How to Deal with a Mentally Ill Parent | Kati Morton

How to Deal with a Mentally Ill Parent | Kati Morton

hey everybody happy Thursday are you new to my channel make sure you’re subscribed and have those notifications turn on because I put out videos on Mondays and on Thursdays and I don’t want you to miss out but let’s jump into this question and the question is hey Kati how can we better deal with a parent who has a mental illness but this is a great question and growing up with a parent who has a mental illness can be really hard it can be common for our needs to be completely neglected and we may even feel that we have to compete with their symptoms in order to receive the care that we so desperately need although this is often portrayed in movies and TV shows as these huge traumatic events it’s really much more common than ill parent will do small things each and every day that can cause us pain and leave us feeling completely unloved the most common issue having a mentally ill parent causes is fear and shame many reporting that they never knew when their parent would be having a good day or a bad day also not wanting others in their life to know that their parent is ill or even if they’re receiving help they can be kind of embarrassed about that stuff and it can also cause us to fear starting our own family in case we pass on the genes of the mental illness to our own children another issue that this can cause is that we may end up having to raise ourselves many parents who are depressed or even those with bipolar disorder may not be well enough to care for us when we’re little therefore if we are the oldest child then we may become parental ID meaning we take care of our younger siblings and we become their parent and so we miss out on having a childhood of our own altogether and if we are an only child we could have had to take care of our needs earlier than we were actually ready to some people even report that they felt that they needed to be the parent for their old parent so they would get up early make breakfast for their mother or father do the laundry all that stuff as a side note though there are some positive components to having a mentally ill parent a research study out of the University of Newcastle found that those who grew up in these type families were more empathic compassionate and resilient so in a way even though we didn’t get all the love and support we needed when we were young we understood why potentially and we’re able to grow from it emotional incest is also very common because if our parents stayed together the healthy parent could count on us for love and support now just to make sure that we all understand what emotional incest means otherwise known as covert incest is it’s not an actual sexual thing however it is a type of abuse in which a parent looks to their child for the emotional support that would be normally provided by another parent or another adult as I’m sure you can see having a parent with a mental illness can lead to repeated trauma many of my patients who lived in this type of home never knew when they’d be yelled at beaten or simply frightened by the actions of their parent and this can lead us to getting a diagnosis of C PTSD or complex post-traumatic stress disorder even struggling with insomnia having hyper vigilance or anxiety since everywhere we turned we felt in danger having a mentally ill parent can lead us to trying our best to be unseen or unheard and this can mean that we will isolate as a way to ensure that we’re safe and okay there are even being a great chameleon with others so that we don’t stand out because we don’t want too much attention and while I can go on and on about all the way is having a mentally ill parent can affect us let’s get into the better news that it can get better and the first thing that I recommend get out save up money call that ant that friend that grandparent or whomever you can to get out of the house ASAP I know because of the nature of the issue we can feel responsible for them but just remember they’re supposed to take care of you that’s their role not the other way around also by moving out you’re taking away the potential stress that they may feel of having to care for you even if they aren’t able to they may feel the pressure to just try so save up the money ask another family member or friend or someone and do whatever you can to get out as soon as possible and number two get professional support there are school counselors EAP which stand for employee assistance programs were therapies completely free there’s also free clinics there are so many options so please speak up and reach out for some support since trauma is so common among those who grew up with mentally ill parents the sooner we start unpacking all that we’ve been through the sooner we will start feeling better and also just consider seeing a psychiatrist if medication is something that you feel could be beneficial for you number three support groups al-anon is a great resource if you have a parent who’s an addict whether they’re addicted to alcohol or drugs it can be really beneficial to hear from other people and to tell your story or even just join in some family groups at local hospitals ones who have mental health words usually have these types of groups sometimes you just have to ask for it or even caretaker groups can help sometimes because the more we talk about what we went through share our story and receive help the sooner we will start feeling better it shoes like these only thrive when they’re kept in the secret kept in the dark so make sure you speak up share your story and find out just how many others out there have had situations like yours trust me you’re never alone and for if it’s safe know that you can re-engage with your parent but first work with your therapist to figure out what you’re expecting of them and then also what you believe they’re able to give because setting our expectations low and making them achievable for our parent only makes things easier and prevents any further upset or trauma this is also a great time to set up some healthy boundaries for yourself and your own recovery and last just know that this video isn’t meant to demonize anybody or any parents with mental illnesses but when we don’t get the treatment that we need we know it can harm those around us especially those who depend on us for care and support moving out and moving on does not make you a bad child it makes you resilient remember they’re the one that’s supposed to be caring for you not the other way around don’t let their illness get in the way of you being able to live the life you deserve this video has been brought to you by the Kenyans on patreon if you would like to support the creation of these mental health videos click the link in the description and check it out and always leave in the comments anything that you feel I’m missed are there other issues that you struggle with as a result of having a parent with a mental illness are there other ways that you overcame it let us know and we will keep working together towards a healthy mind and a healthy body and I will see you next time bye



