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Episode 185: Andrew

Season 12, Episode 20

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 time during recovery making amends and looking hard at how he treated 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

Categories: Bulimia, Eating Disorder, Most Disturbing Episodes, Most Unforgettable Episodes, Season 12, Seth, Traumatic Incident

Discussion

44 Responses to “Episode 185: Andrew”

  1. I’d love to me able to watch this episode. But I can’t find it anywhere…why does it seem every other episode can be found in its entirety except for this one?

    Posted by Joshua Yother | April 9, 2013, 5:56 pm
  2. No way after he gained the weight back in recovery he looked like a different person. He looked like a skeleton before, he did serious damage to his body and was hospitalized twice (at least) I think it’s pretty irrational that he would be faking it. For what to go on TV and admit to failing in the military and get a free trip to rehab. That makes zero sense.

    Posted by Dee | October 18, 2014, 11:05 am
    • I dont think it was ever a matter of if hes lying about his disease but he was lying bout he submitted himself to the show and knew it was intervention the whole time. He obviously needed the help, thats why seth decided to go on with the intervention when they normally would pull out in this situation.

      Posted by Sarah Thomas | January 17, 2015, 1:38 pm
      • Cuz of the severity of his disease/addiction/eating disorder…he would have died…during filming of the show he was admitted to the hospital with near fatal potassium levels…so it was a life and death situation and that’s why Seth proceeded with the intervention

        Posted by Ashley Brown | October 29, 2015, 3:29 pm
    • He is a lying coward, how dare he lie about the Marine Corps, shame on him! Period!

      Posted by Keith Mandeville | February 21, 2018, 2:13 am
  3. Eating disorders not only change appearances, but completely transform personalities. He was a shell of himself. I can 100% see how his family put up with his horrible attitude as long as they did, because what they remember is the old Andrew. The Andrew they grew up for years and years loving. That is what they were desperate to get back. Love allows people to cling to any chance of hope and I believe that is what his family was doing. To call Andrew a creep is to misunderstand how warped his mind became in the heart of his self abuse. The end of the episode demonstrates the beauty that can come from such a terrible situation and a first step towards healing for the addict and those that care about him.

    Posted by Lindsey | October 27, 2014, 5:14 pm
  4. Andrew has a LOT of anger. I hope he got to work through that rage. What interests me about this episode was the way the show pretended like the subject never found out about the show before the actual intervention. yes, Andrew was the first to submit himself, but Seth made it sound like anyone who finds out stops getting filmed. That simply can’t be true. Dillon knew his intervention was coming. Sarah and Micheal knew about theirs, or at least Sarah did. Joey the tattoo artist knew. Even Sean from the same season knew. These are just off the top of my head, there may even be more. They stayed and finished the filming for all of those episodes. The only one I heard about which may be why I can never find it was Randi the meth-addicted bulimic from one of the first seasons. I’m glad the crew stuck it out, Andrew looked a lot better after treatment. I just thought that was interesting.

    Posted by Sara | January 17, 2015, 12:02 pm
    • Marquel and Ryan (Season 12) both found out about the intervention too, and filming did not end. You’re right, it’s not true that they stop filming. There may be many unseen episodes that weren’t completed because of it, but they certainly can’t claim to stop filming whenever it happens.

      Posted by dizzy | January 18, 2015, 10:20 am
      • There’s a really great Reddit AMA with a former Intervention camera man that’s pretty easy to find via Google, he answers a couple questions about episodes that did not make it to air and said the only time they pulled the plug on any episodes were when they found out the addict knew Intervention would be coming to their house the entire time, from submission to arrival, basically a planned intervention with the addict biding their time to accept the treatment that would inevitably be offered. In those cases, the camera man said, they wouldn’t air the episode but they would still try and find the family help because, to paraphrase: “Those addicts don’t need interventions, they just need help, they’re already willing.” After having watched the episode again after reading that interview, I’m pretty confident that’s what Seth refers to when he talks about an addict “knowing” about Intervention.

        Posted by Kat | February 4, 2015, 10:05 pm
    • He was always in bad moods cuz he was probably feeling like crap from lack of food…I know when I get hungry…I start getting grumpy…though he had no right to treat his family the way he did.

