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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!

Demi Lovato Shows That Recovery Is a Process

Demi Lovato

Eating disorder stories are often told with a “before” and an “after.”

Sick and well. Unhealthy and healthy. Ill and recovered.

At one end of the spectrum are those sick (“sick enough”) for care, and at the other, those celebrating complete freedom from their illness. Often in celebrity coverage, it’s either speculation that a star is “too thin”—a problematic conflation of weight and health, to be sure—or a bold declaration of self-acceptance and body positivity from someone who has seemingly put the issues behind them.

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Staff Spotlight, Brandy Gillihan

Brandy Gillihan

TEP: Tell us about yourself!

Brandy: My name is Brandy Gillihan, MA, LMHC. I am a Program Coordinator for the adult standard AM program and a Clinical Manager at the South Sound location in Lacey, WA. I’ve been at The Emily Program since July of 2015; it’ll be five years this July.

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Teenagers and Eating Disorders

Group of teenagers walking on sidewalk

We know that eating disorders can and do affect people of all ages.

They’re not a “teenage phase.” They’re not a “teenager’s problem.” They’re mental health conditions that impact children and adults as well.

We also know that teenagers are particularly susceptible to developing these illnesses. Research shows that the average age of onset is between 16 and 18 years, and eating disorders occur in nearly three percent of 13- to 18-year-olds.

It’s clear that eating disorders often develop during the adolescent and teenage years—but why?

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Episode 23: Raffaela’s Story

Woman writing in front of a computer

Episode description:

When an eating disorder affects a child or adolescent, it affects the child’s parents and caregivers as well. In this episode, Raffaela discusses the impact of her daughter’s eating disorder on her family. She describes how she continues to fight alongside her daughter, navigating treatment and the challenges associated with it. She addresses the confusion, isolation, frustration, and exhaustion commonly felt in this situation, and emphasizes the importance of patience, self-care, and a strong support system.

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Cardiac Complications of Eating Disorders

Stethoscope with red heart

By Dr. Mary Bretzman, physician at The Emily Program

“Why an EKG?”

“Why do you check my blood pressure lying down AND standing up?”

“Why am I dizzy when I stand?”

We often hear these questions from our clients with eating disorders. The answer? Because eating disorders can affect every part of the body, including the heart. Cardiac complications may occur as a result of the malnutrition, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances commonly associated with these disorders.

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“Come As You Are” This National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Twin Cities, MN NEDA Walk 2020

Your recovery is valid and important, even if:

You don’t need to restore your weight.
You don’t need inpatient or residential treatment.
Or you do need treatment for the 2nd, 3rd, or 19th time.
You never felt “ready” to recover, or you did and then you didn’t.
You can think of 1001 other things you “should” do first.
Besides, you’re not sure you’re “sick enough” anyway.

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