Location: Los Gatos, California
What’s memorable: She weighs 80 pounds, first of all. A smart and beautiful girl from an upper crust traditional family with decent parents: it’s hard to understand what went so wrong that she has to go to such extremes in order to feel loved, but no one knows what goes on in other peoples’ heads. Kaila literally has days to live, but she feels powerful “going against the laws of nature.” It’s all very sad.
Official Synopsis: As a young girl, Kaila, 19, was raised in an affluent, image-conscious community where she felt teased for being overweight, and overlooked by her parents. Now, at a mere 80 pounds and eating only a few hundred calories a day, Kaila is literally starving herself to death to have what she’s always wanted–to be the center of her family’s attention. Her distraught parents have been told by Kaila’s doctors to prepare for her death, “Intervention is truly our last option,” says Kaila’s mother, “Please help us!”
Original Air Date: July 2013
Location: New Mexico
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka), anorexia, self-injury (cutting)
What’s memorable: How morose and depressed she is, suicidal to the point of people being tired of hearing her threaten to kill herself. She’s clearly reaching out for help and attention though, and has been for many many years, but her family consistently has ignored and dismissed her. “You shouldn’t have to work so hard to convince your parents that you need help.” Indeed. Oh, and also, her sister telling her SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN HERSELF RAPED. “I warned her not to put herself in those situations.” That’s a seriously messed up thing to say.
Official Synopsis: Amy grew up feeling unloved and unable to meet her parents’ high expectations. She was also molested by a neighbor when she was eight, but never told anyone in her family. She began to self-mutilate and restrict her diet, and by 17, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now, Amy eats only 500 calories a day, drinks up to two bottles of vodka a night, and regularly self-mutilates. Amy’s family is ready to give up on her, but they still don’t know about Amy’s sexual abuse. Only Amy’s friend, Jessica, knows the truth, but will she have the courage to tell Amy’s family before it’s too late?
Original Air Date: December 2009
Addiction: Anorexia, exercise
What’s Memorable: How sick and frail her body is. How weird it is to see what she would look like if she wasn’t Anorexic (twin sister). The crazy food rituals.
Official synopsis: Emily, 26, grew up struggling to meet her parents’ high expectations. Despite winning many academic and athletic honors, Emily suffered from depression and low self-esteem, and her shameful feelings intensified when she became a date-rape victim in college. She dieted in hopes of regaining control of her emotions and life, but now she weighs less than 90 pounds. Her family’s last hope is an intervention that will stop her from starving herself to death.
Original Air Date: December 2007
Location: Northern California
What’s Memorable: The extent to which Kim hates herself is truly disturbing. She is clearly mentally ill, just completely drowning in her horrible thoughts.
Official synopsis: Kim is a beautiful 34-year-old make-up artist who grew up a cheerleader and popular. But fearing her good looks and slim figure were deteriorating, Kim turned to bulimia and anorexia. Now Kim’s weight issues have taken over her life. She is entrenched in a divorce with her high school sweetheart, who she still loves dearly. She’s moved in with her mother and stepfather, with whom she can’t get along. Kim’s needs have taken over the household and no one believes it can get better unless Kim agrees to get help.
Original Air Date: March 2007
Sonia and Julia
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
What’s memorable: Everything. It seems so clear that these two are addicted to each other, positively obsessed with each other, and not eating/being thin is just another way for them to compete. I mean they’ve obviously got a serious eating disorder, but it’s more obvious than usual that it is a symptom of much deeper emotional issues developed as a result of them never having had their own identities apart from being a twin. It’s such a sad story. I really hope they’re doing well now.
Official synopsis: Identical twins Sonia and Julia, 22, shared everything as children and grew up in a loving home. Their parents emigrated from Poland and worked multiple jobs to send their children to the best schools. But now the family’s American Dream is turning into a nightmare as Sonia and Julia are withering away from anorexia. The sisters’ competitive spirit has turned to bitter rivalry and jealousy. And they’re so stricken with fear that the other will burn more calories that they never let each other out of their sight. Now their desperate parents seek help.
Original Air Date: June 2009
Season 2, Episode 9
Addiction: Anorexia, Bulimia
What’s memorable: Her eating disorder’s name is Eddie. She throws up, starves herself, and chews and spits our her food. She doesn’t look sick.
Official synopsis: Annie is anorexic and bulimic. Now her fiancé, Kevin, desperately wants an intervention because he’s afraid that Annie’s eating disorders will kill her.
Original Air Date: March 2006
What’s Memorable: Kelly really helped me understand the thought processes of an anorexic. She’s very articulate about her disease, and she seems like a wonderful person.
Official synopsis: Kelly is an anorexic who weighs 93 pounds and whose young daughter is following in her footsteps, often picking at her food or refusing to eat altogether. Her friends are seeking help not just to save Kelly, but her daughter as well.
Original Air Date: June 2005