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S15.E08: Daniel M


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Here is the description from A&E

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Daniel is a well-respected Paranormal expert. However, his sensitivity leaves him tormented by those entities needing to cross to the "other side." Daniel is now consuming a gallon of vodka per day to quiet "the voices." That, combined with easy access to pain meds and opiates Daniel takes for his lupus diagnosis, has left him spiraling out of control. His family fears that it is only a matter of time before he is lost inside a world he cannot escape.

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That ending sure did not make me feel good for Daniel.  I hope he does ok this time and goes to sober living.  I don't know how he is still alive given how much he drank, much less the pills on top of it.   When he was chugging vodka it made my throat burn.  

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Does anyone know if "smurfs" is an actual drug term, or was Daniel just too gone to make sense? They seemed to understand what it meant at the intervention, but I was trying to figure out if that was legit, or just a known Daniel-ism.

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These people seemed really off to me like they were acting. I've never thought that about anybody on Intervention but 10 minutes in, I felt like Daniel and his wife were really fake and overdramatic.

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1 hour ago, Trampolina said:

These people seemed really off to me like they were acting. I've never thought that about anybody on Intervention but 10 minutes in, I felt like Daniel and his wife were really fake and overdramatic.

Got the same feeling, especially the wife.

Ditto to not knowing how Daniel is still alive.  

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I was expecting something different from this episode.  Like dead people talking to Daniel all the time.  

Did a doctor actually tell Daniel that he had lupas, or was this something that he completely made up?

I thought at first his shaking was put on, but his face was so rough looking.  His brain must be mush.

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I don't think the makers of the show intentionally misled us.  I think this guy and his wife faked everything they did, just like they do in their paranormal business.

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It was hard getting into this episode, all the self-involved BS about "gifts" and "super-sensitive" and "other realms" and "helping people with spiritual problems" - I'm not sure if it was the insanity, the delusions, or the arrogance that bugged me so much.

Take the drugs and alcohol away and they are just grifters.

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These people seemed really off to me like they were acting. I've never thought that about anybody on Intervention but 10 minutes in, I felt like Daniel and his wife were really fake and overdramatic.

Agreed.  The wife would be exhausting to be around.  I was just waiting for when she declared the son to be "gifted" too.

He was adopted into a home where it sounded like he was very wanted but he was pretty dismissive of his parents.  In reality, I think he was probably pretty much a shit growing up.  That thought was further confirmed when he voiced his pain at not telling his Dad he was sorry and that he loved him before he died. If his Dad was truly so domineering and unaccepting, why would he have felt that way?  Loved when the Mom said, "for a gift, it wasn't very positive" or something to that effect!

It was odd that I believe they said the wife and son had supposedly moved out ten or so days before filming....but she walks into HER house and asks, "where do you keep your olive oil" and starts randomly opening cupboards?  Wouldn't she know?  Same with the friend declaring the house a dump and the bathroom stinky.  Hmmmm....wifey must not have been too good of a housekeeper because she had barely just moved out.  

As referenced in the recap too, why not think schizophrenia before psychic/sensitive?  And Lupus-Poopus.    

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I think the alcoholism and drug addiction are true. Not sure if the shakes were real but exaggerated, and I'm not buying the lupus without more proof (my family member has it and another is being tested for it). Candy seemed strangely detached and I think she doubted some of what she was seeing.

Since I don't believe in paranormal-anything, and look askance at these fake idiots on paranormal shows, it seems to me that these two doofuses have made their living scamming the public, including those who give them money. Zero sympathy and tolerance for the wife, who never met a camera she didn't like; she sure had her script nailed down. I suspect she glommed onto Daniel for a TV career. Those tears were for herself because she's lost that income.

Having been raised in the midst of  Southern Baptists with extreme views, I can see where Daniel's parents might have been very hard on him. They take the demon stuff very seriously. There was a news story very recently where parents and church members beat a child to death because they thought he was possessed. If Daniel was sensitive, he may have internalized all that - he started drinking very young. I wonder if he has hallucinations that he's passed off as paranormal manifestations. Also, there was something off about his speech - it was distracting.

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I really think that Daniel may have a form of mental illness which he has translated into paranormal sensitivity (I am not a believer; I don't think they're scammers in the classic sense, but I do think they're misguided) and which he is self-medicating. If he doesn't get help to deal with his voices in some other way- not by deciding he does not have second sight or the like, as that would leave him without a worldview, but perhaps a sensitive psychiatrist could help him find positive ways to manage it- then I think the potential for him to backslide is always going to be very strong.

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I think Daniel is the result when you're a person with a mental illness (? schizophrenia) who is raised by religious nuts.  Instead of getting proper medical assistance, you end up like this.  It's sad, really.

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(edited)

I have lupus (and a couple of other autoimmune diseases) and I don't believe Daniel has it. He probably does have some autoimmune disorder going on, but lupus is a tricky thing to diagnose, generally most autoimmune diseases are. I would have liked more background/explanation of how things led up to that diagnosis. There was no talk of it until he was an adult and had been married for a few years? It's not just something that comes out of nowhere. You can have symptoms for many years and even then, it's not always the easiest to diagnose. I feel like there must be something missing about how/why he became an addict.

Edited by MattDuffysCat
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I didn't know what to make of this episode. They set it up like Christian mom was going to make trouble and turn the focus to Jesus, but then we didn't see any of that.

Anybody who hires these folks to de-haunt their Hollywood mansion or whatever deserves to be separated from their money.

