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Season 8, Episode 5


Age: 20’s
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.

Legacy Update:

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
Interventionist: Candy

All comments.

  1. Kat

    Does anyone know how Amber is doing. I wanted to let her know that sometimes your family of origin just can’t or won’t help but she can find others that will support her. Wishing her nothing but success.

  2. Nicole

    Her ex husband was awful! Thinking he “deserves” everything they had together. He seemed like he just gave up on her once things got hard and didn’t try and help.

    1. Greg

      That’s very presumptuous of you. Living with someone that has a substance abuse problem is like living with a monster. The lies, the manipulation, the chaos. The husband owned his home and owned his business before they married. Then, had to deal with a raging alcoholic with bulimia. He was basically raising their 4 year old by himself. On top of all that, he was paying alimony to her! To say that he was awful shows that you really aren’t in touch with reality.

      1. Laura

        oh, hush. that may have been a kneejerk reaction toward the husband, but you’re being insensitive and shaming, and it sounds like typical MRA rhetoric.

      2. Greg

        I know you are but what am I?

  3. Melanie

    Hope you’re doing better Amber!

  4. Stefan

    Amber was featured in the follow-up a couple weeks ago. She relapsed several times 3 years after her intervention, but has been sober for the past 3 years. She’s now married with four children.

  5. Halley

    I was always wondering how she was doing. I wish they gave a longer update. 🙁

  6. Dewey

    They did update. Amber doing well. Got married and had 3 more kids. She looked ????????

  7. Mike pence

    I was in treatment with her she was a really nice woman. Felt bad for a lot of the stuff she went through

  8. Stefan

    Her mother was a total capital-C.

    “I wonder why anyone ever has children”

    I would love to know how her four children responded to that when they saw the episode.

  9. Dewey

    I think her mom was at her witts end w amber. Remember this situation was going on years.

    Her family didn’t know what else to do.

    The husband was an ass. His stuff. His ????

  10. J

    Does anyone else find it odd that her ex-husband was being kind of a dick and the fact that her family didn’t go get family counseling or treatment when we all saw on television how it was affecting them as a whole. It’s almost like they only wanted her to get treatment but they themselves in one get treatment for how it was affecting them emotionally.

    1. Sue Ellen Hegstrom

      One word: fear.

  11. Melissity

    It always really ticks me off when the family swears and promises that they are going to get help too and then they don’t. Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. Addiction is a family disease. It doesn’t surprise me she still struggled with binging and purging in treatment. Regarding the mom, I can see her being fed up, but some of the things she said were jaw dropping. Like, “children should be seen not heard. That’s how I was raised.” Yeesh! Ex-husband had some entitlement issues, but I will say that I’m thankful he was able to step up and care for his daughter in a way that protected her from her mother’s drinking.

    1. Stefan

      Amber definitely had the misfortune of being surrounded by terrible people her entire life. I got the impression that her family never liked her very much (you can love someone and not like them). The sticklers for me was when the mom said, “I wonder why anyone ever has any children” and when her ex-husband said, “I didn’t sign up for that” referring to her addiction when they got married.

  12. Gregory D. Moore

    Wow. I’d love to hear Amber’s family defend signing a contract to go to Betty Ford—and then NOT! None of them? Is it any wonder Amber has issues with trusting them? At the very least, they should be embarrassed to be so blatantly exposed as liars on national television. Glad to hear she’s been able to get past this and lead a healthier life.

    1. A.S.

      Yeah, the sister was like “Amber is so messed up I never believe anything she says” and then proceeds to not go to family treatment after saying she would. Very hypocritical.

      1. Gigi

        This family was SOOOO cold…the mother in particular REALLY triggered me

      2. Kara Bishop

        A.S. I was going to write that in my comment about the sister being hypocritical! I’m so glad it was on TV. The family really looked bad and they cannot say it was editing. HaHa!

  13. Molly

    Does anyone have an update on how she’s doing now? I absolutely loved her personality and I really hope she’s doing well.

  14. Maggie

    There are so few addicts profiled on this show who are as immediately and enthusiastically committed to going to treatment. I was so touched seeing Andrew’s brothers appeal to him as their brother and for him to right away agree to go.

    This episode is another reason I’m glad to have found this site. Finding Andrew’s comment above with such a positive update is a hugely wonderful surprise.

    Andrew, if you ever see this, you’ve still got people watching your episode and rooting for you. Best wishes!

    1. Maggie

      Oops – wrong episode 🙁

  15. Kara Bishop

    I’m so surprised that no one said she looks like Daphne Zuniga from Melrose Place, which was on TV in the 1990s! Google it she really does! And Amber I hope you take that as a compliment because Daphne is beautiful, she’s older now, and you are just as if not more beautiful! I wish your family would understand that you’re eating disorder, as well as your alcohol addiction, are serious illnesses. I feel like more families need to educate themselves when they have a daughter or son with addiction, especially with an eating disorder.

    “ Eating disorders are brain based, biological illnesses with a strong genetic component. They are not disorders of choice, vanity, or family dysfunction.”
    This is a quote from Wendy Preskow who started NEID to bring awareness for eating disorders. Her daughter, Amy, was featured on intervention season 7 episode 15. Her mother Wendy was not fully educated on this topic, so after the show she not only educated herself, she became an advocate for eating disorders and helping others spends most of her time helping others who have eating disorders us of someone with an eating disorder. She also advocates for better resources to treat this disorder.

    Amber, I hope that if you ever read this, you click on the link and read Amy’s journal entry describing what it is like to live daily with this terrifying and crippling disease. Your family, as well as anyone else who is reading this who has a family member with an eating disorder, would learn so much just by reading the small journal entry.
    I am so happy that you finally found happiness and love! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! ❤️