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S09.E10: Michael's Story

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A lifetime of abuse and ridicule has left Michael anxious and afraid to leave the house. Now with the help of his devoted wife he must follow Dr. Now's program to keep from eating himself to death.

This is the regular episode thread.  It will be open after the first US showing.

Original air date 2021.02.24

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Oh DANG! I totally forgot there’s a LIVE chat during the episode

Another snoozefrst zzz zzz of an ep where the 600pounder doesnt Have WLS before the end of the episode.   

It’s not as frustrating as when the 600lb-er is told lose 60lbs to qualify and they lose 3 lbs . This week & last week the pt. consistently lost weigh but just fall short and DrNow gives them a new goal . 

Its getting boring n. I miss the older seasons when a pt complied , had surgery and their life/health is improved and they look better. Or the entertainment of a complete train wreck like Penny, whiny, non-compliant and frying foods on her bed 

DR NOW ! THE SHOWS GONE DOWNHILL ! 

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52 minutes ago, DNR said:

DR NOW ! THE SHOWS GONE DOWNHILL ! 

To be fair I’m about 100% sure Dr. Now has no say in how the show is edited. 

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Are those the usual chairs in Dr. Now’s waiting room? They look like they came out of a Medieval banquet hall. 
I missed it, is there something wrong with one of Michael’s sons? He doesn’t appear on camera very much and at park scene at the end, he just kind of disappeared. I worried that he’d fallen in the lake. 
edited to add: this guy yammers on and on like Kody Brown 

Edited by magemaud
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  Let’s be real - that guy is HUGE.  He has to be 6’8”??  So he’s put on the same 1200 calorie diet as the 4’11” woman.  I’m 74 and 5’1”.  1200 calories is the minimum recommended daily.  Michael’s personality drove me up the wall.  I couldn’t get my head around Kim’s “Suzy Sunshine” disposition, but Dr. Paradise certainly nailed Michael on the first visit.  But I don’t understand the 1200 calorie One Size Fits All diet.  Obviously, our folks here go well over that, but the idea of a doctor even recommending it horrified me.  And if he has agoraphobia, I'm pregnant.

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6 hours ago, magemaud said:

Are those the usual chairs in Dr. Now’s waiting room? They look like they came out of a banquet hall. 
I missed it, is there something wrong with one of Michael’s sons? He doesn’t appear on camera very much and at park scene at the end, he just kind of disappeared. I worried that he’d fallen in the lake. 
edited to add: this guy yammers on and on like Kody Brown 

I wondered if his son is a person with autism because when Michael went to see Dr. Now the first time, he was wearing a black hat with a “puzzle piece” ribbon around the brim. 

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Michael is so theatrical and speaks in such absolutes. Like a middle schooler, his life is a great drama and he’s the leading character. Whether it’s LARPing, or crystals, he’s trying to elevate a boring, humble life into grand opera. His wife feeds into him, but you can tell the kids don’t. He must have been an impressive figure, a six seven martial arts student, but now he’s a lazy bum in a trailer with a vivid imagination. Dr Now and Dr Paradise both read him brilliantly and he did lose weight. The episode makes no mention of COVID so you wonder when it was filmed.

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9 hours ago, DNR said:

Its getting boring n. I miss the older seasons when a pt complied , had surgery and their life/health is improved and they look better.

Me too.  I only watch the show for the potential transformation, not to see fat people overeating and being delusional about their minuscule weight loss.

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Although Michael didnt hit the goals Dr Now gave him, if he keeps losing at that pace, in a year or two from when filming ended he would be in the 200s and I think his life would be vastly improved. He was so mean to his wife sometimes- jealousy and self hatred I think.

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Michael can keep losing weight on his own, but it will likely be a little less each month than the month before.  If he sticks with martial arts, that will help.  

His wife's picture is in the dictionary next to 'cloying'.  Sweet lady, but something's weird there.  

I wonder if this is one they had in the can from previous seasons and had deemed it too boring to air.  

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9 hours ago, Hellohappylife said:

To be fair I’m about 100% sure Dr. Now has no say in how the show is edited. 