      Posted by Ashley Brown | October 29, 2015, 3:33 pm
  5. He is seriously a brat. I hope he found peace within himself, because he had some serious hate in his heart. I think the lady at the treatment center was right, that he developed his eating disorder as a way to rebel and show his anger and resentment. But I really hope he kept what he learned in treatment.

    Posted by Sarah Thomas | January 17, 2015, 1:44 pm
  6. I do not put my name here because I know Andrew. And you don’t have to believe me. I understand if you don’t. When Andrew moved to Cedar Park in middle school, he was a quiet kid until you got to know him. He was a real jokester and was a little chubby which his twin brother Nick, and his friend CONSTANTLY reminded him of. Id sit with them at lunch (because his brother and I were together) and not know how to tell them to shut up. And I regret that. But the military did really mess him up. In high school, he was in JROTC and he lost a lot of weight. Nothing too unhealthy, after we graduated, we never spoke again. But once I saw this episode air, I was in shock. This kid was half the weight that I last saw him as and I cried like a baby. I’m so glad he’s healthy again. He may have come off as a bratty asshole on the show but that’s not him at all, it was the disease. I hung out with Nick after the episode, wanting to check up on his family and everything is good. Andrew is doing very well and has gained his normal weight. I’m so proud of him and I’m friends with him on facebook. He’s been doing well since the show. Just an update.

    Posted by K. | March 7, 2015, 4:19 pm
    • That’s good to hear…he suffered sexual trauma in the military and I can understand his resentment towards the military especially, if I remember right they told him to not say a word about it. And the anger and bad attitude…I agree with you was from the disease..not eating affects your mood and overall well being.I’m glad he’s well now…he looks sooo much better now…kids can be cruel in school and then to pick on him in the military program…. I’m glad he overcame this…and tell him he’s a handsome young man and screw all those haters…they were just jealous of him

      Posted by Ashley | October 29, 2015, 3:45 pm
  7. I realize this kid is sick, but wow what an attitude! Broke my heart to see him treat people so horribly. The way he belittled his mom is their private conversation was heart wrenching. Hopefully things work out for him.

    Posted by Madaline | April 15, 2015, 11:07 am
  8. I cannot get over how incredible he looked after the intervention. I hope that he is still doing well… He was just a very very sick person whose disease consumed him. It’s all about that lack of control.

    Posted by Samantha | April 21, 2015, 5:16 am
  9. I just rewatched this on the A&E app on AppleTv. I forgot how truly awesome Seth was in handling this one. I loved his conversation with Andrew’s mom about co-dependence. And how he completely nailed it with Andrew’s dad about how he didn’t seem there even though he was sitting right there. Powerful stuff.

    Posted by Crystal | May 23, 2015, 1:12 pm
    • Yeah…I think that was Andrew’s dads way of dealing with stress…shutting down and displaying no emotion and leaving the situation… Everybody has their own ways to deal with things…some healthy.. Some unhealthy… Seth did an awesome job of putting it out there and making him see how his coping skills was making things worse for Andrew.I hope the family is doing well…this is actually the first time I saw an episode where they themselves submitted themselves to the show (being Andrew I’m talking about)

      Posted by Ashley | October 29, 2015, 3:53 pm
  10. I just watched this episode on A&E. I was intrigued about Andrew and his follow-up. I think some may forget that at the time of the filming he was only 18. He was still developing mentally and physically. His bulimia stunted any more growth and he was more a child than a man. Of course he was immature! It’s easy to look at his behavior and condemn it. He was an addict. Addicts are not rational. Particularly addicts who are still so very young and who have unresolved trauma. I think it’s easy to comment on someone’s behavior and not be in the same situation. I hope and pray that he has grown out of it and has become a strong, healthy man.

    Posted by Theresa | May 28, 2016, 2:49 pm
  11. The way he spoke to his mother faaaar overshadows anything that may or may not happened to him or anything that he accomplished in treatment. No, don’t believe that his attitude and blatant disrespect of his mother were merely due to his illness–he seemed far too practiced and comfortable for it to be something new, so to speak. Also, did his mother get treatment for her co-dependency issue? She surely needed it. I’ve never seen a woman allow her child to speak to her in such a way–it was painfully obvious that she over-compensated and under-disciplined Andrew to make up for the fact that his dad was away working for a living, something that she didn’t seem to explain to Andrew. She also never seemed to explain how respect works (give respect to get it), and especially how it works regarding ones parents. I’ve never been so disgusted while watching this show, disgusted with the addict and disgusted with said addicts parent(s).

