In her Sophomore year of high school, Emma Demar was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, and spent the next few years working towards recovery through inpatient, outpatient, IOP treatment and outside therapy. The 27-year-old New Yorker has been dancing since she was three, and got into acting when she landed a role on Season 1 of Gossip Girl. After the show, she received her BA in Creative Writing from Trinity College, and started a blog writing about her experiences and knowledge on eating disorders. In May 2017 she graduated from Fordham University with a Masters in Social Work. Now fully recovered, she works as a therapist on the Upper East Side, currently doing a two year fellowship at IntrinPsych Woman, specializing in eating disorders.
"I actually remember (getting) the call that I got the part on Gossip Girl and it was right before I was about to go for my weekly weigh-in at the doctor. I was not myself, I was not in the right state of mind... and getting that call was a dream come true, obviously. (But) it was that really sad dichotomy and irony of being a foot into my dreams and also still struggling."
in this episode:
- Emma retells being diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, and how she reached out for help
- the story behind how she got her agent
- how acting became motivation for her eating disorder recovery
- what it was like to be on Gossip Girl
- her thoughts on 13 Reasons Why
- why she decided to go back to school for her Masters in Social Work
- the misperceptions around eating disorders as a "superficial" illness
"Don't be ashamed if you're going through an eating disorder or another mental health struggle. I know that it's a very isolating type of illness, but you're not alone. So many people are struggling and there's always someone to reach out to for help. Don't be afraid to do that, because your life can completely change and it just starts with you."
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