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Most Disturbing Episodes

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Episode 205: Sierra

Season 15, Episode 2


Sierra
Age: 19
Location: Redding, California
Addiction: Meth

What’s Memorable: Everything is memorable. Her eyes, her bare feet, how the words coming out of her mouth mean something to her and nothing to anyone else.  Every person in her entire support system is an addict in recovery and she felt like she needed war stories but then couldn’t handled them when they happened. Sierra’s brain cannot deal with drugs. Donna shows up for this one in a big way. I don’t think that any other interventionist could have done this intervention better than she did.

Official Synopsis: The daughter of a small business owner, Sierra was an honor student with dreams of college and a career in journalism. But when a double-dealing artist charmed his way into her mother’s life, he gambled away their home and the bottom fell out of Sierra’s world, leading to a frightening drug-induced psychotic break. Today, the 19-year-old is a feral junkie, scrapping for a fix on the streets of Northern California.

Original Air Date: March 2016
Interventionist: Donna

Episode 185: Andrew

andrew-1

Andrew
Age: 18
Location: Austin, Texas
Addiction: Bulimia
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.

Official Synopsis:
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
Interventionist: Seth

Episode 158: Kimberly

kimberly-alcohol

Kimberly
Age: 34
Location: Elkhart, Indiana
Addiction: Alcohol
What’s memorable: The huge ass mansion she lives in while drinking herself to death everyday, the way her boyfriend thinks of addiction and of her as an asset to fix up and turn around like he does his properties, and his locking her up in the spare room for 3 days to detox her. “When he let me out, I walked to the nearest liquor store, came back, locked myself back in, and proceeded to get drunk” – Kimberly. Why is this episode on the Most Disturbing list? The follow up. Just watch it. See the vacancy, the superficiality of the words, the complete lack of commitment. You know as soon as she starts talking into the camera that she’s not staying sober for long. So damn awkward and real.

Official Synopsis: To the outside world, Kimberly lives a dream life in an extravagant mansion without a financial care in the world. But the “dream” is really a nightmare because Kimberly is an alcoholic with no limits. She lives with her boyfriend, who has locked her in a bedroom in an effort to stop her from drinking. Kimberly’s father has written her off, but the family must come together or Kimberly will continue to drown her pain in alcohol.

Original Air Date: January 2012
Interventionist: Jeff

Episode 116: Tyler

tyler

Tyler
Age: 26
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol and crack mostly, but also whatever else he can get, including heroin, meth, pain killers.

What’s memorable: I can’t begin to imagine the guilt and pain that Tyler feels over his siblings’ overdoes deaths, considering he was the one who introduced them both to heroin, they died within weeks of each other, and he found them both. This is one of those where I have no problem at all understanding why the guy needs to numb out every day. What’s awful about that is that he’s on his way to dying too, and if or when he goes his parents will have lost ALL of their children to drugs. So unimaginably tragic.

Official Synopsis: A gifted mechanic, Tyler, 26, worked in the family business with his brother, Zach, and his sister, Ashley. Their father built the business to provide his children with a wonderful life. But the family’s dreams turned to tragedy when Tyler found both Zach and Ashley dead from drug overdoses. Unable to cope with his loss, Tyler now fills his days with drugs and alcohol
Original Air Date: May 2010

Episode 81: Lana

lana

Lana
Age: 24
Location: St. George, Utah
Addiction: Alcohol & Pain pills
What’s memorable: Lana makes the Most Disturbing list on account of what happened to her only 6 months before the episode aired. I can’t begin to imagine the feeling of watching yourself being raped for 5 hours on video and not knowing it ever happened (she was drugged). I understand why the police showed her the tape, but I can’t help but wonder how different things could have been if she didn’t know it ever happened. I just don’t know how I would feel in her situation. It’s so upsetting to even think about. Also memorable: the darling, sad little brother who takes care of her, her very decent family that just don’t get it, the violent boyfriend, the sheer amount of wine she drinks.

