Get help. Refer a patient. Find hope. 888-364-5977

Get help. Refer a patient.
Find hope. 888-364-5977


There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates.

We want to hear your story. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask how you can become a contributor!

The Ballad of a Thin Man with Anorexia

August 14, 2018.
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    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Ken Capobianco is the author of the novel Call Me Anorexic: The Ballad of a Thin Man. He has written about pop music and the arts for over 30 years. He also taught literature and writing at Northeastern University and journalism at Emerson College in Boston. He lives in Long Beach, California with his wife, Ratanan.

    When I shopped my novel about a twenty-something anorexic male to agents, the most common questions I received were, “Did you make this male anorexic aspect up for drama’s sake?” and “Male anorexia is not a thing, is it?” This ignorance or lack of awareness did not surprise me because I’d encountered it throughout my life as a professional journalist and a college professor. You see, I suffered from severe, life-threatening anorexia for 30 years, and if I ever even hinted to people I had anorexia, I always heard, “No you don’t. You’re a guy. Be a man.”

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What should I blame for my eating disorder?

August 09, 2018.
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    What did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening to me? I don’t understand why I can’t just eat. Why am I like this? These questions may plague those with eating disorders—and, that’s totally normal. When we feel overwhelmed and confused, it’s easy to assign blame as a way to make sense of what’s happening. If something bad happens to us, there must be an explanation. If I lose my job, it might be because I repeatedly showed up late. If one of my friends is mad at me, it’s probably because I’ve done something or because they are having a bad day. It’s natural to need a reason as to why certain things happen. This is a way to protect ourselves from the idea that some things are out of our control. And, that tendency to find an explanation is no different for those with eating disorders. Those suffering from disordered eating often wonder why—what made them develop an eating disorder and what is to blame?

    The answer is that no one is to blame for your eating disorder. Not your parents. Not yourself. Not the one kid that poked fun at you in middle school. These may be contributing factors, but they aren’t the reason you developed an eating disorder. Eating disorders aren’t a choice, a fad, a phase or something caused by one specific reason. Current science suggests that eating disorders are caused by a complex combination of genetic, biochemical, psychological, environmental and social factors.

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Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness

August 07, 2018.
  • Shannon Caswell

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Shannon Caswell resides in Woodbury, MN with her husband and two boys, Declan and Kellen. Recovering from anorexia 21 years ago, Shannon’s mission is to raise awareness around mental illness, to eliminate the stigma and demystify issues that are all too often misunderstood. When Shannon finds time between hockey practices and managing a career, she enjoys writing for her personal blog, Midwestern Mamai, sharing the vulnerabilities and humor of raising a family – and empowering others to do the same. 

    Lately, I’ve found myself imagining a world where we all understood mental illness around us. Embraced the mindset to talk about it. Celebrated those who recognized it in themselves. Associated bravery and courage equally as we do for other medical illnesses, like cancer. And extended empathy and grace to those struggling through it.

    Because the truth is, we are all impacted by mental illness in some way. And the number one reason people don’t seek treatment is because of the stigma. 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness

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Eating Disorders in Athletes

August 03, 2018. Written by Mark Warren, M.D.
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    Recently, conversations about eating disorders in athletes have been flooding the internet. People are wondering how coaches and parents can recognize symptoms and what the best treatment options are. There is a common misconception that athletics resulting in weight loss is the norm, but that’s not always the case. The main purpose of exercising is to build up body strength and muscle mass. Individuals who are driven to use athletics while restricting intake for weight loss are at a high risk of developing an eating disorder.

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Residential Care Expanding for Adolescents and Young Adults

July 31, 2018.
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    The Emily Program is excited to announce that we are expanding our Anna Westin House for Adolescents and Young Adults in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The expansion will increase the licensed 10-bed residential facility to a 16-bed facility. The necessary construction will take place throughout August and early September and will not affect current programming. The expansion is expected to be completed by mid-September.

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Recovery for life is possible 888-364-5977

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