Dr. Now's son, Jonathan, is one of the producers on the show and actually (from what I've read) is the reason the show exists.  I don't know what the father/son relationship is, but that sounds to me like Dr. Now might have SOME say in the production.

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I quit halfway through. Boring and the wife was irritating. This show  needs a shake up or it’s going the way of the dodo bird.

I wish everyone success of course, but for entertainment we need participants with big personalities who actually HAVE the surgery, otherwise it’s just whining and lumbering around. 
 

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1 hour ago, Showthyme said:

These are two very weird people. 

But not Juggalo weird, so in essence, boring.  

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It’s so irritating when the spouse tries to take over the show and become the patient, victim, star, etc. His wife had me saying, out loud, “Dr. Now is not talking to you”.

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5 hours ago, readheaded said:

I wondered if his son is a person with autism because when Michael went to see Dr. Now the first time, he was wearing a black hat with a “puzzle piece” ribbon around the brim. 

That came up in the live chat. I also noticed that the one who disappeared at the picnic was wearing those big over-the-ear headphones (I think the other one had ear buds, or at least smaller headphones). I've seen them a lot on kids with sensory issues; I assume they're better at blocking out noise that might bother them. Maybe he went to sit in the car.

20 minutes ago, ethalfrida said:

It’s so irritating when the spouse tries to take over the show and become the patient, victim, star, etc. His wife had me saying, out loud, “Dr. Now is not talking to you”.

Ugh, every time she opened her mouth in the doctor's office...you're not the patient so just shut up and listen! (Which is not to say she shouldn't ask questions if she has them, but I felt like she was just agreeing with him to make a show of supporting Michael for the doctor, or the cameras.)

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6 hours ago, Concerned said:

The episode makes no mention of COVID so you wonder when it was filmed.

I believe all the shows this season were "in the can" from years past.  Nobody gets the surgery, Dr. Now seems to have more hair and darker hair and the chairs seem to be in a different configuration.  

It is inconceivable that none of the staff, including Dr. Now would NOT be wearing masks and taking other steps to comply with CDC guidelines when seeing patients.  No way!!

We may debate how the producers sold this idea to TLC; however, I'm sure their contract calls for a certain # of "new" episodes and these, indeed, have never been aired.

From comparing these episodes to past seasons, it's apparent that the producers are prepared to lose a lot of viewers because the premise of the show has always been to highlight the surgery and changes that occur afterward and as the boards confirm, many viewers find these episodes extremely boring.

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7 minutes ago, pdlinda said:

We may debate how the producers sold this idea to TLC; however, I'm sure their contract calls for a certain # of "new" episodes and these, indeed, have never been aired.

And they were never aired because - as we all seem to agree - watching boring people eat and complain and make excuses, but never making it to surgery, is BORING.

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5 minutes ago, AZChristian said:

And they were never aired because - as we all seem to agree - watching boring people eat and complain and make excuses, but never making it to surgery, is BORING.

I have a feeling most of us are watching this season more for the opportunity to live chat with people.

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At the beginning, I felt so sorry for Michael, and the abuse that he was subjected to, and the other boys.   

I hope Michael's abuser is on a rotisserie in Hell. 

However, I couldn't like the Michael that was portrayed on the show.  However, Michael doesn't have Agoraphobia, he has "lazy as hell, and doesn't want to work" disease.   Agoraphobia means you don't leave your home or go outside without difficulty.    The fact that Michael could drive his wife to the store (and then says he hasn't driven in two years), and waited outside in the car, told me everything about his real situation.    There is no way someone with Agoraphobia will dance out the door, volunteer to drive (wonder if he has a license, and insurance?), and have zero problem going to Dr. Now's and the crystal shop.   

As another person said, he's not Agoraphobic, he loves attention, and being the star of every situation.     

I suspect that Michael is the one people hate, after being around him for a while.  Michael saying he hates everyone else is a way for him to justify the fact that no one wants to be around him.    