Official Synopsis: Lana grew up in a family of 11 children, and her older sister introduced her to drinking at the age of seven. Despite this precarious start, Lana excelled in sports and was active in the church. But at 18, Lana began to enter into dangerous relationships with men and started abusing drugs and alcohol. She was in two near-fatal car accidents. And now, too make things even worse, she is in a relationship plagued by physical violence.
Original Air Date: February 2009

Episode 74: Nicole

nicole

Nicole
Age: 32
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Addiction: Dyspahsia- not swallowing, also pain pills
What’s Memorable: She hasn’t swallowed food or liquid in 14 years! I mean seriously. Not even saliva. That’s disturbing enough, but her inability to swallow is a traumatized response to being forced to perform oral sex on her friend’s father when she was a child. The man who did is admitted to it, got probation, and still lives in her neighborhood, triggering her over and over. Her parents did nothing when it happened. And now everyone just tells her she should get over it and move on, that she’s just looking for attention. No one in her life seems to have any kind of sympathy for her, they just think she’s disgusting. I mean she clearly needs help, she’s very unhealthy, and she’s been resistant to getting that help, but I just think that if her family could get a grip on WHY she is the way she is, and that she needs their support and not their judgment, she would be more willing to get better.

Official synopsis: After being molested as a child, Nicole developed an unusual eating disorder–she was unable to swallow. By age 16, she weighed just 68 pounds, and doctors inserted a feeding tube into her stomach. The tube was supposed to be temporary, but 16 years later, Nicole still relies on the tube and can’t swallow any food or liquids. She also abuses prescription drugs and neglects her two daughters. Her husband plans to divorce her if she continues to neglect their children.
Original Air Date: December 2008

Episode 59: Lawrence

lawrence

Lawrence
Age: 34
Location: Las Vegas
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka)
What’s Memorable: Oh man, the denial Lawrence was in is absolutely shocking. “Half the time I don’t even think he realizes that he’s drinking.” The bruises all over his body, how weak he is, how he needs his co-workers to totally take care of his basic needs. And, of course, the followup.

Official synopsis: Having graduated high school with academic and athletic honors, Lawrence, 34, became a successful owner of a chain of tanning salons. But he was never able to dull the pain of emotional and physical abuse suffered in childhood. Alcohol took hold and Lawrence became a shell of his former self, often drinking a liter of vodka a day. A recent battle with cancer left him further weakened. Lawrence’s loved ones stage an intervention in the hope that this show of love and support will help Lawrence get the help he needs, and that by sharing his story he might help others.
Original Air Date: February 2008

Episode 51: Emily

emily

Emily
Age: 26
Location: Ohio
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

Episode 45: Leslie

leslie

Leslie
Age: Late 30’s?
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Addiction: Alcohol (vodka, mouthwash)
What’s Memorable: Ugh. This one is painful to watch. Leslie is completely obsessed with alcohol in a way I’ve never seen before. It almost seems at times that she’s acting like she thinks a bottomed-out alcoholic would act, but I just can’t imagine that anyone would treat their family the way she does as a performance, and not as a result of her terrible addiction. Also, the mouthwash. What the hell.

Official synopsis: Leslie is a Sunday school teacher, PTA member, soccer mom of three and a raging alcoholic. When she can’t get her hands on vodka or wine, Leslie resorts to economy size bottles of mouthwash. After countless arrests and DUI’s, her husband is hoping to find help for the mother of his children before it’s too late. It’s time for Leslie to choose: her alcohol or her family.
Original Air Date: June 2007
Interventionist: Candy

Episode 33: Jessie

Jessie
Age: 21
Location: Oregon
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

Episode 31: Cristy

cristy

Cristy
Age: 24
Location: Norco, California
Addiction: Meth, Alcohol
What’s Memorable: This might be the most famous episode of Intervention. I think it’s also my least favorite. It was hard for me to even watch it again in order to write this. Most of the time I have some measure of sympathy for the addicts on this show, but Cristy not so much. There’s just nothing about her that I can relate to or that evokes my sympathy. She’s unbelievably narcissistic and has zero self-awareness. Anyway, what’s memorable? The constant nudity. The eyebrows. The delusions. The intervention.

Official synopsis: Cristy was born into a tight-knit family and sought a career as a clothing designer before she became addicted to alcohol and crystal meth. Now she earns her money as a stripper, and her desperate family knows she needs an intervention.
Original Air Date: August 2006

Episode 91: Sonia and Julia

sonia-julia

Sonia and Julia
Age: 23
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Addiction: Anorexia
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

Episode 3: Tamela

tamela

Tamela
Age: Early 20’s?
Location: Arizona
Addicted to: Self-injury – Cutting
Addiction Trigger: Childhood sexual abuse and a religious family that ignored it and just prayed.
What is most memorable about this episode: The incredibly graphic episodes of cutting.

Official synopsis: Tamela, a 24-year-old artist, cuts herself with razor blades. As a child, she was molested and has a hard time getting over what happened. Her family hopes she will go into treatment.
Original Air DateMarch 2005

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