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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. Email us (blog@emilyprogram.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

The Interesting Relationship Between ADHD and Eating Disorders

Roberto Olivardia

The 10th Annual Veritas Collaborative Symposium on Eating Disorders, co-hosted by The Emily Program, will unite healthcare professionals and eating disorders experts around the theme of “Engaging Science, Unifying Voices, and Transforming Access.” In this article, Roberto Olivardia, PhD, a speaker at this year’s Symposium, examines the complex relationship between ADHD and eating disorders.

Alex*, 35, feels that the only thing that gives him relief from the chaos caused by his ADHD is food. He makes several stops on his way home from work. Along the way and later at home, he might order and eat four hamburgers, four large French fries, a pizza, two bags of potato chips, two gallons of ice cream, and a dozen cupcakes. His numbness after such a binge turns into frustration and disgust. Then he vomits. He swears he will never binge and purge again, something he has told himself for 10 years.

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Episode 57: Supporting a Partner with an Eating Disorder with Dana Harron

A couple holding hands

Episode description:

Dr. Dana Harron is a practicing psychologist, the founder and director of Monarch Wellness & Psychotherapy, and the author of Loving Someone with an Eating Disorder: Understanding, Supporting and Connecting with Your Partner. She joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss how partners of people with eating disorders can support their loved one through illness and recovery.

Dana discusses the common mistakes that partners of people with eating disorders can make and how to avoid those mistakes. She also provides practical tips for approaching a partner when you notice unhealthy behaviors and how to respond when a partner shares that they are struggling with food or their body. In addition, Dana covers useful strategies for supporting a partner during eating disorder recovery, emphasizing the importance of self-care to this process.

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The Dangers of Striving for Perfection

A person looks down at their work with anxiety and frustration

Many people view perfectionism unequivocally as a positive. It’s often considered admirable, perhaps even healthy. It’s equated with success. But the pursuit of perfection comes with serious risks to mental and physical health, including the development or worsening of eating disorder thoughts and behaviors.

In this article, we explore the trait of perfectionism, including common signs, thought patterns, and health risks. Learn the difference between perfectionism and healthy striving, as well as ways to challenge perfectionism to protect against the negative toll it can take on a person’s life.

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Staff Spotlight, Annie Root

Annie Root

Tell us about yourself!

Hello! I’m Annie Root, the Site Director at The Emily Program’s Cleveland outpatient location. I started with TEP in 2018 as a program coordinator for the adult DBT program. Additionally, I’ve worked as an outpatient DBT therapist, intake clinician, and clinical manager before becoming the site director in April 2021.

Describe the path that led you to The Emily Program.

In 2013, I graduated with an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from John Carroll University. Following graduation, I spent the summer at Penn State as an academic advisor, and then as an individual and family therapist at a teen crisis shelter for a few years. Seeking a new challenge, I came to work for The Emily Program in the adult DBT program in 2018!

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Social Media’s Influence on Health and Eating Disorders

Apps on a cellphone screen

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi, you can find her on Twitter.

We live in a world where almost everyone understands how popular social media is. But not everyone takes the time to think about how powerful it is. With billions of active users on some type of social media platform across the globe, it’s one of the most influential factors in our society today.

In some cases, that can be a good thing. In others, it’s not.

Social media influences everything from fashion and music to viral trends and marketing techniques. It also can greatly influence your health. Again, that can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you choose to follow and believe.

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Episode 56: The Healing Power of Horses with Lisa Whalen

Lisa Whalen

Episode description:

Lisa Whalen, PhD, is the author of Stable Weight: A Memoir of Horses, Hunger, and Hope. Her writing has also appeared in An Introvert in an Extrovert World, The Simpsons’ Beloved Springfield, Introvert, Dear, and Adanna, among other publications. Lisa teaches writing and literature at North Hennepin Community College and is an equestrian and volunteer for the Animal Humane Society.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Lisa describes two key components of her eating disorder recovery: writing and horseback riding. Underscoring the multifaceted nature of the healing process, she reflects on how writing and riding each offered unique lessons for her mind and body. Writing, she explains, supported and extended her therapy lessons, while riding provided a space to put the lessons into practice. Lisa introduces us to a few of the horses that served as mentors throughout her recovery, highlighting the lessons they could teach us all about staying present, taking up space, and being imperfect. She then translates how these and other recovery “nuggets”—the wisdom learned from horses, writing, and therapy—continue to serve her life and career.

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