  • Nadine Mason

    My mom has an extremely agressive form of schizoaffective. She was not correctly diagnosed tell earlier this year. The combo of her illness and my dads anger was a horrible environment for me to grow up in. She was very attached to me and told me things you dont tell your daughter.
    I definitely have some form of anxiety and depression which I'm positive is a result of my dads physical/mental abuse and my moms own indirect form on mental abuse. I think my biggest fear is to become like my mom and my dad. I'm just grateful to be a functioning adult even with my own issues. I'm capable of living on my own and contributing to this world.

  • Esther T

    My mum always makes me feel small
    Always saying
    I'm dumb stupid should not live and all the things you can think of but I rather not write here
    And she gets worked up over small issues
    Clothes on the floor
    She would curse and curse saying that Im put this stupid bloody dumb clothe on the floor and would throw it somewhere eles to make me take eles I'll get caned…
    I mean can't she just help instead of making a fuss of cursing and threatening to cane me and stuff….
    Is she mental or just always angry?
    I'm tired of living with her
    I really wish she could just
    Visit a mental hospital or just calm down for a moment or 2

  • Vianh Do

    My mum has been dealing with really bad mental health issues for the last 2 months and they have felt like hell, hearing this is really refreshing as it always feels like nobody can understand what I would feel but his actually gives me so much help so thank you so much

  • Catherine Buyck

    I grew up with a mentally ill parent. It also taught me a lot about addiction and mental illnesses, so I learned a lot from their mistakes. It also helped me understand what was going on with me when I started developing my own symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. By the time my issues appeared, my parent was well enough to figure out what was going on, so having that understanding really helped me. It also contributed to my hard decision of deciding not to have children of my own with the chance of them inheriting it as well. I don't want to subject an innocent child to that kind of hardship.

  • Andrew Henderson

    My moms crazy

  • Invisible ?

    Thank you

  • Kirsten Dela Cruz

    I'm crying.. this was my answer.

  • Bacon Boi

    It runs in the family… so that's why I'm dumb!

  • Anirudh Silai

    Good video! Dealing with mental illness is no excuse for hurting others, especially one's children, and not seeking the necessary help for oneself. Conversely, the mentally ill aren't automatically more likely to abuse or neglect their kids, and many deserve tremendous respect for doing double duty.