I bet someone near Michael's would have been glad to take some of the food he burned.      Or else it was a bunch of stuff they bought cheap from a food outlet, and burned for the filming.   At first  I really wanted him to succeed, but later I just wanted him, and the wife to shut up.     

I figured out Xander (the older son) was named after the Buffy character, but someone on the Reddit show thread said Liam is Angel's real name. 

 

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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1 minute ago, ams1001 said:

I have a feeling most of us are watching this season more for the opportunity to live chat with people.

I'd love to do that, but it airs here in Arizona after y'all have left the live chat party.  I have been known to look in once in a while, but it's not as much fun.

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6 minutes ago, AZChristian said:

I'd love to do that, but it airs here in Arizona after y'all have left the live chat party.  I have been known to look in once in a while, but it's not as much fun.

I'm in the same boat.  I'm in AZ too!!

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1 minute ago, pdlinda said:

I'm in the same boat.  I'm in AZ too!!

When covid ends, let's meet up for coffee!!!!

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22 minutes ago, AZChristian said:

When covid ends, let's meet up for coffee!!!!

I'll look forward to it!  Let's hope it's in our lifetime!!!😅

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6 minutes ago, pdlinda said:

I'll look forward to it!  Let's hope it's in our lifetime!!!😅

I'm beginning to be cautiously optimistic.  Had my first shot, and second is next Friday.  And our numbers are down in AZ!!!!

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I couldn't decide if I was annoyed about his narration or *elated* that it wasn't in a monotone like the rest of them. 

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19 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

No way did this guy have agoraphobia. 

I agree...  his problem is he can't take other people daring to look at him and form opinions he can't influence, he doesn't have a genuine panic reaction.

4 hours ago, ams1001 said:

I have a feeling most of us are watching this season more for the opportunity to live chat with people.

I am only watching for the chat!  It's one of the very entertainment options I still have available to me during COVID.  I miss theater the most!  At least museums have reopened here... I have an acute (though at 12 months it's more like chronic!) culture deficit! 

 

Maybe Michael wasn't quite as fun as some truly terrible pounditicipants, he still provided enough stuff to snark on! 

Edited by Hellga
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15 hours ago, Concerned said:

His wife feeds into him, but you can tell the kids don’t. 

Which reminds me...why didn't we see Dr. Now give the wife the enabling beat-down that we have seen him to do so many people when they are the ones who bring in the food?

12 hours ago, dahling said:

I wonder if this is one they had in the can from previous seasons and had deemed it too boring to air.  

I thought I saw at the end of the credits that this was from 2011.

9 hours ago, ams1001 said:

(Which is not to say she shouldn't ask questions if she has them, but I felt like she was just agreeing with him to make a show of supporting Michael for the doctor, or the cameras.)

I had an odd feeling the whole time that they could have been acting.  His 'tantrums' just seemed so strange, as did her cheeriness.

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6 minutes ago, LuvMyShows said:

I had an odd feeling the whole time that they could have been acting.  His 'tantrums' just seemed so strange, as did her cheeriness.

Well, they do like Live Action Role Play...

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21 minutes ago, LuvMyShows said:

I thought I saw at the end of the credits that this was from 2011.

I would completely agree with that possibility because Dr. Now looked years younger than he does now AND there were no evidences of COVID guidelines from the CDC. 

I thought it was an old show (never aired) but 10 years old would imply that we'll never know the outcome of this episode regarding Michael's possible success??

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18 hours ago, dahling said:

I wonder if this is one they had in the can from previous seasons and had deemed it too boring to air.  

That can’t be, because Michael had PlayStation 5 controllers on his table, the PS5 was released in November 2020 ( I purchased one for my husband).

I wish they would put the Month & Year on that Black screen, instead of just naming the months between Visits to Doctor Now. 

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11 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

Which reminds me...why didn't we see Dr. Now give the wife the enabling beat-down that we have seen him to do so many people when they are the ones who bring in the food?

I thought I saw at the end of the credits that this was from 2011.

I had an odd feeling the whole time that they could have been acting.  His 'tantrums' just seemed so strange, as did her cheeriness.