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(edited)

Busted out my DSM-5 to double-check but Daniel would be unlikely to meet criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia because he hasn't had any breakdown in daily functioning (self-care, hygiene, relationships, work, etc.) directly as a result of the "voices" or belief in his paranormal powers. Even his manners seemed somewhat intact... offering to walk his buddy out. Schizophrenia is first and foremost a thought disorder that prevents (when untreated) "normal" ability to take care of oneself or engage in productive engagement in societal expectation.His functioning has been destroyed because of the alcohol, sure, but seemingly not from a thought disorder itself. He could certainly meet for a long-term delusional disorder, where there is a formed delusion but no other functioning is impacted. I don't really have any firm beliefs about whether people can in fact have paranormal beliefs but I am not so quick to write him off as a "psychotic mental illness" person. I'd think some form of personality disorder might even suit him a little better...

I was wondering if he actually played up the amount he was drinking and using pills. It would go along with the suspicions of faking the lupus or exaggerating the seizures/DTs. I literally cannot fathom how he could put that much "downer" in his body and not go into central nervous system failure. Even my boyfriend who is a recovering alcoholic (with physical dependence who could drink a 750ml a day) was like "how on earth is this possible??" And then to have had a healthy physical? No liver damage?? Either way, he looked like terribly ill, even at follow-up, and I am sure his brain is completely atrophied.

I was also very disturbed that they did not immediately take him to an ER when he had taken an undefined amount of pills and alcohol and had a significant change in presentation from previous days. He barely seemed drunk or buzzed most of the time, but suddenly was barely awake or coherent? I would think that, at the very least, "cover your ass" would come into play and they'd want him monitored at a hospital. Then could he even really consent to treatment?

Then we see him talking to Candy and all of a sudden he's talking about God and "blessings"? As someone who felt rejected and marginalized by Christianity as a youth? Someone who had a career/"gift" that is in direct opposition of many Christian beliefs? No discussion about sending him to a secular recovery location? I do not believe he would suddenly buy into the religious aspect of many 12-step programs. I have no hope that he will maintain sobriety and he is surely not long for this life.

Edited by petalfrog
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(edited)
3 hours ago, petalfrog said:

Busted out my DSM-5 to double-check but

I use mine in situations like this too! LOVE it! :D

 

Per your usage/abuse observations, I also am a bit incredulous. Not that he over-uses, but that he does to the extent claimed.  

I recently have been caught up in reading a site that deals with people who have basically just thrown their hands up to the fact that they are alcoholics.  It's not uncommon for these users to detail mind-blowing consumption (nearly a handle a day, 3-4 handles per week; (36) 12oz beers plus shots, daily, etc) and their tales of what they suffer on a daily basis as a result (some have been consuming similarly for years, some for "only" months) paint a graphic picture of their day to day lives, one that doesn't quite line up with 1) what we saw this episode and 2) what we've seen in other alcoholics on this series.  Google "crippling alcoholism" at your own risk,, the tales of their lifestyle detailed on their forum are jaw-dropping. It's become a total accepted lifestyle for some.  

*Many of the above mentioned people also abuse prescription drugs as well.

**I am not trying to minimize the fact that Daniel has a problem and one that, if left untreated, won't have deadly consequences and of course, I realize we all process alcohol/drugs differently when it comes to manifesting deleterious symptoms/effects.

Edited by lallalla
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I recently have been caught up in reading a site that deals with people who have basically just thrown their hands up to the fact that they are alcoholics.

Totally... When he left the house to go to the store to get more alcohol first thing in the morning b/c of the shakes and seizures I said to my boyfriend, "does it NOT occur to him to go the ER right now instead??" And my boyfriend, he of past alcohol dependence, goes "What do you mean?" Then I reminded myself that my boyfriend never once called 911 or thought to seek help to stop when he was in the throes of alcohol withdrawals... instead his solution was to keep drinking, but in smaller amounts until he could gradually wean himself off. If I was THAT sick I would call a doctor, but that's not what the dependent alcoholic does. I literally had to force him in the car to go to a doctor who would detox him as an outpatient... I had a solution that would be MORE comfortable than his plan but he still thought his was better. I think the alcohol itself (beyond the addiction thoughts/needs) must do something to their brain function to make medical help not even blip on the radar as an option.

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Petalfrog, everything you said.

The logic of an addict, alcohol in particular, is one that cannot be dissected rationally. 

Horribly sad.

I wish your s/o the best on his journey, and it really is a journey, not a destination. 

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Hard for me to believe that he didn't have a liver problem or kidney problems for that matter, what with the amount of liquid--alcohol+mixer--he consumed every day.  The paranormal stuff turned me off from the get-go, so I didn't have much sympathy for him.  The wife seemed scripted, but she and Daniel have both had experience in front of a camera so they were "on" the whole time.  

I do love Candy.

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(edited)
On 7/2/2016 at 9:25 AM, cynicat said:

Did he pour vodka into his coffee, or was that a cup of soda?

I thought it was straight vodka, no chaser/mixer, poured into a coffee mug and gulped.  I was in utter shock and had a hard time watching it, that scene seemed to drag on.  Even with past prolific vodka drinkers, I don't think any of them gulped it like that, ounces behind ounces and then pouring, repeating.  Holy goodness!

*I re-watched and saw when he poured it into the red coffee mug, right before his wife came in asking for olive oil, it did look like there was coffee in that cup.  I thought during the opening though, that he was gulping straight vodka like I gulp water.  HOLY MOSES?!

Edited by lallalla
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