Location: Austin, Texas
What’s memorable: So this kid submits himself to the show (obviously lying about who is doing the submitting), convinces his parents to lie to the producers and pretend he wasn’t the one who set the whole thing up, treats EVERYONE like shit, and then gets downright cruel when they actually expect him go to treatment. I understand the severity of his illness, but I just don’t know how anyone can excuse the kind of behavior he exhibited during filming. He asked for his mother to talk to him alone during the intervention, then spent the whole time berating her and trying to make her feel bad. You can just tell he’s a master manipulator and has the whole family under his control. It’s very, very disturbing. I was glad to see him get better, he was most certainly going to die of that disease, I just hope that he spends some significant time during recovery making active amends and looking hard at how he treats the people who love him.
In an Intervention first that reveals a surprising outcome, we reach out to 18-year-old Andrew who once dreamed of a military career, but now binges and purges up to 12 times a day.
Original Air Date: February 2013
Location: Porter Ranch, California
Addiction: Alcohol, Bulimia
What’s memorable: How her parents can’t figure out where she gets the money to buy alcohol, the married boyfriend that’s 30 years older and was her customer at the strip club, how skinny and unhealthy she is, the awful way her parents treat her and each other, the way her mom hides bottles of wine in the closet and doesn’t think anyone knows.
Update Dec 2014: It appears that Katie is sober but still struggles with her eating disorder. Her dad has set up a GoFundMe to help get her into treatment. The photos I’ve seen are shocking – she looks to have lost quite a bit of weight and she was skinny to begin with. I hope she is able to get the help she truly needs. Facebook page and GoFundMe page
Official Synopsis: Twenty-five year-old Katie uses her eating disorder and binge drinking to cope with her mother’s secret alcoholism and parents war with each other while her worried siblings pray someone can step in and save them all.
Original Air Date: August 2012
Location: South Beach, Florida
Addiction: Alcohol, bulimia, exercise
What’s memorable: This episode makes the “unforgettable episodes” category on account of 1) the intervention that didn’t happen as a result of her roommate figuring out it was the Intervention cameras, and telling her about it and 2) Marquel’s serious denial about her various addictions.
Official Synopsis: Working as a fitness instructor at the most elite gyms and partying on the club circuit at night, Marquel seems to have the perfect life. But her family sees her exercise regime as obsessive-compulsive, and they watch her binge-drinking episodes end up in hospitalizations. They believe she is an exercise addict, bulimic, and alcoholic, and they have turned to interventionist Candy for help.
Original Air Date: February 2010
Location: Southern California
Addiction: Alcohol, Bulimia
What’s memorable: How completely wasted he gets, how much he eats, what a brat he is, and how important a life in academia is to him.
Official Synopsis: Born into a mixed-race family in a predominantly white town, Asa struggled with low self-esteem and body image growing up. Classmates teased him because of his size, ethnicity, and effeminate manner. Desperate to loss weight, Asa became bulimic. He came out as a gay man at 19 and started using hard drugs and drinking heavily. For the past 10 years, Asa has been working towards his college degree. Being a medical science student, he understands how his eating disorder and alcoholism are affecting him, but he’s been unable to stop. His family now realizes that an intervention is their last chance to help Asa.
Original Air Date: July 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Addiction: Heroin & Cocaine (Speedballs), Bulimia
What’s Memorable: The skin-picking, how badly the drugs have affected her looks, her controlling anorexic mother, her 50-year old boyfriend.
Official synopsis: As a child Caylee was an over-achiever from an affluent family. But despite her myriad successes, her mother, Christy, was never satisfied with her. Christy, herself was sexually-abused as a girl, and has hidden her bulimia from her family for 35 years. When Caylee was in grade school, Christy began to teach her daughter to count her calories. In high school, Caylee became a bulimic and began drinking. Now, she is 23 and a bulimic and a heroin addict. She is 80 lbs, and goes to her 50 year-old “boyfriend” for drugs and money. The family wants to help both mother and daughter. If they can find a way to have the mother present for Caylee’s intervention, they can then approach Christy about her bulimia as well.
Original Air Date: August 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Addiction: Bulimia, exercise
What’s Memorable: Her parents basically locking her in the basement so they don’t have to see her food issues. Her severe body dismorphia. The way she believes that bulimia is her “thing”, what makes her special and unique. Her 100% focus on her eating disorder.
Official synopsis: Amy and her family escaped the violence of apartheid-era South Africa and immigrated to Canada 22 years ago. But Amy suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem, and she became anorexic and, soon after, bulimic. Now she lives alone in the basement of her family’s house and steals from family members to pay for her eating binges. Weighing only 92 pounds, Amy is on the brink of death.
Original Air Date: April 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Addiction: Bulimia, Alcohol
What’s Memorable: Trophy wife syndrome: She got the life she always thought she wanted, but wasn’t never happy with it. Also, her family that signed a contract saying they would go to family treatment if she agreed to get help, and never went.
Official synopsis: When Amber was molested as a young child, she bottled up her emotions. She began binge eating, and became bulimic because she wanted to be popular and beautiful like her older sister. After high school, Amber had a baby and married, and managed to look like she was living an idyllic family life. But she was actually depressed, drinking heavily, and purging regularly. Her family hopes an intervention can help her confront her problems.
Original Air Date: July 2010
Addiction: Bulimia, Food
What’s Memorable: This was the first episode I ever saw and it just blew me away. Her binges are absolutely epic – 3 days worth of junk food in 3 hours. She throws it up so that she can eat more. The food garbage in the back of her truck. She works as a stripper in order to afford food. Her parents had to put a lock on the fridge. It’s hard not to feel really sorry for her, and for her family. She is so very sick. I hope she’s okay now.
Official synopsis: Jessie is a beautiful young woman who once dreamed of becoming a doctor. But that was before bulimia trapped her in cycle of despair.
Original Air Date: December 2006
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
Season 2, Episode 5
What’s memorable: Throwing up into plastic bags, using a toothbrush. Eating until she physically can’t anymore at all-you-can-eat buffets. The relief after the intervention about not having to worry about hiding her disease anymore.
Official synopsis: For the past eleven years Salina has been suffering from severe bulimia. She also struggles with a shopping addiction and recently began battling a new urge, self-mutilation. Her family is desperate to help her break this cycle and is hoping she will take this lifeline.
Original Air Date: January 2006
Addicted to: Bulimia
What’s memorable: How much she eats in a day, and how sad she is about it.
Official synopsis: Renee’s eating disorder has become so dangerous that it is threatening her health, marriage, finances, and even the custody of her two small children.
Original Air Date: May 2005
I’ve found references to this episode, but it is not listed on the Intervention Episode Guide and is not available on Netflix. And as far as I know, it has not been re-run since it originally aired in July of 2005. If anyone knows where I can find it, please let me know.
Synopsis (via tv.com): A wealthy family is in crisis and desperate to help Michael, a rage addict with a long history of violent behavior who has punched 24 holes in the walls of his father’s house in the past year. And a woman seeks help for her sister, a bulimic and crystal meth addict who was sexually abused as a child by her babysitter.