I wondered about this, too, especially since she had WLS herself.  I almost felt like she was feeding him because she can't feed herself.  Something was definitely strange about her.

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5 hours ago, Hellohappylife said:

That can’t be, because Michael had PlayStation 5 controllers on his table, the PS5 was released in November 2020 ( I purchased one for my husband).

10 hours ago, pdlinda said:

I would completely agree with that possibility because Dr. Now looked years younger than he does now AND there were no evidences of COVID guidelines from the CDC. 

Just checked on the replay, and it is 2021...which is odd cause he did look younger and there was no covid.

 

 

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3 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

Just checked on the replay, and it is 2021...which is odd cause he did look younger and there was no covid.

 

 

I thought that was the date the producers prepared the episode for airing.  I'm sure there were edits; however, I still say it is NOT POSSIBLE for a medical office to have taken NO COVID PRECAUTIONS!!  The practice surely would have been shut down by the State of Texas re CDC guidelines.  If anyone knows anything different, I'd love to hear it.

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In some appointments Dr. Now isn't even in the room, the patient, and entourage were talking to a monitor or something much lower than Dr. Now's height, and then in later appointments, the waiting room is only the patient, and their entourage, and one nurse.   In later appointments Dr. Now is in the room, but far back.  

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4 hours ago, readheaded said:

I wondered about this, too, especially since she had WLS herself.  I almost felt like she was feeding him because she can't feed herself.  Something was definitely strange about her.

I liked her, although her butting in when Dr. Now asked her husband about something was annoying.  I felt like she was accustomed to being very protective of him, and if the speculation about their son having special needs is accurate, it makes sense to me that she would have become this upbeat, sometimes cloying person because that is how she deals.

It surprised me that Michael didn't make better progress.  She apparently was successful with her WLS and is keeping the weight off, so she knows what he needs to do.  I'm guessing that he didn't want to have her supervising him, but he really should have been able to take advantage of her experience.

Sometimes I think, especially in cases like this one where the poundticipant is able to lose a significant amount of weight without surgery, Dr. Now should just pretend to operate on them--put them in the hospital, knock them out and make a few surgical-like incisions on the belly, then tell them they should be able to lose 20 pounds a month from there on in.  That's kind of what helped me lose weight--pretend I'd had WLS and couldn't consume much at a time.

 

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29 minutes ago, Mothra said:

Sometimes I think, especially in cases like this one where the poundticipant is able to lose a significant amount of weight without surgery, Dr. Now should just pretend to operate on them--put them in the hospital, knock them out and make a few surgical-like incisions on the belly, then tell them they should be able to lose 20 pounds a month from there on in.  That's kind of what helped me lose weight--pretend I'd had WLS and couldn't consume much at a time.

That would be an interesting experiment. I was listening to an episode of the Science Vs. podcast yesterday about the placebo effect, and they talked about a study (of IBS patients, I think it was) where the patients knew full well that they were only getting sugar pills, but they still had significant reduction in pain. One participant they spoke to had her pain come back after the study; her doctor gave her more placebo pills and she felt better. But she knew the whole time she was not getting real medicine. They also mentioned a study using placebo knee surgery (where they made an incision and stitched it up but didn't do anything else) vs real knee surgery and the placebo group actually had less pain afterward.

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Am i the only one rooting for this guy?

He was exposed to a pedo, then spent years being bullied, then got his confidence back from years of martial arts training. Met a cool lady, had a baby. Was about to have WLS but then lost his spleen after a bad car accident, making WLS not possible. He self-admits that his eating is his own problem (as opposed to others we have seen that just play victim). Michael seems to own his shit.

And while I'm not an expert in the field of agoraphobia, I have to imagine there are levels of severity, as with all mental issues.

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18 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

Which reminds me...why didn't we see Dr. Now give the wife the enabling beat-down that we have seen him to do so many people when they are the ones who bring in the food?

because she's a goof and he didn't have the heart?

Edited by Granny58
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Thanks all....this is apparently ANOTHER episode I can delete without wasting two hours of my life that I won't get back.