  • ChriS f

    This brings back memory when my mom used to tell me how painful her life was and how she would have killed herself if my sister and I were'nt there haha

  • Raúl Isaak Simon

    My parents are divorced. My mother had always depression and she hurts herself. I can't move to my father because he is abusive. The only person I can trust is my teacher and I my wish is that I can live with him an that my mother goes into therapy…
    But I don't know how to tell someone. Especially my teacher…

  • mae mae

    I feel like this video was a little unfair to some who deal with a mentally ill parent, but I'm sure it is spot on for other cases. In my case I was raised by a single schizophrenic father, who learned relatively healthy coping techniques to manage his life. I had to contend with aspects of raising myself and caring for my physically ill twin sister, on top of having an at first abusive mother who later abandoned us when I was about 5, and for a very short stint later a psycopathic step mother. It was my schizophrenic father whose behavior was sometimes confusing and scary, but much less scary than my mothers, who taught me very early how to cope with trauma and how to deal with disability, and people in general, in a compassionate way. When I grew up I did not need to 'get out', instead i met and married a wonderful man and together we cared for my disabled father until he passed away. People are quick to tell me that the repercussions on my mental health must be this or that, but I grew up in a mental health aware environment and I'm very grateful for getting an early start in learning emotional modesty( as in respecting your emotional limitations), and yes I did not get through it all with out a scratch, but its unfair to assume that a mentally ill parent cant have a healthy relationship with their child. My dad worked so hard to do the best he could for me, and I deeply appreciate the invaluable life lessons I learned from him. I have as an adult lived a happy and fulfilling life.

  • Kristina Perez

    This video shed so much light thank you.

  • allison lucas

    What if they arent taking their medicine?

  • Charing Cross

    Brilliant! Absolutely spot on!

  • Edmond Dantes

    I just turned 16. My mother is bipolar. I’ve been in the system 4 times. I’ve been sent back every time. My life is shit living here is shit. I just want to disappear.

  • Joey Torre

    This video is very insightful; thank you for your help.

  • Elodie Ps

    Sometime I just want to give up and runaway

  • Tyler Frederick

    My mom acted like my dad was a terrible person. He did weed, it was because it helped his depression. He has 2 sons including me and a daughter. My sister was ungrateful. If my dad got me a cool shirt she would be mad and jealous and give my dad a very hard time. My mom made my sister see the wrong picture of my dad. My dad was already sad enough. Eventually my sister stopped going to my dads. He was devastated. He is now extremely depressed. I love both my parents. It scared me how sad he is and I feel like he feels suicidal. I look at my mom. She spoils me and my sister and step brothers. I’m thankful for such caring parents. But My mom turned my sister against her own father and I’m scared to be at my moms or dads house.

  • Calista Vicente-Bradley

    My mother is bipolart and I feel like I'm becoming like her and being mean…. She yells at me but not as.bas as before. I just stay quiet. She keeps me inside and I'm always scared and I'm shy to talk to anyone and I'm afraid she'll cause a scene if I have friends. I can't see daylight

  • Out of the Blue

    This describes so much of my childhood. Very accurate description in a brief video. Sadly, we were estranged from most extended family, who also had their own mental health issues anyway. My parents tightly controlled the family and if anyone spoke up, they were kicked out of the house. I was the oldest daughter and tried to help my parents and siblings the best I could. Years later, by reading mostly, I discovered my mom was BPD with narcissistic tendencies and my dad was an absent parent who also was narcissistic. I wish this video would have been around when I was growing up-I was shamed for noticing the problems. Getting healthy has been hard because it means that I need to accept I will not have a healthy family and I’m on my own. But the plus side is that I can be healthy emotionally and can raise my kids differently than I was raised.

  • John Rutledge

    in addition I would like to say that as rule- hopefully nutrition and exercise as well as support for creativity as related to the individuals interests would come prior to medications.

  • John Rutledge

    and perhaps incentives for the supporting of nutrition -exercise and creative support could be a ubiquitously beneficial direction for a new and better collaboration for health for everyone. (your thoughts ? )

  • John Rutledge

    also as an example you are clearly mentally and physically healthy. If you could address and explain your personal journey as to that achievement it would and priests already does already benefit those that seek your council.

  • John Rutledge

    I apologise for the spell checker ( I typed probably not priests. )

  • John Rutledge

    also – is body language part of what you've learned and apply by way of school or natural ability to your practice ?

