'Chronic Illness Memes' Instagram Uses Animated Characters to Describe Chronic Illness

We all know that watching Disney or other animated movies can be a great way to lift your spirits on a tough day with chronic illness. And as the Instagram account @ChronicIllnessMemes shows, those characters can also be surprisingly perfect at representing what it’s like to be chronically ill.

The account was created in 2015 by Kelly Patricia, a 26-year-old from Florida who lives with several chronic conditions, including endometriosis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. She told The Mighty that her goal is to help others with chronic illness feel less alone and bring joy to their days.

“Since I know how stressful life with chronic illness can be, I wanted to do something that would make people laugh and possibly even make them forget about their pain for just a moment. Laughter is truly the best medicine; it’s free and has no bad side effects!” Patricia said.


Patricia said she gets inspiration for her memes from how she’s feeling, or how someone around her who has chronic illnesses is feeling. Then, she’ll write up a relatable quote and search for a popular animated character that has the emotion or reaction she’s looking for to match it.

“I feel like [animated characters] are friendly for all viewers (no matter what age they are),” she said. “Plus, animated characters have so much emotion and personality that it’s almost impossible not to relate to them!”

In addition to @ChronicIllnessMemes, Patricia also blogs and runs a YouTube channel to spread awareness of illnesses and encouragement to those who are struggling. She said everyone seems to relate to one meme or another.

“It truly shows how the little things really do make a big difference!” she said.

Scroll through for more memes or check out @ChronicIllnessMemes on Instagram.

'Chronic Illness Memes' Instagram Uses Animated Characters to Describe Chronic Illness

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

black and white painting of a woman with red lips

We Need to Stop Shaming Others for Their Treatment Choices

As someone living with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), also knowns as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), being part of a supportive network of people who struggle with the same diagnosis has been a critical component of how I manage living with this disease. Online support groups, in-person meet-ups, group chats and message boards are some of the most common [...]
doctor's lab coat with stethoscope

I'm Allergic to Touch, and No One Believes Me

“I don’t believe in that.” It was the first time I heard it, and it threw me. I sat in the gastroenterologist’s office, hands in my lap, as he explained to me that aside from a little inflammation, there was nothing physically wrong with my intestines. I had just suggested, in my limited, 19-year-old medical [...]
doctor talking to patient in exam room

To the Doctor I Trusted Who Told Me My Illness Was 'All in My Head'

Starting at the beginning of this year, my fiancee and I moved into an apartment about an hour away from where I was going to be attending school. Now by this point in my life, I had been sick on and off for six years and had been through a gastroenterologist, multiple primary care doctors [...]
woman standing on the top of a mountain at sunrise with her arms outstretched

Why I'm Sharing the Burden of My Chronic Illnesses With the World

I don’t like feeling vulnerable and I’m not good at opening up. I firmly believe my problems are my own responsibility. But I have learned this past year there are some things that are too big to handle by myself. So, world, I am sharing my burden with you. My name is Sarah, and I [...]