Have we had a SINGLE success episode this season?  Because if we have, it's been so long I've forgotten.

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On 2/25/2021 at 4:13 AM, Concerned said:

Michael is so theatrical and speaks in such absolutes. Like a middle schooler, his life is a great drama and he’s the leading character. Whether it’s LARPing, or crystals, he’s trying to elevate a boring, humble life into grand opera. 

This.

And while other poundticipants might read from a script, you just know this guy is performing lines from Star Wars.

"Help me, Dr. Now Kenobi! You're my only hope."

If he could, he'd beam out a hologram of himself from the R2D2 on his shelf.

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2 hours ago, Emma C said:

And while I'm not an expert in the field of agoraphobia, I have to imagine there are levels of severity, as with all mental issues.

Yes, but this is a very specific diagnosis, which does not appear to fit anything he said or did.  I saw something very interesting on a website called verywellmind.com that seems to be exactly what he has, and it's called social phobia: 

  • "More than just shyness, social phobia involves a combination of excessive self-consciousness and a fear of public scrutiny or humiliation in common social situations. In social situations, the person fears being rejected or negatively evaluated or fears offending others."

That is in sharp contrast to agoraphobia:

  • "Agoraphobia is a fear of an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line or being in a crowd, or being outside the home alone. The anxiety is caused by fearing no easy means of escape or help if intense anxiety develops.  Most people who have agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, causing them to fear another attack and avoid the place where it occurred. For some people, agoraphobia may be so severe that they're unable to leave home.  Agoraphobia is often a progressive phobia, and may eventually lead to a fear of leaving the house. However, it is the panic attack, rather than the act of being in public, that is the cause of the fear."

Part of why I didn't buy that he had agoraphobia was because, IIRC, Dr. Paradise asked him if losing weight would help with leaving the house, and he said yes.  That doesn't seem to mesh at all with actual agoraphobia...but seems to exactly fit social phobia.

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If nothing else, this may be the only episode in the history of the series where I felt the question about whether Dr. Now would be able to do the surgery wasn't a contrivance.  All that scar tissue from his car accident made it an open question.  

I didn't totally mind Michael but his "done and done" statements were annoying.  You just knew that wasn't going to happen.

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18 hours ago, Emma C said:

Am i the only one rooting for this guy?

He was exposed to a pedo, then spent years being bullied, then got his confidence back from years of martial arts training. Met a cool lady, had a baby. Was about to have WLS but then lost his spleen after a bad car accident, making WLS not possible. He self-admits that his eating is his own problem (as opposed to others we have seen that just play victim). Michael seems to own his shit.

And while I'm not an expert in the field of agoraphobia, I have to imagine there are levels of severity, as with all mental issues.

I agree, especially with your pointing out that agoraphobia, like almost all phobias, exists on a spectrum of severity. 

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16 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

Yes, but this is a very specific diagnosis, which does not appear to fit anything he said or did.  I saw something very interesting on a website called verywellmind.com that seems to be exactly what he has, and it's called social phobia: 

  • "More than just shyness, social phobia involves a combination of excessive self-consciousness and a fear of public scrutiny or humiliation in common social situations. In social situations, the person fears being rejected or negatively evaluated or fears offending others."

That is in sharp contrast to agoraphobia:

  • "Agoraphobia is a fear of an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line or being in a crowd, or being outside the home alone. The anxiety is caused by fearing no easy means of escape or help if intense anxiety develops.  Most people who have agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, causing them to fear another attack and avoid the place where it occurred. For some people, agoraphobia may be so severe that they're unable to leave home.  Agoraphobia is often a progressive phobia, and may eventually lead to a fear of leaving the house. However, it is the panic attack, rather than the act of being in public, that is the cause of the fear."

Part of why I didn't buy that he had agoraphobia was because, IIRC, Dr. Paradise asked him if losing weight would help with leaving the house, and he said yes.  That doesn't seem to mesh at all with actual agoraphobia...but seems to exactly fit social phobia.