  • John Rutledge

    Your strength and compassion is very cool – thank you.

  • soriah_princess Charles

    I'm 12 and I have a mentally ill mother and I have been dealing with it since I was 5 and I'm still gaining my strength and patience with helping her defeat it. It means so much to me to look after her.This video has helped me in life thank you🙏❤👌😵

  • Charlie Martinez

    Im 13 years old my mom left me now my dads been depressed for 2 years and i've just felt sad tor day to

  • Verity Britcliffe

    My dad's depressed and idk how to bring him joy again

  • Msjsbsvdhbssj

    Me: had depression for most of my life
    Me: finally feels better
    Mom: finally admit that is depressed
    Mom: destroys family cause she started to hate everything we do

    Sorry I can't scream in the house so I wrote this to calm down

  • Elle Holmes

    My mum has borderline personality disorder (BPD) and I’m always trembling on egg shells I’m 12 and it’s really taking a toll on my life please can I have some advice someone 😭😭😭

  • elizabeth storll

    I grew up with a dad who has severe OCD and an extremely co dependent mom. To this day, even just visiting them triggers ptsd and I’m all messed up for a few weeks. It’s weird seeing how my anxiety can manifest.
    Thank you for this video.

  • Mellissa Fregoso

    I HATE that my children go through all of this. They will be messed up for life. My poor babies.

  • Hope Shreves

    I’m 23 and My mother has paranoid schizophrenia. We live in different states and I feel the need to move in with her to make sure she’s okay. I feel like she needs another person in her home to be more stimulated and motivated to do things. She’s drinking all the time and I think having me around would help her so much, getting out of the house, meeting new people ect. I just want to do everything I can to help her but it’s very hard to understand what I should do. I don’t want something to happen and think “I could’ve been there to help her”

  • LuminanceSnow

    My dad ….. is verbally abusive and cusses me every day and wont stop..

  • eda jane


  • Ivan Lochov #2 rus

    i don't know what's wrong with my mother or why she acts the way she does. i have no idea what to do anymore, it's like walking on glass with her. any little thing i say can trigger her. she's driving me insane

  • Candy Girl

    It’s all appreciating your mother and this always in third world countries

  • Creep Bleep Sleep

    My family home is just one big mental illness, dad had ptsd due to 16 years of being army, mum is bi polar, has depression, insomnia and really bad anxiety, brother has some type of autism, has a lack of empathy, dog suffers from panic attacks too, me? I’ve had my share of shit, from eating disorders, depression (and other things that I don’t like to associate my present self with) even though I suffer with some mental issues, living with a family that has different issues is hard, my mum goes through a cycle of taking and not taking hers meds, which is shit cause she that means she’s always anxious, “manic”, lie in mood and depressive. It worries me cause my littlest brother is only 9 months old and she scares me sometimes because of her episodes, makes em feel like I both want to runaway and stay to help out.

  • Kavleen Marwah

    Can you make a video on dealing with schizophrenic mother?

  • HatoJey

    My mom has chronic depression and Bipolar Disorder. I came back to my home to get a treatment after an accident because in NYC I couldn't get it because of insurance not covering.
    She said yes, and now she is insane saying that I never had an accident and that is all a lie and it's making any excuse to kick me out of the house when I even asked her for permission. It's driving my dad and my partner nuts, even me.
    And I am the only child.
    Honestly, she is 61, and I have decided this week that she ever gets to the point of being uncontrollable, she will go to a nursing home and I don't care. I was always against nursing homes, but the hurtful stuff has excalated. She is not having her medicines. 🤦🏻‍♂️

  • junior r

    this really sucks smh

  • Struan 94

    My mother has depression and she is always angry and she always hits me and I hate it because I seriously can’t remember the last time I was told I was loved.😣

  • Rfercefvrc Erfceffre

    My mom left my dad. as she was cheeting on him and her bf got her into alcohol I guess , then she left him and got a gf who is abusive toward her , I go see my mom once a week but my 2 siblings don’t I feel so bad for her because she feels like everyone is against her , I love her so much and she is very depressed , I don’t know what to do

