Type 1 featured on "Intervention". What do you think?

A recent episode of "Intervention" featured a T1 that wasn't addicted to anything......but he was in denial about his T1 diabetes and his family did an intervention .

He agreed to go to a behavioral and health treatment facility, but was asked to leave after a time because he wasn't following his treatment plan. He came home looking and feeling much better and seemed to be doing a better job with the D.

I had mixed emotions as I watched the show. Did anyone else see it and what was your opinion?

Was his name John? If so, I saw this one. I had mixed emotions as well, but I think it was a good thing his family did an intervention because he wasn’t taking care of his diabetes which can be really dangerous.

I, myself, have never watched an entire episode of this show. I am tired of people making excuses as to why they use, abuse, etc instead of just accepting the situation and doing your best to deal the hand God gave you. What many people don’t realize is that a chronic condition requires a time of grieving, but without doing harm to yourself and sometimes it does require some behavioral assistance and TEACHING. The teaching shouldn’t be so much that it overwhelms a person though. It should be done gradually and slowly so the person can understand and deal. I have found that many CDE’s put people in panic mode as soon as they are diagnosed by telling them all the horrible things that happen when you don’t control yourself and your choices. Wondering if CDE’s should be required to have D themselves…

There’s been a few threads on this in the forum… that you might find interesting. :slight_smile: Just search for “Intervention” in the forum directory.

I'd like to do an intervention for a T1 that I know ... But, I've always been wary of being perceived as the D Police!

One thing I did do was share some of the social media stuff that happened on World Diabetes Day, it was less "in your face" and more "see I do care and want to help too", without having to say the words. It was a real-life "share"!

I didn’t see it. But I think I would also have kinda mixed emotions about it. I Know how hard it is to relize your a Type 1 at a young age, but I don’t think that’s why they started the show Intervention.

I haven't seen it, but will definitely look out for it. I think it's a great idea. Yes, there are fundamental differences between being addicted to a drug and not taking care of oneself, but interventions are not reserved just for addicts. They're used for other conditions like eating disorders. In a sense, that may be more like a T1D in denial, in the sense that you can't simply give up the D like you can't give up dealing with food -- you need it. But even with addicts, the self-destructive behavior and the underlying psychological factors are often very similar. My only issue with the show as a whole is that it may be exploitative as well as helpful. I think reality TV is, in general, though.

Many people have difficulty understanding addiction, and it's understandable. It's easy to say, just quit and deal, but the reality is very different. As someone with a family with no less than 4 (mostly recovering) alcoholics, I can tell you that it's a lot more complex than that for the people living with the addiction. None of them set out to choose alcohol or drugs over their family/career/etc, and yet many of them appear to do just that.

Good point there Tom I will look out for it and see it myself.

I come from a family whose dad was an alcohlic and I was his only child soooo I stated out as a daddy's girl but over the years I took a turn for my mom.

This is the program, for those who haven't seen it... it has three parts.


Thanks Dorris, it's nice to find out that we have more in common than D!

My older brother is an alcoholic (not in recovery), and my little brother is a T1D who doesn't take care of himself. He's only had D for 4 years, so I try to cut him some slack because we all go through some form of denial, but I'm frightened by the parallels that I see between the two behaviors. It's really striking!

I'm lucky that my mom is now in recovery, so our relationship is strong for now. But even when someone is in recovery, you have to wonder if and how long it will last. I think it's something few other people will get:)


I saw this a while ago. Kind of a sad story. The guy’s sort of apathy/ whining was a bit tiresome though.

Thanks for the link. Never heard of this show. Hard seeing that guy so frightfully thin & feeling his despair & depression.

I did see it and had the same mixed emotions. I think it was a rerun of the previous segment. Anyway, since i have needed intervention from time to time, I could understand the need for the intervention, and in many respects the stupidity of it Yes the perosn was out of control, no doubt about it, but I wonder if the program made it better or worse, before he went to treatment?