    Posted by momtojsb | May 29, 2016, 6:51 am
  12. I just re-watched this episode and I think people totally neglect the very obvious, f*cked up truth it illuminates – tons of Americans can’t afford (adequate) treatment and have to resort to being exploited for entertainment in exchange for something half-way decent. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are way more people on Intervention doing exactly that, just not getting caught. Especially in the later seasons, when it really seems incredible that someone could still be surprised by an intervention after they’re told there’s a camera crew filming a “documentary about addiction.” Seth and co. had no cause to act offended or taken advantage of when they film these addicts for ratings and thrive on the more dramatic ones.

    Posted by Tom | July 23, 2016, 7:14 am
    • This. This is so sadly accurate and I find myself thinking about it every time I watch the show. The system is keeping people sick and especially in the case of eating disorders, the constant emergency room visits and long term care for organ issues will eventually surpass the cost of treatment. It makes no sense.

      Posted by Emily | August 19, 2016, 3:19 pm
    • I completely agree with you, Tom. Having gone to an eating disorder treatment center (whose clinical director is now the one that was shown at Andrew’s), as odd as the circumstances were for him to be on this show I am surprised that there are not more like him. Especially in the case of an eating disorder. In treatment there were girls whose insurance did not cover and in only 3 months of treatment had racked up over 6 figures in bills. Roughly $1000 a day to be treated, and even when insurance does cover some or most of that most of the time people are rushed through and are not able to receive the full care they need. It’s truly sad.

      Posted by Serena | February 18, 2017, 2:29 am
  13. I have a lot of sympathy for Andrew and his family too. They were saying his other option was Austin State Hospital, meaning he has no insurance. Trust me, Austin State Hospital mental ward is scary. Do you know what it’s like to be surrounded by people with varying degrees of psychosis and nurses that are numbed to these situations (?) I’m speaking from experience. Because of the show, he went to one of the best eating disorder treatment centers. No they shouldn’t have lied, but wow they had horrible options. I was really happy to see his successful recovery.

    Posted by Jessica | November 27, 2016, 12:36 pm
    • No insurance? How can that be? From the looks of the house and neighborhood they live in, I believe insurance would be affordable.

      Posted by Ellie | June 12, 2017, 10:40 pm
      • I can’t recall for sure but I believe Andrew was an adult, which meant that he would not necessarily be eligible to be covered under his parents’ insurance. Given his many health issues, I can imagine that health insurance would be really expensive for him. Mental health benefits are not always great so even with insurance, he’s still likely to need hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for treatment.

        Posted by Elizabeth | May 1, 2018, 6:25 pm
  14. I just wanted to add to my previous comment this article about 3 Texas eating disorder patients who died in TX state psychiatric hospitals due to inadequate care. It is from 2012, however right around the time of this episode. My point being, it didn’t look as though this family had good treatment options.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/federal-investigation-says-state-hospital-failed-care-patient-who-died/rYNrqcGsuoP0jOjn9q2bbN/

    Posted by Jessica | November 27, 2016, 5:48 pm
  15. Sorry, in the above article, the one patient died and the hospitals are being investigated concerning the other two who are still alive.

