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Articles tagged with: Eating Disorders

The Ballad of a Thin Man with Anorexia

August 14, 2018.
  • Ken Cjpg

    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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Staff Spotlight: Alex Montes, Program Assistant/Therapist Trainee

July 27, 2018.
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    Alex Montes has worked for The Emily Program since 2016 as a Program Assistant and an Outpatient Therapist Trainee at locations in St. Louis Park and Saint Paul, MN. Alex is a queer, second generation immigrant. She identifies as both Mexican and Latina, coming from a mixed race and mixed cultural household.

    TEP: Tell us about yourself!

    Alex: It is impossible for me to talk about myself without talking about my parents, who have incredible stories filled with resiliency and who have provided and sacrificed for their children to provide wonderful opportunities. Without them, I would not be here and I would not be who I am today, which has me proud to be called their daughter.

    At The Emily Program, I have worked in Outpatient, Intensive Outpatient Programs, and Intensive Day Programs both for adults and adolescents. Social work has a long history of advocacy, and I am passionate about incorporating advocacy both personally and professionally. It is a responsibility we hold in our communities to speak out, build capacity, lean into discomfort and we have the opportunity to do so in our workplace. That being said, I am also thankful to have found allies at TEP to increase inclusivity and compassion at work, so thank you to everyone!

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News Interview: Eating Disorder Warning Signs

July 26, 2018.
  • Roughly 30 million people in the United States will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime, including approximately 200,000 Minnesotans. The Fox 9 morning news team in Minnesota invited our Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Jillian Lampert onto their show to discuss stereotypes and what we can do to encourage individuals to seek professional eating disorder treatment.

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Are Social Difficulties a Risk Factor for Anorexia?

July 24, 2018.
  • Adult alone

    Research has consistently shown that many people living with Anorexia Nervosa report difficulties with social situations, smaller social networks, and trouble regulating emotions in some social settings. Here we'll explore why social difficulties are often a precursor to and maintenance factor of anorexia and what can be done to mitigate the issue.


    Anorexia Nervosa is a severe eating disorder characterized by dramatic weight loss, excessive calorie restriction and obsessive thoughts about food and body image. While anorexia is an illness individuals can recover from, it has the highest morbidity rate among all psychiatric disorders, so it is essential to get treatment as soon as possible. Read more about anorexia here

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Is It Stress or Clinical Anxiety Disorder?

July 17, 2018.


    I recently came across an article in The Mighty called, “37 Memes That Might Make You Laugh If You Live with ‘High-Functioning’ Anxiety,” and let me tell you, I did laugh and immediately forwarded the articles to three of my friends that I knew would relate. While hilarious, the article also highlights the reality of anxiety and, specifically, that anxiety isn’t just everyday stress.

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How Animals Can Aid Eating Disorder Recovery

July 11, 2018.
  •  Cat

    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.

    Lisa Whalen, a former Emily Program client, has a Ph.D. in postsecondary and adult education, and an M.A. in creative and critical writing. She teaches writing and literature at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Her essays have been featured in An Introvert in an Extrovert World, WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society, and MotherShould? Whalen is working on publishing her memoir, Taking the Reins. In the meantime, she is a regular contributor to The Feisty Writer and maintains a blog called, Writing Unbridled.

    Oh, good, I thought when I saw a recent video on Facebook. Science is finally recognizing what we cat lovers have always sensed. The video summarized research studies showing the benefits cats provide for people’s mental, physical, and emotional health.

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Tips That Helped Me in Eating Disorder Recovery

July 03, 2018.
  •  blythe baird

    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.

    Blythe Baird is a spoken word poet, author, actress, and leo. The re-release of her first book, GIVE ME A GOD I CAN RELATE TO, comes out in 2018. Her work has been featured by Glamour, The Huffington Post, Mic, Write Bloody, Button Poetry, EverydayFeminism, and more. Get in touch with Blythe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    1. Personifying my body

    Not long ago, a question bubbled to the surface of my brain: if my body could speak, would she forgive me? Though it sounds strange, it was wildly helpful for me to start thinking of my body as a being separated from myself. This mindset made it easier for me to be gentle and more forgiving with my body, because we are sadly often more willing to be unkind to ourselves than we are to someone else. I began to experience newfound guilt for putting my body through the abuse of my eating disorder, because what did my poor, loyal body do to deserve such violence? The answer is nothing, and the same is true for you, too: your sweet body did nothing to deserve to endure the wrath of you.

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KARE11 News Interview: Eating Disorder Facts and Advice

June 29, 2018.
  • Image from Kare11

    Misconceptions about eating disorders often keep people from getting the treatment they need. We’re thankful to the KARE 11 news team for asking our Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Jillian Lampert into their studio to educate viewers. During the interview, she offered tips for helping a friend or loved one who may be struggling with food issues. Approximately 180,000 Minnesotans have an eating disorder right now.

    Lampert helped NBC viewers to understand that eating disorders are an illness. “They’re not a choice. They’re not a behavior problem. They’re not a phase. They’re not a lack of willpower. They’re an illness with biological and genetic roots that are influenced by culture. And they need treatment. Just like any other illness.”

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Trans Issues, Body Image, and Identity

June 28, 2018.
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    In a post earlier this month, we discussed the prevalence of body image issues and eating disorders in tne trangender community. Today we're wrapping up our PRIDE month series with an interview that puts a human face to the issue of body image and identity in the trans community.

    TEP: Tell us about yourself!

    Sam: My name is Sam Dylan Finch! My pronouns are he/him. I’m a blogger, editor, and media strategist. And a whole bunch of other things — like a drag queen! — but that’s the gist.

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