The bolded part, which is from the Mayo Clinic website, makes it clear that agoraphobia does not necessarily mean that a person's fear prevents her from leaving her house.  Most people with a. are able to go out, but they are fearful of their own reaction--a panic attack--which may or may not occur.  It seems to me that it's easy to make the connection between being super obese and thus stared at or even bullied when he goes out with the fear that this treatment will give Michael a panic attack--and the fear of a panic attack is the *basis* of agoraphobia.  Thus it makes sense that if he could remove the condition that threatens him with a panic attack (the reaction of others to his weight), he may well not have fear of panic attacks, or agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is a type of social phobia.  All social phobias are not agoraphobia, but all agoraphobia is social phobia.

Agoraphobia isn't actually fear of going out.  It's fear of how your body will react if you go out.  I think Michael is a perfect example of agoraphobia.

Too often, we (and I'm including me, here) get our ideas about "exotic" mental illnesses from exaggerated examples from movies or TV.  On "Shameless," Sheila's agoraphobia did indeed prevent her leaving her house--at one point, she couldn't even come downstairs!    After she was able to go out, a plane crash nearby scared her back into her agoraphobia.  This is entertaining, but I don't think it's what real agoraphobia is like.  Ditto Tourette's Syndrome--I imagine a lot of people believe that  people who have it walk around cursing uncontrollably or at least inappropriately, when that just isn't true.

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31 minutes ago, Mothra said:

Too often, we (and I'm including me, here) get our ideas about "exotic" mental illnesses from exaggerated examples from movies or TV.  On "Shameless," Sheila's agoraphobia did indeed prevent her leaving her house--at one point, she couldn't even come downstairs!    After she was able to go out, a plane crash nearby scared her back into her agoraphobia.  This is entertaining, but I don't think it's what real agoraphobia is like.  Ditto Tourette's Syndrome--I imagine a lot of people believe that  people who have it walk around cursing uncontrollably or at least inappropriately, when that just isn't true.

 

 

32 minutes ago, Mothra said:

The bolded part, which is from the Mayo Clinic website, makes it clear that agoraphobia does not necessarily mean that a person's fear prevents her from leaving her house.  Most people with a. are able to go out, but they are fearful of their own reaction--a panic attack--which may or may not occur.  It seems to me that it's easy to make the connection between being super obese and thus stared at or even bullied when he goes out with the fear that this treatment will give Michael a panic attack--and the fear of a panic attack is the *basis* of agoraphobia.  Thus it makes sense that if he could remove the condition that threatens him with a panic attack (the reaction of others to his weight), he may well not have fear of panic attacks, or agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia is a type of social phobia.  All social phobias are not agoraphobia, but all agoraphobia is social phobia.

Agoraphobia isn't actually fear of going out.  It's fear of how your body will react if you go out.  I think Michael is a perfect example of agoraphobia.

Yes, but we watched the episode and he went out multiple times with no panic attacks, and when we saw him leave the house or discuss upcoming or past excursions, there was no mention of a concern about panic attacks...which given how this show likes drama, you'd think would be included for broadcast if it had occurred.

Plus, he said early in the episode that he could not even walk outside his front door and that's why he had been trapped in his house.  We then found out that was completely untrue.  

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My armchair diagnosis is potential Social Anxiety Disorder (which is more linked to having other people around).  My secondary diagnosis is too much consulting with Dr. Google and using big words because you think it impresses people.

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1 hour ago, Mothra said:

Ditto Tourette's Syndrome--I imagine a lot of people believe that  people who have it walk around cursing uncontrollably or at least inappropriately, when that just isn't true.

There was a customer at the bookstore where I used to work that I suspect had Tourette's; he would make an apparently-involuntary barking sort of noise (which you could hear halfway across the store), but he never said any words (I actually don't think he ever said anything the few times I rang him up).

I won't speculate on whether Michael actually had agoraphobia or a more mild form of social anxiety/phobia. He did have his little freakout at the crystal store where he had to go out to the car while she paid, but it's hard to decide if it was real or just him indulging his a flair for dramatics for the cameras (or a combination of the two).

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