One thing I do understand is that therapy should be an important element of a new diabetics life, unless they are less than 10, and then once they get to 12 - 15 they should be enrolled. I am sorry if that offends, but this disease is such a difficult adjustment that I really think things need to be talked out. I wish i had that sort of early intervention treatment and if I had, my life would have been different, I think. I do understand other folks disagree but being out of control is a all too common an outcome for all types of diabetics.

I hope that we (us with the disease) can ask for someone to study diabetic treatment outcomes for those who have counseling and those who don't. My theory is that better long term outcomes will be present for those who have therapy vs those who do not.

Rick Phillips

I'm not sure I agree w/ that. I thought that part of this guy's problem was that he was mired in his (enabling but loving...) parents' home and sort of devoid of interests/ goals? Even if your goal is reading, you can read a lot more efficiently if your BG is under control. For me, finding interests beyond the tedious BG/food/BG/food etc. cycle was really important to both make me happy that I was able to have something to do AND that I could use the challenge of beating up diabetes to help me make proactive decisions to improve my ability to run my diabetic show. Sitting at home with mom and dad would have been really frustrating. When I was younger, perhaps I didn't make all the best decisions playing in rock bands and partying my brains out but I was beating up diabetes just as much then as I am now being a middle-aged exerciser. Really, when I was 20, I figured that I had no chance whatsoever of getting to be 40 but the lysergic sweat dripping on my meter perhaps was more valuable than I gave it credit for? I was doing my thing and having a thing to do can really help I think, more than blathering at someone about how much diabetes sucks ■■■. That doesn't get you anywhere?

well almost no matter how we understand it, getting diabetes is a loss. In my case a loss of independence, potential etc. So like many in grief, I chose unproductive ways to deal with the disease. I hid in alcohol, work denial etc. All of those things took more time to get over than it should have and my health suffered for it. I suspect many see both he value and the non value of therapy. But I also suspect, that type 1 or 2, going into therapy would be helpful for many. In my case it would have shortened my "run away period" and likely would have prolonged my life.

rick phillips

I am perhaps totally nuts but I can rationalize that too, as I was the only guy in the band I was in in college who didn't dabble in hard narcotics which may be because I am too much of a control freak? I can see how therapy could be a benefit but I think that engagement with something beyond diabetes did it for me. Therapy probably would have been cheaper though? $3K and 100s of hours on martial arts, probably $1000 worth of running shoes/ pants/ Garmins, etc. 2x bikes (one wrecked, along w/ 2 of my teeth...). I wouldn't trade it for therapy. I have a really hard time making decisions too so, w/ a therapist I would likely talk about ranges of behavior/ consequences/ desires? It drives MrsAcidRock nuts sometimes I think? Oh wait, I'm the one who's nuts...well, sometimes I think that everyone can be nuts in their own special way?

I did not watch it; did see an episode of a Type 1 who was a severe alcoholic and the intervention was for the alcohol. I think intervention may be needed for some diabetics but should maybe come from medical team, psychologists. Not sure if the format used for dealing with drug and alcohol addictions would help.... I will watch out for a repeat; would like to watch this.

Jan, if you want to watch the episode…someone (Welfare Queen, I think) posted a link in her comments earlier in the thread.

Interesting comments and thoughts from all.

It sounds like we have all struggled and/or learned to cope with diabetes in very different ways. There is never a one size fits all fix that could apply to all of us.

I understand where Rick is coming from with the comments regarding therapy. I’m not sure that is the answer. It may be needed by some and overkill for others.

What I would like to see is that the emotional aspect of dealing with D addressed at DX the same way nutrition, medication, and physical activity are. When I was dx in '74 at the age of 14 I was told “how lucky I was”. The message was clear that I shouldn’t show any negative emotions because diabetes was “something that could be controlled, didn’t show, and was much less severe than other conditions”.

I’ve had my rough patches (college years were the WORST!) but have always been pretty positive about the D. But I would have been much better off if I had been told from the very start that the management of D is as much emotional as any of the other three mentioned earlier.