    Posted by Jessica | November 27, 2016, 5:50 pm
  16. Anorexia and bulimia are not mental illnesses. They’re behavioural disorders. The behavior of starving themselves, or binging and purging, is intended to manipulate and/or harm other people. In other words, anorexics and bulimics hurt themselves in order to hurt others. That’s why nearly all anorexics and bulimics are extremely manipulative, hostile and/or have Jekyll-and-Hyde personalities. When treating these people, the first objective should be to stabilise their medical condition, but after that the treatment should be through extensive behaviour modification therapy. They need to be taught that they can’t get their way 24/7 and if they behave badly there will be consequences.
    In this case, Andrew binged and purged in order to hold his family hostage and act out his anger at his parents – his mother for not keeping the family together and his father for abandoning the family. Seth handled this intervention perfectly and I really wish A&E had kept him around and made him a regular. He called Andrew out on his self-serving, manipulative and abusive treatment of the rest of his family, and he called out the parents on their failure to maintain control over their children.
    Seth should have gone even one step further and told the parents that they needed to punish Andrew for his reprehensible behaviour. They should have boxed up his things and put them in storage when he was away in treatment, and when he got out they should have told him that because his behaviour was so disrespectful and abusive, they were cutting off all ties with him for at least one year, during which time he would have to find a place to live and support himself on his own, and that he wouldn’t be welcomed back into the family until he showed that he has changed his behaviour.

    Posted by Janelle | March 17, 2017, 2:30 pm
    • the inaccuracies in this post are shocking, and for those of us that have survived and are in recovery for eating disorders, it’s extremely insulting. anorexia and bulimia nervosa are BOTH considered biologically-based brain disorders and classified as psychiatric illnesses in the DSM-V. please do your research instead of disseminating your opinions as “facts”, and take a good long look at where your biases are coming from.

      Posted by Laura | March 17, 2017, 11:59 pm
    • I hope to god you’re not counseling or advising actual people with real issues. That would be so dangerous.

      Posted by C | April 28, 2017, 6:01 am
  17. Wow. It seems like this kid had so much internalised shame and self hate he projected it onto everyone else. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it didn’t seem like he had any help dealing with the bullying or sexual assault, or maybe could not afford help at that time. Seth was really amazing. I would not have expected him to be so patient or kind with someone who set up the intervention themselves and then didn’t want to go through with it. I think he saw it as the massive cry for help that it was. And as nasty as Andrew was to his mother, sometimes the way shows are edited don’t always show the kinder moments. It seemed like a lot of his lashing out was to do with mood swings because next minute he was hugging his mom.
    Anyway I hope all these guys are doing well, they seem like a legitimately nice family.

    Posted by BEE | April 14, 2017, 4:18 am
  18. I had a brother that emulated Andrews disease to a T. However it began for him in 7th grade and was bullied so badly he turned to a rapid eating disorder making loose 30-40lbs within half a year. He looked and acted awful. He was so young my sister nor my parents knew what to do besides take him to clinics and say our concerns about his eating disorder. He shot himself that summer never making it to 8th grade for us to both be in Jr High together. He was 13 my sister was 15 and I was 11 and am 32. To this day is affects me and I so wish we could have helped him. It brought true regret seeing his improvement and smile because I couldn’t give that to my brother. I’m happy for him because rarely does the outcome of eating disorders end in the individual smiling and overcoming. However it was amazing and true strength to see him do it.

    Posted by Rhianne Josie | April 16, 2017, 9:04 pm
  19. I know a little about what Andrew is going through. I was the short chubby kid for years anx was bullied. At 17 my family moved to another state , if I were to live with my mother at that time I would have probly treated her like crap . Drugs, alcohol, bulimia are all selfish diseases. We hurt the ones we love, we feel like shit about it but we are sick.
    The way Andrew treated his mom was mostly his disease. Hes not by any means a bad kid. Bullying, what happend to him in camp all contributed. I really hope Andrew is okay today. I know hes a handsome guy.

    Posted by Natasha | August 8, 2017, 6:05 am
  20. Hate is a strong word but I HATED him all the way up until the follow up and then I was so happy and fell in love with the healthy Andrew. Hopefully he stayed healthy and happy!

    Posted by Vicky | August 22, 2017, 7:48 pm
  21. I’m really wondering how is Andrew now,4-5years after the show?! What’s his last name or is there anyone who knows him personally and can tell any updates,how he’s doing? I hope he’s doing better,I was so happy he went to treatment and he looked so much better at the end of the show! It was so sad to see how much anger he was at the show and how angry he was at the whole word!:/ I also hope that he mended his relationship with his family especially with his parents!:)

    Posted by Enikő Faludi | September 23, 2017, 9:20 am
  22. There’s so much wrong in what you posted Janelle it’s astounding.

    Posted by mc | February 19, 2018, 4:35 pm

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