  • 360 View

    I wish I could live with my mom but he has admitted that he would kill him self if I left. He has bipolar disorder and a lot of emotions trauma from his ex wife and his childhood. I often find myself locking me in my room because every time I come out and see him we end up in a fight. He has never hit me, probably because his dad was physically abusive to him, but he has punched holes in walls and broke things. There are a few holes in the walls that ore covered by paintings. Other than when he doesn’t take his meds, he is a great dad but he has said if I didn’t exist he would has killed him self already so I don’t know what to do.


    My bf had a tia from my mom she yelled at him everyday for no reason he’s on pills for rest of his life nothing gets better living with a mother that has bipolar disorder

  • gavin mcgregor

    I'm 38 years old and having trouble trying to set boundaries with my bipolar/ narcissist father. He is constantly calling me to trash talk about family members or tell me how they need to fix their lives. He's an expert on how to fix everyone's life, except his own. (This is only the tip of the iceberg concerning his issues)

    He recently told me what I need to do with my life so I told him that I'm an adult and that my life is none of his business, so he became defensive and doesn't contact me anymore.
    (This isnt the first time he has cut off contact with me)

    I actually enjoy when he stops calling me because it's a much needed break from the negativity he spreads, but I don't want to cut him out of my life completely because I'm worried about feeling guilty if he dies.
    My therapist told me to say to him, "If you're going to be in my life, then I'm not going to listen to your negativity." This wouldn't work because I know his reaction would be, "Who the fuck are you to tell me what I can or can't talk about."
    So I haven't spoken to him in 4 months. I just want a normal dad.

  • John Castleberry

    Good job. I’m an LPC. Would like to consult with you. Don’t know if you can do that.

  • Loriana Striebel

    I just noticed that I am a parentified child… I always knew that there was something wrong in the relationship with my mom. She got divorced like 6 years ago, dealt with cancer, depression and had to raise 3 children all at the same time… But I got parentified badly and really struggle from the consequences… I have very low self esteem, struggle from depression, anorexia and selfharm. I got admitted to psych ward for that. There they told me I should get away from home but never told me the reason why. So at the beginning I refused to but at one point I got really angry at my mom and noticed that there was something wrong. I decided to go looking for some alternatives. So we had a therapy session with my mom telling her that I probably don't come home to live with her. That was the last time I have seen her. The next morning I got the message that she killed herself. Her suicide was on 25th of january 2019. Idk how to handle this. I got discharged from hospital as I was inpatient for 7 months…. now I am still in therapy but I feel lile I am stuck… Everytime I try to talk abaout my mom I start crying and can't get a clear thought… I just don't know what to do. I am helpless.. I just can't handle this anymore. I am only 16 and my only wish is to end this endless pain. I just want to die….

  • maya murphy

    my mom has bipolar disorder and refuses to be medicated but i live in a house alone with her so i am the one who has to deal with it. she is the only person who supports me physically (clothes, food, etc.) but really doesnt at all emotionally. can i have help/advice

  • Aila Kubat

    Thank you

  • kittydollkori

    I lived homeless, yet HAPPIER then when I lived with my mom…

  • Jessica Jennings

    If you need help, just message me any I will try to get back ASAP

  • EmmyDeer

    Right my mum has depression and is currently going onto different one then stopping some of them. She snaps at me for no reason, if something happens that she doesn’t things right I get called “useless” “piece of shit” etc.

  • zahra winfield

    My life in general, my dads an undiagnosed bipolar and he will never go to a psychologist. I’m going to go to a psychiatrist soon because I honestly can’t take it anymore. I don’t feel like I’m okay anymore and I really need help

  • Chris Knight

    What do you do if you are 35 and no longer live with your 65 year old parent who is now developing full blown paranoid schizophrenia?

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