at 8PM on TLC and is available for streaming on Max. Watch on MAX


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